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


September 30, 2008

Detectives charge man with stabbing

Stock Island - A Stock Island man is in jail today charged with stabbing another man in the abdomen.

30 year old Matthew Tidwell was charged by Detective Juan Llera with aggravated battery. He is accused of stabbing a 51 year old man Sunday night. The victim rode his bicycle to the hospital and then was rushed into emergency surgery for his wound.

Detective Llera said he received information Monday that Tidwell was the one who stabbed the victim. Tidwell was brought in to the Sheriff's Criminal Investigative Unit by Deputy David Smith. When he was questioned about the crime, he admitted to having an altercation with the victim at the Key Haven Boat Ramp Sunday night. He said they were fighting over a woman.

The victim identified Tidwell as his attacker. Tidwell was charged with aggravated battery and he was booked into jail.

September 29, 2008

Man stabbed at Key Haven boat ramp

Stock Island - A homeless Stock Island man was stabbed in the abdomen in what may have been an attempted robbery Sunday night.

The victim said he was riding his bicycle past the boat ramp when two men knocked him down. He said he fought back, hitting one of them in the face but one of the men pulled out what the victim describes as a pocket knife and stabbed him in the stomach.

The victim said the two men fled the area and he got back on his bike and rode to the hospital. He was rushed into emergency surgery for what hospital employees described as life threatening injuries. He is still in the hospital today.

The victim described his attackers as two Hispanic males, 20 - 25 years of age, 5' 5" to 5' 8" tall wearing blue jeans and, possibly, dark colored t-shirts. He said one had a crooked front tooth, and one would have an injured lip from where he hit him defensively.

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.

Woman arrested for threatening husband with a knife

********information expunged****************

September 26, 2008

Marathon teen charged with burglary to business

Marathon - Deputies responding to an alarm call at the Hurricane Bar and Grill in the early morning hours today caught a Marathon teen burglarizing the business.

When Deputies Paul Bean and Jacek Szymanski arrived just before 2 a.m., they found the front door of the business open. They entered and found 16 year old Keith White of Marathon using a screw driver and a hammer to force his way through a locked door inside.

White was placed under arrest. A check of his name revealed he had two outstanding warrants for violation of probation. White was charged with those warrants and with burglary, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief. He was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

Man charged with stealing, pawning boat parts

Plantation Key - An Islamorada man has been charged with stealing boat parts from a co-worker and then pawning them multiple times at a local pawn shop.

Detective Ryan Cowart went to the Lighthouse Boating Center looking for 47 year old Russell Edmunds, who was wanted on outstanding warrants in Pinellas County, Florida and in the State of Virginia. He was placed under arrest and booked into jail. Detective Cowart was aware of some boat parts Edmunds had pawned recently, so he asked the General Manager if he knew where they might have come from. The General Manager said another man who works there was missing some boat parts.

The missing parts matched those pawned by Edmunds. Edmunds had pawned the same parts several times over a number of weeks. The victim identified the parts - a speedometer, tachometer and a throttle - as his. A warrant was issued for Edmunds arrest for three counts each of theft and dealing in stolen property. The warrants were served on him today (Friday). Bond is set at $25,000.00.

September 23, 2008

Marathon man arrested for beating his wife; threatening to kill his wife and son

Marathon - A Marathon man is in jail today after beating his wife and threatening to kill her and his 18 year old son.

Just before midnight, deputies responded to a home on 5th Avenue Gulf to reports of a domestic disturbance. When they arrived, they found two victims - his wife and his son - still on the scene and the suspect, 45 year old Walter Dieter, who was holding a golf club.

The victims said he was drunk and had been arguing with them. He hit his wife several times during the course of the argument. At one point, he told her to leave the house. When she did, he grabbed her as she was walking away and dragged her back inside.When his son tried to intervene to defend his mother, Dieter grabbed a golf club and chased him with it, swinging at him. When he couldn't catch his son, he began beating on his son's truck with the club, finally breaking it after causing a number of large dents.

Both victims said he threatened to kill them several times. They both said they were in fear for their lives because they believed he meant what he said.

While at the residence, deputies found evidence that Dieter had been cultivating marijuana. There were grow lights and other cultivation equipment in the laundry room, and a shed outside appeared to have been used in the past for the same purpose. It also appeared Dieter had recently destroyed some marijuana plants he was growing, possibly when he knew deputies were en route to the house.

Dieter was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault, battery, cultivation of marijuana and destruction of evidence. He was also charged with violation of probation. Dieter is reportedly on probation for attempted murder stemming from a domestic incident in January of 2004. During that incident he beat his girlfriend, tried to suffocate her and threatened to stab her with a screwdriver.

September 22, 2008

Second escapee caught in Key West

Key West - The second man who escaped from the Marathon jail Thursday night has been captured.

19 year old Willis Quinten Manning was caught just before noon today by Key West Police School Resource Officer Jason Castillo who was doing a routine check of the property around the Key West High School. Officer Castillo spotted Manning at the hockey rink on the property, recognizing him as one of the two escapees. With the assistance of KWPD Officer Jenny Carson, Manning was placed under arrest on an outstanding warrant for escape. Bond on the warrant is $500,000.00.

Manning and 39 year old Alexis Perez-Herrera escaped from the facility on Thursday night, scaling a concrete block wall, climbing through a gap in a chain link fence and then vaulting over a fence with razor wire on the top of it. Perez-Herrera was caught just a short time later as he headed north on a bus.

Islamorada boys report stranger tried to pick them up

Islamorada - Two boys from Islamorada reported a stranger tried to pick them up in a blue BMW in two separate incidents last week.

On Tuesday, a 13 year old boy said he was walking home from the bus stop at the 88 mile marker at about 3:20 p.m. when a man driving a blue BMW pulled up and asked if he wanted a ride. The boy said no and walked away. The man drove away, not saying anything else to him. The boy said the driver was a white male in his 40s or 50s, heavy set, balding with a salt and pepper goatee.

On Friday, an 11 year old boy said he was skateboarding at about 3 p.m. in the Indian Mounds subdivision, on Seminole Drive. He said a blue colored BMW pulled up to him. He said the driver rolled down the passenger side window and yelled at him to get in the car. He said he ran into a nearby yard to get away. He said the driver waited for about 10 minutes before driving away. He described the driver as having dirty blond hair and a light beard. He said the BMW had dark tinted windows and damage on the front passenger side.

Parents should remind their children to never talk to strangers and, in particular, to never get into a stranger's car. If approached by a stranger, a child should run away and should yell loudly for help. They should tell their parents about the incident and the parents should report the incident immediately to law enforcement.

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.

September 20, 2008

17 year old caught with large amount of crack

Stock Island - A 17 year old Stock Island boy was caught Friday afternoon in possession of a large amount of crack cocaine.

Deputy David Smith responded to Jolly's Liquor Store on Stock Island at 3 p.m. after someone called Sheriff's dispatchers to report an older male buying alcohol for two young Hispanic men on a silver colored moped. When the deputy arrived, he saw two young men fitting the description, with a silver colored moped, in the parking lot of Burger King, next to Jolly's Liquors.

The two denied the moped belonged to them. The deputy searched them for weapons and, as he was patting down 17 year old William Morales, he broke away and began to run. The deputy was able to catch him and they fell to the ground. During the struggle, Morales threw a blue pill bottle with a white top underneath nearby bushes. He was handcuffed and, after back up officers arrived, Deputy Smith retrieved the bottle. Inside he found 42 crack cocaine rocks. The deputy found $277.00 in small bills in Morales' pocket, along with the key to the moped he initially denied was his. In the seat of the moped was an unopened bottle of Captain Morgan's rum.

The 15 year old who was with Morales was turned over to his mother. Morales was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest and possession of alcohol by a minor. He was booked at the Monroe County jail.

September 19, 2008

15 year old charged with threatening to kill his sister with a knife

Key Largo - A 15 year old Key Largo boy was arrested Thursday night, charged with threatening to kill his sister with a knife after she refused to move while working on a computer in their living room.

Deputy Richard Bellon responded to the house on Ocean Shores South at 10:45 p.m. When he arrived, he heard yelling and thumping noises from inside. The suspect's mother was outside and told the deputy her son was "acting crazy" and might be armed inside the house.

Deputy Bellon went inside and found 15 year old Kendall Wilson. He detained him while he investigated further. Wilson's sister told the deputy she was sitting in the living room on the computer when her brother told her to move. When she refused, she said he began hitting her on the head and shoulder. She said she continued to refuse to move and he went into the kitchen, came out with a large knife in his hand, held it above his head as if he was going to stab her and told her he was going to kill her.

She said she became scared and began calling for her mother, who then called 911. The victim's 16 year old brother witnessed the incident. Kendall Wilson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and with battery. He was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office Participates in Statewide fugitive operation

Monroe County - Monroe County Sheriff's detectives took part in a ten week operation targeting fugitives recently. "Operation Orange Crush" led to the apprehension of 2,497 fugitives statewide. Fifteen people were arrested in Monroe County and detectives also checked on the locations of 33 sexual offenders county wide to verify their addresses.

Assisting with the operation in Monroe County was the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the office of Probation and Parole, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Key West Police Department and the Coast Guard Investigative Service.

Arrested during the operation were:

For more information, see the Press Release below, issued September 18th by the U.S. Marshals Service:

Operation Orange Crush Nabs Thousands of Fugitives Across Florida
Ten-Week Operation Targets Violent Offenders Statewide

Miami, FL – Scores of fugitives – from the Panhandle to the Keys – are now behind bars courtesy of a U.S. Marshals-led sweep targeting the “worst-of-the-worst” offenders statewide.

The U.S. Marshals Service, assisted by federal, state and local law enforcement across Florida, arrested 2,497 fugitives and cleared 2,943 warrants statewide as part of Operation Orange Crush. The results of this ten-week operation were announced here today by Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip, U.S. Marshals Service Director John F. Clark and U.S. Marshal Christina Pharo of the Southern District of Florida.

A number of sites were chosen for the operation. In the Northern District of Florida, operations were conducted in Gainesville, Panama City, Pensacola and Tallahassee. In the Middle District of Florida, operations took place in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa. In the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Miami, Monroe County and West Palm Beach all took part in the operation. During the course of the operation, the U.S. Marshal provided extra personnel and equipment to support the statewide fugitive apprehension efforts.

"All of our efforts in this area serve as a continued warning to fugitives from justice that wherever they are hiding, we will work together to find them," said Deputy Attorney General Filip. "Equally important, these efforts assure our citizens that we are going after violent gangs, child predators, and others hiding from the law."

Operation Orange Crush is the first-ever major fugitive apprehension effort led by the U.S. Marshals Service that was completely coordinated and executed on behalf of a single state.

During Operation Orange Crush, an emphasis was placed on the capture of violent gang members and sex offenders. Statewide, the operation arrested 55 gang members and 255 sex offenders. Among those brought in:

Director Clark has overseen a number of large-scale apprehension efforts – including four FALCON operations – since becoming head of the agency in March, 2006. “When we were planning Operation Orange Crush we had hoped for several outcomes, to include the arrest of a significant number of fugitives and to continue developing the working relationships between the Marshals and our state and local counterparts,” said Director Clark. “We succeeded on all counts, but I know everyone associated with this operation sees this as only the beginning - there is more we should and can do to combat crime in Florida.”

The Southern District of Florida, led by U.S. Marshal Christina Pharo, participated in three FALCON operations. “Operation Orange Crush was an example of the extraordinary investigative capabilities that arise when multiple law enforcement agencies join forces. With our partners from state, local and other federal agencies, we apprehended some of the most violent criminals and sex offenders preying on the citizens of South Florida,” said Marshal Pharo. “This operation may have ended, but our efforts to locate and apprehend these wanted criminals will not. We will continue to offer our assistance to our friends in law enforcement and make every effort to rid our streets of these criminals.”

In addition to the numerous gang members and sex offenders apprehended during Operation Orange Crush, 113 homicide arrests were made and 76 weapons were seized.

The concept behind broad, interagency law enforcement operations such as Operation Orange Crush evolved largely from smaller, local/regional task forces. Groups such as these have historically combined local, state and federal agencies to find and apprehend area fugitives. The U.S. Marshals adopted such interagency teamwork in the early 1980s, when they combined their resources and expertise in fugitive apprehension with the local knowledge and unique insight of officers on the street level.

In order to provide participating agencies with broader jurisdictional authority, all state and local law enforcement officers were sworn in as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals immediately prior to the start of the operation. Throughout the course of Operation Orange Crush, this special authority from the U.S. Marshals Service empowered all local and state law enforcement officers to cross traditional lines of jurisdiction to track down and arrest targeted fugitives.

Director Clark emphasized that these operations work because local law enforcement officers strive to make a difference in their own communities. “The Marshals Deputies that work these operations live in the communities they serve,” said Director Clark. “Their children go to school here, they attend community events, ballgames and they shop and go to church here. For both personal and professional reasons, they have a stake in ridding their communities of crime. They want their neighbors and their families to be safe and they are doing something about it.”

Those involved in Operation Orange Crush in South Florida include: DOJ/United States Marshals Service, DOJ/United States Attorneys Office, DOJ/Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, DHS/Immigration & Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of State, Division of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Florida Attorney Generals Office, Florida Department of Corrections, Probation & Parole, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, Miami-Dade County Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, City of Hialeah Police Department, City of Miami Beach Police Department, City of Miami Police Department, City of Miramar Police Department, Coral Gables Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, Davie Police Department, Delray Beach Police Department, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Fort Pierce Police Department, Lake Worth Police Department, Lantana Police Department, Miami Gardens Police Department, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, Pembroke Pines Police Department, Plantation Police Department, Port St. Lucie Police Department, and the West Palm Beach Police Department.

For more information about the U.S. Marshals Service, visit
Read Remarks by Director John Clark at the Operation Orange Crush Press Conference.

Two inmates escape from Marathon jail; one recaptured

Willis Quinten Manning - wanted for escape

Marathon - During recreational time at the Marathon jail facility Thursday night, two inmates escaped from the facility. One was recaptured as he was fleeing northbound on a bus; the other remains at large.

At 9:40 p.m., 19 year old Willis Quinten Manning of Key West and 39 year old Alexis Perez-Herrera of Homestead somehow scaled a seven foot concrete block fence that surrounds the jail's recreational yard; at the tip of the fence is another fence made out of chain link which blocks access to the jail roof. It appears they pulled on the chain link fencing, creating a gap big enough for them to squeeze through. They crossed the roof of the jail and jumped across a fence topped with razor wire which surrounds the facility.

Corrections Officers discovered them missing from the rec yard a short time later and issued a notice to be on the lookout for them. Islamorada deputies stopped a JGT bus at the 86 mile marker of the highway. The bus was northbound from Marathon. They walked through the bus, looking for the missing men. As they reached the back of the bus, they saw a man curled up on the bus floor, between the seats. Perez-Herrera got up from the floor when ordered, but refused to show deputies his hands. Suddenly, he pulled a knife on the deputies and refused to put it down when ordered. Deputy David Minor grabbed him by the wrist and threw him to the floor of the bus, disarming him in the process.

When Perez-Herrera was returned to jail, he told Deputy Patrick Crozier when he got out of jail, he would return to the Keys and "put a bullet in your head". He was charged with escape, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault and possession of a weapon while committing a felony offense.

Manning is still at large. He is a white male, 19 years of age, five foot eight inches tall, 115 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes. His last known address was on Trinidad Drive in Key West. Manning was in jail on multiple charges stemming from an arrest by Key West Police in December of 2006. Charges included aggravated assault, robbery, armed burglary, dealing in stolen property, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police and vehicle theft.

Perez-Herrera was originally arrested in February of this year on robbery charges.

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.

Search warrant leads to drug arrest

Key Largo - A search warrant served Thursday night on a home in Key Largo resulted in the arrest of one man.

Detectives with the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division, along with members of the Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team, served the warrant at #11 Judy Place at 10 p.m. The resident, 22 year old Travis Lewis, was not at home. A search turned up marijuana, cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Detectives had an outstanding warrant for Lewis for sale of cocaine and he was found in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center where he was placed under arrest. In his car, detectives found drug paraphernalia and some Seroquel pills he did not have a prescription for. He was charged with the warrant, along with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, cocaine and two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.

September 15, 2008

Man charged with beating wife, holding her against her will

Key Largo - A Key Largo man was arrested Tuesday, charged with beating his wife and holding her in a bedroom against her will.

On September 6th, deputies responded to King's Kampground in Key Largo to reports of a domestic dispute. When they arrived at 9 p.m., they found the victim still on the scene; the suspect, 42 year old Jesus Rodriguez, was gone. The victim said Rodriguez was drunk and became angry with her. She said he hit her, knocking her down. He took her into a bedroom, wouldn't allow her to leave the room and continued to beat her, using his fists and a belt. At one point, he picked up two knives and told her he was going to kill her.

She was finally able to break away and she ran outside. He left the scene and she called the Sheriff's Office. The suspect couldn't immediately be found, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was picked up Tuesday and booked into jail. Bond is set at $35,000.00.

September 14, 2008

Miami Springs man arrested after disturbance on charter boat

Plantation Key - A Miami Springs man caused a considerable disturbance on board a charter boat Saturday night.

Deputies were called to Smuggler's Cove Marina at the 88.5 mile marker of the highway. When Deputies David Minor and Patrick Crozier arrived at 11:30 p.m. they met with the Coast Guard and the first mate of the Sea King Fishing Charter boat. According to them, and to other witnesses on the boat, one of the customers caused a considerable disturbance shortly after the boat departed from the dock.

According to everyone interviewed, 41 year old Alexander Baquero first became angry with another customer, accusing him of looking at his girlfriend. He picked the man up and tried to throw him overboard, but the crew stopped him.

Baquero then ran around the boat yelling at other customers, and threw two men's tackle boxes overboard.  The tackle boxes were valued at approximately $1,700.00 and one contained a man's wallet, his apartment and truck keys, his diver's certification card, credit cards, sunglasses and other valuable items.When the first mate tried to stop him, Baquero threw a bucket of chum at him. Baquero then jumped overboard and began swimming away. He was pulled back on board and, when he continued to fight, crew members tied him up with rope until the Coast Guard arrived on the scene.

Baquero was charged with battery, theft and disturbing the peace. He was booked into jail.

September 13, 2008

Woman arrested on Stock Island for prostitution

Stock Island - A Stock Island woman was arrested after she offered an Sheriff's Office undercover operative sex in exchange for money.

Detectives say they saw 44 year old Linda Saulnier riding a three wheel bicycle flagging down cars near Fifth Avenue Friday at 2 p.m. A short time later, an undercover operative approached her in a vehicle. She offered him oral sex for $25.00. Instead of allowing her in the car, however, he told her to meet him at a Key West hotel instead.

A short time later, he met with her in the parking lot of the hotel. She told him she would have sexual relations with him for $50.00. At that point, she was placed under arrest.

A search of her purse turned up cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Saulnier was booked into jail on charges of prostitution, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

September 12, 2008

Big Pine laundromat robbed

Big Pine Key - Sheriff's detectives are investigating reports of an armed robbery at a laundromat on Big Pine Key Thursday morning.

According to an employee of the Big Pine Laundry, and a witness, just before 10 a.m. two suspects entered the business. One of them used an unknown type of tool to pry open the change machine while the other pointed a gun in the employee's face, demanding money.

She handed over the money and both suspects left the building. They fled south down Key Deer Boulevard, toward U.S. One. One of them was reportedly riding a bicycle and the other was on foot.

Both suspects were described as young white males, 14 - 16 years old between 5' 2" and 5' 4" tall. One had short, dark hair; the other had medium length blond hair with a short pony tail.

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.

September 11, 2008

Marathon man faces drug charges

Marathon - A Marathon man, stopped for having a brake light out, went to jail on drug charges Wednesday night.

Deputy Joel Slough was on patrol at 10:30 p.m. when he spotted the 1991 Ford Ranger truck northbound at 100th Street in Marathon. As the truck pulled into the left turn lane at 107th Street, the deputy saw the brake light was not working. He turned behind the truck and activated his lights to pull the truck over.

The truck kept traveling, turning onto 2nd Street and finally pulling to a stop in front of a home. Deputy Slough approached the driver, 27 year old Notorious Jackson. Jackson admitted to having a suspended drivers license. He was placed under arrest. A search of his truck revealed three plastic bags with crack cocaine in the glove compartment; 14 plastic bags with 77 grams of marijuana inside were found in a black bag under the driver's side seat.

Jackson was charged with driving with license suspended, possession of crack cocaine and marijuana. He was taken to jail.

September 10, 2008

Juvenile charged with burglary

Plantation Key - A 15 year old Islamorada boy was arrested Tuesday afternoon for burglarizing a Plantation Key home.

Deputies responded to reports that a home on Azalea Street had been broken into. The homeowner discovered his back door had been broken and someone entered and stole a number of items. He told a neighbor about it and the neighbor said he'd just seen a young man walking out of the back yard. The two men jumped into a truck and pursued the youth, who was two other boys walking toward the Payfair Market.

The two men found the group of kids at the market and called the Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrived and questioned all of them. During questioning, they were discovered 15 year old Timothy Globus was the one who committed the break in. A number of items stolen from the residence were found in Globus' possession, including a cup full of coins, a watch and an Ipod. Globus also had a pipe which smelled of marijuana.

Globus was charged with burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools.

September 5, 2008

Detectives identify murder victim found Wednesday on bridge embankment

Detectives with the Sheriff's Office Homicide Division have identified the woman whose body was found at the bottom of a bridge embankment at the 73 mile marker of highway U.S. One Wednesday afternoon.

They say they would like to speak with a "person of interest" regarding the death of 41 year old Jessica Flores of 1051 N.E. 163rd Street in North Miami Beach. They are looking for her live-in boyfriend of six years, 33 year old Cesar Tinoco-Lopez, a Nicaraguan National. He may be driving a 1998 Black Nissan Maxima with Florida Tag 434JEH Flores was reported missing to North Miami Beach Police by family members at about the same time her body was found.

An autopsy Thursday confirmed Flores was a victim of foul play. She had numerous wounds on her body, but detectives declined to specify what types of wounds they were. Medical Examiner Hunt Schuerman said she'd most likely been dead less than 24 hours when she was found at about 2:30 p.m. by two couples visiting the Keys who were on the Channel Two Bridge taking pictures.

Detective Mark Coleman is the lead investigator on the case. He and other Homicide Detectives have been assisted in their investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the North Miami Beach Police Department and investigators from Customs, Border Protection Field Operations at the Miami Airport and U.S. Border Patrol in Marathon. 

September 4, 2008

Two more teens arrested for burglaries; more charges expected

Key Largo - Two more upper Keys teens have been charged in connection with several burglaries in the upper Keys. More charges are pending.

18 year old Luis Olivencia has been charged with participating in two burglaries with 18 year old Wilfredo Gonzalez. He assisted with the burglaries on South Drive in Key Largo and on Gulfstream Drive in Key Largo. 19 year old Willyam (yes, with a "y") Antunez Hernandez has been charged with assisting Gonzalez with the burglary on Bass Avenue. Olivencia has been charged with two counts of burglary and theft; Antunez-Hernandez with one count of each.

Detectives say they believe all three suspects may have participated in additional burglaries. Their investigations are continuing and more charges are expected.

Burglary arrest, Key Largo

Key Largo - An 18 year old Key Largo man was arrested Wednesday for three counts of burglary in the upper Keys.

Detective Sgt. Dave Carey and Detective Mike Wilkinson say 18 year old Wilfredo Gonzalez committed the crimes between August 21st and September 1st. During that time, he and an accomplice broke into a house on Bass Avenue in Key Largo, taking a large flat screen television, a DVD player and DVDs. He broke into a house on South Drive in Key Largo on August 31st, where he and another accomplice were interrupted when one of the residents came home. They did manage to steal cameras, cash, a computer and a WII game system, but left a large amount of property behind packed in duffle bags, ready to remove from the home. The third burglary was to a tool shed on Gulfstream Drive in Key Largo between August 30th and September 1st. He and the same accomplice from the South Drive burglary took rods and reels, a tree trimmer and three scuba tanks. The victim found his property hidden behind a concrete wall, as if the suspects meant to come back and pick it up.

Gonzalez was picked up for questioning on September 3rd and admitted to the crimes, also giving detectives the names of his accomplices. Gonzalez was charged with three counts of burglary and three counts of theft. More arrests are pending.

September 3, 2008

Detectives investigate suspicious death

Tattoo on dead woman's shoulder

Islamorada - Sheriff's Homicide Detectives are investigating what they termed a "suspicious death" today.

The body of a white female was found on an embankment on the north side of the Channel 2 Bridge at the 73 mile marker of Highway U.S. One, on the bayside. Two couples, from Brandon, Florida and from Austria, walking on the bridge at about 2:30 p.m. spotted her body and called the Sheriff's Office.

Detectives say she is young to middle aged, but can't specify her age any more closely until after the autopsy. She was heavy set, with dark hair that was wavy and shoulder length or a little longer. She had no identification with her. She has a tattoo on her shoulder, they wouldn't say which shoulder, but did release a picture of the tattoo in the hopes that someone will recognize it. They say her death is suspicious but won't comment on the cause of her death. They do say she has been dead a relatively short time, perhaps less than 24 hours. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.

Anyone with information which might help identify the woman, or who knows anything about her death, should call the lead Detective Mark Coleman at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division at 305-289-2410. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the tip leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for a significant cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

Escapee found in Lee County

Lee County, FL - An inmate who escaped from the Marathon jail on August 14, 2007 was picked up in Lee County, Florida today.

After Lee County is finished with 23 year old Naoul Senat, he will be returned to Monroe County to face charges of escape. He also has outstanding Monroe County warrants for violation of probation and failure to appear in court.

Senat was arrested by Key West Police in June, 2007 on drug charges, and was subsequently charged with violation of probation. He escaped by placed two chairs up against an outer fence at the Marathon jail and climbed over the fence.

September 2, 2008

Detectives Investigate shooting

Marathon - Sheriff's detectives are investigating an incident in Marathon which resulted in two men hospitalized for gun shot wounds.

At 10:30 p.m. Monday, a group of people were reportedly drinking together at Frosty's on 11th Street Oceanside in Marathon, at a table outside, when the incident occurred. When interviewed, members of the group said Frosty's had closed, but management told them they could stay and finish their drinks. At some point, an argument began. According to reports, 64 year old Ronald Willett, who lives off shore on a boat in Boot Key Harbor, went to his dinghy and got a handgun. He brought it back to Frosty's. At that point, the stories collected by deputies are not clear about what happened. The end result: Willett was shot, with injuries to his chest and hand; 47 year old Bentley Beasley was shot, injuring his wrist and hand.

When deputies arrived, Willett was found on his sailboat; Beasley was still in the area of Frosty's and walked up the ambulance when it arrived. Both men were transported to Fishermen's Hospital. Willet was airlifted by Trauma Star to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. Beasley was initially treated at Fishermen's, but was later transferred by ambulance to the same hospital in Miami.

Detectives are interviewing witnesses, and will interview the two wounded men when it is possible to do so, in an attempt to determine what happened. Investigations are continuing.

September 1, 2008

Deputies break up party; arrest four for providing alcohol to a minor

Islamorada - Reports of drinking and sexual activity around a pool in Islamorada led to several arrests for providing alcohol to a minor today.

Deputy Kenneth Brand responded to Plantation By the Sea at 1:30 a.m. after dispatchers received a call about juveniles drinking and engaging in sexual activity at the pool in plain view. He found 43 year old Michael Wimer, 18 year old Nicholas Jackson, 18 year old Danny Ball and 21 year old Cristian Cribas and a 15 year old girl. All were drinking alcoholic beverages. There were open bottles of beer, several empty bottles of liquor both at the pool and inside in a common area where some in the group were watching television.

Upon questioning, the deputy found that Cribas, Ball and Jackson had picked up the young girl and brought her to the party. Wimer, Cribas, Jackson and Ball were all arrested. Wimer and Cribas were charged with providing alcohol to a minor; Jackson and Ball were charged with providing alcohol to a minor and with possessing alchol when under 21 years of age.

Man arrested for burglary, battery

Key Largo - A Key Largo man was arrested early Sunday, charged with burglary with battery on the occupant.

When deputies arrived at the residence on Avenue C in Key Largo, they found two men who lived there. One of them had been beaten in the face and was bleeding. He and his roommate said soemone pounded on the door at 5:30 a.m. When they looked outside, they saw a flashlight shining in their trailer and heard someone yelling at them to open the door, identifying themselves as "police".

When they opened the door, one of the group of people outside forced his way inside and struck the victim repeatedly in the face.

Deputies canvassed the area and found a group of people who lived nearby. When they questioned them, they said a woman they knew had been "almost raped" by one of the men who lived in the trailer on Avenue C. The woman said she'd been grabbed by someone who tried to drag her around the side of the trailer. She said she struggled with him and was able to get away. When she was able to view both of the men who lived in the trailer, she was unable to identify either one as her attacker.

The victim who was attacked in his home, however, was able to identify one of the people who attacked him. 22 year old Shawn Bice of Key Largo was arrested, charged with burglary with battery on the occupant and he was taken to jail.


 Labelled with ICRA