Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

Click here to read press releases on other Sheriff's Office events and occurrences

August 31, 2008

Robbery in Marathon

Marathon - A tourist visiting Marathon was robbed as he was walking on 41st Street Friday just after midnight.

The 18 year old victim from Clermont, Florida told Deputy Bradford Colen he was staying at the anana Bay Resort in Marathon. He said he was taking a walk, talking on his cell phone with his girlfriend at the time of the robbery. He said he was on 41st Street and was approached by two black men. One of them punched him in the chest, knocking him to the ground. The other grabbed him by the throat. He said both men then hit and kicked him while he was on the ground.

They then demanded "everything you have". The victim said he took his cash from his pocket and threw it and his cell phone on the ground. One of the men knocked him back to the ground, he got up and ran. The victim said while he was being robbed, a black woman who was visibly pregnant was sitting on a car nearby, egging the two robbers on.

The victim was able to give deputies a description of his attackers. Using that description, deputies identified some possible suspects. The victim was taken back to the area to see if he could identify his attackers. He was able to positively identify one of the men who attacked him as 17 year old Javier Flemming, of Marathon. He said Flemming is the one who grabbed him by the neck.

Flemming was placed under arrest, charged with robbery and battery. Detectives are investigating and more arrests may be pending.

Deputy on patrol catches drug suspect

Key Largo - A deputy on patrol in a Key Largo neighborhood arrested a man with multiple types of illegal substances.

Deputy Richard Bellon was in the vicinity of Largo Road at 4:45 a.m. today when he spotted a man standing behind a truck parked in front of a residence. The deputy stopped to talk with 23 year old Victor Denson of Key Largo. Denson initially attempted to flee when Deputy Bellon began walking toward him. He stopped when asked to, however, acting very nervous as he talked with Deputy Bellon.

He told the deputy his identification was in his car, parked nearby. When he unlocked the car and opened the door, the inside light activated revealing a plastic bag with a green leafy substance inside the car. Denson was then handcuffed and placed in the deputy's patrol car.

A closer look at the bag revealed a smaller plastic bag inside with a white powder in it. A second small plastic bag contained 11 pills later identified as Xanax. Denson was arrested, charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine and a controlled substance. Denson was taken to jail.

Once at the jail, Denson told Deputy Bellon he'd dropped his watch in the back seat of the patrol car. The deputy went to the car to retrieve the watch. In the same location as the watch, he also found a plastic bag with powdered cocaine inside.

August 28, 2008

Marathon man charged with burglary to Mosquito Control

Marathon - A Marathon man is under arrest, charged with illegally entering the Mosquito Control hanger in Marathon, taking spray tanks off of a helicopter and then sitting in it and refusing to get out.

Witnesses who work for Mosquto Control said that on August 13th, 45 year old Mark Hurnevich tore down a portion of the fence surrounding the building. He then walked into the hanger, removed spray tanks from one helicotper and put them on another one. He then climbed into the first aircraft and sat in it, refusing to get out and refusing to talk to anyone. He reportedly would shake everyone's hands, would grunt in response to questions, and wrote his name and address on his pants with a pen, but he continued to refuse orders to leave the helicopter or the building.

Deputy Rosa DiGiovanni responded and finally convinced Hurnevich to leave. As she was escorting him out, he broke away from her and began walking toward a fuel truck but she got him back under control and removed him. He was treated at an area clinic and a warrant was issued for his arrest. On Wednesday he was arrested, charged with burglary, crinminal mischief and trespassing and he was booked into jail.

August 27, 2008

13 year old girl charged with three burglaries

A 13 year old girl has been charged with three burglaries in Key Largo.

Deputy Francisco Gaete responded to Ocean Bay Drive at 11 a.m. Tuesday to reports of a possible break in at a house. When he arrived, he saw a group of five people walking away from the area. One of them - later identified as 13 year old Dakota McManus - broke away from the group and ran toward a nearby Burger King restaurant, hiding inside.

The deputy called for back up and watched to see if she would exit the building. A short time later she left through a side door, running toward Bay View Drive. Deputy Gaete changed his location and began searching for her, finding her hiding in the water nearby. She was taken into custody.

Upon questioning by Deputy Kenneth Baker, McManus admitted to a total of three burglaries, including the one on Ocean Bay Drive. She led deputies to all three locations, pointing them out and telling them how she committed the crimes. She admitted to burglarizing additional homes on Pointe Pleasant Drive and on Atlantic Boulevard.

McManus, who was reported as a runaway from the Florida Keys Children's Shelter on August 25th, was arrested, charged with three counts of burglary, two counts of theft, criminal mischief and resisting arrest and she was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center. She was turned over to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

August 26, 2008

Body pulled from the water near Wisteria Island

Key West - The body of a Key West man was pulled from the waters near Wisteria Island, just off shore of Key West today.

The 18 year old black male victim was reported missing by a friend just a short time before the body was found. The friend called the Coast Guard around noon today to say he was worried because he hadn't heard from the victim since Saturday. He said the victim worked on a boat in the harbor and sometimes stayed on board the boat. The friend said he'd gone out to the boat to check on him, but he wasn't there.

The Coast Guard checked the surrounding area after receiving the report, but didn't initially find any indication of the victim's whereabouts. A short time later, a passing boater reported seeing a body floating in the water. The body was positively identified as the missing 18 year old.

The body was brought to the Coast Guard station where it was examined by Sheriff's detectives. Detectives say they could see no obvious signs of foul play when they did the initial examination of the body. It did not appear that the victim had been in the water long.

Friends say the victim traveled back and forth to the boat in a yellow kayak and always wore a life jacket when he was in the kayak because he couldn't swim. When his body was found, he was not wearing a life jacket. The yellow kayak has not been found.

The victim's identify is not being released because detectives have not yet spoken to his next of kin to notify them of the death. Anyone who may have found a yellow kayak in the area of the Key West Harbor is asked to call the Sheriff's Office.

Stock Island man arrested for using stolen credit card

A Stock Island man is in jail, charged with using a stolen credit card.

The Chevron credit card was reported stolen on August 12th. The owner of the card said it went missing from her car on the evening of August 9th, when the car was parked at the Lighthouse Christian Academy. She said she'd left her car doors open as she unloaded some boxes. The card was in the center console of her car. The victim told Deputy David Smith she didn't notice it was missing until she went to the Chevron gas station the following day and looked for it in the center console.

She reported the card stolen to her credit card company. That is when the company informed her the card had been used - to it's limit - at the Chevron station located on Stock Island. Deputy Smith went to the Chevron station and, with the help of the manager, surveillance tapes, and the clerks who were working when the card was used, the deputy identified 63 year old Alfredo Cardenas-Rodriguez and the person who used the stolen card.

A warrant was obtained for the suspect and, on Monday he was arrested, charged with grand theft and illegal use of a credit card. He was booked into jail.

Miami man flees from deputies on motorcycle

A Miami man is in jail this morning, charged with fleeing from upper Keys deputies at a high rate of speed on his motorcycle.

Sgt. Derek Paul first spotted 20 year old Daniel Warren southbound at the 99 mile marker of the highway at 3:30 a.m. today (Tuesday). Warren was traveling at a high rate of speed, in excess of 100 miles per hour. He had no working tail light and his tag was not illuminated. The sergeant pulled in behind him and radioed ahead for other deputies to be aware of the situation. He used his spotlight to illuminate the rear of the motorcycle so he could see the tag, and so he could see what the driver looked like. Approaching the construction zone at the 90 mile marker, Sgt. Paul turned on his lights and siren. Deputy Joel Slough was working the construction zone and also joined the pursuit, along with a number of other officers as the motorcycle sped southbound.

Deputy Kenneth Brand was stationary at the 87 mile marker and he clocked the motorcycle in excess of 115 miles per hour, then began to follow it with his lights and siren activated. Sgt. Tom Kiffney, who was at the Islamorada Substation when he heard the call, ordered deputies to stop their pursuit in the hopes the motorcycle would slow to a safer speed. At that point, the deputies had a description of the driver and the tag number from the vehicle.

Deputy Brand continued southbound without his lights and siren, in an attempt to follow the motorcycle at a safe speed. At the 81.5 mile marker of the highway, he saw the motorcycle, now northbound, turn off the highway onto the old highway. He turned his lights and siren back on, pulling on to the old highway in front of the motorcycle. The deputy had to brake sharply because the motorcycle almost hit him as it attempted to pull around his patrol car.

Sgt. Kiffney arrived in the area as well and also pulled onto the old highway in an attempt to stop the motorcycle. The motorcycle also tried to go around Sgt. Kiffney's patrol car and, instead, collided with it's front driver's side bumper. At that point, the motorcycle went down on a gravel area.

As Deputy Brand and Sgt. Kiffney approached Warren to take him into custody, he jumped up and attempted to pick the bike up and get on it. To keep him from fleeing, Sgt. Kiffney grabbed Warren and pulled him away from the bike. Warren began to struggle, at one point drawing his arm back to hit Sgt. Kiffney. At that point, Deputy Brand used his Taser on Warren. Warren continued to struggle so Sgt. Kiffney used his Taser as well. Warren was finally taken into custody.

A check on his license revealed it was suspended. Warren was arrested and charged with five counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding police, reckless driving, battery and assault on a law enforcement officer. Warren also had an outstanding warrant from Miami-Dade County, dated August 25th, for fleeing and eluding police and resisting arrest. He was booked into jail.

August 25, 2008

Autopsies performed on four unidentified bodies

Autopsies have been performed on the four men whose bodies were found offshore of the upper Keys Thursday and Friday of last week.

All four were confirmed to be white males. Ages of the victims are difficult to pin down. So too was a cause of death - none of the autopsies was able to determine a cause or manner of death. There were no signs of trauma to the bodies aside from the damage done by marine life.

Dr. Shuman, of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office agreed to perform the autopsies at the request of Dr. Michael Hunter. Dr. Hunter was the Monroe County Medical Examiner, but recently left to take a post elsewhere. He is still helping out in the Keys until a new Medical Examiner can be found, and in this case requested assistance from Miami-Dade County.

Dr. Shuman found the following:

It appears the men died about two to three days before they were found - probably on Monday or Tuesday. Detectives declined to be more specific about the tattoo or the ring, choosing to withhold that information in the hopes it will help them narrow down an identification. Some usable fingerprints were taken as well, and they are currently being checked through various fingerprint databases.

Two charged with stolen boat

Two Miami men picked up off shore of the upper Keys Sunday morning by the U.S. Coast Guard were charged with grand theft after the boat they were on was found to have been stolen.

The boat was intercepted 35 miles east of Islamorada by the U.S. Coast Guard. on board were 36 year old Isaac Cordero and 24 year old Hector Velasquez both of Miami. They were brought in to the area of Ocean Reef, where they were met by Deputy Michael Sharp. A check on the vessel - a 2008 33 foot Avanti with twin 300 HP Yamaha engines - revealed it had been reported stolen out of Dade County. Both men were placed under arrest.

When he was interviewed, Velasquez told deputies a friend loaned him the boat. He said he and Cordero were fishing in the vicinity of the Bahamas. He said they had engine trouble, but after a day or so finally got the boat running again. He said another boat started following them and he was afraid someone wanted to steal the boat from them. He said they headed toward the Keys because they knew there were lots of Coast Guard patrols near the Keys and they wanted to find the Coast Guard to report the other boat following them. When asked why there was no fishing gear on board, he said they threw the fishing poles in the water so the Coast Guard wouldn't steal them.

Shortly after that, both men asked for attorneys and no more questions were asked of them. They were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Captain Scott Buschman, Commander United States Coast Guard Sector Key West, said "We were glad to be able to find this stolen boat; I would like to urge boat owners to take the necessary precautions to prevent boat theft. Securing power to boat lifts, storing keys away from the boat, using wheel locks on trailers, and storing your boat in well lit areas are a few examples of measures that can be taken to avoid boat thefts."

Man arrested for fleeing from deputies

Tavernier - A Key West man was arrested early today (Monday) after running a red light, then fleeing from deputies trying to stop him.

Sgt. Lee Cowart was on patrol at 3 a.m., near the intersection of U.S. One and Bessie Road when he saw a black Dodge RAM pickup truck run a red light. He turned on his lights and siren in an attempt to stop the truck. The truck accelerated northbound, weaving erratically on the highway traveling at 75 miles an hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Suddenly, the truck swerved sharply into the Tavernier Towne Parking lot, pulled to a stop and the deputy saw the driver jump out, run around the truck and open the passenger side door before walking slowly to the front of the truck.

A check on the driver revealed his identity to be 49 year old Anthony Fernandez of Key West. He has a driver's license suspended indefinitely. Inside his truck, deputies later found another citation, issued August 19th for driving with license suspended.

Fernandez told the deputy he wasn't driving the truck. He said another man was driving while he slept in the passenger seat. Fernandez was charged with fleeing and eluding police, running a red light, speeding and driving with his license suspended. He was booked at the Plantation Key jail.

August 24, 2008

Detectives investigate incident at the jail

Carbon Monoxide alarms in the kitchen at the Sheriff's Office Main Detention Center may have averted a potential explosion and fire this morning.

The alarms, installed after a death from Carbon Monoxide poisoning at the Grand Key Doubletree Resort, went off at 7:15 a.m. as a crew of inmates on kitchen trustee duty were beginning to prepare lunch for the day. Everyone was evacuated from that area of the jail and the jail was put in lockdown status in case a further evacuation became necessary. The Fire Department responded.

When the fire department arrived, they brought in more sophisticated detection equipment. They found some fumes had reached the Intake/Release area of the jail so they evacuated everyone from that area as well. Further investigation revealed tampering with one of the ovens in the kitchen. The propane gas in the oven had been left very slightly on and an item of clothing had been stuffed into the back of it, along with a container of a potentially flammable substance.

"The fire department determined that this tampering could have caused a fire at the least, and potentially could have caused an explosive situation," said Major Tommy Taylor, Commanding Officer of the Sheriff's Detention Division. "The fact that we had those Carbon Monoxide alarms, and the fact that they worked exactly the way they should have, combined with the quick response of our staff could have saved lives in this case," he said.

Suburban Propane also responded and checked all the propane lines in the building as a precaution. Detectives will be investigating the case.

August 22, 2008

Third and fourth bodies recovered off the upper Keys

A third and fourth body were pulled from the waters off shore of the upper Keys this afternoon (Friday).

One was found about a mile and a half off shore of Tavernier; the second about five miles out in the ocean, of of Key Largo,near the Elbow. Like the first two bodies found late Thursday and Friday morning, both these bodies are extremely decomposed and severely damaged by marine life. Both are males. It is not possible to tell how or why they died. It is also impossible to determine if the four bodies are definitely related, however the relatively close proximity of their recovery, and the time frame in which they've been found certainly make it likely, according to Detective Terry Smith, the lead investigator on the case.

So far, there are no reports of missing persons that fit the recovered bodies, but detectives continue to send out flyers and to contact police agencies around the area in an effort to find out more about why the bodies would be in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard says they have not found any boats floating unattended and have no reports of missing boaters at this time.

Autopsies will be done sometime over the next few days in the hopes something more can be discerned about the cause of death, or the identity of the four dead people. Anyone who has information which may help to identify these bodies is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

August 22, 2008

Second body found off shore; could be related to the first

Islamorada - Detectives say a second body found off shore of Indian Key today could possibly be connected to the first, found off shore of the Channel 5 bridge Thursday afternoon.

The second body was also found by a lobster fisherman, who flagged down a passing boater. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and responded, along with the Sheriff's Office. The body was located about three quarters of a mile off of the ocean side of Indian Key.

Detective Terry Smith, who is the primary investigator assigned to the two cases, said it is certainly possible the two bodies are in some way related but it would be impossible to say for sure at this point in his investigation. He says he cannot confirm if the second body is male or female due to the condition of the body. he also cannot say for sure how long each of the two bodies have been in the water, although it could have been several days.

An autopsy will be done sometime over the next few days in the hopes something more can be discerned about the cause of death, or the identity of the two dead people. Detectives will also be making inquiries to other law enforcement agencies in an effort to determine if any missing persons cases might exist which could explain the discovery of these bodies.

Anyone who has information which may help to identify these two people is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Man's badly decomposed body pulled from the water

Islamorada - The badly decomposed body of a white male was found in the water offshore of the 71 mile marker Thursday afternoon.

The body was reported by a lobster fisherman at 4:20 p.m. about a mile off of the ocean side of the Channel Five Bridge (71mm). The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted the Sheriff's Office with the recovery. Homicide Detective Terry Smith says a specific description is difficult because of damage to the body by sharks and by general immersion in the water.

These factors also make it impossible to determine clearly what may have caused the man's death. An autopsy will be done sometime in the next few days in an attempt to determine more details.

The body is that of a white male with dark hair, two to three inches long; he appears to be stocky in build and was wearing a distinctive ring on his left hand. It is that ring, says Detective Smith, which will most likely help identify the man. He declined to release a description of it. He said he wants to withhold that information to help with the identification process.

Anyone who has information which may help to identify this person is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Nine vehicles burglarized in Islamorada

Islamorada - The Sheriff's Office is investigating a group of vehicle burglaries near Pearl Avenue and Tide Avenue which took place between Wednesday night and Thursday morning in Islamorada.

Nine unlocked cars were entered with mostly cash taken from them. Deputies responded to the area Thursday morning to take reports. Suspects entered the cars by opening the doors, then rifled through them taking mostly cash, but in one instance, a purse was taken with cash and credit cards inside. In another instance, the suspect took an Ipod Nano.

The Sheriff's Office recommends always locking your car doors, even if the vehicle is parked in your driveway. Most vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity where the suspect simply walks around trying car doors until he or she finds one that is unlocked.

Anyone with information about these cases should contact the Sheriff’s Office or call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

August 21, 2008

Taxi driver reports being robbed

Marathon - A Marathon taxi driver reported being robbed just before midnight Wednesday.

The victim told Deputy Gregg Johnson he was sitting in his cab on 114th Street Ocean when two men approached him. One stuck a gun in his face and they demanded his money, which he handed over. The victim was unable to give a detailed description of the suspects because he said they were wearing some kind of cloth covering on their faces.

Detectives are investigating.

Couple reports being robbed

Islamorada - A couple out cleaning their yard Wednesday in Islamorada reported being robbed.

The victims said they were in the yard of their apartment building at the 88 mile marker pulling weeds when and older model gold colored Toyota Camry pulled up with two men inside. They reportedly got out, approached the male victim and said, "Give me all you got!" The victim said he was afraid, so he handed over his payroll check which he had in his pocket. When the men demanded his wallet as well, the victim refused to give it to them. They got into their car and left.

The victim described the men as two dark Hispanic males. One was 5’2” tall in his 30s, heavy set with dark bushy hair; the other was 5’8” tall in his 30s, approximately 240 pounds with a shaved head.

Detectives are investigating.

August 20, 2008

Guatamalan man charged with molesting young girl

Stock Island - A Guatamalan man, staying with a family on Stock Island, molested a young girl, between Monday night and Tuesday morning.The nine year old victim told detectives she woke up around 4 a.m. Tuesday and found her shorts and panties had been removed. She went to her mother's room to ask her where her clothes were. A short time later, the shorts and panties were found in a laundry basket in the room of 21 year old Silverio Hernandez, who was renting a room in the family's trailer. The clothing had been cut with a pair of scissors to remove them while the girl was sleeping.

Deputies responded Tuesday morning and Detective Linda Mixon with the Sheriff's Crimes Against Women and Children's Unit was also called. After interviewing the suspect and victim, as well as the family, Detective Mixon arrested Hernandez, charging him with sexual assault on a victim under the age of 12. During the interview, Silverio admitted to orally molesting the young girl.

Fight over cameras leads to arrest for false imprisonment, robbery and battery

Key Largo - A dispute over allegedly stolen cameras led to the arrest of a Key Largo woman for holding another woman against her will and hitting her numerous times.

Deputies Tony Conde and Sheila Swindle responded to a home at the 94.6 mile marker of the highway at 6 p.m. Tuesday and met with the 17 year old victim. She said earlier in the day she'd received a call from the suspect, 33 year old Michelle Martin asking her to come over to her house. Martin had previously accused the vicitm of stealing cameras from her and, on the phone, she apologized for the accusation.

When the victim got to Martin's house, however, Martin began yelling at her and wouldn't let her leave. She and another woman began hitting her. She said during the fight, Martin's dog bit her, then put the victim in a bedroom and took turns watching her. She said they took her cell phone and wouldn't let her call for help.

The victim said finally a friend of hers showed up at the house and gave her a ride home. She said at first, Martin wouldn't allow him to leave either, standing in front of his car door. When the victim began to walk away from the house, Martin grabbed her and dragged her on the ground. Finally, she was able to get in her friends car and he took her home.

The victiim showed signs of injury consistent with her story, including a dog bite on her wrist. When confronted by deputies, Martin admitted to holding her against her will and taking her cell phone. She said she did it because the victim had stolen her cameras and a bag of clothing from her and she wanted them back.

Martin was arrested, charged with battery, robbery and false imprisonment and she was booked into jail.

August 16, 2008

Key Largo man charged with fleeing from law enforcement

Key Largo - A Key Largo man with a suspended license who'd been warned by deputies not to drive was arrested early today after fleeing from them in a truck.

At 11:15 p.m. Deputy Derek Paul responded to Tarpon Basin Drive in Key Largo to reports of a minor vehicle accident there. Deputy Paul encountered 40 year old Alexis Hernandez there, who said he was purchasing a 1988 Black GMC Jimmy from a woman who lives there. He was warned not to drive the truck because it had no tag on it, had not been registered and because he had a suspended driver's license.

At 12:30 a.m. today, Deputy Paul was parked in a parking lot when he saw the GMC Jimmy pass him northbound with Hernandez behind the wheel. He pulled out behind the vehicle and attempted to stop it at the 105 mile marker northbound. Hernandez refused to stop, instead pulling off the highway into a residential area. He sped through the residential area, running stop signs and almost hitting several vehicles. He finally stopped in the driveway of a home on Big Pine Road, Key Largo. He left the vehicle in drive and it continued moving as he bailed out. He jumped into a canal and began swimming across. Hernandez appeared to be swimming toward his own home, which is across that same canal.

Deputy Paul was able to put the vehicle in park and keep it from hitting anything. He yelled for Hernandez to stop swimming, telling him it was no use fleeing because he knows who he is. Other deputies arrived and a perimeter was set up. A search for Hernandez was not successful at that time.

A short time later, Hernandez was found by Deputy Ian Barnett at the Circle K Store at the 106 mile marker of the highway. He denied being the one who was driving the vehicle. He was arrested. He was charged with fleeing from police, resisting arrest, driving with his license suspended and failure to register a motor vehicle.

August 15, 2008

Explosive device detonates in dumpster

Marathon - Fishermen at the Vaca Cut Bridge were startled Thursday night when they heard a loud explosion coming from a Department of Transportation trash bin a short distance away from them.

When Deputy Jacek Szymanski arrived at 11 p.m., he was flagged down by the two men who told him they'd just heard the explosion coming from the vicinity of the trash bin, about 15 or 20 yards away from their fishing spot under the bridge on the west side. They told him they'd observed a group of teenagers in the area a short time before, and they believe the teenagers were the ones responsible for the explosion.

They said just before they heard the noise, two groups of kids who had been in the area got into two cars. Three or four males got into a white four door passenger vehicle - possibly a Chrysler. A male and a female got into a black Dodge Neon.

Deputy Szymanski found a plastic Sierra Mist bottle in the trash bin. It was partially melted, folded almost in half and had pieces of aluminum foil inside. The heavy duty liner of the trash bin had a hole blown or burned in it.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office or call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

August 13, 2008

Key Largo man charged with pawning stolen items

Key Largo - A Plantation Key man is under arrest, charged with pawning items he stole from his former employer.

The victim met with Deputy Greg LaRochelle on August 7th at Coral Financial, where he told the deputy he'd located tools stolen from him by his former employee 24 year old Daniel Woolson. Woolson had been employed by the victim as a handyman.

The victim pointed out the tools - a hammer drill and wire cutters - to the deputy. They were engraved with the victim's name. The pawn slip for all of them listed Woolson as the person who pawned them.

A warrant was issued for Woolson's arrest. On Tuesday, he was arrested, charged with dealing in stolen property and he was booked into jail.August 12, 2008

Tavernier man charged with possessing cocaine

Upper Matecumbe - Deputies arrested a Tavernier man for possessing crack cocaine after they spotted him, parked in the parking lot of a bank and found his actions suspicious.

Sgt. Tom Kiffney first saw the car just before 2 a.m. parked in the parking lot of the Bank of America at the 81.5 mile marker. Another car was parked next to it. A short time later, he drove by again and saw the same car, but another car was now parked next to it. When he drove by a third time and saw  car still there, with yet another car next to it he decided to stop and check on the situation.

60 year old William Hansen told Sgt. Kiffney he was waiting for a friend who owed him money. Deputy Patrick Crozier arrived on the scene. He asked Hansen for permission to search his car and to pat him down for possible weapons. Hansen agreed. In Hansen's shirt pocket, the deputy found a blue cigarette box with 5.5 grams of crack cocaine inside. In the same pocket, Hansen had $500 in cash. Another $307 was found in his wallet.

Hansen was arrested, charged with possession of cocaine, and he was taken to jail. The cash was seized as the possible proceeds of drug sales.

August 11, 2008 

Fire damages Dion's on Stock Island 

Stock Island - Fire damaged the Dion's Quik Mart on Stock Island Sunday night. Fire Marshall's will investigate the cause.

When Deputy Vicki Fleck and Sgt. Charlene Sprinkle-Huff arrived on the scene just before 9 p.m., employees and customers were still running out the front of the store. Flames were visible in the back. Everyone got outside safely and the Stock Island Fire Department arrived and extinguished the blaze.

There is no estimate of the damage available. The Fire Marshall's Office was notified and will investigate.

Construction equipment taken from Jewfish Creek bridge site

Key Largo - Crews returning to work this morning at the Jewfish Creek Bridge construction site found two storage containers had been forced open overnight.

The safety foreman for one of the construction companies on the site told Deputy Michael Sielicki the burglary took place sometime between 6:30 p.m. Sunday and 6:30 a.m. today (Monday). The victims of the crime are Garney's Construction and Granite Construction. Over $40,000 worth of tools and equipment are missing from the two containers, including 8 generators, a pressure washer, pumps, and various tools including hammer drills, chop saws, a skill saw and two chain saws.

Deputy Sielicki said it appears the locks on the trailers were cut off. Detectives will be investigating.

August 6, 2008

Second beating/robbery suspect apprehended

Key West - The second suspect in a July 28th beating and robbery turned himself in to Key West Police today.

18 year old Dontrell Holloway is in jail charged with beating and robbing two boys at an area near Key Haven called the "Ski Rink". One of the victims was airlifted to Miami for treatment of his injuries, and the other boy was treated at a local hospital.

Holloway and his accomplice, 18 year old Robert Johnson are both being held at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island. Holloway's bond is set at $150,000.00 and Johnson's at $250,000.00.

August 5, 2008

Detectives arrest one, look for second suspect in beating and robbery

Key Haven - One person is under arrest and another still at large in connection with a pistol whipping and robbery which took place July 28th near Key Haven.

At 1:30 a.m. July 28th, deputies responded to a residence on Roberta Street where they met with the two male victims, 17 year old Michael Harris and 16 year old Quamane Carey. The victims said earlier in the evening they got a ride to a location at the entrance to Key Haven commonly known as the Ski Rink with two girls they knew, 16 year old Melissa Cerullo and 17 year old Alexa Walterson. They said two men wearing masks then hit them both in the face and head with a handgun. When the attack started, the victims said the two girls ran away. The victims recognized their attackers voices and identified them as 18 year old Dontrell Holloway and 18 year old Robert Johnson.

Harris was airlifted to Miami where he was treated for a fractured skull, concussion and numerous cuts and bruises. Richardson was treaed at Lower Keys Hospital for his injuries.

Detectives interviewed the two girls who'd been with Harris and Carey. The girls said they'd taken the boys to the Ski Rink to be alone and to smoke "weed".The girls said both boys had been "flashing a lot of cash" lately and had bragged about committing a burglary at a house on Flagler Avenue, in the city.

Detective Henry Hamilton, the lead investigator on the case, interviewed Johnson Friday. Johnson said he was there when the incident occurred but did not hit the victims. He was placed under arrest and charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery. A warrant has been issued for Holloway for the same charges. Detectives are currently looking for him.

August 3, 2008

Building evacuated due to suspicious letter incident

Marathon - Sheriff's deputies and firefighters were responded to reports of a suspicious letter which may have caused a woman at the Marathon guidance clinic to experience burning in her hands and mouth.

On Friday afternoon just before 4 p.m., emergency services all responded to the clinic. When they arrived, a deputy met with an employee in the parking garage of the building. That employee had removed the letter from the mail room, put it in a trash bag, taken it to his office to call 911 then walked down to meet with the responding officer.

The victim, a 55 year old woman, was taken to Fishermen's Hospital due to experiencing a burning sensation on her hands and her mouth went numb. She told investigators she was in the mail room opening mail. The last letter she opened was from a correctional institution in Florida. She said she left the mail room and went to another building where her office was, next to the kitchen of the facility. That is when she started feeling the burning.

The Key West Fire Department Hazardous Response Team was called to respond. Everyone was removed from the buildings and asked to wait at a location nearby.

The HRT Team collected the evidence and checked the building. At 8:30 a.m., against advice of the HRT Team and the Marathon fire department, the manager of the facility made the decision to allow staff and clients to reenter the building.

After she was examined at Fishermen's Hospital, the 55 year old victim was released with no further symptoms. Doctors at the hospital documented finding an unknown black powder on her which they said they suspected might be pepper.

The incident continues to be under investigation.

Investigators want to remind people that if you have suspicions that there may be a hazardous substance on a letter, package or anywhere else you should never attempt to move, touch or in any way disturb the scene. Remove yourself and any others who may have been exposed to another area away from the scene, then call 911 and await the instructions of trained personnel who respond to the call. If you handle, remove or in any way disturb the item or substance in question you risk further contamination of the area and of people, including those responding.

Reports in from upper Keys boat patrol officers

In Islamorada, deputies report fewer boats on the water, but said the two day sport lobster season was busy. They said most people they stopped were in compliance with the law and had all their required safety equipment.

Deputies report the following numbers:

Total Vessel Stops, with inspections: 118

Boating Safety Citations: 5

Criminal Citations for Resource Violations: 3

Written Warnings issued (for various infractions): 6

Verbal Warnings given (for minor infractions): 68

Approximately 25 boats were in violation of the No Diving Ordinance and were asked to move.

In one particular incident, Deputy Nelson Sanchez was on boat patrol on the ocean side of the 74 mile marker on July 31st just before 4 p.m. when he stopped a boat for a safety inspection. Upon checking the boat, he found 24 lobster - the limit for the six people on board. After releasing them, he was approached by a witness who said he saw them drop a blue colored bag into the water just before the stop.

Deputy Sanchez had seen the canal the boat went into after his stop, so he found the vessel again and confronted them with the information. The captain of the boat, 64 year old John Meyers of Islamorada, admitted to knowing they were over the limit of lobster and another man, 61 year old Salvatore Desposito of Islamorada admitted to throwing the bag into the water when he saw the deputy approach. They then assisted Deputy Sanchez with recovering the bag. There were 20  lobsters inside, five of which were shorts.

The lobster were returned to the ocean alive. Meyers and Desposito were charged with possession of undersized crawfish and possession of crawfish over the limit.

On road patrol, deputies gave notices to appear to two violators who were in possession of seven crawfish without a license, five of which were short lobster. They issued notice to appear to on a second case with undersized lobster and issued numerous verbal warnings for diving or snorkeling within 300 feet of shore in violation of the Village of Islamorada ordinance prohibiting it. 

In Key Largo, deputies on boat patrol had the following activity:

Vessel Stops: 50

Arrests for Undersized Lobster (Notice to Appear issued): 5

Boating Citations: 7

Written Warnings: 6

Verbal Warnings: 7




 Labelled with ICRA