Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office
Media Relations Director Adam Linhardt

Follow us on Twitter @mcsonews and on Facebook at MCSO – Florida Keys. All of our press releases can be found on our blog at floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com

June 30, 2018

Another prepaid gift card scam reported

The spike in fraud and scams being reported to the Sheriff’s Office continues as another instance occurred Friday.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate these scams, but the thieves are difficult to catch as many operate overseas. With that in mind Sheriff Rick Ramsay continues to spread the word about these scams in the hopes that not one more Florida Keys resident falls victim to these criminals.

In the instant case, a scammer called a Marathon man on Friday making a familiar claim: The man on the receiving end of the call had falsely missed jury duty and he would have to purchase prepaid gift cards in order to avoid a warrant being issued for his arrest. The called identified himself as “Derek Long” and instructed the man to stay on the phone as he drove to a pharmacy to purchase two, $500 Money Pak gift cards.

The scammer instructed the victim to give him the numbers on the cards. The scammer told him one of the numbers did not work and that he needed to purchase another $500 gift card, which the victim did. In all, the victim lost $1,500.

Key details in the scam: The caller ID on the victim’s phone stated the incoming number was a Marathon number. Further, the scammer told the victim at some point in the conversation that he may need to go to specific office in Marathon, though he never did. This convinced the victim given the victim was familiar with that address and office in town.

Recently, a Marathon woman received a call from a man claiming to be from Comcast. He falsely told the woman her computer had been hacked. He falsely stated the “hackers” had her personal information and that she would need to buy a piece of electronic equipment from the computer manufacturer Dell in order to prevent the hack from occurring again.

The next day, the caller, who identified himself as “Josh Matthews,” called the woman again and told her the equipment would cast $5,000. The woman stated she could not purchase the equipment. The man said he would be fired if she didn’t buy the equipment. The man gave the woman a number at Dell to call. The woman called the number. The man on that line said he would have the equipment delivered along with a check for $5,000. The fake Dell employee instructed the woman to cash the check and give the delivery driver $2,000 in cash. The woman agreed to do this.

The woman called “Josh Matthews” a day later and told him the equipment had not arrived. He told her she would need to send six, $500 Google Play cards for the equipment to be shipped. He added she could then keep the entire check from the delivery driver. The woman went to a pharmacy and bought the gift cards. She then gave “Josh Matthews” the numbers for each card over the telephone. The woman told a friend about the matter and that friend told her she was likely scammed and to report the case to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office contacted Google. Google told us the gift cards had already been cashed.

These cases come on the heels of reports that scammers are posing as legitimate local law enforcement officers and using real police station phone numbers. In those scams, the thieves always falsely tell residents they either missed jury duty or have a warrant for their arrest or some other fake story. In all these scams, residents are told to buy prepaid gift cards and to give the numbers over the phone. They are falsely told that if they pay the scammers using the prepaid gift cards their made-up legal troubles would be over.

In several such cases, thieves posed as Lower Keys MCSO Det. Sgt. David Smith. In at least one case, thieves used the number for the Sheriff’s Office substation at 50 High Point Road, Tavernier.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds all residents: NEVER PAY FOR ANYTHING OVER THE PHONE USING PREPAID GIFT CARDS!

If you receive such a call: HANG UP! Contact the organization the caller claims to be representing and report the incident to local law enforcement.

Anyone with information about any crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

Sheriff’s Office seeks help in identifying suspect

Sheriff’s Office detectives say the man pictured in the attached image entered the Tackle Center of Islamorada, 82661 Overseas Highway, at 6:49 p.m., Friday, put a Shimano BeastMaster 9000 fishing reel (a picture of which is also attached) in his shirt and walked out without paying. The reel is valued at $1,700. The white male, between the ages of 55 to 60, was wearing a teal Columbia fishing shirt, black swimming trunks, a NFL Miami Dolphins visor and Smith sunglasses. He may have left the property in a white sport utility vehicle of an unknown make or model.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact Sheriff’s Office Lt. Nancy Alvarez at 305-853-3211. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

Idaho woman dies in snorkeling incident

A 54-year-old woman from Post Falls, Idaho died Saturday afternoon in a snorkeling incident off Key Largo.

The woman was identified as Melinda Loudeneack.

She was snorkeling off the charter boat “Journey” about 4 p.m. near the Grecian Rocks when the incident occurred. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and CPR was performed continually upon reaching the Port Largo Homeowners Park in Key Largo where paramedics were waiting. She was taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier where he she was pronounced dead.

What caused her to lose consciousness remains under investigation. No foul play is expected.

An autopsy is pending.

June 29, 2018

Man arrested after gun investigation

A 49-year-old Key West man was arrested Thursday as part of an investigation by federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in which the Sheriff’s Office assisted.

Garrett Jerome McAdams was charged with 30 counts of possession of a gun or ammunition by a convicted felon. McAdams was convicted of DUI causing serious bodily injury (his third DUI conviction) in Monroe County in 2015 and is on community supervision. He also served about a year in federal prison in 1991 after an investigation by the FBI regarding harassment charges.

On Thursday, multiple ATF agents, one agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit detectives met with McAdams at Fairfield Inn & Suites on North Roosevelt Boulevard with the intention of buying firearms from him. The investigation into McAdams began with federal agents. McAdams was selling firearms on a website called FloridaGunBroker.com. Federal agents contacted McAdams prior to Thursday and started the process of buying guns from him that were advertised on that website. A $375 price was agreed upon for one Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun and the parties further agreed to meet at the hotel on North Roosevelt Boulevard. The transaction took place. Deputies then conducted a traffic stop shortly thereafter and McAdams was detained.

A search warrant was then filed for his residence on Eagle Avenue in Key West. The following items were found in his home:
• Approximately 30,000 rounds of ammunition;
• 15 semi-automatic pistols;
• Three revolvers;
• Nine rifles (hunting and military-style rifles);
• Two shotguns;
• One ammunition reloading machine;
• Several pounds of black powder.

McAdams was taken to jail.

Anyone with information about any crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 27, 2018

Man arrested for video voyeurism

A 32-year-old Big Pine Key man was arrested Wednesday for placing a video camera in the stall of a men’s bathroom.  

Ray Gallegos was charged with video voyeurism.

The case began as part of an investigation between the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations. Federal agents requested assistance from the Sheriff’s Office. A search warrant raid was executed Wednesday at Gallegos’ residence on the 30000 block of Overseas Highway on Big Pine Key.

Videos were found of men using the toilet in what appeared to be a public restroom. Gallegos stated the videos were taken by a camera he installed in a men’s bathroom located at the Walgreens Pharmacy, 30351 Overseas Highway, where he is employed as a liquor store clerk. Gallegos stated he placed the camera in the bathroom in August 2017 and had been watching videos since Monday of this week. He stated he is aroused by the videos, that he watches the videos for that sole reason and never distributed the videos to anyone.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit noted that Walgreens had no knowledge of Gallegos’ illegal activities.

Gallegos was taken to jail.

Man arrested for trespassing in Big Pine Key house

A 45-year-old Fort Pierce, Florida man on vacation in the Florida Keys was arrested Tuesday for breaking into a home on Long Beach Road.

Matthew Elden Prescott was charged with burglary, property damage and theft.

Deputy Timothy Oggeri responded to the three-story house at the end of Long Beach Road at 7 p.m. after a property manager reported that three unknown people had illegally gained entry and appeared to be living inside. Deputy Oggeri found Prescott, a woman and a juvenile inside. All three appeared to be unpacking belongings as if they were on vacation or moving into the residence. There were also three dogs with them. Prescott stated he knew the property owner and was preparing the buy the property. Prescott stated he had permission to be on the property. His story changed several times. Prescott couldn’t name the property owner nor provide the name of his attorney whom he claimed also knew of the situation. Prescott eventually claimed he assumed the residence was abandoned and he could take possession of the property by paying the property taxes.

Deputy Oggeri contacted the homeowner in Pennsylvania where she primarily lives. The owner stated the property is not for sale and she did not give anyone other than the property manager permission to be there. She stated the property is locked at all times and should have been unoccupied since Hurricane Irma. She added she wished to press charges.

The property manager told Deputy Oggeri that when she checked on the property on Sunday, it was locked and secure. She walked through the residence with Deputy Oggeri. She stated hurricane shutters had been removed since that time. She found one of the dead bolt locks on a door had been removed, providing entry to the residence. The property manager told Deputy Oggeri it appeared some jewelry boxes had been tampered with. She noted that utilities such as power had been turned on in the home.

Prescott later admitted not knowing the owner. He admitted that he didn’t have permission to be there. He told Deputy Oggeri he decided to take the woman and juvenile to the Florida Keys for vacation. He stated his original intention was to camp at whatever campsite he could find. Deputy Oggeri did observe camping gear in the house. Prescott said he discovered the property on Monday while driving around and believed it to be abandoned. He then drove to Key West, but all the campsites were too expensive, so he drove back to Long Beach Road. Prescott admitted to taking down the storm shutters. He admitted to removing the dead bolt to gain entry. He admitted to accessing the fuse box and turning on power to the residence.

Prescott was taken to jail.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 26, 2018

Man charged with animal cruelty

A 30-year-old Stock Island man arrested in May on drug and gun charges was additionally charged with animal cruelty on Tuesday.

Jamie Barber was charged with cocaine trafficking, possession of weapon by a convicted felon and possession of pills without a prescription as well as possession of drug paraphernalia in May. He faces a new charge of animal cruelty.

Deputy Jenna Moeller and Deputy Lazaro Valdes were originally called to the Ninth Avenue home for a landlord/tenant dispute last month. The deputies found a .22-caliber handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition, 33 grams of cocaine two types of pills during a search in which Barber consented. Deputy Moeller also called the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a dog was found missing fur, with long nails, living in a room with its own waste.

Barber was on probation for a previous drug conviction. He was taken to jail at that time.

The FKSPCA case into the how the dog was treated remained ongoing. An FKSPCA animal control officer told Deputy Moeller the FKSPCA removed the dog from Barber in 2015 for failure to provide proper medical care. At that time, Barber signed an order with the FKSPCA stating he would properly care for the dog. The FKSPCA eventually released the dog back to Barber, but performed welfare checks on the dog. The officer stated that Barber must have stopped providing the dog with proper care after the FKSPCA visits stopped. The officer stated the dog looked the same in May as it did in 2015 when they took the dog from Barber. The officer stated the dog was underweight and smelled of infection. The officer stated that the dog’s condition was preventable had it been properly cared for.

A veterinarian then examined the dog. The veterinarian stated the dog’s skin showed, “evidence of chronic inflammation and hair loss.” The veterinarian added the condition is most likely due to the dog’s environment and its lack of cleanliness. The veterinarian stated the dog is being treated with medicated shampoos, flea prevention, antibiotics and steroids. The veterinarian expects the dog’s skin to heal and its coat to grow back over time.

Barber remains in jail under no bail.

Anyone with information about any crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

Boat worker arrested for stealing thousands of dollars in tools

A 40-year-old man from White Springs, Florida hired to repair boats at a Marathon boatyard was arrested Monday for stealing thousands of dollars in items from the business.

Timothy Brown was charged with nine counts of dealing in stolen property, nine counts of fraud, larceny of more than $20,000 and property damage.

The boatyard manager told the Sheriff’s Office on June 5 that an ex-employee, Brown, had stolen numerous tools. The manager said he had hired Brown about three months ago to fix boats at the business as well as fix the manager’s personal boat. Brown was the only person with a key to the tool storage area. Brown was also the only person with a key to the manager’s boat. The manager left town about the beginning of May and returned in early June. Brown had not been seen by at the business for several days upon the manager’s return. The manager arrived to find his boat damaged with many tools missing from the storage area. More than 20 buffers, grinders, drills, sanding systems and saws, among other tools, were missing.

Det. Amanda Coleman investigated. The manager showed Det. Coleman the bathroom on his boat. The bathroom was not operable when the manager left. Pipes had not been installed and there was no way to flush the toilet. The manager reported that Brown was aware of this. Det. Coleman found human waste in the toilet system. The shower was also damaged. The manager said it would cost about $11,000 to repair the toilet and shower.

Initial investigation done by Deputy Juan Martin-Reyes concluded that Brown pawned some of the tools at a pawn shop in Marathon in May. Several of the missing tools were found at the pawn shop.

Det. Coleman filed warrants for Brown’s arrest.

Brown was booked into jail Monday night.

 Woman arrested on multiple drug charges

A 51-year-old Big Pine Key woman found slumped over a vehicle steering wheel was arrested early Tuesday on multiple drug charges.

Julie Marie Allen was charged with two counts of possession of prescription pills without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana as well as tampering with evidence.

Deputy Shannon O’Connell pulled into a gas station on Big Pine Key about 2 a.m. and saw a vehicle with the same registration that matched a reckless driver alert from earlier in her shift. Deputy O’Connell noticed the vehicle was running. Allen was slumped over the steering wheel. She did not respond until Deputy O’Connell opened the door and announced her presence. A syringe was seen on Allen’s lap. Deputy O’Connell moved the syringe to the side door. Allen would not say what was in the syringe. Deputy O’Connell observed what appeared to be small puncture wounds on Allen’s arms. While Allen was looking through her purse for identification, Deputy O’Connell observed a bag of marijuana inside the purse. Deputy O’Connell ordered Allen to hand over the bag of marijuana. Allen refused. Allen grabbed the bag of marijuana and turned away from Deputy O’Connell. It appeared Allen was attempting to eat the marijuana.

Deputy O’Connell went to physically remove Allen from the vehicle. Allen grabbed the syringe from the side door. Fearing Allen would stab her, Deputy O’Connell drew her Taser and ordered Allen to drop the syringe. Allen dropped the syringe. Deputy O’Connell ordered Allen to the front of the vehicle. Allen complied and was detained at that time. Deputy Timothy Oggeri arrived to backup Deputy O’Connell. Deputy Oggeri noted that it appeared Allen had marijuana in her hair and teeth from her attempt to consume it prior to being detained.

Two Xanax pills were found in the vehicle. The marijuana as found along with an unknown pill, a straw, rolling papers, a partially smoked marijuana cigarette, the tip of an electronic cigarette with suspected hash oil inside, a large silver spoon and a small piece of partially burned aluminum foil.

Allen was taken to jail.

 Anyone with information about crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 25, 2018

TRAFFIC ALERT: Fourth of July expected to be busy

With all kinds of special events planned for the Fourth of July holiday countywide, the Sheriff’s Office expects traffic to be very heavy throughout the Florida Keys starting roughly on June 29 and continuing through July 8.

The Sheriff’s Office will have extra officers on the water and on the highway in an effort to keep residents and visitors safe. If you plan to drive anywhere in or out of the county, make sure you plan extra time for your trip. There are a number of events on July Fourth which will impact traffic, and this weekend is also expected to be one of the busiest times of year with many people traveling into and out of the Keys.

Traffic Enforcement deputies will be on the roadways watching for impatient and unsafe drivers. Don’t pass in no passing zones or in center turn lanes or you are likely to get a ticket. Also, if you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to designate a sober driver – for your car or your boat – to make sure you get home safely.

Leave the fireworks and explosive fire crackers to the professionals this holiday. If we catch you with illegal explosive fire crackers, we will confiscate them and could charge you with a violation of Florida law. And if you decide to set off some legal fireworks, please be courteous and do so at a reasonable hour so you don’t keep the neighbors awake. Each year we receive numerous complaints about fireworks late at night and early in the morning. When our deputies are responding to these types of calls, we can’t be out keeping our streets and neighborhoods safe.

Take a few moments to clean up after yourself and/or your family if you go to an event such as a parade or fireworks display, if you have a picnic, or if you set off fireworks on the street in front of your house. Discard trash properly, in a trash can or a recycling container. It isn’t fair to leave it on the ground or in the water for someone else to clean up and you could be charged with littering. When disposing of fireworks, however, make sure they have cooled first so you don’t start a fire in a trash can or trash bag.

• Upper Keys traffic note: There will be a parade in Key Largo on July 4 that is expected to cause traffic congestion. Northbound traffic will be closed at Mile Marker 97 from 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. All traffic will then be diverted into southbound lanes starting at 9:45 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will last for about two hours. The highway will return to normal traffic patterns by 1 p.m. Those who can should avoid traveling through that area between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you have to travel through that area during those times, plan extra time and expect slowdowns.

• Middle Keys traffic note: All Marathon motorists parking on Sombrero Beach Road and the beach, please back into the parking spots. This significantly speeds up the exit for everyone after the fireworks.

• Lock your car: The Sheriff’s Office typically sees a spike in vehicle burglaries while people are watching fireworks displays or enjoying other festivities. Please protect yourself and be proactive in preventing crime by locking your vehicle.

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July! Please help keep the Keys clean and safe for everyone.

June 23, 2018

Man arrested on methamphetamine trafficking charge

A 27-year-old Big Coppitt Key man was arrested early Saturday morning for possessing nearly an ounce of methamphetamine.

Leander Martin Rahming was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputy Anthony Lopez stopped a car on Fifth Street on Stock Island about 12:30 a.m. for failure to stop at a stop sign. Rahming was driving. There was a female passenger in the car. Rahming is known to Deputy Lopez from previous encounters with law enforcement. A K9 was called to the scene. The dog alerted to the presence of drugs in the car where Rahming was sitting. The car was searched.

An orange container was found in the center console. Inside were two plastic baggies containing a white, crystal-like substance that filed-tested positive as methamphetamine. The total weight of the methamphetamine was 26.8 grams or nearly an ounce. A small amount of marijuana was also found inside the container.

A digital scale containing a white powder residue was also found in the car.

Rahming was taken to jail. The passenger was not arrested.

Anyone with information about crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 22, 2018

New computer-related scam reported

The spike in fraud and scams being reported to the Sheriff’s Office continues as another instance was reported Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate these scams, but the thieves are difficult to catch as many operate overseas. With that in mind Sheriff Rick Ramsay continues to spread the word about these scams in the hopes that not one more Florida Keys resident falls victim to these criminals.

In the instant case, a man called a Marathon woman on Tuesday stating he was from Comcast. He falsely told the woman her computer had been hacked. He falsely stated the “hackers” had her personal information and that she would need to buy a piece of electronic equipment from the computer manufacturer Dell in order to prevent the hack from occurring again.

The next day, on Wednesday, the man, who identified himself as “Josh Matthews,” called the woman again and told her the equipment would cast $5,000. The woman stated she could not purchase the equipment. The man said he would be fired if she didn’t buy the equipment. The man gave the woman a number at Dell to call. The woman called the number. The man on that line said he would have the equipment delivered along with a check for $5,000. The fake Dell employee instructed the woman to cash the check and give the delivery driver $2,000 in cash. The woman agreed to do this.

On Thursday, the woman called “Josh Matthews” and told him the equipment had not arrived. He told her she would need to send six, $500 Google Play cards for the equipment to be shipped. He added she could then keep the entire check from the delivery driver. The woman went to a pharmacy and bought the gift cards. She then gave “Josh Matthews” the numbers for each card over the telephone. The woman told a friend about the matter and that friend told her she was likely scammed and to report the case to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office contacted Google. Google told us the gift cards had already been cashed.

This fraud comes on the heels of reports that scammers are posing as legitimate local law enforcement officers and using real police station phone numbers. In those scams, the thieves are falsely telling residents they either missed jury duty or have a warrant for their arrest or some other fake story. In those cases, residents were also told to buy prepaid gift cards and to give the numbers over the phone. They were falsely told that if they paid the scammers using the prepaid gift cards their made-up legal troubles would be over.

In several such cases, thieves posed as Lower Keys MCSO Det. Sgt. David Smith. In at least one case, thieves used the number for the Sheriff’s Office substation at 50 High Point Road, Tavernier.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds all residents: NEVER PAY FOR ANYTING OVER THE PHONE USING PREPAID GIFT CARDS!

If you receive such a call: HANG UP! Contact the organization the caller claims to be representing and report the incident to local law enforcement.

Anyone with information about any crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 21, 2018

Man arrested for burglary/threats

A 35-year-old Tavernier man was arrested Wednesday night for breaking into his former residence, making threats as well as stealing a pulled pork sandwich and an energy drink.

Alex Sardinas was charged with assault, burglary and theft.

Deputies Jamie Miller and Tony Williams went to the home on the 200 block of W. Indies Road in Tavernier at 8:30 p.m. in reference to a burglary. A woman there stated Sardinas broke into the residence via the front door using what appeared to be a pocket knife. Sardinas then began yelling and screaming, stating he was going to kill those there, because he was not allowed to live there anymore. He then took a pulled pork sandwich and a red energy drink from the refrigerator before running into a nearby wooded area.

At 12 a.m., Sardinas contacted the Sheriff’s Office. He stated he needed to speak to a deputy so he could get his clothes from the residence. Deputies Miller and Dyllon Hansen tried to find Sardinas at that time, but were unsuccessful. Both deputies found Sardinas about an hour later walking on Harry Harris Drive.

Sardinas was taken to jail.

June 20, 2018

Man arrested on gun charges

A 30-year-old Homestead man with a criminal record was arrested late Tuesday night for possessing a handgun and bullets.

Mario Jose Beoto was charged with multiple counts of possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified of a disturbance at 11 p.m. at a gas station on the 99000 block of the Overseas Highway. A man and woman were reportedly screaming at each other in the parking lot. Both left in a silver car, heading north on U.S. 1. Deputy Ignacio Molina stopped the car at Mile Marker 99. The man was identified as Beoto. The woman told Deputy Molina he could search the car. The woman told Deputy Molina there might be a gun in the car. Beoto told Deputy Jose Hernandez that the gun was in a green bag. A .380 semiautomatic pistol as well as a magazine with six bullets were found.

Beoto was taken to jail.

Man arrested for stealing car in Key West

A 39-year-old Miami man was arrested in the Upper Keys Tuesday night after being stopped in a car reported stolen out of Key West.

Frank James Jones was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license/third or subsequent offense.

Deputy Joel Torres received a be-on-the-lookout alert at 8:10 p.m. for a black, Honda CRV reported stolen out of Key West last seen traveling north on U.S. 1. Deputy Torres saw the vehicle at 8:30 p.m. at Mile Marker 76. He got behind the vehicle and called for backup. The Honda turned into Amara Cay Resort at Mile Marker 80. Deputy Torres and newly arriving Sgt. Patty O’Keefe conducted a traffic stop. Jones was taken into custody. There no other people in the vehicle.

Jones claimed he was borrowing the vehicle from another person in exchange for drugs.

Jones was taken to jail.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Fourth of July expected to be busy

With all kinds of special events planned for the Fourth of July holiday countywide, the Sheriff’s Office expects traffic to be very heavy throughout the Florida Keys starting roughly on June 29 and continuing through July 8.

The Sheriff’s Office will have extra officers on the water and on the highway in an effort to keep residents and visitors safe. If you plan to drive anywhere in or out of the county, make sure you plan extra time for your trip. There are a number of events on July Fourth which will impact traffic, and this weekend is also expected to be one of the busiest times of year with many people traveling into and out of the Keys.

Traffic Enforcement deputies will be on the roadways watching for impatient and unsafe drivers. Don’t pass in no passing zones or in center turn lanes or you are likely to get a ticket. Also, if you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to designate a sober driver – for your car or your boat – to make sure you get home safely.

Leave the fireworks and explosive fire crackers to the professionals this holiday. If we catch you with illegal explosive fire crackers, we will confiscate them and could charge you with a violation of Florida law. And if you decide to set off some legal fireworks, please be courteous and do so at a reasonable hour so you don’t keep the neighbors awake. Each year we receive numerous complaints about fireworks late at night and early in the morning. When our deputies are responding to these types of calls, we can’t be out keeping our streets and neighborhoods safe.

Take a few moments to clean up after yourself and/or your family if you go to an event such as a parade or fireworks display, if you have a picnic, or if you set off fireworks on the street in front of your house. Discard trash properly, in a trash can or a recycling container. It isn’t fair to leave it on the ground or in the water for someone else to clean up and you could be charged with littering. When disposing of fireworks, however, make sure they have cooled first so you don’t start a fire in a trash can or trash bag.

• Upper Keys traffic note: There will be a parade in Key Largo on July 4 that is expected to cause traffic congestion. Northbound traffic will be closed at Mile Marker 97 from 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. All traffic will then be diverted into southbound lanes starting at 9:45 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will last for about two hours. The highway will return to normal traffic patterns by 1 p.m. Those who can should avoid traveling through that area between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you have to travel through that area during those times, plan extra time and expect slowdowns.

• Middle Keys traffic note: All Marathon motorists parking on Sombrero Beach Road and the beach, please back into the parking spots. This significantly speeds up the exit for everyone after the fireworks.

• Lock your car: The Sheriff’s Office typically sees a spike in vehicle burglaries while people are watching fireworks displays or enjoying other festivities. Please protect yourself and be proactive in preventing crime by locking your vehicle.

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July! Please help keep the Keys clean and safe for everyone.

June 16, 2018

Scammers posing as law enforcement reported again

The Sheriff’s Office continues to warn residents about thieves posing as local deputies in phone calls threatening to make arrests on false charges.

The latest occurred Friday in which a woman went to the Sheriff’s Office Cudjoe Key Substation to report that a caller posing as a detective told her she missed a court hearing. The caller falsely identified himself using the name of a real Sheriff’s Office detective. The caller falsely told the woman she was fined $1,500 and that she needed to pay it using pre-paid gift or pre-paid debit cards. The thief used public information to use illegally pose as the Sheriff’s Office detective.

The incident is not unlike a recent case in which a scammer called an Upper Keys resident stating he/she had missed jury duty, which was false. The real number for the Sheriff’s Office Substation on Plantation Key was used. The caller also told the resident they needed to pay fines using pre-paid cards or face arrest.

The Sheriff’s Office will never ask residents to pay for fines in such ways. If you receive a call of this nature, hang up. It is a scam. Contact the Sheriff’s Office or police.

Man arrested for throwing glass at manager

A 54-year-old, California man was arrested late Friday night for throwing a glass at a bar manager.

James Brooks was charged with battery.

Upper Keys Deputy Justin Rivas was called to an Islamorada bar and arrived to find Brooks as well as the victim. They were separated. The victim and witnesses said Brooks came into the bar to discuss a credit card he had left behind several nights before. Brooks ordered several alcoholic drinks. Brooks became upset with the bartender over a discussion over the lost or missing credit card. The manager arrived in an attempt to resolve the matter. Brooks through a glass cup containing an alcoholic beverage at his face, causing minor injuries. Brooks claimed the drink toss was in self-defense.

Deputy Rivas reviewed security footage of the incident.

Brooks was taken to jail.

June 15, 2018

No injuries reported in bridge crash

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a multi-vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer on the Jewfish Creek Bridge in north Key Largo that occurred about 8:49 a.m. Friday in the southbound lanes of U.S. 1. There were no serious injuries reported. The southbound lanes of U.S. 1 at the bridge remained closed as of 9:45 a.m. Friday. The FHP is the investigating agency.

Man arrested after fleeing from deputy

A 48-year-old Big Coppitt Key man was arrested Thursday after fleeing from a deputy attempting to make a traffic stop.

Daryl Royal Riedel was charged with fleeing and eluding, DUI/fourth or subsequent offense, driving with suspended license/third or subsequent offense, reckless driving and failure to submit to breath test with a suspended license.

Deputy Anthony Lopez was on patrol about 5:45 p.m. on U.S.1 near Mile Marker 7 when he saw Riedel driving a pickup truck. Deputy Lopez knew what Riedel has a suspended license. Deputy Lopez made a traffic stop. When Deputy Lopez exited his patrol vehicle, Riedel drove off in the pickup truck. Deputy Lopez got back in his patrol car and followed him with his lights and sirens activated. Riedel refused to stop as he traveled northbound on U.S. 1. Riedel turned right on Boca Chica Road. Riedel passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone. Deputy Lopez used his patrol car PA system to order Riedel to stop. Riedel waved his left hand out of the open window, “as if to disregard my order,” Deputy Lopez reported.

Riedel turned left on Geiger Road. Riedel then turned left on Cormorant Lane, finally stopping at 11 Cormorant Lane. Deputy Lopez exited his patrol car. Riedel exited the pickup truck while holding a can of beer. Riedel proceeded to chug the can of beer in Deputy Lopez’s presence. Riedel stated he fled because he was scared.

Riedel was taken to jail.

June 14, 2018

Woman arrested for excessive littering  

A 28-year-old Marathon woman was arrested Wednesday for leaving about 150 pounds of trash on the ground at Coconut Cay Resort.

Mary Ann Scott was charged with dumping of litter exceeding 15 pounds on private property.

Deputy Antonio Guieb was on an unrelated call near the property when he came across about five full garbage bags containing numerous household products and garbage scattered over a roughly 12 foot radius. He estimated all the trash to weigh about 150 pounds. Some of the trash packages had Scott’s name on them. Scott lives in an apartment less than 100 feet away from where the trash was found. The trash was not left in a trash collection area.

Scott was taken to jail.

June 12, 2018

Family of six rescued at sea

A Jacksonville family of six were rescued about three miles south of the Seven Mile Bridge Monday morning after their pontoon boat became swamped by waves and began sinking.

There were no reported serious injuries. The boaters got caught in the fast-moving storms that swept through Marathon.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call at 11:08 a.m. from the group stating their vessel was sinking. Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra found the sinking vessel and all six people near the Sombrero Key Light. A good Samaritan boater and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in the response.

The four adults and two children were taken to the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar. The pontoon boat was recovered by Sea Tow.

The FWC is investigating the incident.  

CPR performed on small child

A 3-year-old child was airlifted to a Miami hospital Monday evening after being found at the bottom of a Marathon hotel pool.

The child was found in the Hyatt Place pool shortly before 7 p.m.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded and arrived to find an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer and an off-duty doctor already performing CPR. The child began to breath shortly thereafter. The child was conscious when it was airlifted to Miami via Trauma Star.

Sexual Predator notification

As required by Florida law, the Sheriff’s Office is making a public notification of a sexual predator now living in Monroe County.

70-year-old Arthur R. Campbell has registered a local address at 1264 Oceanview Ave. in Marathon.

Campbell was convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim under the age of 12 in St. Lucie County in 2007.

A flyer from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about Campbell are attached to this email and may be distributed publicly.

Layton man arrested for harassing woman

A 29-year-old man was arrested Monday afternoon for threatening to post nude photos of a woman he dated on the internet.

Cameron Knight Singo was charged with stalking.

Deputy Ian Douthirt spoke to the woman on May 26. The woman told Deputy Douthirt that Singo was sending her harassing phone calls. He also threatened to ruin the woman’s business.

Warrants were issued for Singo’s arrest on June 6.

Singo was booked into jail on Monday afternoon.

Historical family binder found

A binder has been turned in to the Sheriff’s Office containing death, marriage and birth certificates for a family dating back to the 1850s.

The binder was found at the corner of Sands Road and Bailey Street on Big Pine Key where the Seahorse RV Park was prior to Hurricane Irma.  

Lower Keys Deputy Seth Hopp placed the binder in the property room at the Cudjoe Key Substation, 20950 Overseas Highway.

Deputy Hopp added there is also news articles related to the family in the binder.

“I’m sure there is someone, somewhere, missing it dearly as it looks irreplaceable,” Deputy Hopp said.

One page of the binder states: “The family of Fred Schaeffer Boyer Sr. and Lillian Mae Fernandes.”

Those interested in claiming the binder can contact Deputy Seth Hopp at the Cudjoe Key substation at 305-745-3761.

Construction along U.S. 1 in Marathon scheduled

The Florida Keys Electric Co-Op will be repairing Hurricane Irma-related damage to a transmission line beginning on Monday, June 18.

The repairs will cause parts of the right, northbound lane of U.S. 1 to be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for approximately the next three months.

The repair work will span between the Seven Mile Bridge and Coco Plum Drive when complete.

June 11, 2018

Three cited in separate wildlife cases

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra wrote three notices to appear in court to three mainland men over the weekend. Deputy Guerra was patrolling in the Middle Keys on a personal watercraft provided to the Sheriff’s Office from Riva Motorsports & Marine of the Keys in Key Largo.

• Abraham Mesa, 39, of Hialeah, Florida was cited for possession of six out-of-season lobster, possession of wrung lobster tails on the water and having no measuring device.

• Segio Reynaldo Pauustre, 27, of Homestead, was cited for possession of undersized black grouper and over-the-limit black grouper.

• Raul Amador Ramos, 51, of Miami, was cited for possession of undersized black grouper and possession of Nassau grouper (protected species).

Anyone with information about crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 10, 2018

Man arrested after dragging woman down gravel road

A 40-year-old Summerland Key man was arrested early Sunday morning after dragging a woman down a gravel road.

Jerome Lee Fenner was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, DUI and driving with a suspended license.

Deputy Denise Dery went to a Summerland Key home about 12:30 a.m. to investigate a domestic battery. A woman there told Deputy Dery she was watching a movie when her ex-boyfriend, Fenner, entered the house. He hit her in the head and took the keys to her vehicle. The woman followed Fenner to see what else he may have taken. Fenner got inside the driver’s seat of the woman’s vehicle. The woman opened the passenger side door. Fenner began driving away. The woman held on the door as the vehicle dragged her down the gravel road. She eventually let go. Fenner turned around and drove toward the woman. The woman told Deputy Dery she was afraid he was going to run her over. She quickly moved out of the vehicle’s path and called 911.

The woman suffered road rash and abrasions to the palms of both hands, both elbows as well as both of her knees. She declined transport to the hospital.

Thereafter, Deputy Jonathan Lane was on patrol and received a be-on-the-lookout alert for the vehicle. Deputy Lane spotted the vehicle near U.S. 1 and Middle Torch Road. Deputy Lane performed a traffic stop. Fenner appeared drunk. He smelled of alcohol. He failed field sobriety exercises. He was arrested. Deputy Lane found empty beer cans as well as an empty bottle of vodka in the vehicle.

Fenner was taken to jail.

June 9, 2018

Marathon couple arrested for stealing generator from church

A Marathon couple was arrested Friday for stealing a generator on loan to them from St. Columba Episcopal Church after Hurricane Irma.

Lawrence Marvin Shoquist, 52, and Renee Lelaini Shoquist, 51, were both charged with grand theft, fraud and dealing in stolen property.

A representative of the church told Det. Amanda Faith Coleman the church lent a total of 12 generators, each worth $500, in December to parish members due to power outages. For each generator lent out, the church representative put the lendee’s name on an index card then affixed the barcode from the box to the back of the index card.  He did this to keep track of who was loaned which generator.  Lawrence and Renee Shoquist were loaned a new, still-in-original-packaging, generator.  A copy of the index card was provided to Det. Coleman.

The church representative realized in May the generator he loaned to Lawrence and Renee Shoquist had not been returned. He contacted them. Renee Shoquist texted him back, stating they had been using the generator on their boat. She stated it had been misplaced or stolen. When the church representative asked if the theft had been reported to law enforcement, she stated it had not. A copy of these texts were shown to Det. Coleman.

On June 5, the church representative was in a Marathon pawn shop when he noticed a new, still-in-original-packaging, generator for sale. It was identical to the one lent to the Lawrence and Renee Shoquist in December, except for the barcode had been cut from the box. Further investigation revealed the generator had been sold to the pawn shop by Lawrence Shoquist for $200.

Warrants were issued with $10,000 bails for both Lawrence and Renee Shoquist.

They were booked into jail on Friday.

June 8, 2018

Man arrested for knife threats

A 28-year-old Mississippi man was arrested early Friday morning in Islamorada after threatening several people with a knife.

Peyton Lacy McAdams was charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault and resisting arrest without violence.

Deputy Justin Rivas was dispatched to Coconut Lane where he was given a description of a knife-wielding suspect who was later identified as McAdams. Sgt. Barney Sajdak previously reported McAdams had fled on foot and was running toward U.S. 1. A be-on-the-lookout alert was issued. Other deputies surrounded the area in an attempt to locate McAdams. Deputy Rivas stopped a vehicle shortly thereafter on Orange Lane that was headed toward U.S. 1. The vehicle was a ridesharing taxi and McAdams was in the back seat. He was searched and a pocket knife was found in his possession.

Witnesses at Coconut Lane told Deputy Rivas that McAdams had previously been at a bar drinking with a woman. A family member of the woman arrived at the bar and saw McAdams kissing the woman. The family member contacted the woman’s fiancé. The woman’s fiancé arrived at the bar. The woman’s fiancé and McAdams exchanged words. McAdams stated he would fight the family member and the woman’s fiancé. The woman’s fiancé went home on Coconut Lane. The woman arrived at the same home with McAdams sometime thereafter. Multiple people at the home asked McAdams to leave the property. McAdams refused to leave the property. McAdams displayed a knife and again refused to leave.

Everyone in the home contacted the Sheriff’s Office at that time.

McAdams was booked into jail.

Man arrested in pellet gun incident

An 18-year-old Homestead man was arrested Thursday afternoon in Marathon after hitting another man in the head with the buttstock of a pellet gun.

Rafael Zavala was charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability.

Multiple deputies were called to the 6400 block of the Overseas Highway regarding a fight. They arrived to find a man had been hit in the forehead with the wooden buttstock of a pellet gun. The injury required stitches.

The victim said he is the foreman for a roofing company that was doing work on 63rd Street. He stated that several storage units there had been burglarized recently. On Thursday, he saw workers from a different roofing company put what appeared to be a fishing rod in the back of a car. The victim began taking pictures with his cell phone given the recent burglaries. Several men from the other roofing company took offense to the picture-taking. Words were exchanged. Soon thereafter, the victim was hit with the pellet gun.

A witness identified Zavala as the man with the pellet gun. Deputy Matthew Cory found and detained Zavala on 68th Street.

Zavala was taken to jail.

June 7, 2018

Man arrested for burglarizing a trailer 

A 31-year-old Little Torch Key man was arrested Wednesday for breaking into a trailer on Big Pine Key.

Christopher Holden Calvert was charged with burglary and damage to property.

Deputy Seth Hopp responded to a trailer on the 30000 block of Nathalie Road on June 2. The front door had dents that appeared to have come from someone’s fist. The door frame was cracked inward and the locked door was forced open. The refrigerator inside had several dents that also appeared to come from someone’s fist. A mirror in the back bedroom was broken. The owner said the damage totaled about $1,000.

One neighbor said he heard a man yelling and “banging around” inside the trailer the night before. Another neighbor said a man banged on his door the previous night. He too, heard noises coming from the burglarized trailer. He found a cell phone on his step the next morning. The owner, later identified as Calvert, called it and arrived to retrieve the phone, the witness said. He described the vehicle Calvert was in to Deputy Hopp.

Deputy Jenna Moeller later found the vehicle. The vehicle owner said he drove Calvert to retrieve the phone. Calvert was found at his residence on Dorothy Avenue. Calvert admitted to being at the trailer at the time of the incident. Calvert appeared to be drunk during the interview and stated he was highly intoxicated when he was at the trailer. Calvert stated he was there looking for a woman. That woman no longer lives there. He claimed the door was unlocked and denied damaging anything.

Warrants were obtained for Calvert’s arrest. He was booked into jail on Wednesday.

Scammers posing as Sheriff’s Office

A popular and often-reported scam has been reported again, but this time the scammers have doubled down on their efforts.

A woman reported Thursday morning that she received a phone call from the number 305-853-3211, the number for the Roth Building at 50 High Point Road, Tavernier. That is where the Sheriff’s Office Key Largo substation is located.

The woman said the caller told her she had missed jury duty on Monday. The caller falsely said it had been rescheduled for Thursday morning. The woman told the caller she could not make it due to work. She was falsely advised an arrest warrant had been issued for her due to her missing jury duty on Monday. She was instructed to purchase $600 in pre-paid gift cards , or green DOT cards. She was instructed to provide the caller with the numbers for those cards or be arrested.

If someone calls you claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Office, hang up. Call the Sheriff’s Office substation nearest to your house and explain the phone call you just received. The Sheriff’s Office never accepts money over the phone via pre-paid gift cards. If a caller asks you do this, it is a scam. Hang up.

A good rule of thumb: if you have any doubts at all about the veracity of a person calling you, it is probably a scam. Hang up and call law enforcement to report it.

The Sheriff’s Office stations:

• Headquarters
5525 College Road
Stock Island
305-292-7000

• Cudjoe Key
20950 Overseas Highway
305-745-3184

• Marathon
3103 Overseas Highway
305-289-2430

• Islamorada
86800 Overseas Highway
305-664-6480

• Key Largo
50 High Point Road
305-853-3211

Anyone with information about crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

June 6, 2018

Man with hundreds of pills arrested

A 71-year-old Big Pine Key man was arrested early Wednesday morning after he was found to be in possession of prescription pills in a bottle with a tampered label.

Pedro Manuel Torres Perez was charged with possession of pills without a proper prescription.

Deputies Jenna Moeller and Thomas Laffan were called to assist a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer at Mile Marker 33 who was checking on a disabled vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Torres Perez. There were a number of prescription pill bottles in the back seat in plain view. Torres Perez stated all the pill bottles were his. All the pill bottles were removed and examined. There were a host of vitamins, painkillers and other pills such as Ibuprofen. In total, more than 600 individual pills were found.

One of the bottles containing a generic form of Xanax had the label removed. Another bottle contained portions of unidentifiable, separate tablets that were sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab for testing.

Torres Perez was taken jail.

June 5, 2018

Man arrested for domestic battery and leaving the scene of a crash  

A 50-year-old Kentucky man was arrested Monday afternoon after he knocked out his girlfriend, crashed a truck and left the scene by jumping in to a canal only to be arrested a short time later at gunpoint.

Paul Wilson was charged with aggravated domestic battery, DUI with property damage, hit and run, resisting arrest and obstructing justice.

The female victim told Deputy Alexandra Davis about 4:30 p.m. after Wilson was taken into custody on Big Coppitt Key that he was upset and had been screaming at her. She stated she could not calm him down. At some point Wilson struck her in the back of the head and she lost consciousness. She awoke to him standing over her and yelling. The woman would later require stitches to the back of her head at Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island.

After hitting the woman, Wilson then sped away in a Chevrolet pickup truck on Palmetto Drive only to crash it at the end of the street through a fence and into some trees. Wilson ran away from the crash and jumped into a canal. At least five witnesses gave deputies statements as to what transpired. Deputy Edward Swogger found Wilson under a trailered boat on Cactus Drive and ordered him to come out at gunpoint. Wilson complied and said he ran away because he was drunk.

Multiple other deputies also were on scene.

Wilson threatened to kill the female victim while en route to jail. Wilson continued to use racial slurs and said he was going to kill the woman when he gets out of jail. The obstructing justice charge stems from that threat.

Wilson also used racial slurs to describe who he was going to kill once inside the jail. When Deputy Ken Fricke told him his behavior was uncalled for, Wilson tried to bite Deputy Fricke.

Wilson was booked into jail.

June 4, 2018

Marine-related theft season is back

As the boating and fishing season is now officially here in the Florida Keys, the Sheriff’s Office has started to see more marine related thefts throughout the county. Just a reminder to everyone to take precautions. Most boat, motor, fishing and diving equipment thefts can be easily prevented with minimum effort on your part.

The following incidents were all reported on Saturday:

• Three boats were reported tampered with at Tavernier Creek Marina. Nearly $10,000 in electronics was reported stolen out of one of the vessels and two more vessels appeared to have been entered. One Garmin GPS worth more than $6,000 was reportedly stolen as well as six speakers worth more than $2,000.

• The lower unit from a Yamaha outboard engine was reported stolen from Islamarine in Islamorada.

• A GPS worth about $7,000 was reported stolen from vessel at Murray’s Marine on Stock Island.

There are many ways to secure your boat motor and lower unit; in addition, at the end of the day, remove expensive fishing, diving and electronic equipment from the boat and lock it all up in a secure location. Leaving the equipment on the boat makes it easy pickings for thieves who walk around neighborhoods and marinas just looking for items that are easy to steal.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000, Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. They can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

Upper Keys car burglary suspect wanted

The attached video clip is of one of several car burglaries that occurred on the night of June 1 into the morning of June 2 on South Blackwater Lane, Mile Marker 106, in Key Largo. In this video, the suspect walked away with $10 in coins. Two other vehicles were burglarized in the same area.

Meanwhile, that same night/morning:  a maroon 2006 Toyota pickup truck with the tag, DV6531H, was stolen from South Drive in the same neighborhood. The owner left the key inside the vehicle. Detectives believe the case may be related.

Also, that same night/morning: a 9mm Glock handgun with the serial number, #BEDX899, was stolen from a pickup truck on Madeira Drive, Mile Marker 100, in Key Largo.

Detectives are asking for the public’s help in each case. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-292-7000, Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. They can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.

Detectives seek help in identifying suspects

Upper Keys Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying two men seen in the attached photos. Security cameras captured them climbing the gate and entering the Keys Palms RV Resort, 104200 Overseas Highway, at Mile Marker 104 about 2:30 a.m. on May 26. They burglarized four unlocked vehicles and took various items including sunglasses, video games and two bicycles. A cell phone stolen from one of the vehicles briefly pinged in the area of 268th and 37th streets in Miami.

They appear to be in their teens or early 20s.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Florida Keys Crime Stoppers. If a Crime Stoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-866-471-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via the phone app P3.

Man arrested after falling on glass table

A 47-year-old Missouri man was fell onto a glass table at a hotel and then refused to get up was arrested Sunday.

Adam Elijah Fecht of Kansas City, Missouri, was charged with false use of 911 communications, property damage, trespassing, possession of pills without a prescription, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence.

Several deputies responded to the Bayside Inn Key Largo Sunday afternoon regarding a medical emergency. Deputies were told a person fell into a glass coffee table and was refusing medical treatment as well as refusing to leave the property. One witness said she heard a loud crash while she was waiting to be checked in at the front lobby. She turned and saw the suspect lying on his back and yelling to hotel staff for failing to check him in on time. He said he was going to call his lawyer. Fecht added that he was going to sue the hotel and put it out of business, according to the witness.

Deputies arrived to find Fecht still lying backwards on a broken glass table. He had blood on his leg. Fecht was holding a cell phone and stated he was recording as well as that he wouldn’t leave until his attorney was present.

Sgt. Scott Ward told Fecht he was be arrested for trespassing if he didn’t leave. Fecht refused to comply after several requests to leave.

Deputies Kyle Page and Deputy Paul Rocha attempted to lift Fecht off the broken table. He began pushing back and pulling away from them. Fecht struck Deputy Rocha in the shoulder causing minor injuries. Sgt. Ward assisted and Fecht was finally placed into custody.

He was taken to Mariners Hospital for his injuries. He continued to make statements that he was going to sue the hotel, deputies and the hospital.

Fecht tried to leave the hospital before staff was done medically clearing him. Once outside, Fecht kept maintaining that he wasn’t being charged with anything while demanding to speak to Sgt. Ward, who was no longer on duty. He said he was going to sue the Sheriff’s Office for false arrest. Deputy Page took him to jail and but returned to Mariners Hospital to retrieve discharge papers needed to book Fecht into jail. Sometime in transit to jail and back, Fecht was able to use his cell phone call 911 to falsely report he was being held hostage by Deputy Page. He was able to do so by slipping the handcuffs from his back to his front.  

Back to at the jail, Fecht was found to be in possession of 11 generic Xanax pills.

He was booked into jail.

Nurse arrested for stealing pain pills

A 35-year-old Miami nurse caring for an Upper Keys woman was arrested Monday for stealing pain pills from the same woman.

Christopher Dean Burns was charged with two counts of grand theft of a controlled substance.

A man contacted the Sheriff’s Office in April to report that he believes one of the nurses who provide medical care for his ill and bed-ridden mother has been stealing OxyContin pills from her. Detective Lance Hernandez investigated the case. The reporting man showed Det. Hernandez several videos in which Burns can be seen removing pills from the woman’s purse or pill bottles. The reporting man began reviewing video footage after he noticed his mother’s pill count did not correlate with how much she had been prescribed. The reporting man said his mother has been on pain medication for 20 years and has always been a responsible user throughout the years.

The video footage came from cameras the man installed in order to monitor his mother’s movements lest she suffer a fall or some other injury.

The footage captured Burns taking pills, but also arriving on days when he was not scheduled to work.

Warrants were obtained for his arrest.

Burns was booked into jail on Monday.

June 1, 2018

Drunk man steals car, rams tow lot gate

A 48-year-old Key West man was arrested Friday morning for stealing a car from an Arnold’s Towing lot on Stock Island and crashing it through the gate.

Kevin Taylor Jones was charged with burglary, grand theft auto, damage to property and DUI.

A taxi driver called the Sheriff’s Office about 2:30 a.m. to report that he dropped off a man, later identified as Jones, at a tow lot on the 5500 block of 3rd Avenue. Jones didn’t pay his $16.25 fare and proceeded to jump the tow lot fence, get into a white Mercedes and ram the gate causing $5,000 in damages before fleeing the area northbound in the Mercedes. It was later determined that the Mercedes had been towed recently for being illegally parked.

Deputy Kathleen Donavon spotted the car on Big Coppitt Key near Mile Marker 11. She initiated a traffic stop. He was taken to jail where he blew a .162 blood alcohol level on the alcohol-breath-sensing machine. Jones stated he wished to speak to a lawyer.

He was booked into jail.

Woman jumps from second floor in drug-related incident

A 35-year-old woman was arrested Thursday night after jumping from a second floor home in an effort to evade deputies who caught her shortly thereafter.

Tracy Marie Curley was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

Sgt. Paul Bean responded to the 30 block of Dolphin Road on Key Largo at 8 p.m. where he found a man who told him a woman there was having a “crack-oriented emergency” and was causing a disturbance. Deputy Tommy Durham also responded. When the two were attempting to enter the house, the male caller stated the woman, later identified as Curley, had jumped off the second floor and was attempting to flee. Sgt. Bean saw Curley running down the street and ordered her to stop. Curley did not stop. Eventually, she was caught. She attempted to pull away from Sgt. Bean. She was yelling expletives and tried to head-butt Sgt. Bean in the face. She began kicking the inside of Sgt. Bean’s patrol car.

Neither she nor deputies suffered any serious injuries.

Sgt. Bean then spoke to the male caller who stated that he has been trying to get Curley to drug rehab, but she had grown increasingly violent in recent days.  

Curley was taken to jail.

Man arrested after drug-related search warrant

A 46-year-old Stock Island man was arrested Thursday afternoon after Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives and federal agents raided a Stock Island home on Cross Street with a drug-related search warrant.

Servio Jesus Rodriguez Borges was charged with multiple cocaine- and marijuana-related sale and possession charges.

Nearly seven ounces of cocaine, nearly six ounces of marijuana, $700 in suspected drug-related profits, plastic bags, a digital scale and other suspected drug-related paraphernalia were found in the house.

The Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, Special Investigations Unit and Criminal Investigations Unit alongside federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations took part in executing the search warrant.

Woman arrested for fraud after illegal vehicle sales

A 43-year-old Key Largo woman with multiple fraud-related warrants was arrested Thursday afternoon.

Angela Lynn Sloan faces multiple larceny, dealing in stolen goods, theft and drug-related charges.

The case began on May 16 when a property owner on Hibiscus Lane called the Sheriff’s Office to repot a woman had been squatting on his property. The woman was later identified as Sloan. The caller further stated that Sloan was impersonating herself as the man’s partner. He added that Sloan had fraudulently sold four vehicles that were on his property to a wrecking company for $150. The four vehicles were a 2001 Dodge van, a 2005 Chrysler van, a 1999 Dodge van and a 2006 Saturn car.

Deputy Gil Gonzalez then spoke to the wrecking company. The man there said Sloan identified herself under another name when the transaction took place. He confirmed the $150 sale took place and identified Sloan in a picture as the suspect.

Warrants were issued for Sloan’s arrest.

She was booked into jail on Thursday.

Unwanted boat guest arrested in cell phone theft

A 51-year-old Windermere, Florida man was arrested Friday morning for burglary and trespassing after a man found him sleeping on his boat.

Peter Koolen was charged with burglary, trespassing and grand theft.

A Marathon man at the Marathon Marina on 11th Street, told Deputy Matthew Cory at 8:15 a.m. Friday that a man unknown to him, later identified as Koolen, was sleeping on his boat. The victim lives on the boat and awoke to the find the man sleeping in the V-berth inside the vessel. The man said Koolen did not have permission to be on his boat. He woke Koolen and told him to leave. He told Deputy Cory he followed Koolen to the marina lobby. The victim called his wife’s cell phone. The phone rang from inside Koolen’s pocket. The man asked for the phone. The phone, indeed, was the wife’s cell phone. Koolen gave the man the phone. The man noticed the password had been changed.

Marina staff told Deputy Cory that Koolen had previously been trespassed from the marina property.

Koolen was taken to jail.

Woman arrested on multiple DUI counts in Upper Keys

A 42-year-old Islamorada woman was arrested late Thursday night for battery on a law enforcement officer after she was arrested on multiple DUI charges.

Shana Lynn Valencia was charged with DUI, DUI with property damage, DUI refusal to submit to breath test after driving with suspended license, resisting arrest with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence.

Deputy Cody Jackson responded to a be-on-the-lookout alert near Mile Marker 98 reference to a reckless driver that was tailgating and unable to stay in its lane. Deputy Jackson spotted the Honda Odyssey van on U.S. 1 near Ocean Bay Drive. The van had rear-ended another vehicle that was stopped in the turn lane. There was damage to both vehicles. The driver of the van was identified as Valencia. She disobeyed Deputy Jackson’s commands. She actively resisted arrest. Multiple other deputies arrived on scene to assist. Valencia kicked deputies as they tried to restrain her.

Valencia was taken to jail where she blew a .227 blood alcohol level on the alcohol-breath-sensing machine.

She was booked into jail.