Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin

Click on the highlighted headlines to hear an audio recording of the story


February 27, 2006

Search Warrant leads to two arrests

Stock Island - Sheriff's detectives arrested two Stock Island residents after a search warrant was served Friday afternoon at a home on Robyn Lane.

One resident, 32 year old Sandra Schneider, had an outstanding warrant for selling crack cocaine to an undercover operative earlier in the month. When the search warrant was served at the residence, she was arrested on the warrant. A search of the property turned up six grams of powdered cocaine in the possession of 31 year old Edward Malagon. He was charged with possession of cocaine and they were both booked into the MOnroe County Detention Center.

Man charged with fondling young girl's breast

Marathon - A 66 year old Marathon man has been charged with fondling a young girl's breast as he hugged her.

The 12 year old victim said she'd just hung up her cell phone and was walking toward K-Mart just before 4 p.m. Sunday when she saw 66 year old Frank Moody and heard him say, "give me a hug". Then he hugged her, and, as he was hugging her he put his hand under her shirt and fondled her breast. She pushed him away and a friend who was nearby began yelling at Moody to leave her alone.

The victim called the Sheriff's Office to report the incident. Moody was taken into custody, charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16.

Man in his underwear charged with reckless driving, possessing marijuana

Islamorada - A man from Jupiter, Florida was arrested Sunday and for possessing marijuana.

Deputy Winifred Higgins and Sgt. Roy Bogue were both searching for a reported reckless driver northbound on the highway just before noon on Sunday. They spotted a red Jeep Wrangler fitting the car's description in the parking lot of a restaurant at the 80 mile marker. As they were pulling up, the Jeep's driver, 46 year old Kenneth Fuhrmann walked out of the restaurant toward his car. He was wearing only a shirt and underwear.

The officers asked him where he was headed. Fuhrmann said he was on the way to Key West from his home in Jupiter, Florida. He could not explain why he was driving northbound if he was trying to reach Key West. When the officers explained that they had reports he was driving recklessly, he said it was because he was in a hurry to get to the Keys.

Fuhrmann consented to a search of his Jeep. Inside, the Sgt. Bogue found marijuana in the glove box. Fuhrmann was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Man and woman arrested on warrants for selling Oxycontin

Stock Island - A man and a woman were both arrested on outstanding warrants charging them with dealing in Oxycontin pills.

24 year old Kristin Tzadok and 42 year old Michael McIntosh sold an undercover operative 21 Oxycontin pills for $800 earlier in the month. Warrants were issued for their arrest for sale of the illegal substance. On Friday at 1 p.m., McIntosh was arrested at a Stock Island convenience store on the warrant. Bond was set at $50,000 and he was booked into jail without incident.

On Saturday morning, Tzadok was found parked in a vehicle near a Stock Island gas station. Deputies Juan Martin-Reyes and Tom Walker attempted to place her in custody, but she struggled with them. They finally had to use pepper foam spray to subdue her and she was taken into custody. When she was arrested, she was found to be in possession of a crack cocaine smoking pipe so, in addition to the warrant for sale of Oxycontin, she was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. She was booked into jail with her bond set at $50,000.00.

February 24, 2006

Coral Shores HS student charged with bringing gun to school

Islamorada - A 15 year old Coral Shores High School student has been charged with bringing a gun to school today.

The 25 caliber Beretta handgun was not loaded when it was found in 15 year old Ryan Michael Curll's pocket by Assistant Principal Blake Fry. Fry searched Curll's pockets after he received a tip that Curll had drugs at school. School Resource Deputy Beverly Brazil arrested the boy, booking him at the Monroe County Detention Center on charges of possessing a firearm on school property, a third degree felony. Curll told Deputy Brazil he had the gun for protection from his drug dealer.

February 23, 2006

Sugarloaf woman charged with fleeing from deputies

A Sugarloaf Key woman who fled from deputies at high speeds on her motorcycle early today is in jail.

Deputy Brian Luth was running radar at the 13 mile marker when he spotted a motorcycle speeding northbound on the highway. When he pulled out and turned on his lights and siren in an effort to stop the motorcycle, the driver accelerated. Deputy Luth continued his attempts to pull the vehicle over with no success. At one point, he clocked the motorcycle at 115 miles per hour. He finally turned off his emergency equipment and followed the motorcycle at a distance.

He saw the motorcycle turn off the highway onto Sugarloaf Boulevard, then onto Bluefish Lane where the driver pulled into a house on the street. At that point, Deputy Luth confronted the driver, identified as 23 year old Nicole Lynn Terry. Terry claimed she did not see the deputy trying to pull her over. She said her pants got "stuck on the shifter" and she didn't realize how fast she was traveling. She also said she was trying to get home fast so she could go to the bathroom.

Terry was placed under arrest and charged with fleeing and eluding police. She was found to be in possession of Xanax so she was charged with possession of a controlled substance. She was searched at the Detention Center and cigars were found in a pants pocket. One of the cigars was found to contain marijuana, so she was charged with smuggling contraband into a jail facility and with possession of marijuana.

February 22, 2006

Homestead man stopped for loud music, arrested for drugs

Stock Island - A deputy on patrol Tuesday night stopped a car for the loud music he heard coming from it. He arrested the driver after finding crack cocaine in his pocket.

Deputy Andrew Ensminger was on patrol near Third Avenue and Fifth Street on Stock Island just before 8 p.m. when he heard loud music coming from a maroon colored Buick. He pulled the car over and issued a warning to the driver, 33 year old Uriah Rose of Homestead. A check on Rose through computers showed he'd just been released from prison. Rose told the deputy he'd been in prison for drug possession.

Deputy Ensminger asked Rose for permission to search both him and his car for possible contraband and/or weapons. Rose consented to the search. In his right front pocket, Deputy Ensminger found 20 grams of crack cocaine. As he was pulling the illegal substance from the pocket, Rose took off running. Ensminger caught him a short distance away. Rose was handcuffed and charged with possession of a controlled substance and resisting an officer without violence.

Deputy David Lariz arrived as back up. A search of Rose's car turned up ten grams of marijuana and over $400 in cash. Rose was further charged with possession of marijuana and he was taken to the Monroe County Detention Center. The cash and his vehicle were seized for possible forfeiture.

February 21, 2006

Three family members arrested during traffic stop

Islamorada - A man, his wife and her son were all arrested Saturday night after their car was observed weaving on the roadway.

Deputy Steven Pitts was on patrol at 9 p.m. when he was dispatched to reports of a car driving erratically. He spotted the black Chevrolet at the 80.5 mile marker northbound. He saw the car swerve off the road and over the center line several times. Deputy Pitts, backed up by Sgt. Tom Kiffney, pulled the car over.

The driver, 59 year old Ramon Salinas of Homestead, got out of the car immediately. He reportedly smelled of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated. Deputy Pitts glanced inside the open driver's door and saw an empty bottle of Bud Ice beer behind the driver's seat and a cooler on the back seat. As the deputy was questioning Salinas, his wife, 47 year old Dometilla Villegas, jumped out of the car. According to reports, Villegas appeared to be angry. She was ordered to return to the vehicle, but she refused to comply. When Sgt. Kiffney made an effort to escort her back to the vehicle she resisted him. As he was attempting to return her to the car, her son, 23 year old Victor Villegas jumped out yelling, "That's my mom!" He began fighting with the two officers. They struggled with him, finally getting handcuffs on his wrists. At that point, his mother began yelling and approaching the officers as well.

Finally, more officers arrived on the scene and they were able to gain control of the situation, placing all three family members in custody. Salinas was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol; Dometilla Villegas was charged with resisting arrest without violence and failure to obey an order from a law enforcement officer; Victor Villegas was charged with failure to obey an officer, battery on an officer, resisting arrest with violence and obstruction.

February 20, 2006

Texas man charged with sexual battery
Sugarloaf Key - A Texas man, in the Keys working construction, was arrested Sunday morning for sexual battery on a minor.
Deputies Dave Johnson and David Chavka responded to Lazy Lakes Campground on Sugarloaf key at 9:45 a.m. Sunday to reports of a sexual battery. When they arrived, they met with the parents of the victim, who had called to report the crime. The victim's family is visiting the Keys from Minnesota. The 15 year old victim was also present. She told the deputies she'd met 22 year old Tomas Romero, Jr. Saturday night at the campground's game room. She said he gave her a beer and later, when she complained she was cold, he invited her to his trailer. Once inside, she said Romero, who is from Henderson, Texas, began kissing her. She said they went into the bedroom where he took off her clothes. He began to have sex with her, which she says she resisted.
After he had sex with her several times against her will she said she went back to her family's camp site. The following morning, she told her sister what happened and her sister told their parents. The parents called the Sheriff's Office.
Romero was just leaving the campground when the deputies arrived. They stopped him and the victim identified him as the person who raped her. Romero was arrested, charged with sexual battery on a minor and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Suspect located in murder for hire plot
Key West - The suspect, wanted for his part in a murder for hire plot hatched in jail, was arrested by Key West Police Sunday.
Key West Police, notified by Sheriff's deputies of an outstanding warrant for the arrest of 39 year old Marlon Eledge, located him at a Key West shopping center Sunday morning. Eledge was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. He was solicited to commit the offense while in jail last week. 46 year old Stephen Szymski told him he'd pay him $200 to kill his Big Pine Key neighbor, 51 year old Randy Grau. Szymski and Grau had long standing problems and Grau and his wife Kathryn had a permanent injunction for protection issued keeping Szymski away from them.
The plot was uncovered after Detective Jeremy Davy received information from a witness who overheard the two men talking about their plans. Szymski was still in jail at the time the investigation took place and he was charged with solicitation to commit murder. Eledge was released from jail just prior to the investigation, so a notice to be on the lookout for him was issued to all police agencies, along with a warrant, and Crime Stoppers offered a reward for information leading to his arrest.

February 18, 2006

Murder for hire plot uncovered; one arrested, one still at large

Marlon Eledge Stephen Szymski

Marlon Eledge, wanted for conspiracy
t o committ murder

Stephen Symski, in jail for soliciting murder

Key West - Sheriff's detectives need help finding a man they say was hired to kill someone. The man who hired him is in jail, charged with solicitation to commit murder. Crime Stoppers is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the remaining suspect in this case.

On Thursday, Detective Jeremy Davy received information about a murder for hire plot. His investigations revealed that 46 year old Stephen Szymski offered 39 year old Marlon Eledge $200.00 to kill his neighbor, 51 year old Randy Grau. Szymski and Grau had problems in the past, and Grau had an injunction for protection issued against Szymski in December of 2003 which is still in effect. In past incidents, Szymski has been arrested for stalking Grau and his wife, Kathryn and has been accused of threatening to kill Kathryn. At the time he allegedly plotted Grau's murder, Szymski was in jail charged with pointing a gun at Grau's house on January 30th of this year. Szymski met Eledge while in jail. Eledge, who is homeless, was arrested by Key West Police February 4th for driving with his license suspended and resisting an officer without violence.

Szymski was still in jail when Detective Davy found out about the plot to kill Grau. He was charged with a warrant for soliciting Eledge to kill him. Eledge, however, was released from jail February 17th at 8:30 a.m., just prior to Detective Davy begriming his investigation. A warrant was issued for his arrest for conspiracy to commit murder. Bond on the warrant is set at $400,000.00. Detective Henry Hamilton assisted Detective Davy with his investigation.

Anyone with information which could help locate Eledge should call the Sheriff's Office immediately. Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys is offering a $500 reward to anyone whose information leads to an arrest in this case. Callers to the Crime Stoppers hot line may remain anonymous. The hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

February 17, 2006

French woman dies while snorkeling

Key West - A French woman, on a snorkeling trip offshore of Key West with her husband, died Thursday.

According to witnesses on board the Charter boat "Fury", 59 year old Aral Favre and her husband were snorkeling offshore of Key West at 1:30 p.m. when the incident occurred. Her husband told Deputy John Underwood she surfaced once and said she was not feeling well. She continued snorkeling, then surfaced a second time and yelled for help. She was pulled on board the boat and rescue efforts were begun. A United States Coast Guard vessel met the charter boat and took her on board. Resuscitation efforts continued until they reached the Key West Coast Guard Station, where she was pronounced dead.

Detective Manny Cuervo was assigned to the case, along with Crime Scene Investigator Gary McCullough. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.

February 15, 2006

Stock Island man charged with aggravated battery counts

Stock Island - Two Stock Island men are in jail today. One is accused of breaking a man's jaw and hitting a woman in the head with a hammer, the other was arrested for assisting him with the crime.

Deputies Brian Luth and Evan Calhoun responded to the vicinity of Shrimp Road shortly after midnight Wednesday to reports of a violent attack on board a shrimp boat in that area. They met with two men who witnessed the attack. They said a black male, later identified as 34 year old Anthony Williams, had boarded the boat "WJ III" and had become violent for some unknown reason. They said he hit a woman who was on the boat in the head with a hammer, then fought with another man hitting him in the jaw with an unknown object. He, and another man they said was present during the attack, then fled, getting into a white four door vehicle and driving away.

The woman fled from the boat, but was later found. She refused treatment for a large gash on the back of her head. She told the same story as the two witnesses about Williams attacking her. The male victim was taken to Lower Keys Hospital and will be transported to Miami for treatment of a jaw fractured in two places.

Deputy Calhoun located a car fitting the description given by the witnesses. Two men were inside. The driver, 43 year old Anthony Colon, and the passenger, Williams, were positively identified by the witnesses. Williams was charged with two counts of aggravated assault. He was also charged with outstanding warrants for three counts of violation of probation and for failure to appear in court. Colon was charged with being an accessory to the crime. They were both booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

February 14, 2006

Radar class will be operating in the field - watch out Wednesday
Lower Keys - Drivers traveling between Rockland Key and Key West need to be especially careful Wednesday to watch their speed.
A Radar Operators class, currently being taught by Training Sgt. John McGee at the Florida Keys Communtiy College Institute of Criminal Justice, will be learning how to clock speeders Wednesday in the feild. Those drivers caught speeding will receive tickets.
"This training exercise will take place throughout the day Wednesday, and will be happening in scattered areas between Rockland Key and Key West, including in the city limits," Sgt. McGee said. "This is fair warning...don't speed, or you'll get a ticket."
There are 26 students in the class from the Sheriff's Office, Key West Police, Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and police from the Naval Air Station. They will be running the radar units, and will be supervised by senior instructors.
"We'll be out there, in large numbers, watching for speeders Wednesday," McGee said. "If you get caught exceeding the speed limit, you will receive a ticket - so watch out!"
Ford filming a commercial
The Ford Motor Company is currently filming a commercial on the Northbound side of the Bahia Honda Bridge. The filming, permitted by the Department of Transportation, will take place all of Tuesday and on Wednesday until 10 p.m. They have hired 9 off duty deputies to work during this time period and to assist with traffic. Both northbound and southbound traffic will be using the southbound side of the bridge.
Deputy settles dispute over stolen teeth
Big Pine Key - A dispute over stolen teeth was settled peacefully Monday afternoon and the missing choppers were returned to their owner.
The 55 year old victim called the Sheriff's Office at 3:15 p.m. to say his ex-roommate had just entered his home at Seahorse Campground on Big Pine Key while he was gone and had taken his teeth. He told Deputy Kristina Parisi he was just returning home and saw the suspect jump into his car and speed away.  He then discovered the teeth missing from his trailer.
He told the deputy where the suspect works and she responded there to meet with him. He told her he'd the reason he'd taken the teeth was that they'd been having a dispute over moeny. He told Deputy Parisi where to find the teeth. She recovered them and returned them to their owner. The owner of the teeth declined to press charges.
Sister tries to run over younger brother; goes to jail for aggravated assault
Stock Island - A woman was arrested for trying to run over her brother with a car Monday night on Stock Island.
According to the victim, he and his 46 year old half-sister Marie Reed were drinking at a local bar Monday night. They returned home and got into a verbal dispute. He got out of the car and told her he was leaving. He told Deputy Brian Luth he walked over to his bicycle and got on it to ride home. That's when he saw Reed jump into a car and begin to speed toward him. The victim said he jumped off of the bicycle, avoiding injury, but she continued to drive toward him as if trying to hit him with the car. He then said he picked up another bicycle parked nearby and threw it at the car, breaking the windsheid.

When deputies arrived, they found the victim's bicycle underneath the car. Reed was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A search after her arrest turned up 21 white pills identified as Oxycodone hidden in a cigarette pack. She was further charged with trafficking in an illegal narcotic and she was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

February 10, 2006
Burglar charged based on DNA test results
Marathon - A Marathon man was charged with a two year old burglary after DNA test results showed blood left at the scene belonged to him.
Deputies responded to the Galway Bay Trailer Park to investigate a break in at the office in February of 2004. A window had been forced open, and there was blood found on the window sill and inside the office. The suspect took cash, ransacked the room, and left the area. The blood was collected by Crime Scene Detective Gary McCullough and was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for possible DNA analysis and to be checked through their DNA database for comparison.
In December of 2005, Detective Rick Martin, assigned to investigate the case, received the comparison results from FDLE. The blood was identified as belonging to 42 year old Hector Luis Diaz.
Diaz was already in jail, arrested in April of 2005 for failure to register as a sexual offender. Diaz, who committed a sexual offense in New York State, gave a false address when he registered as a sex offender as required by Florida law. The false address was discovered by detectives with the Sheriff's Crimes Against Women and Children's Unit when they did a routine check on him, as they do with all registered sexual offenders in the county.
On Thursday, February 9th, Diaz was further charged with burglary and theft for the crime he committed at Galway Bay Trailer Park February 7, 2004. He is currently incarcerated at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.

February 6, 2006

Missouri man dies while diving off of Key Largo
Key Largo - A Missouri man diving with a friend on the wreck Spiegel Grove died Saturday morning.
48 year old David Hargis of Kansas City Missouri was on board a vessel operating out of the Silent World Dive Center in Key Largo. At 10 a.m., the vessel's crew radioed the United States Coast Guard they were en route to shore and were performing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation on a man who was not breathing on his own. Deputy John Perez met the vessel at Key Largo Harbor Marina along with paramedics. Hargis was declared dead at the dock.
Witnesses who were diving with Hargis, including a woman from the dive center and his friend from Independence, Missouri, told Deputy Perez and Detective Linda Mixon they dove on the Spiegel Grove and, while diving on the wreck, Hargis indicated he needed to surface. They said he appeared to be in some distress. They all surfaced together and assisted Hargis with removing his dive gear. As he was climbing on board the boat, he lost consciousness. A short time later he stopped breathing and CPR was started, and continued until the vessel reached shore.
According to Hargis' friend, he was a frequent diver and they'd been diving many times together before. The victim's dive gear was taken for examination. An autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause of his death.
Man found dead, floating in the water off of Stock Island shrimp docks
Stock Island - A Stock Island man was found floating in the water off of the Stock Island shrimp docks Saturday afternoon.
Witnesses called the Sheriff's Office at 2:15 p.m. to say they'd spotted a body floating in the channel between the Sea Market pier and the Stock Island electrical facility. Deputy Robert Bulnes responded to the scene. The body was pulled from the water and was identified as 41 year old Fredrick Smith. There were no obvious signs of foul play when the body was first viewed and a subsequent autopsy also failed to find any signs of foul play. The autopsy did reportedly show that Smith appeared to have died of salt water drowning.
Homestead man caught with heroin
Key Largo - Deputies watching for a reckless driver found him at an upper Keys gas station and arrested him for possessing heroin.
Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Deputy Francisco Gaete was watching for the silver mini-van which had reportedly been driving recklessly. He spotted it as it turned into a gas station at the 106 mile marker of the highway. The deputy approached the driver and asked for his license and registration. He could not produce either one. A check of the driver's name revealed his license had been suspended eight times. As the deputy prepared to take 42 year old George Micelli into custody, he noticed Micelli was only wearing a shirt and underwear. He asked why he was not wearing pants and Micelli replied that he was on his way to work at the gas station where the traffic stop took place. He said he thought it would be more comfortable to go to work in his underwear.
A search of his van turned up a folded dollar bill. Inside the folded bill the deputy found three aluminum foil packets with a brown substance inside that tested positive for heroin. When Micelli was booked at the Detention Center, Detention deputies found another folded dollar bill with three Xanax pills inside. Micelli was booked on charges of driving with his license suspended and possession of two controlled substances.
Drug Sting nets ten
Stock Island - Sheriff's Special Investigations Detectives set up a drug sting near 5th Avenue on Stock Island Friday night, arresting ten people who purchased crack cocaine.
An undercover operative sold crack cocaine and the purchasers were then arrested and all of them were charged with solicitation to purchase the illegal substance and possession of it as well. Assisting in the operation was the Sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics Team and the Key West Police Street Crimes Unit. Those arrested included:
Clint Nelon, 42, of Stock Island
Felipe Fonseca, 35, of Stock Island
Francis Sganga, 58, of Key West. He was also charged with tampering with evidence for throwing the crack away as he was being taken into custody.
Keith Libby, 30, of Stock Island
Juan Mairena-Lezama of Stock Island. He was also charged with tampering with evidence for throwing the crack away as he was being taken into custody.
Juan Gonzales, 51, of Stock Island. He was also charged with tampering with evidence for throwing the crack away as he was being taken into custody.
Estella Hames, 45, of Key West
Omar Canales-Nunez, 50, of Key West
Brown Preston, 48, of Key West
William Farrell, 42, of Key West. He was also charged with resisting arrest with violence because he attempted to flee from his arrest and threw his bicycle at an officer in the process.

February 2, 2006

Key Largo man attacked with a knife
Key Largo - A Key Largo man told deputies he was attacked by three men as he was walking home from a bar in the early morning hours Thursday.
The 28 year old victim told Deputy Iscandel Perez he was walking near the 99.5 mile marker of the highway at 12:30 a.m. when a black Honda pulled up to him. He said there were three men inside the car. One of them asked him for cigarettes and a lighter. When he said he didn't hve any, the man jumped out of the car, pulled out a utillity knife and began swinging it at the victim. The suspect demanded the victim  hand over his wallet and gold bracelet.
The victim said he punched the suspect in the face and the suspect cut him with the knife on the face, arm and chest. The suspects fled in the car northbound on the highway and the victim called the Sheriff's Office for help.
The victim was transported to Mariner's Hospital where he received stitches for his injuries. He said he did not know who his attackers were and he described them as two white males and one black male.
Detectives are investigating the case.



Questions or Comments?
Contact Deputy Becky Herrin, Public Information Officer and Web Author or Sheriff Rick Ramsayvia e-mail
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