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

August 31, 2018

Body found in water just off Islamorada identified

The woman found deceased in bayside waters at approximately Mile Marker 83.5 off Islamorada Thursday afternoon has been identified as 56-year-old Teresa Ann Hart.

Sheriff’s Office detectives reported no signs of foul play.

Hart lived on a boat in Islamorada.

The body was found by a group of people out diving for lobsters about 12:30 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled.

The death remains under investigation.

Man arrested for sexual assault

A 41-year-old Miami man was arrested for sexual assault Thursday following an incident on Fiesta Key.

Sergio Bolivar Lopez was charged with sexual assault.

The victim told Sheriff’s Office detectives she had been drinking in the early Thursday morning hours. She went out for a walk by hersself about 1 a.m. She stated she recalled seeing a dark-colored golf cart. She stated she passed out at some point or couldn’t recall aspects of what transpired . She stated she awoke to find a man, later identified as Lopez, having sex with her near the golf cart. At some point shortly thereafter, she was able to run back to her cottage for help. She was able to give detectives a description of the suspect.

Detectives viewed security camera footage. They spotted a golf cart matching the victim’s description driving around at the same time the woman described the incident. At one point, the golf cart was near a boat. The boat was being put in the water by a distinctive pickup truck. Detectives located the boat at the park marina. They ran the ID sticker. That led them to the campsite where Lopez was staying. A few minutes later, the pickup truck arrived in the lot. Lopez was found at that time.

Lopez admitted to having sex with the woman.

Lopez was taken to jail.

August 30, 2018

Body found in water in Upper Keys

A woman’s body was found in bayside waters at approximately Mile Marker 83.5 off Islamorada Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff’s Office detectives reported no obvious signs of foul play.

Detectives and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were still working on identifying the remains as of late Thursday afternoon.

The body was found and reported by a mariner about 12:30 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled.

Whether the Sheriff’s Office or the FWC will be the lead investigating agency has yet to be determined.

August 29, 2018

Armed man arrested after standoff

An armed, 43-year-old Tavernier man who barricaded himself inside a home Tuesday night and threatened to shoot and kill Sheriff’s Office deputies was arrested after being shocked by a Taser.

“Any threats to kill law enforcement officers are taken with the utmost seriousness,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “I’m very happy and relieved that we were able to take this suspect into custody without serious injury to our deputies, to him and others. This situation could have had a much different ending, but thanks to our deputies — who rose to the occasion during a very stressful shift — everyone was able to go home to their families, except those arrested. To them and to everyone in Monroe County, I say: This sort of behavior will never be tolerated in the Florida Keys. Period.”

Robert Joseph Sanchez was charged with threatening law enforcement officers, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence.

The incident began shortly after 8 p.m. when the Sheriff’s Office was called to 154 Dubonnet Road near Mile Marker 92.2 oceanside regarding a loud music complaint.

Deputies Cody Jackson and Jose Hernandez were the first to arrive on scene. Two males, one of them later identified as Sanchez, and one female were near the backdoor.

Sanchez told deputies the Sheriff’s Office has been to the house before for similar reasons. Sanchez refused to provide identification using expletives. Sanchez stated he should have hurt deputies who responded to his house on a previous date. Sanchez began yelling. Both Sanchez and the other male, identified as Jared Joseph Jennings, 21, began acting aggressive, by tensing up and stepping toward the deputies. Both deputies drew their Tasers and ordered both men outside. Both suspects began pulling away. Deputy Hernandez was able to detain Jennings, but Sanchez fled upstairs. The woman, later identified as Theresa Mary Hammontree, 46, who was on scene blocked deputies trying to detain Sanchez by spreading her arms and legs and blocking the doorway.

Hammontree and Jennings, 21, were both arrested shortly thereafter and charged with obstruction without violence.

For the next two hours, Sanchez paced from balconies while speaking to deputies outside and to 911 communication specialists via phone. Sanchez threatened to shoot and kill deputies who attempted to get near him, while claiming he did nothing wrong.  

More deputies arrived and surrounded the home. The Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiator were called.

About 10 p.m., deputies were able to get a safe shot at Sanchez with a Taser, which worked and he was taken into custody without further incident. Deputies realized at that time that Sanchez had been armed with a .380 pistol. There were no serious injuries reported.

The SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiator were ultimately not needed in the incident.

Sanchez, Jennings and Hammontree were all taken to jail.

Arrest made in Stock Island burglary 

Some old-fashioned police work and cooperation from the public helped Sheriff’s Office detectives arrest a 39-year-old Key West man in connection with several Stock Island burglaries.

Jerry Coleman Duckworth was additionally charged Tuesday with multiple burglary and larceny charges as well as damage to property. He was already in jail at that time for a related grand theft charge.

The case began on Aug. 17 following several reports of break-ins and burglaries at several Stock Island businesses, including A-Plus Roofing and Orkin Pest & Termite Control, both located on Maloney Avenue. Other businesses elsewhere on Stock Island were also burglarized. More than $2,000 in tools were stolen. Members of the Lower Keys Criminal Investigations Unit — Detectives David Fernandez, Spencer Curry, Boyd Williams and Sgt. David Smith, began collecting security camera footage, some of which was posted to the Sheriff’s Office social media pages, and conducting interviews.

A resident contacted them shortly thereafter and identified the man seen in security video footage as Duckworth.

Detectives found Duckworth on Aug. 24 at a Pawn Shop parking lot in Key West with stolen tools. He was arrested. Detectives continued to build their case and collect evidence while he was in jail.

Some of the tools were recovered and returned to the owners.

The investigation in multiple burglaries on Stock Island remains under investigation.

More charges may be pending.

The case comes on the heels of another tool-related burglary in the Lower Keys in which a Rockland Key construction company was targeted. The same Lower Keys detective unit worked that case as well and an arrest was also made.

In both instances, tools were either pawned, traded or sold cheap for fast cash in order to support illegal drug use.

August 28, 2018

Real estate scam reported in Lower Keys

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was notified Tuesday of a new scam hitting one of the Florida Keys’ most lucrative markets — real estate.

Scammers are electronically hacking or otherwise finding ways to convincingly pose as actual real estate agents. The criminals convince their victims, typically people in the property market, that the victim’s real offer has been accepted and to wire sizeable amounts of money in order to close the deal. Tens of thousands of dollars or more can be lost to such fraud. In one case reported to the Sheriff’s Office, one potential victim narrowly escaped being ripped off given their bank was closed at the time and their actual real estate agent called back. The actual real estate agent reported Tuesday that multiple clients had reported getting fraudulent calls since Friday.

If you are in the housing or property market, protect yourself by always calling your real estate agent to confirm any deal.

This fraud comes at a time when 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 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.

All these cases are indicative of the savviness displayed by modern criminals. If you know a real estate agent or someone who is currently looking to buy property in Monroe County, please share this notice.

ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK WITH ACTUAL BUSINESSES, POLICE, UTILTIES, INSURERS — ANYONE — WHEN SENDING MONEY, PARICULARLY WHEN YOU ARE REACHED BY PHONE!

Man arrested for marijuana-laced gummy bears

A 31-year-old Miami man was arrested early Tuesday morning after a traffic stop for possessing marijuana.

Patrick Alam was charged with possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana.

Deputy Anthony Lopez stopped Alam at 1:11 a.m. on U.S. 1 southbound at Mile Marker 27 for traveling 65 mph in a 45 mph zone. The Chevrolet sport utility vehicle smelled of marijuana. Alam admitted to possessing marijuana. He displayed a clear, plastic container that appeared to have marijuana inside. There was about six grams of marijuana in the container. Deputy Lopez there was also an open beer also inside the SUV. Deputy Lopez searched the trunk and found a suitcase containing a package of edible marijuana-laced gummy bears. The total weight of the candy was about 75 grams.

Alam was taken to jail.

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.

August 27, 2018

Man arrested for DUI following U.S. 1 crash

A 33-year-old Cudjoe Key man was arrested for DUI early Monday morning after striking another vehicle in a head-on crash on U.S. 1.

Peter John Shykun was charged with DUI and possession of marijuana (a vape/THC oil pen).

Lower Keys Deputy Jenna Moeller responded to a two-vehicle crash at Mile Marker 17 at 12:45 a.m. A caller stated one driver in the crash who was wearing a gray shirt appeared drunk. Deputy Moeller arrived on scene to find the man, later identified as Shykun, standing on the road along with a damaged vehicle. Another heavily damaged car was in the mangroves. Shykun smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and had bloodshot eyes. He stated he had been in Key West where he had three to four drinks.

The other driver, a female, told Deputy Moeller that Shykun crossed the double yellow line and struck her vehicle. There were no serious injuries reported.

Shykun was taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center and then to jail.

Woman arrested after bar fight/making threats

A 36-year-old Marathon woman was arrested early Sunday after throwing a beer bottle at someone and threatening to blow up a deputy.

Harolind Michel Jimenez was charged with aggravated assault, two counts of battery and threatening a law enforcement officer.

Jimenez was at the Brass Monkey bar, 232 55th St., at 12 a.m. causing a disturbance and threatening to kill the bar owner. She threw a beer bottle at him at one point during the incident. When Deputies Michael Maleta and Sgt. Lissette Quintero arrived, Jimenez was attempting to punch the man in the face outside the establishment. Deputy Maleta went to handcuff Jimenez when she reached for his duty belt. She was handcuffed without further incident. While in custody, Jimenez threatened to have Deputy Maleta killed by way of a bomb.

Jimenez was taken to jail.

No public fingerprinting on Sept. 5

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be upgrading fingerprinting equipment on Wednesday, Sept. 5, and subsequently no public fingerprinting will be performed that day at the Stock Island Detention Center.

Fingerprinting will return on Sept. 6 at the Stock Island Detention Center during regular scheduled hours. The Sept. 5 fingerprinting hiatus only applies to the Stock Island Detention Center and not the other MCSO locations.

The Sheriff’s Office offers fingerprinting services in the following locations on Mondays through Fridays (closed on holidays):

• Lower Keys, Stock Island Detention Center: 9 a.m. — 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.
• Middle Keys, Marathon Sheriff’s Substation: 9 a.m. — 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. — 4 p.m.
• Upper Keys, Roth Building on Plantation Key: 9 a.m. — 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Note: Fingerprinting is not offered at the Cudjoe Substation or at the Murray Nelson Building in Key Largo

People should call in advance to find out how much their particular processing fee will be and to find out what paperwork they should bring with them. Payments will only be accepted in cash, preferably exact change.

• Stock Island Detention Center, 305-293-7348
• Marathon Substation, 305-289-2430
• Roth Building, Plantation Key, 305-853-3211.

Many people come to the Sheriff’s Office to be fingerprinted, for government job applications, concealed weapon permits and for other purposes.

August 26, 2018

Virginia man died in dive-related incident

The 67-year-old Virginia man who died at Fisherman’s Hospital Friday after being found unresponsive in the water near Big Pine Key was identified as Frederick Jenkins.

Jenkins was diving for lobster on a hookah rig with two friends about 11 a.m. in 15- to 20-feet of water about five miles offshore. Jenkins and another man were in the water while the third was in the boat. At some point air lines on the hookah rig became tangled. Jenkins surfaced and the man on the boat threw him a life ring. Jenkins reached for it and then disappeared under the water. The other driver surfaced about 50 feet away and the man on the boat him Jenkins was having trouble. The other diver found Jenkins unconscious subsurface shortly thereafter.  

Jenkins was brought topside and CPR began. The other two men radioed the Coast Guard and shot a flare. A commercial fishing vessel stopped to help. Jenkins was taken to the bridge spanning Bogie Channel linking Big Pine Key and No Name Key known colloquially as the Old Wooden Bridge. The Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Sheriff’s Office responded. Jenkins was then taken to Fishermen’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Foul play is not suspected.

An autopsy is pending.

Man arrested after swallowing pills

A 35-year-old Key West man was shocked by a Deputy’s Taser and arrested Saturday afternoon during a pill-related investigation.  

Christopher Darin Smittle was charged with resisting arrest, possession of pills without a prescription and destroying/tampering with evidence.

Deputy Lazaro Valdes was on patrol on Stock Island about 3 p.m. near 10th Avenue and Fifth Street. Deputy Valdes witnessed a man, later identified as Smittle, appear to take part in a hand-to-hand exchange. Deputy Valdes watched as Smittle rode away on a bicycle. Deputy Valdes stopped Smittle after witnessing him fail to stop at a stop sign. Deputy Seth Hopp also arrived on scene.

Smittle admitted to buying four pills, but stated he dropped them. Smittle told Deputy Valdes he would show Deputy Valdes where he dropped the pills. While walking down the street, Smittle reached into his pocket, put something in his mouth and took off running. Deputies Valdes and Hopp gave chase and ordered Smittle to stop. Smittle did not stop. Deputy Valdes shocked Smittle with his Taser. Smittle continued to resist arrest. Smittle swallowed what was in his mouth.

Paramedics were called to the scene. Deputy Hopp located four pills identified as generic hydrocodone. Smittle was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center due to Deputy Valdes’ and Hopp’s belief he swallowed narcotics.

Smittle was taken to jail thereafter.

August 24, 2018

Man dies in diving incident

A man reportedly diving on a hookah rig died Friday afternoon.

The identification of the man is pending notification of next-of-kin.

The man was brought unresponsive to the bridge spanning Bogie Channel linking Big Pine Key and No Name Key known colloquially as the Old Wooden Bridge about 12 p.m. CPR began when the man was removed from the water. The Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as the Sheriff’s Office responded.

The man was taken to Fishermen’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1 p.m.  

An autopsy was scheduled.

Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the incident.

Man arrested for burglary/theft of tools

A 33-year-old Stock Island man was arrested Friday for the theft of more than $3,000 in tools from a construction company on Rockland Key.

Zachary Lee Humphries was charged with burglary, larceny and damage to property.

Deputy Lazaro Valdes was called to Calle Uno road on Aug. 20 where he met with a construction worker. The worker stated someone broke their warehouse lock and stolen $3,300 in heavy tools such as a drill press and planer, among others. Lower Keys Det. David Fernandez was assigned to investigate. Det. Fernandez met with the property manager and obtained several security video images of the incident. Det. Fernandez and other Lower Keys Criminal Investigations Unit detectives developed potential suspects from multiple business security videos. Meanwhile, they also received a call that someone was selling stolen tools from a location on Stock Island. Detectives responded to Stock Island and located several tools with matching serial numbers of those stolen from the Calle Uno warehouse.

A person who was interviewed as part of the investigation was able to give detailed information about the Calle Uno burglary. That led detectives to Humphries, who was interviewed on Friday morning. He initially denied involvement, but changed his story several times regarding where he was at the time of the burglary.

Humphries was taken to jail.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating multiple other burglaries in the Lower Keys and more charges/arrests may be pending.

Man charged with battery on a law enforcement officer

A 33-year-old Marathon man was charged with assault Thursday after spitting on deputies.

Derek Ray Martino was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

Multiple deputies responded to the Tom Thumb convenience store, 5515 Overseas Highway, regarding a man passed out in the drive-thru car wash. The deputies found the man, later identified as Martino, asleep with multiple beer cans nearby. One of the responding deputies, Deputy Christian Kellenberger, stated he was familiar with Martino as he had removed Martino about 30 minutes prior from Publix property.

The deputies woke Martino. Martino ran to the nearby Kmart parking lot. Martino charged Deputy Victor Morales with his hand drawn back as if he was about to swing at Deputy Morales. Deputy Morales put Martino on the ground. Martino was handcuffed. Martino began spitting on the deputies. Martino yelled obscenities while deputies moved him to a patrol car. Martino suffered a cut above his eye when he was taken to the ground. Martino was taken to Fishermen’s Hospital where he refused medical attention.

Martino was taken to jail.

Woman charged with robbery

A 31-year-old Marathon woman was charged with robbery and resisting arrest Thursday.

Tanya Jean Rego was charged with robbery by sudden snatching without a firearm or weapon and resisting arrest without violence.

Deputy Deborah Johnson responded to Seagrape Apartments, 7155 Overseas Highway, at 10 a.m. regarding a theft. Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was already on scene speaking to the victim. The victim’s eye was bloodshot and beginning to swell. The victim stated Rego hit her in the face. A witness told deputies Rego demanded the victim, “give her the keys,” and then hit the victim in the face. Rego then banged the victim’s head against a car door, according to the witness. Rego reportedly took the woman’s keys, cell phone, debit car and driver’s license. The victim declined to press charges, however prosecutors informed deputies the state of Florida would pursue charges. The incident may have been spurred over a disagreement stemming from the sale of a vehicle.

At 7 p.m., deputies received information that Rego was in a room at the Hyatt Place, 1996 Overseas Highway. The odor of marijuana was emanating from the room. Multiple pipes and paraphernalia were found in plain view in the room. Rego was found hiding in a cabinet. Rego ignored commands to put her hands behind her back. Rego was detained after the brief struggle.

She was taken to jail.

Man charged with assault with a box cutter

A 26-year-old Big Pine Key man was arrested Thursday night for threatening a co-worker with a box cutter during a disagreement over Christian music.

Caleb Taylor Robinson was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and damage to property.

Deputy Jonathan Lane responded to a warehouse on Palomino Horse Trail at 11:40 p.m. where he found a man who said his co-worker, later identified as Robinson, threatened him with a box cutter after an argument over music. The reporting man said Robinson and he were cooking hamburgers, drinking beer and listening to music when Robinson demanded they listen to Christian music. The victim refused. Robinson threatened him with a box cutter. The man retreated to the bathroom, locked the door and called 911 while Robinson beat on the door, causing approximately $200 to $400 in damage.

Deputy Lane found Robinson on the side of the warehouse, sleeping in the rear seat of a car. Deputy Lane woke Robinson. Deputy Lane put Robinson in handcuffs after Robinson made fists and claimed he would, “prophesized hell onto” Deputy Lane for shining his flashlight on Robinson. Sgt. Evan Calhoun was also present at this time and Robinson stated he would, “prophesized all the pain from hell,’ onto Sgt. Calhoun and Deputy Lane. Robinson denied threatening the other man with a box cutter.

Robinson told Deputy Lane he had visions that the reporting man would be badly injured on a construction job. Robinson also said he was going to slit the other man’s throat and throw him into a wood chipper. Robinson told Deputy Lane that the other man’s actions caused Satan to manifest inside Robinson.

Robinson was taken to jail.

Mainland officer arrested for DUI

A Baker County Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested for drunken driving Thursday night in Marathon.

Shane Patrick Dickens, 33, of Macclenny, Florida, was charged with DUI.

Dickens was stopped driving a Chevrolet pickup truck about 10 p.m. just north of the Seven Mile Bridge after the Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding reckless driver. Dickens initially agreed to perform field-sobriety exercises and then declined.

An AR-style rifle, two handguns, a tactical vest and all law enforcement credentials were removed from the truck and were placed into property.

The truck was towed. Dickens was taken to jail.

August 23, 2018

Marathon battery suspect arrested

A man wanted in connection with an early Saturday morning home burglary and battery turned himself in to detectives Thursday.

Giovanni Alberto Fernandez, 25, of Marathon, was charged with burglary, kidnapping and battery causing bodily harm.

Fernandez became a suspect early on in the investigation into the 6:30 a.m., Aug. 18, incident on the 400 block of James Avenue. Detectives wish to remind Middle Keys residents this case was always believed to be an isolated incident and not indicative of a larger crime issue in the area.

Deputies responded to the home about 6:30 a.m. They found a woman there with injuries to her face and head. The victim told detectives her husband left for work earlier in the morning. Later, she heard the front door open, but she thought it was her husband returning due to retrieve an item he may have forgotten. The intruder pounced on her while she was in bed, demanding she tell him where “the money” was located. A struggle ensued in which the intruder placed a cloth over the victim’s mouth and tried to choke her, but the woman fought back, kicking and punching the intruder multiple times in the groin. The attack continued from the bedroom to the living room. The woman continued to fight the intruder back. At one point, the intruder hit the woman with a conch shell.

The woman did not suffer life-threatening injuries and the intruder left without taking anything.

Detectives used evidence left at the scene such as a Pelagic© trucker-style ball cap, a fishing filet knife and latex gloves as well as security camera footage and interviews to build their case.

Fernandez was in a distinct truck with large wheels and a loud exhaust that had been pulled over for an unrelated traffic stop hours before the attack. Deputy Corbin Hradecky’s body cam footage showed Fernandez in the truck wearing the same clothes and hat as identified by the victim. Security footage taken near the house also shows a man on a bicycle wearing the same clothes. The same truck that was stopped hours earlier by Deputy Hradecky was also seen in security footage parked near the victim’s house.

The motive in the attack remains under investigation. More charges may be filed in the case.

Fernandez’ bail was set at $510,000.

August 21, 2018

Traffic to be impacted on Card Sound Road through January

Construction crews will be replacing the main waterline on Card Sound Road from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays beginning Monday, Aug. 27. Opposing traffic will alternate during those times, on those days.

In the event a crash or some other unforeseen event on U.S. 1 forces emergency responders to divert traffic onto Card Sound Road, construction and alternating traffic will cease until U.S. 1 is clear.

The construction is expected to be completed in January 2019.

For more information contact the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority at www.fkaa.com

Man arrested for battery on deputies

A 27-year-old Cudjoe Key man was arrested Monday night after violently resisting arrest, damaging a patrol car and threatening to kill deputies.

Andrew M. LaClair, formerly of New York, was charged with four counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, three counts of threatening to kill a law enforcement officer, assault, damage to property, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence.

A woman told Deputy Jenna Moeller after LaClair was arrested that LaClair told her he was going to kill her while both were in a car. LaClair said he would kill her and himself by driving off the road. LaClair drove onto the dirt shoulder, giving the woman the impression LaClair would carry out his threats.

Deputy Timothy Oggeri was called to Spanish Main Drive on Cudjoe Key about 10 p.m. regarding the domestic incident. Deputy Oggeri received information that LaClair fled the scene on foot. Deputy Oggeri radioed that information to other deputies. Deputy Oggeri found LaClair hiding shortly thereafter near a canal. Deputy Oggeri ordered LaClair to come out with his hands up. LaClair walked toward Deputy Oggeri while yelling at him. Deputy Oggeri drew his Taser. LaClair yelled that Deputy Oggeri wouldn’t shoot him. LaClair was yelling obscenities. LaClair refused to follow multiple commands. Deputy Jenna Moeller arrived. Both deputies attempted to place LaClair in handcuffs. LaClair resisted by pulling away from the deputies.

He twisted and contorted his body, head-butted Deputy Oggeri and wrestled with both deputies. LaClair threatened to kill Deputies Oggeri and Moeller. LaClair stated he was a Marine. An off-duty Key West police officer arrived on scene and all three officers able to detain LaClair in the middle of the street at that time. The officers had to carry LaClair to Deputy Oggeri’s patrol car. LaClair spit on the officers.

LaClair continued to resist and dented the patrol car. LaClair kicked the patrol car door with such force, it broke and no longer closes properly, causing about $1,000 in damage. Sgt. Jake Brady arrived on scene. Sgt. Brady detected a strong odor of alcohol on LaClair. LaClair threatened to kill Sgt. Brady. LaClair indicated he knew where to find deputies, in order to kill them, referring to the Sheriff’s Office substation on Cudjoe Key. LaClair began banging his head against the partition in the patrol car. LaClair again threatened to kill Deputy Oggeri.

LaClair was taken to jail, whereupon he again threatened to kill Sgt. Brady.

August 20, 2018

Suspect sought in home invasion/battery

Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking for the public’s help regarding a home invasion in Marathon early Saturday morning in which a woman was battered by an intruder.

Detectives believe the incident on the 400 block of James Avenue is an isolated case and not indicative of larger crime issue in the area.

The Sheriff’s Office is looking for man likely in his 20s, possibly white, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-9, with a thin build and an American accent. He may be a smoker. He was likely wearing a Pelagic© trucker-style ball cap and a long-sleeved, white, T-shirt.

Deputies responded to the home about 6:30 a.m. They found a woman there with injuries to her face and head. The victim told detectives her husband left for work earlier in the morning. Later, she heard the front door open, but she thought it was her husband returning due to retrieve an item he may have forgotten. The intruder pounced on her while she was in bed, demanding she tell him where “the money” was located. A struggle ensued in which the intruder placed a cloth over the victim’s mouth and tried to choke her, but the woman fought back, kicking and punching the intruder multiple times in the groin. The attack continued from the bedroom to the living room. The woman continued to fight the intruder back. At one point, the intruder hit the woman with a conch shell.

The woman did not suffer life-threatening injuries and the intruder left without taking anything.

Detectives collected evidence at the scene and are following up on leads in the case.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office detectives in Marathon at 305-289-2430 or Det. Sgt. Spencer Bryan at 305-340-7706. 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.

August 19, 2018

Man cited for fish violations

A 53-year-old Miami man was issued a mandatory notice to appear in court Saturday evening after he was found to be in possession of 15 undersized snappers.

Luis Lopez Cordero was cited for possession of eight undersized schoolmaster snapper, three undersized mangrove snappers, three undersized yellowtail snappers and one undersized mutton snapper.

Deputy Darrel Walraven was patrolling the south end of the Channel 5 Bridge when he saw people fishing by the rocks. He inspected a cooler.

Inside the cooler, Deputy Walraven found: One undersized mutton snapper measuring eight inches, three yellowtail snapper all measuring under seven and a half inches, three mangrove snappers all measuring under eight inches, and eight schoolmaster snapper with one measuring nine inches and the remaining all measuring under eight inches.

Cordero admitted the fish were his.

For legal snapper size limits visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at www.myfwc.com/Snappers

Driver who fled in high-speed pursuit arrested

A 34-year-old Key largo man who fled from law enforcement in an Upper Keys chase on U.S. 1 in June was arrested Saturday after a lengthy investigation.

Bryan Patrick Dozier was charged with fleeing/eluding police.

The case began at 7:31 p.m. on June 25 near Mile Marker 118 when a witness reported seeing a dark-colored Dodge Charger or Challenger traveling at an excess of 100 mph and passing on the shoulder. Deputy Mario Fajardo attempted to stop the southbound suspect vehicle, but it did not stop and Deputy Fajardo ultimately terminated the pursuit for safety reasons. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper saw the suspect vehicle traveling northbound shortly thereafter. The trooper also reported speeds in excess of 100 mph. The trooper also stopped pursuing due to safety reasons.

The same witness to was first to report the speeding car then called the Sheriff’s Office about 20 minutes later after finding a Ziploc© bag on the side of the highway containing nearly four ounces of marijuana. The witness told investigators he believed the bag was thrown from the suspect vehicle. Dozier has not been charged with marijuana-related crimes.

Upper Keys detectives began investigating the incident. Over the next several months, detectives interviewed myriad witnesses, gathered video footage from area businesses and used the vehicle’s tag information to draw an investigative map that ultimately led to Dozier. Detectives attempted to interview Dozier, but his lawyer declined the interview. Detectives filed a warrant for Dozier’s cell phone. In July, that cell phone was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement digital crime lab. The digital information gathered from that examination showed that Dozier’s phone was in the areas were witnesses and law enforcement reported seeing the speeding vehicle.

Texts messages contained in the phone also suggested that Dozier was the suspect in the case.

Dozier was booked into jail Saturday.

August 18, 2018

Woman arrested in gun incident on the water

A 51-year-old female liveaboard was arrested Friday regarding a gun-related incident on the water near Cudjoe Key earlier in the week.

Lelena Sue Moses was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified at 2:44 a.m. on Aug. 14 of shots fired on the water off Blimp Road. The first caller, a boater, stated shots were fired from another boat. About a minute later, another call came in. The second caller, later identified as Moses, told the Sheriff’s Office that she and her husband were on their houseboat anchored off Blimp Road. Moses told Sheriff’s Office Communications Specialists that she and her husband were armed and that her husband fired two warning shots at two boats that were bothering them.

Road patrol deputies responded, but were unable to locate the houseboat. Sgt. Evan Calhoun was able to contact Moses by cell phone. Moses told Sgt. Calhoun that two of boats had been coming near their houseboat and bothering them. Moses added that she and husband had left their houseboat to bully net at one point and the two boats came very close to their houseboat. Moses claimed the two boats were, “sneaking around,” their houseboat. Moses told Sgt. Calhoun she and her husband returned to their houseboat shortly thereafter. She stated that the two boats then got on plane and began driving toward the houseboat at a high rate of speed. Feeling threatened, Moses told Deputy Calhoun that she instructed her husband to shine a spotlight on her while she was holding an AR-style rifle.

Moses told Deputy Calhoun her husband then fired a warning shot into the air with a 9mm pistol he was holding. The two boats continued and the husband fired a second warning shot. Moses told Deputy Calhoun the boats got within 10 feet of their boat and asked what was going on. Moses told Deputy Calhoun that she instructed the other to leave.

Det. John Gabay was assigned to investigate. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also took part in the investigation. The victims — a man and woman who were also bully netting in separate boats — were interviewed. The victims said they never saw Moses’ husband fire any shots, but they did see Moses with an AR-style rifle. The victims told investigators they didn’t know why shots were fired in the incident. They stated a woman, later identified as Moses, was ordering them to stop and to not move, but they were confused as to why Moses was behaving in a such a way. The victims stated they take the same route home all the time as they bully net regularly in the area and were not sure why Moses believed they were a perceived threat.

Moses and her husband and their boat were found on Big Pine Key after the incident with the help of the FWC.

Moses was taken to jail.

Man arrested for battery

A 25-year-old Islamorada man was arrested Friday night for punching another man unconscious.

Chad Paul Lyons was charged with battery.

Upper Keys Deputy Addison LaPradd was dispatched to the Twisted Shrimp in Islamorada Friday regarding a fight in progress. Deputy LaPradd arrived to find a man sitting nearby with blood on his hands. He had cuts to his head. The man told Deputy LaPradd he saw a man — later identified as Lyons — a and woman fighting. He tried to break it up, but was unsuccessful. The man said he was punched at some point by Lyons and didn’t remember anything else. The man was taken to Mariners Hospital.

Sgt. Robert Dosh and Deputy LaPradd then spoke to a woman with whom Lyons had been arguing. The woman stated that Lyons and the victim began arguing when the victim approached. At some point, the woman stated she saw Lyons punch the man and knock him out. The man fell backwards and hit his head on the rocks. The woman stated she then ran over the Twisted Shrimp to call 911. The woman added that Lyons fled the scene on foot at that time.

Sgt. Dosh, Deputy Joel Rios and Deputy LaPradd went to a vessel at Founders Park where Lyons lives. Lyons is known to deputies from prior interactions with law enforcement.

Lyons was taken to jail.

August 16, 2018

Snorkeler dies after airlift from Dry Tortugas

A 49-year-old Panama City man who was found unresponsive, face down in the water at the Dry Tortugas Wednesday died after being airlifted to the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island.

The man was identified as Michael Ray Stephens.

Stephens had been snorkeling when the incident occurred about 12:20 p.m. A couple found Stephens and brought him to the moat wall where park officials performed CPR. Stephens was airlifted by Trauma Star.

There is no indication of foul play.

An autopsy is pending.

Bicyclist airlifted after crash with truck in Marathon

A bicyclist was airlifted by Trauma Star about 6:35 a.m. Thursday after a collision with a truck at 107th Street and U.S. 1 in Marathon.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Traffic was moved over to Aviation Boulevard.

Three Marathon men arrested for check fraud

An investigation into fraudulently cashed checks at a Marathon bank continued Thursday with the arrest of three local men.

A quick-thinking bank clerk at the Centennial Bank in Marathon caught the bad checks earlier this month and the bank informed the Sheriff’s Office. Detectives have been investigating the case since that time.

Arrested on Thursday were: Yaniel Cardenal Frias, 24, Yasbany Noa Parrado and Marcos Vila. They face charges of passing counterfeit checks. Vila was also charged with grand theft.

MCSO Detectives say more arrests may be pending in the case as they are working with law enforcement partners in central Florida as well as with the federal government.

The case began on Aug. 2 when the bank reported receiving several fake checks in the amounts of $1,253, $1,810 and $2,682. The bank relayed the names of the men, identified above, as those who tried to deposit the bad checks.

The checks may have been stolen out of mailboxes in the central Florida area. That aspect of the case is part of the ongoing investigation.

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.

August 15, 2018

Big Pine Key man arrested after accosting woman

A 20-year-old man who said he was high on drugs was arrested early Wednesday morning at a Cudjoe Key bus stop after a woman reported he accosted her as she was leaving for work.

Sean Michael Wilson was charged with loitering or prowling.

Deputy Ken Fricke was called to Cudjoe Key in reference to a suspicious person and found a man, later identified as Wilson, matching that description sitting at the bus stop adjacent to the dispatched address. Deputy Fricke introduced himself and Wilson began acting bizarre. Wilson began telling Deputy Fricke stories about sex and death threats to his life. Wilson was having a difficult time formulating complete thoughts and sentences, and often took long pauses between words. Deputy Fricke determined Wilson was likely on drugs. Wilson confirmed he was on drugs.

Deputy Fricke was flagged down by a man at the scene. The man told Deputy Fricke a person he didn’t know, who was identified as Wilson, accosted his wife while she was leaving for work earlier in the morning.

Wilson told Deputy Fricke that the night before he had been doing drugs and having sex with his girlfriend until his girlfriend’s father threw him out of the house and threatened to kill him. Deputy Fricke couldn’t ascertain if this occurred or if it was a hallucination on Wilson’s part. Wilson was not sure as his story changed several times. Wilson told Deputy Fricke he went to the bust stop, because the thought it was safe. Wilson said he saw car lights eventually behind him and went to investigate as he was curious if a crime was occurring.  Wilson told Deputy Fricke he saw a different woman getting out of a car. Wilson told Deputy Fricke he approached that woman.  Deputy Fricke asked Wilson if he knew the woman and Wilson responded that he did not. Deputy Fricke ended the interview at that point as Wilson asked for a lawyer.

Deputy Fricke then talked to the wife of the man who flagged him down. Deputy Fricke spoke to her on the phone. She told Deputy Fricke she got into her car to leave for work, realized she forgot something inside, and got out of the car. Wilson then approached her and told her that she, “needed to give” him a ride or he was going to go to jail. The woman said she tried to move to an area where her residence had security cameras and also tried to hit the panic button on her remote car starter. The woman said Wilson never touched her and that she ran away the first moment she could. She stated she wished to press charges.

Wilson was taken to jail.

August 12, 2018

Woman arrested following hit-and-run

A 54-year-old woman arrested Saturday for DUI following a crash on Stock Island.

Cindy Lee Rojas was charged with DUI, hit-and-run, theft and robbery of a cell phone.

Sgt. David Lariz stopped Rojas near Maloney Avenue and Third Street shortly prior to 12 p.m. following reports she robbed a man of his cell phone and crashed into another car. That man said he did not know Rojas and didn’t know why she snatched his phone from his hand. It was not immediately clear was transpired leading up to those events.

Deputy Seth Hopp also arrived at Maloney Avenue and Third Street. Sgt. Lariz and Deputy Hopp reported Rojas smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. The KIA Soul she was driving had front-end damage consistent with being in a crash. Rojas declined to perform field sobriety exercises.

Rojas was taken to jail.

Man arrested after personal watercraft incident

A 36-year-old Key Largo man was arrested Saturday for making threats with a baseball bat.

David Londagin was charged with aggravated assault.

Deputy Jamie Miller responded to a disturbance at 6:19 p.m. to Snipe Road to find a man, later identified as Londagin, with a metal baseball bat, yelling at someone. Deputy Miller ordered him to drop the bat. Londagin was detained at that time. Witnesses stated Londagin was previously speeding through a canal in a no wake zone on a personal watercraft. The witnesses stated they yelled for him to slow down, but he continued to speed up and down the canal while raising his middle finger and yelling obscenities.

Londagin claimed someone threw a beer bottle at this head.

Londagin was taken to jail.

August 10, 2018

Man arrested in Key Largo animal-related case

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Friday for illegally dumping a dog carcass.

Davon Jamar Thompson, 28, was charged Friday afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified of a dead dog found on Hispaniola Road in Tavernier on July 22.

Thompson admitted to dumping the dog, but stated he did not kill the dog. How the dog died remains under investigation.  

“Thanks to an alert citizen we were able to make an arrest,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We take crimes of this nature very seriously and this investigation is not over.”

Thompson has previously lived in Miami-Dade County, Alabama and Georgia.

He was booked into jail with a $5,000 bail.

Woman arrested for child abuse

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office detectives, working in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office and Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) counselors, arrested a 41-year-old woman for sexual battery on a minor and child abuse Friday.

Jennifer Renee Franklin of Key Largo was charged with sexual battery by a person older than 18 in which the victim was under 12 and cruelty toward a child.

“This is a sad and disturbing case, but thanks to the willingness of a community member to get involved, the courage of the victim, and the cooperation with our partners in law enforcement, the child is now safe and the suspects will face justice,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

The case began on Monday when Randell John Howell, 36, was charged with child abuse after it was learned he punched, kicked and beat a 11-year-old boy with a belt. A woman renting a vacation residence nearby called the Sheriff’s Office when the boy stated he was afraid to go home due to the beatings. The boy told investigators, who found bruises on his body as well as scrapes on his knees and hands, that he was afraid of Howell and Franklin. The boy stated that Franklin often laughed when Howell beat him, that he wasn’t allowed to eat breakfast or lunch, only dinner. The boy also described punishments such as cleaning the toilet with his personal toothbrush. Howell was arrested, but the Sheriff’s Office and DCF continued to investigate the case.

On Wednesday, detectives spoke to counselors who have been talking with the boy. They told the Sheriff’s Office that during those talks, the boy stated that about three weeks ago, Franklin forced him to perform a graphic sexual act upon her using terminology he didn’t understand. She also ordered him to masturbate, but he didn’t understand her directions and ran to his room shortly thereafter. The victim told counselors that Franklin told him to never tell anyone what happened.

Sheriff’s Office detectives and DCF investigators determined that the boy has been sexually abused and neglected by Franklin as well as physically abused by Howell.

Franklin remained in jail on Friday on $800,000 bail.

Howell was released from jail on Thursday after posting $25,000 bail.

The boy remains in the care of DCF.

Man in animal abuse case charged with battery against woman

A 35-year-old Marathon man arrested on Aug. 7 for injuring a small dog was further charged with battery Thursday afternoon.

Sean Booth Chidester was charged with aggravated battery.

Middle Keys Deputy Daniel Hill was called to Fishermen’s Hospital on Aug. 6 in reference to a woman with injuries after an altercation at her residence. The woman told Deputy Hill that Chidester hit her multiple times with his fist during a fight over money. The woman stated she was outside by a bonfire when Chidester came outside and put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, leading to an argument. The woman told Deputy Hill that Chidester beat her over the head and then destroyed the TV. The woman required staples to close the wounds to her head. The woman stated that when Chidester quit beating her, he picked up her miniature pinscher, “Penny,” and threw it down the stairs and off the porch — a height of about 10 feet.

Deputy Hill met with the woman the following day at the veterinarian hospital where the vet reported the dog had multiple fractures to its pelvis. The vet stated the dog may have suffered long-term nerve damage. The vet added the dog may be unable to urinate on its own and may require a catheter.

Chidester was stopped the Florida Highway Patrol Tuesday night and was placed in custody in reference to the dog incident. The investigation into the woman’s injuries was ongoing at that time.

Chidester remained in jail Friday under no bail.

Hollywood, Florida man arrested in stolen car

A man was arrested Friday morning after he was found passed-out behind the wheel of stolen car parked in Tavernier Towne Center.

Zacharia John Vinczencz, 28, was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and possession of pills without a prescription.

Upper Keys Det. Ben Elmore responded to the scene at  9:52 a.m. and found a man, later identified as Vinczencz, passed out behind the wheel. A check of the tag on the Honda Civic revealed it was stolen out of Hollywood, Florida. Vinczencz was arrested. He told deputies he got into an argument with his girlfriend, took her car and left.

Vinczencz was found to be in possession of five painkiller pills without a prescription.

Vinczencz was taken to jail.

August 9, 2018

Boca Rotan man cited in illegal lobster case
                                                                                          
A 52-year-old man from Boca Rotan was issued a mandatory notice to appear in court on Monday after he was found to be diving for lobster illegally.

Dominick Spadavecchia was charged with possession of undersized lobster, possession of a wrung tail on a the water and having no measuring device. He was issued warnings for tampering with evidence, no dive flag and diving within 300 feet of a residence.

Middle Keys Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was a on patrol near Duck Key using a Yamaha WaveRunner provided to the Sheriff’s Office by Riva Motorsports & Marine of the Keys.  A caller reported two people were on paddle boards while diving for lobsters within a jetty near West Seaview Avenue. Deputy Guerra arrived to find one man wearing a dive mask and snorkel near a paddle board. The man emptied his pockets as Deputy Guerra approached. Deputy Guerra noticed a lobster tail next to his foot in the water. Deputy Guerra asked him to retrieve the lobster tail and he sated it was not his. Deputy Guerra put on his dive mask and snorkel and recovered the lobster tail.

Deputy Guerra then took the two men to a residence on Duck Key about 300 feet away. Inspection of the lobster revealed it was undersized.

August 8, 2018

Boynton Beach man cited for illegal lobster harvesting

A 49-year-old Boynton Beach, Florida man was issued a mandatory notice to appear in court Thursday afternoon after he was found harvesting lobster illegally.

Pablo Torres was cited for possession of undersized lobster.

Upper Keys Marine Deputy Nelson Sanchez was on patrol at 3 p.m. when he saw a man, later identified as Torres, snorkeling along the jetty at Founders Park, Mile Marker 87, bayside, in a no diving or snorkeling zone. He did not have a dive flag. Deputy Sanchez stopped him. Torres said he was harvesting lobster with a family member. Back at Torre’s vessel, Deputy Nelson noticed the live well running. Torres was given permission to look inside and found three undersized lobsters. Deputy Nelson conducted a vessel check and found numerous safety violations.

The lobsters were returned to the water alive.

Man sought in Key Largo animal-related case

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a man regarding the illegal dumping of a dog carcass.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified of a dead dog found on Hispaniola Road in Tavernier on July 22.

Detectives wish to speak to Davon Jamar Thompson, 28, about the case. He is 5-foot-8, about 160 pounds, with tattoos of cross and crown on his face.

Thompson was last seen in an older model, green, Chevrolet truck. Thompson has previously lived in Miami-Dade County, Alabama and Georgia.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-853-7482. 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.

Man sought in theft case

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identify the person seen in the attached pictures.

The man was seen about 11:40 a.m. on June 25 at the World Wide Sportsman of Islamorada, 81576 Overseas Highway, where he stole several pairs of expensive sunglasses. The man is believed to have left the property in an RV or camper-style vehicle as seen in the second attached picture.  

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-853-7482. 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.

August 7, 2018

UPDATE: Man caught in animal cruelty case

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper spotted Sean Booth Chidester, 35, of Marathon, about 7 p.m. Tuesday in a vehicle on U.S. 1 near 126th Street in Marathon.

The trooper stopped the vehicle and detained Chidester via the warrant regarding the animal cruelty case stated below. The trooper notified the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Chidester was transferred to MCSO custody without incident.

Chidester was taken to jail.

Man sought in animal cruelty case

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding a man accused of picking up a small dog over his head and slamming it into the ground, breaking the dog’s pelvis.

Sheriff’s Office deputies say Sean Booth Chidester, 35, of Marathon, is a convicted felon who may be armed and dangerous. The Sheriff’s Office has reason to believe Chidester may have an illegally-owned handgun. Always Call 911 instead of approaching a suspect in any criminal case.

Deputies were called to a veterinary hospital at 9:15 a.m. where a woman was getting her miniature pinscher, “Penny,” checked for injuries. The woman told staff the dog was unable to stand on its hind legs and was shaking a lot. Deputies met with the woman who stated she got into an altercation the previous night with Chidester. That altercation remains under investigation.

The woman went on to say that Chidester picked up Penny above his head with arms fully extended and slammed the dog to the ground from the top of a set of stairs. The woman estimated the dog fell about 10 feet in total.

X-rays of the dog were taken. The veterinarian stated there were multiple fractures of the dog’s pelvis. The vet added the dog may have suffered long-term nerve damage. The vet added the dog may be unable to urinate on its own and may require a catheter.

Chidester may be in the Marathon area. He may be riding a 2006, orange and blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle with a 6681RU tag. He may be driving a black, 1996 Chevrolet Jimmy sport-utility vehicle with the words, “Outlaw Diesel” across the top windshield with a 3543UW tag.

Chidester has an arrest history spanning more than 15 years in three states, including Monroe County, Florida. His last arrest in Monroe County came in 2016 when he was charged with aggravated battery in which he knew or should have known the victim was pregnant.

Boy airlifted in dive incident

A 16-year-old boy was diving on a hookah rig in about 10 feet of water with two other juveniles at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday near Outdoor Resorts on Long Key when he lost consciousness.

The other juveniles noticed he boy was unresponsive and alerted the boy’s father, who began performing CPR. Sheriff’s Office deputies reported the boy was breathing again upon their arrival.

The Trauma Star helicopter landed on Long Key Bridge and flew the boy to Miami.

The boy’s condition as of late Tuesday afternoon was not immediately clear.

Man sought in animal cruelty case

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding a man accused of picking up a small dog over his head and slamming it into the ground, breaking the dog’s pelvis.

Sheriff’s Office deputies say Sean Booth Chidester, 35, of Marathon, is a convicted felon who may be armed and dangerous. The Sheriff’s Office has reason to believe Chidester may have an illegally-owned handgun. Always Call 911 instead of approaching a suspect in any criminal case.  

Deputies were called to a veterinary hospital at 9:15 a.m. where a woman was getting her miniature pinscher, “Penny,” checked for injuries. The woman told staff the dog was unable to stand on its hind legs and was shaking a lot. Deputies met with the woman who stated she got into an altercation the previous night with Chidester. That altercation remains under investigation.

The woman went on to say that Chidester picked up Penny above his head with arms fully extended and slammed the dog to the ground from the top of a set of stairs. The woman estimated the dog fell about 10 feet in total.

X-rays of the dog were taken. The veterinarian stated there were multiple fractures of the dog’s pelvis. The vet added the dog may have suffered long-term nerve damage. The vet added the dog may be unable to urinate on its own and may require a catheter.

Chidester may be in the Marathon area. He may be riding a 2006, orange and blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle with a 6681RU tag. He may be driving a black, 1996 Chevrolet Jimmy sport-utility vehicle with the words, “Outlaw Diesel” across the top windshield with a 3543UW tag.

Chidester has an arrest history spanning more than 15 years in three states, including Monroe County, Florida. His last arrest in Monroe County came in 2016 when he was charged with aggravated battery in which he knew or should have known the victim was pregnant.

Anyone with information about this crime or who has information regarding Chidester’s whereabouts should contact the Sheriff's Office Marathon substation at 305-289-2430-7000. 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.

Man arrested for child abuse

A 36-year-old Key Largo man was arrested Monday afternoon for beating a child.

Randell J. Howell was charged with two counts of child abuse.

The Sheriff’s Office were called Monday to meet with a woman and a Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) representative at a Key Largo residence. The reporting woman said the 11-year-old boy showed up at her residence very late Saturday or early Sunday morning and told her that he is often punched, kicked and beaten with a belt, adding that he was afraid to go home. Authorities examined the boy and found multiple bruises on his arms, legs and hips. The boy said he had broken an appliance and that was the reason for the beating.

The Sheriff’s Office then went to the boy’s residence. They noted the odor of marijuana coming from the house. After multiple knocks, a female and Howell finally answered the door. Neither knew the boy had left the house and wasn’t present when questioned. Howell admitted to beating the boy. When asked about bruises on the boy’s hip, Howell stated the boy moved during the beating. The Sheriff’s Office checked the refrigerator and found food, but also checked the boy’s room and found very little clothing. The woman stated she took the clothing to discipline the boy.

Howell was taken to jail.

The boy was placed in the care of DCF.

August 6, 2018

Miami man arrested for fish violations

A 31-year-old Miami man was arrested Sunday for possessing undersized mangrove snappers.

Lazaro Ricardo Donet Delgado was charged with possession of 15 undersized mangrove snappers and possession of 15 over-the-limit mangrove snappers.

Middle Keys Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on patrol near the Toms Harbor Channel Bridge about 2:45 p.m. Deputy Guerra saw a man, later identified as Delgado, fishing near the bridge. Deputy Guerra educated Delgado on the snapper regulations in the area and left. Deputy Guerra returned about three hours later at 5:45 p.m. and found Delgado packing up. Deputy Guerra asked Delgado if he caught anything and Delgado said no.

Deputy Guerra observed a red line in the water. A check of the line revealed 20 mangrove snappers strung on the line. Of the 20 mangrove snappers, 15 were undersized. Delgado admitted to catching all the snappers.

Delgado was taken to jail.

For more information on snapper regulations go to http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/snappers/

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.

August 5, 2018

Man arrested for lobster violations

A 27-year-old Miami man was arrested Saturday night for poaching lobster with a speargun.

Dennys Llopiz was charged with possession of nine out-of-season lobster, possession of seven undersized lobster, possession of eight speared lobster, spearfishing within 300 feet of a bridge and having no measuring device.

Middle Keys Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on patrol near Long Key Bridge when he observed a man, later identified as Llopiz, spearfishing without a dive flag near the bridge. Llopiz exited the water with a speargun and bucket. Inspection of the bucket and three coolers turned up a total of nine lobsters. Llopiz stated he speared eight of the total nine lobsters. Of the total nine lobsters, seven were also undersized. Deputy Guerra also found a speared, undersized hogfish and a speared parrotfish.

Llopiz was taken to jail.

Regular lobster seasons begins on Aug. 6. It is illegal to shoot lobsters with a speargun at all times.

August 4, 2018

Man arrested for heroin possession

A 39-year-old Key Largo man was arrested early Saturday morning for possessing more than 10 grams of heroin.

Rory Gabriel Robles was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputy Joel Torres was on patrol at 3:10 a.m. in Islamorada when he saw a driver, later identified as Robles, in a gray car run a stop sign and then turn into Cheeca Lodge & Spa. Deputy Torres watched as a resort security guard at the entrance gate motioned Robles to pull over to the corner of the entrance. Deputy Torres then approached the guard and asked what Robles wanted. The guard told Deputy Torres that Robles wanted to visit a friend, however the guard had no guests listed under the name Robles provided. The guard further stated he did not recognize Robles as a guest at the resort. Deputy Torres then approached the gray vehicle Robles was driving. Deputy Torres noticed the driver’s side window was slightly down. Deputy Torres noted the smell of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.

Robles initially denied having anything illegal in the vehicle. Sgt. Robert Dosh arrived on scene. Robles showed Deputy Torres a text message that Robles claimed was sent from his friend at the resort. The text stated Travel Lodge, room 401. There is no Travel Lodge in Monroe County. Robles stated he had been traveling south on U.S. 1 when he had been traveling north. Robles’ statements progressively made less sense. Robles eventually admitted to having a water pipe or “bong” in his bag. He turned the pipe, which smelled of marijuana, over to Deputy Torres. Robles then gave Deputy Torres permission to search the vehicle.

Two Ziploc bags were found. One contained 10.1 grams of a substance that field-tested positive for heroin. Another bag contained 1.6 grams of a similar substance found in the first bag. One hydrocodone tablet was found as well as multiple other baggies.

Robles was taken to jail.

August 3, 2018

Traffic advisory for coming days/week

• Construction crews will be working on the Niles Channel Bridge, Mile Marker 25.5, from 9 a.m. — 4 p.m., Aug. 6 — Aug. 10. Traffic will continue to move in both directions, but will shift with a lower speed limit just as it has done previously.

• Crews will also be cutting brush and tree limbs (due to Hurricane Irma) during those same dates and times at Mile Marker 92.8. The left lane of U.S. 1 will be closed.

August 1, 2018

Woman arrested for battery

A 32-year-old Stock Island woman was arrested Tuesday night after she reportedly tried to strike two people with a sport-utility-vehicle.

Brittany Danielle Delgado was charged with aggravated battery.

Deputy Kathleen Donavon responded to the 10th Avenue home at 8 p.m. Deputy Donavon saw a woman outside, later identified as Delgado, screaming. Delgado refused to obey commands. Deputy Donavon detained Delgado. Paramedics were called, but Delgado refused treatment. Deputy Denise Dery spoke to a man also present and his girlfriend. Delgado had a child with the man who was present. The other woman was his new girlfriend and she shares two children with the same man.

According to the man and the other woman, Delgado attacked the woman. Delgado punched her and pulled her hair. The other woman fled on foot. Delgado got into a SUV and attempted to strike the fleeing woman as well as the man. Nobody was struck. The woman ran inside the residence and locked herself in a bathroom. Delgado attempted to open the bathroom door with a knife. The fight then stopped.

Delgado was taken to jail.

Man arrested for sexual abuse

A 30-year-old Big Pine Key man was arrested early Wednesday morning for sexually abusing a girl.

Dillon Beaupre Morgan was charged with sexual assault. He was also charged with failure to appear in court for traffic violations.

Morgan abused the girl when she 7- or 8-years-old. The girl is older now. The investigation began in March after the Sheriff’s Office was first notified of the matter.

The investigation included the help of sexual battery and medical experts.

Morgan remained in jail Wednesday evening.