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

July 30, 2012

Woman arrested for murder

Conch Key - A 62 year old Conch Key woman is under arrest for shooting a man to death Sunday night.

According to a witness who saw the incident took place, Carolyn Dukeshire also known as “the sea hag” shot 64 year old Martin Mazur five times in the abdomen, back and arm after he refused to give her a beer.

Deputies responded to the scene at #53 North Conch Avenue. When they arrived, The victim, the suspect and the witness were all still there, waiting for their arrival. Dukeshire was taken into custody. Paramedics assisted the victim, who was still alive. He was transported to Fisherman’s Hospital where he later died of his wounds.

30 year old Casey Whippo of Conch Key, told Deputies Michael Claudy and Nicholis Whiteman he and Mazur went to dinner at the Brass Monkey in Marathon. They returned to the house and were sitting outside. He said they had just opened a beer when Dukeshire walked around the side of the house and asked if she could have one. Whippo said Mazur refused to give her a beer; that is when she shot him. He said she fired the gun multiple times, shooting Mazur twice in the abdomen, twice in the back and once in the wrist.

Whippo grabbed Dukeshire’s arms and told her she couldn’t leave. Whippo called the Sheriff’s Office for help. He said she threw the gun into the canal behind the house, then sat down and waited for deputies to arrive.

Major Crimes Detective Deborah Ryan charged Dukeshire with murder and she was booked into jail.

July 25, 2012

Argument leads to weapon arrest

Summerland Key – An argument between a father and son led to the arrest of the son for pulling a gun and firing it early today.

Deputies Spenser Bryan and Lissette Zuelch responded to a home on Gulf Drive, Summerland Key at 12:45 a.m. to reports a gun had been fired. They immediately secured two handguns they found at the home.

50 year old James Fleming told them he’d been drinking in Key West with his son, 21 year old Christopher Fleming, and their two friends. The group is from Boynton Beach, Florida and is renting the home on Summerland Key.

He said he and his son began to argue on the way home from Key West. Once they all arrived at the home the argument continued. At some point, Christopher Fleming got a handgun and pointed it at the others in the group. At some point, that gun was fired at least one time. No one was injured.

Fleming fled the scene and was not there when deputies arrived. He was later found walking on the Niles Channel Bridge. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, improper exhibition of a firearm and use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

Stock Island man charged with burglary

Stock Island – A Stock Island man was arrested late Tuesday, charged with burglarizing a home on Cross Street, Stock Island.

Deputies Joe Cortner and Scott Ward responded to an alarm call at a home on Cross Street at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. They met with a person from the security system company that takes care of the home. A walk through of the property and house revealed an open sliding glass door. Cameras are mounted throughout the property and several had been repositioned.

The deputies reviewed surveillance video from the cameras which clearly showed a suspect enter the property at 10:20 p.m. wearing gloves and carrying a pry bar.

Shortly after viewing the video, Deputy Cortner walked outside the house to get something from his patrol car and saw a man ride by on a bicycle. The man, later identified as 50 year old Rigoberto Nodal-Garmas, looked just like the man Cortner had seen on the surveillance video burglarizing the home.

Cortner stopped him, detaining him for further investigation. Deputy Ward agreed that Nodal-Garmas was the same man he’d also seen on the video. The two deputies confronted him with the evidence of his crime and Nodal-Garmas admitted to the break in. He admitted to taking a GPS from the home; the GPS was later recovered from Nodal-Gamas’ residence.

Nodal-Garmas was charged with burglary and grand theft and he was taken to jail.

July 20, 2012

Suspect in last week’s Miami bank robberies, kidnapping also wanted in the Keys

Key Largo – Sheriff’s detectives say a man arrested for bank robberies and a kidnapping in the Miami area is also wanted in connection with burglaries in the Florida Keys.

Detective Sgt. Dave Carey says 48 year old Pedro Valdes of Miami Gardens is a suspect in four business burglaries and a residential burglary which took place in Key Largo between June 4th and June 24th. In all five cases, the suspect threw a rock through a glass window to gain access to the inside of the buildings.

During the course of the investigation, Detective Barney Sadjak checked pawn shops for property stolen in the burglaries. He located a Penn reel pawned by Valdes which matched one stolen from West Marine. Further investigation revealed Valdes is on probation. His probation officer told detectives he has a sister who lives in Key Largo, and is staying with his mother in Miami Gardens. The probation officer said Valdes requested to visit his sister several times between May and June. In addition, a check on Sunpass activity showed the mother’s vehicle had traveled south of Homestead on numerous occasions between May and June; some of the dates coincided with the dates of the burglaries.

Surveillance photos from inside West Marine and from another store nearby showed a man fitting Valdes’ description both inside and outside the store. Detectives asked his sister to review the photos and video and she positively identified her brother as well. She also verified seeing her brother in possession of a brand new Penn reel.

At this time, Detective Yunier Galvez has obtained arrest warrants for Valdes for the two burglaries at West Marine, on June 20th and on the 24th. The other three crimes are still under investigation and charges against him may be pending in those cases.


At this time, Valdes will be charged with the burglaries at West Marine. He is currently in custody in Miami and will be returned to Monroe County to face the charges here at a later date.

Man arrested after burglary victim recognizes his own shoes

Big Coppitt Key – A Stock Island man is under arrest for burglarizing a vehicle on Big Coppitt Key. He is the suspect in several more vehicle burglaries that took place in the area during the same time period.

The owner of a car parked at 34 Cactus Drive left his apartment at 6 a.m. Thursday and found 18 year old Manuel Argomaniz passed out on an outside walkway. He became suspicious when he noticed Argomaniz was wearing a pair of blue high-topped Nike sneakers with red laces in them – they were the same shoes the victim had left in his car the night before.

To make sure, he woke the suspect up and asked him what size shoe he wears. Argomaniz appeared disoriented; he told the victim he wears a size 11 shoe. The victim, who wears a size 13, told Argomaniz to take the shoes off so he could look at them. They were a size 13. The victim called the Sheriff’s Office for assistance.

Lt. Donnie Elomina arrived on the scene and took Argomaniz into custody pending an investigation. Deputy Kim Trullender arrived. As he investigated, he found several more people who said their cars were entered overnight. During the course of the investigation, six cars on both Cactus Drive and on Avenue B were identified as possible burglaries. Property missing included a radar detector, prescription medication and a computer flash drive.

Argomaniz gave a false name to Deputy Trullender. He was arrested and taken to the Monroe County Detention Center where a check on his fingerprints revealed his true identity. He was charged with burglary, theft and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer. More charges may be pending.

Detectives investigating boat burglaries, lower unit thefts

Islamorada – Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a series of boat burglaries and lower unit thefts at an Islamorada marina.

The owner of Snake Creek Marina called Thursday morning to report someone had cut a hole in a perimeter fence and had stolen items from a number of boats in his dry storage facility. Deputies and detectives responded. They found seven boats had been targeted. Six high end GPS units had been stolen from the boats. Thieves had also taken five lower units; three from 350 horsepower Yamaha four stroke engines and two from 300 horsepower Mercury engines.

Investigations into these thefts are continuing.

July 18, 2012

Marathon man arrested for lobster violations

Just a week before the two day sport lobster season, a Marathon man was arrested Tuesday night for possessing, spearing and wringing lobster tails.

Sheriff's Office Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra saw 54 year old Timothy McGinnis in the water, on the bayside at the 60 mile marker, at the south end of the Toms Harbor Bridge at 8 p.m. The deputy, who was just two feet away from McGinnis on the shoreline, saw him using a spear gun to spear a lobster, then saw him wring the tail and put it in a yellow dive bag which contained more tails. As McGinnis speared a second lobster, Deputy Guerra tapped his dive tank and identified himself as a law enforcement officer.

McGinnis pushed away from the rocks and emptied his dive bag. At first, he refused to comply with the deputy’s orders to return to shore. After a few minutes, he returned to shore where he was taken into custody by Deputy Guerra.

A search of the area turned up evidence of McGinnis’ activities – a speared spiny lobster head he’d wrung from the tail. McGinnis admitted to the illegal activity, saying he was just trying to feed his family. He was charged with possession of speared spiny lobster, possession of wrung tails in the water, possession of spiny lobster in closed season and resisting an officer. He was booked into jail.

July 17, 2012

Woman charged with Big Pine burglary

A Big Pine Key woman was arrested Monday, charged with burglarizing a Big Pine Key home in April.

The victim called the Sheriff’s Office April 20th to report someone burglarized his home while his mother was asleep inside. He said he suspected his tenant, 24 year old Marisleini Herrada. He told Deputy Andrew Hudson he was missing a large amount of change, a couple of pool sticks and a wedding band. He said he thinks she entered through an unlocked door.

Detective Dave Brummer was assigned to investigate. Fingerprints taken from the crime scene returned to Herrada. A warrant was issued for her arrest. She was charged with burglary and grand theft and she was booked into jail.

Stolen vessel recovered; three arrested

Marathon – A boat, stolen from Marathon Friday was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard over the weekend. Three men are under arrest for the theft.

The owner of the vessel called the Sheriff’s Office Friday morning. He told Sgt. Glenn Test he went to sleep the night before in his motor home with the boat moored right next to a dock where the boat was tied up. He said when he got up, the boat was gone. He said the boat was low on fuel and the batteries were weak, so he wasn’t sure how far the thieves may have gotten  in it.

On Sunday, Sgt. Eric Mixon was contacted by the Coast Guard. They told him they’d boarded the stolen vessel near Alligator Reef offshore of Islamorada. They’d gotten a call from a boater who’d passed the disabled vessel. He said the men on board were waving at him asking for help; he thought it looked suspicious and decided to report it.

The Coast Guard responded and found the three men on board. The men said the boat belonged to a friend, but they couldn’t give the friend’s name or contact information. They later changed their story, saying they’d bought the vessel from someone for $1,500.00 with the intention of going to Cuba. They said the vessel became disabled as they approached the shoreline of Cuba. They said they drifted for several days, ending up at Alligator Reef.

Deputies arrested the three men at the Coast Guard station in Key West Monday. 32 year old Abraham Rodriguez-Alvarez of Miami, 36 year old Wilber Rodriguez Perez of Marathon and 24 year old Lisvany Sanchez of Marathon were all charged with grand theft and they were booked into jail.

July 14, 2012

Corrections Officer charged with domestic battery

Stock Island – A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Officer was arrested early today on Stock Island for domestic battery.

Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call at 3:45 a.m. from a witness who reported a domestic in progress behind the Chevron Station on Stock Island. When deputies arrived, they found the female victim walking down McDonald Avenue. She had visible  bruises on her arms. She revealed to the deputies that her boyfriend, 50 year old Celso Hernandez, had caused the bruising.

While the deputies were talking with the victim, Hernandez called her on the phone. The deputies asked him to return to their location on Stock Island so they could speak with him.

Hernandez told the deputies he and the victim were staying at a hotel in Key West. He said they initially got into an argument at the hotel and she left. He said he followed her and a second altercation happened on Stock Island.

The witness who saw the second altercation said he saw Hernandez grab the victim by the arms and pull her toward his motorcycle. She was able to break away, however, and he left the area.

Hernandez was arrested, charged with domestic battery, and was taken to jail. Hernandez works for the Sheriff’s office as a Corrections Officer at the Plantation Key detention center. He was hired in April of 2002.

July 10, 2012

Arkansas man dies while snorkeling

Islamorada – A Little Rock, Arkansas man died while snorkeling with his 16 year old son Monday. The two were traveling with a Boy Scout group visiting the Islamorada Boy Scout Sea Base.

The father and son pair went out snorkeling with a group from the Sea Base Monday. The group was on board two sailboats, and stopped at Hens and Chickens reef offshore of Plantation Key to snorkel shortly after 1 p.m. The son noticed his father, 55 year old James Faulkner, was floating, unresponsive, on the surface. He yelled for help and the occupants of a nearby private vessel went to his assistance, pulling Faulkner from the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and responded. They transported Faulkner to shore, performing CPR en route. Faulkner was taken to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

July 8, 2012

Third man charged with bar beating

Key largo – A third man has been charged with beating another man in the parking lot of a Key Largo bar.

21 year old Lawrence Bril of Key Largo was arrested today and charged with aggravated battery. He is accused of beating 23 year old Elvez Sosa in the parking lot of Coconuts Bar and Restaurant in the early morning hours July 5th. Two others were arrested shortly after the incident took place.

At last report, the victim was in stable condition at the Ryder Trauma center in Miami.

July 5, 2012

Three family members charged with shoplifting

Three family members from Key Largo were arrested Wednesday afternoon after they were caught with stolen merchandise from five different stores.

When an employee of Publix in Key largo noticed 29 year old Edy Martinez Lezcano walk out of the store with a basketful of groceries at 4 p.m., she notified her manager who called the Sheriff’s Office. When Deputy Michael Sielicki arrived he found him standing in front of K-Mart. His wife, 37 year old Maria de los Angeles Betancourt, was stopped by Deputy Christian Galls in their H3 Hummer a short distance away and was returned to the store. The manager identified her and the vehicle. He said the vehicle was the one the stolen items were loaded into after the shoplifting occurred and that she was driving it. Lezcano’s mother in law – Betancourt’s mother - 57 year old Eustasia Gonzalez was found in another location in the parking lot.

The manager of K-Mart approached as deputies were investigating. He said he saw the same three suspects enter K-Mart and take various items from the store.

A search of the vehicle turned up over $700.00 worth of items belonging to K-Mart, Publix, Beall’s department store, Shell World and West Marine; investigations revealed all the items to be stolen.

All three were arrested. They were charged with five counts of theft and they were all booked into jail.

Deputies arrest Big Pine man for gun threats

A fight on Wednesday led to the arrest of a Big Pine Key man for threatening another man with a shotgun.

The victim, who lives on Oleander Boulevard on Big Pine Key, told Deputy Lazaro Valdes he and his neighbor got into a fight at about 2 p.m. He said the neighbor, later identified as Robert Drobil, was intoxicated and threatened to kill him. He said Drobil left and went back to his residence, but returned a short time later carrying a shotgun.

Drobil allegedly pointed the shotgun at the victim and again told him he was going to kill him. The victim ran, but was chased by Drobil. The two struggled and the victim got the shotgun away from him. The victim’s brother was there and took custody of the gun as the other two men fought, breaking a flat screen television during the struggle.

The fight ended. The victim said he returned the gun to the suspect and the suspect left. Deputies responded and found the suspect walking his dog. He denied having a firearm, or using it to threaten his neighbor. A shotgun like the one described by the victim was found in Drobil’s residence.

Drobil was arrested. He was charged with aggravated assault, improper exhibition of a firearm and burglary with battery on the occupant. He was booked into jail.

Warrant service leads to marijuana arrest on Stock Island

When detective Dave Chavka and Deputy Sonya Morgan went to a Stock Island residence Wednesday afternoon to make an arrest on a warrant, they also walked away with a bust for illegal drugs.

Detective Chavka and Deputy Morgan went to the trailer on 10th Avenue to arrest 26 year old Robert Anglin on outstanding warrants for violation of probation and for failure to appear in court. When they arrived, Detective Chavka went to the front door while Deputy Morgan watched the side and back of the trailer.

The detective knocked on the front door and a man answered. When asked where Anglin was, the man said he’d get him then closed the door. Detective Chavka then heard the door being locked.

Suddenly, Deputy Morgan heard movement near the back of the trailer and saw things being thrown out a back window. Investigation revealed someone had thrown out 14 individual bags of marijuana inside a shoe box.

Detective Chavka yelled for Anglin and the other man to come outside and they finally did. Inside the trailer, the detective found $3,002 in cash, believed to be the proceeds from drug sales, along with a digital scale like those used to weigh illegal drugs.

Anglin told the detective the marijuana was his. He was taken into custody on the outstanding warrants, and on charges of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. He was booked into jail.

One airlifted and two arrested after fight at Key Largo bar

A 23 year old Key Largo man was airlifted early today with injuries he received in a fight outside a Key Largo bar. Two other men were arrested and charged with inflicting those injuries. Investigations are continuing.

Deputies were dispatched to a fight at 12:30 a.m. at Coconut’s Bar on Caribbean Drive in Key Largo. When Deputy Vaughn O’Keefe arrived, he found Elvez Sosa unconscious in the parking lot. Witnesses said they’d seen three men near Sosa’s body. They said the three men left the scene running down Bahia Avenue. One witness identified two of those who fled. He said they were 19 year old Chad Lyons and 18 year old Jerrel Barnes. He said the third was a white male with red hair.

Deputies Ian Barnett and Brian Cross found the suspects on Bahia Avenue. All three had blood on their clothing and on their persons. They were all identified by the witnesses as the three who were in the vicinity of the victim in the parking lot, and who were believed to have injured him. Two of the three – Lyons and Barnes -  refused to speak with deputies, asking for legal representation. The third man, 21 year old Lawrence Bril, had injuries on his arm and hand. He said he’d been attacked by Sosa in the bar. He denied fighting Sosa outside the bar, but said the other two men with him – Lyons and Barnes – did hit and kick Sosa in the parking lot.

Lyons and Barnes were arrested and charged with aggravated battery. A plastic bag of marijuana was found on the scene. A second plastic bag of marijuana was also found inside a vehicle belonging to Lyons. The vehicle – a Ford – had a license tag attached to it that belonged to a Honda.

Lyons was further charged with possession of marijuana and attaching a tag not assigned. They were both booked into jail. Investigations are continuing. The victim is currently in stable condition in a Miami hospital.

July 3, 2012

Search Warrant on Stock Island

Stock Island - The Sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics Team and Special Investigations detectives, and patrol deputies executed a search warrant Monday at 6:30 p.m.

The residence where the warrant was served is 6415 2nd street, Apartment D, on Stock Island. Inside the residence detectives located 37 year old Robert Brown and another man. A search of Brown revealed 133 Oxycontin pills wrapped in paper in his pocket. Detectives also located 39 Oxycontin pills wrapped in the same paper concealed outside the residence. Detectives also located scales and several hundred baggies used for packaging narcotics.

Brown was arrested and charged with trafficking in over 10 grams of Oxycontin and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.