July 2001-September 2001

For more information, contact Deputy Becky Herrin, Public Information Officer for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Her contact numbers are: office: (305)292-7116, FAX: (305)293-1734 and e-mail: beckyherrin@keysso.net.


August 23, 2001

KnightStar helps save a life

Monroe County – The Sheriff’s KnightStar helicopter may very well have been responsible for helping to save a woman’s life after an early morning scramble to bring blood and medicine from Florida City to Key West.

According to Lt. Mike Pandol, he and pilot Gary Baginski were called out at 3 a.m. at the request of doctors at Florida Keys Health System’s East Hospital. The doctors reportedly had a female patient on the operating table, and desperately needed blood and medicine from the mainland to save her life.

Lt. Pandol and Baginski flew the helicopter to the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Florida City. There, they were met by a Highway Patrol Trooper from Hialeah who had the requested items. Within 40 minutes of picking up the critical items, the helicopter landed in Key West, handing them over to medical personnel, who said the quick delivery may very well have saved the patient’s life.

No more details about the woman, her identity or her condition were available, except that she is currently alive and doing well.


August 23, 2001

National Stop Red Light Running Week, Buckle Up Florida and Labor Day Traffic Enforcement

Monroe County – Traffic Enforcement Deputies will have a particularly busy week beginning August 31st and continuing through September 6th. During that period, they will not only be dealing with Labor Day Holiday traffic, but will also be lending their enforcement efforts to National Stop Red Light Running Week, which begins September 1st , and the next "Buckle Up, Florida" wave statewide.

During that busy week, Sheriff's Office Traffic Enforcement will conduct two traffic enforcement operations that will target speeders, those who fail to buckle their seatbelts and people running red lights.

The first operation will be held September 3rd (Labor Day) in the upper Keys between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Traffic enforcement deputies will be closely watching for speeding, red light and seatbelt violations in general, and specifically for illegal passing in Islamorada and red light violations in Tavernier. This operation will coincide with the time when holiday traffic leaving the Keys is expected to be especially heavy.

The second will be held September 6th in the lower Keys between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. where deputies will be concentrating in the designated bi-weekly target areas of U.S. One on Stock Island, and Boca Chica Road and Avenue F on Big Coppitt Key, paying close attention to the traffic lights on Stock Island for people running red lights.

During these operations, tickets will be issued to violators who are pulled over and who do not have seatbelts on themselves and their passengers.

Don't forget the sobriety checkpoint on Big Pine Key September 6th. Traffic Enforcement deputies will be assisting road patrol officers from Sector One in manning the checkpoint, which will be in operation between the hours of 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The Labor Day holiday weekend will also see a concentration of Traffic Enforcement deputies making sure holiday traffic is flowing smoothly and safely. On August 31st, all traffic enforcement deputies will be on hand in the upper Keys, when incoming holiday traffic is expected to be heaviest. Starting at 2 p.m., they will be handing out tickets to traffic violators of all kinds in an effort to keep drivers safe. Over the holiday weekend, the same deputies will be operating countywide watching out in particular for people driving under the influence of alcohol, and as mentioned above, they will again target the upper Keys on September 3rd in the afternoon and evening hours, when holiday outbound traffic is expected to be heavy.


August 8, 2001

Long time Sheriff’s K-9 dies after dedicated community service

Monroe County – Szultan, the 13-year old retired K-9 for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, died early Monday morning. He’d been battling pancreatic cancer for the past year.

Szultan, a black, longhaired Belgium Shepherd, became the fourth addition to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office K-9 force 11 years ago. He and Deputy Matt Koval trained together in Palm Beach for six months before going on duty in the Keys. They rode together for six and a half years.

Szultan was an invaluable asset in drug searches and was often used in the apprehension of fleeing suspects. Deputy Koval and Szultan were also beloved by the community as a whole, making numerous appearances at community events and giving frequent K-9 demonstrations at schools in the county.

At one impressive demonstration, the K-9 team performed during half time at a Coral Shores High School football game. There was a mock car theft and chase, complete with patrol cars, lights and sirens. Suddenly, out of the sky dropped a Black Hawk helicopter. Deputy Koval, dressed in fatigues and accompanied by Szultan, leaped out of the hovering helicopter and apprehended the fleeing “suspects”. He also gave many smaller demonstrations to classrooms of children, during which Szultan found hidden drugs, and showed the children how he performed apprehensions using a volunteer deputy posing as a suspect.

Szultan repeatedly placed as one of the top 10 dogs in Yearly Regional work dog competitions. He always won 1st place in at least one of the four events. He won first place in Criminal Apprehension, 1st place in Search Work and 1st place in Agility.

Szultan lived at home with Deputy Koval as a member of his family. Koval took him on all family vacations including a canoeing expedition in Minnesota. After Szultan retired, Deputy Koval bought him from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. When Koval got married last year, his brother Mark and his best friend Szultan stood up with him at the altar.

August 8, 2001

Sheriff’s Office prepared for the beginning of School

Monroe County – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be out in force next week guarding the safety of children returning to school.

In addition to School Resource and School Crossing Guards Officers who are permanently assigned to county schools, five Traffic Enforcement deputies will spend the week patrolling school zones to make sure drivers realize school is back in session. Road Patrol deputies will also be spending any free time they have concentrating on areas surrounding schools, writing tickets to anyone not obeying the speeding and passing laws in those areas.

In the upper Keys, deputies will concentrate on school zones when not answering other calls for service. In Islamorada in particular, deputies will be in place in the morning and afternoon to make sure students are safe in school zones at Coral Shores School and Island Christian School.

In the middle Keys, deputies will be patrolling in unmarked cars following school buses to ensure the safety of children boarding the buses at bus stops. Anyone who improperly passes a bus and endangers a child will be cited appropriately. Deputies will also work both school zones in the Marathon area using radar to track speeders.

In the lower Keys, a Sheriff’s Office sign has already been placed roadside on Big Pine Key warning motorists of the upcoming start of school. The sign will be moved to the vicinity of Sugarloaf School next week, and deputies will be on hand in the morning and afternoon at the intersection of U.S. One and Crane Boulevard to assist buses in pulling out onto the highway safely. Deputies will also be asked to concentrate their efforts in school zones when not on a call elsewhere.

Anyone driving in the county next week should make an extra effort to watch out for students, who may not be paying attention to traffic in their excitement about returning to school. Be especially careful around residential neighborhoods, areas with bus stops, and around schools themselves.

August 6, 2001

Employees of the Second Quarter honored

Left to right: Commander of the Detention Division, Major Tommy Tayloer,
Sgt. Frank Mara, Cadet/Explorer Brian Ricardo, Detective Thomas Moran,
Secretary Angela Glover.

Monroe County – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office recently honored its Employees of the Second Quarter at a special ceremony in Marathon. The following people were chosen for the award.

SWORN Deputy of the Second Quarter:

Detective Thomas Moran Bureau of Operations, HIDTA – Miami Task Force

Det. Moran has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since August 31, 1998. Since November of 2000, the task force has been working a long term investigation involving the money laundering activities of Victor Garrido. Garrido was a fugitive from the Peruvian Government wanted for Money Laundering and Corruption charges stemming from Garrido’s involvement with past Peruvian President and his Chief of Secret Police. The case was assigned to Det. Thomas Moran, through his assignment to the task force. Due to the nature of the case, as well as the international implications of the investigation, Det. Moran has been coordinating his efforts with the F.B.I. . On January 26, 2001 Det. Moran led a joint law enforcement effort that culminated in the arrest of Garrido and the seizing of 17 million dollars, which is pending forfeiture. As the investigation continued Det. Moran was instrumental in locating in excess of 128 million dollars, which may be subject to forfeiture and participated in the U. S. based portion of the investigation that led to the arrest of Montesinos in Venezuela. Throughout the course of the investigation as well as the ongoing portion of the investigation, Det. Moran has played a vital role. His years of investigative experience and dedication have been evident.

SUPPORT Employee of the Second Quarter:

Secretary Angela Glover, Bureau of Operations, Special Operations, Administration Section

Angela has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since June 29, 1987. Angela is assigned to the narcotics unit and has diligently continued to handle any task given to her. Angela has not only continued to handle secretarial support to the detectives in her immediate unit, but also assists the Homicide Unit and the Crime Against Women and Children Unit. Her duties now also include handling the legal secretarial duties involved in the Forfeiture Unit. Amidst all her duties Angela found the time necessary to work on the Nextel account for finance in straightening out mistakes. Angela spent many hours on the phone along with emails in correcting these mistakes for the beginning of this fiscal year. Angela was able to obtain two separate credits in double and over billing to our account in the total of $1835.24. This was truly a fine example of an employee’s dedication to the betterment of the agency above and beyond her normally assigned duties.

CORRECTIONS Deputy of the Second Quarter:

Sergeant Frank Mara, Bureau of Corrections, Main Detention Facility

Frank has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since September 19, 1984. Frank has a can do attitude and is always willing to help others without question. Officers have gone to Sgt. Mara on several occasions in order to bounce thoughts off of him and have always found him willing to share thoughts sand ideas. Frank works very hard even when he was on light duty with medical problems he was the first officer to respond for a backup call hopping down the halls with his cast on with one thought, take care of his people. Sgt. Mara has a lot of concern for his people and that’s why you see an entire squad nominating him and this is what they had to say… “C Watch Officers would like to formally and publicly thank Sgt. Mara for his continuous support and reliability. Sgt. Mara shows leadership daily in his assistance to both inmates and officers. He imparts positive attitude in our shift and always goes the extra mile as ‘negotiator’. No question ever asked of Sgt. Mara goes unanswered, even when diligent research is necessary. He is always the consummate professional. Sgt. Mara, Thank you for being our level five shelter in hurricane. Our respect is ever yours, Your Officers on “C” Watch.”

RESERVE Deputy of the Second Quarter:

Reserve Deputy Kathryn Roche, Bureau of Operations, Sector IV, Reserve Section

Kathryn has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since May 21, 2000. Since joining the Reserves in May 2000 and being assigned to Sector IV, Kathryn has logged numerous hours riding with Deputies and participating in special details. Kathryn went above and beyond her duties when she went to the aid of 78 year old Alice Smith who tripped and fell into US1 traffic. Kathryn has befriended Ms. Smith, who thinks of Kathryn as her guardian angel. She is still checking on Ms. Smith to make sure she is doing ok. Reserve Deputy Kathryn Roche is indeed an asset to the department in actions and deeds.

EXPLORER/Cadet of the Second Quarter:

Explorer Captain Brian Ricardo, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section

Brian has been a member of the explorer program for the past four years. Brian has always demonstrated a willingness to learn and help others. He has worked very hard with his school and his behavior to maintain the Explorers Code. He has overcome many difficult obstacles. Brian really pitched in this year with the absence of Deputy Hunter and pulled the post together, because of his dedication and hard work he was promoted to Captain this year and did an outstanding job helping with the Christmas tree sales and the Relay for Life. Brian has earned over 200 hours of community service hours. Brian is always willing to put on the very heavy and hot Darren the Lion (the DARE mascot) suit to help out at special events. Brian also leads the Honor Guard and organizes cadets for meetings and events. Explorer Captain Brian Ricardo is a credit to the Explorer program and an outstanding role model for the youth of our community.