December 9, 2016

Sheriff’s Office remembers Deputy Robin Tanner, killed December 13, 2007

This week, the Sheriff’s Office is remembering Deputy Robin Tanner who was killed in the line of duty on December 13th, 2007.

Deputy Tanner was killed at 7 a.m. in a single vehicle automobile accident as she was on her way to a medical call. She was responding to a report of a woman not breathing in the vicinity of 119th Street in Marathon. The accident took place near 90th Street.

Deputy Tanner was assigned to the Marathon area as a patrol officer. She was 47 years old at the time of her death.

She first came to work for the Sheriff’s Office in January of 1987 as a records clerk. She attended the law enforcement academy at Florida Keys Community College Institute of Criminal Justice in 1988 and shortly thereafter became a patrol officer. She worked in the Lower Keys until she resigned in June of 1991. She returned to work for the Sheriff’s Office in June of 2004 and worked in the Middle Keys as a patrol officer until her death.

December 8, 2016

Detectives investigate Lower Keys burglaries

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating residential break-ins which have taken place in the areas of Sugarloaf Key and Bay Point recently. Two attempted burglaries and four actual burglaries have taken place in that area since November 30th.

videoOn the 30th, in the early morning hours, residents of a home on Starfish Lane on Lower Sugarloaf Key called to report an attempted break in. They said they were sleeping when they heard a bang and their alarm went off. Investigations showed pry marks on several doors and a sliding glass door had been lifted from its tracks. While deputies were on the scene, they discovered a break in next door, at a vacant residence. A door was found open and the inside had been ransacked. It appears nothing was taken from the home, despite the damage done.

Just a few hours later, the owner of a home on Rosaland Road, Upper Sugarloaf reported his home had been burglarized. He told detectives the house is vacant and he has cameras at the residence; he found someone had disabled the cameras overnight. Investigations showed the cameras had been broken. Suspects had entered the residence and taken computer and electronic equipment; they also took tools and damaged a number of items as well. A short time later, plumbers working on a vacant home on Bonefish Lane East found a back door pried open. Papers in the house had been strewn about and drawers left open inside but it appears nothing of value was taken.

On December 3rd, shortly after midnight, deputies responded to an alarm call and found an attempted burglary at a home on Banyan Lane, Sugarloaf Key. Surveillance cameras at the residence were smashed. And sometime between December 5th and the 7th, a vacant residence on Bay Drive, Bay Point was burglarized. A handyman who works at the home came over to pick up a tool he’d left there and found a window shattered and the door unlocked. Someone had ransacked the inside, left the fridge open and had taken two televisions; a third television was damaged when someone apparently tried to pull it from the wall.

Detectives are investigating. They say it appears the suspects are primarily targeting vacant homes. On at least two occasions, alarms have interrupted their efforts. People who live in the area should be particularly vigilant and should be on the lookout for anyone suspicious in the neighborhood. If you see a person or a car that is unfamiliar, or acting suspiciously, particularly near homes that are unoccupied, they ask you call the Sheriff’s Office right away at 305-289-2351. Deputies can respond immediately and check out the suspicious person or vehicle. Keep a close eye out for changes at homes that are vacant, such as lights suddenly turned on or cars parked in the driveway. If you hear dogs barking in your neighborhood, look outside and see if anything suspicious is taking place. If you see something, make sure you call right away so we can send a deputy to check it out.

Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

Search warrant on Stock Island

Stock Island - A search warrant was served this morning at a residence on Laurel Avenue on Stock Island.

 Detectives from the Special Investigations Unit, along with Lower Keys Criminal Investigations detectives and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security served the warrant at 5700 Laurel Avenue, Lot-48, in Stock Island.  Inside the residence detectives found  28 year old Shanon Jackson, 36 year old Mayo Anderson and two other adults, a woman and a man.

The search of the residence turned up approximately 3 grams of crack cocaine, twelve assorted pills including Oxycodone, Heroin, Marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  Some of the drugs were found in a bedroom where two small children were sleeping.

Jackson was charged with possession of heroin, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to sell, child neglect, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Anderson was issued a Notice to Appear in court for possession of Marijuana.  Jackson was booked into the Key West jail.

Miami man charged with theft, dealing in stolen property

A Miami man was charged Wednesday with stealing tools from a co-worker and pawning them.

The theft took place in June. The owner of the tools reported they were located in a bin at a Key Largo work site and included a Makita electric drill, Makita electric hammer drill and a Makita handheld grinder. A man who used to work for the company and was fired a few weeks previously was seen near the tools just prior to them going missing.

Detective Ian Barnett discovered the tools had been pawned at a Miami pawn shop. Pawn shop records showed the man who pawned them was the same ex-employee who’d been seen near the tools before they were stolen. He was identified in the pawn records as 28 year old Daniel Greenidge.

December 6, 2016

Job openings: Deputy Sheriff - trainee

We currently have positions open for Deputy Sheriff - Trainee. You can view more information about these positions on our web site at Join our Sheriff's Office team and work for one of the best law enforcement agencies in the country!

Sheriff announces next Citizen’s Police Academies

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be holding its next Citizen’s Police Academies starting in March and we are looking for people who are interested in learning more about law enforcement and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Classes will begin the week of March 6th  and will continue through graduation the week of April 12th. There will be three separate academies held during that time – one each in the Lower, Middle and Upper Keys.

Attendees will be asked to commit to spending one night a week between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. They will also be asked to participate in at least one ride-along with a deputy during the academy period. All participants will be asked to attend the last session at the Sheriff’s Office hanger at the Marathon airport. Otherwise classes will be held in the individual district holding the academy.

  • In the Upper Keys, classes will meet at the Roth Building on Plantation Key.
  • In the Middle Keys, classes will meet at the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Hanger in Marathon.
  • In the Lower Keys, classes will meet at the Sheriff’s Headquarters building on Stock Island.

“If you have always wanted to know more about law enforcement this is a terrific opportunity,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We’ve held academies like this for the past several years and everyone who has attended really enjoyed themselves. We don’t just stand in a classroom and lecture; you will have the opportunity to have a hands-on law enforcement experience if you attend one of these academies,” he said.

Classes will include:

  • An orientation and introduction to patrol procedures
  • A tour of one of the jail facilities
  • Introduction to weapons: simunitions and Taser
  • Traffic / Felony stops
  • Crime Scene Investigations, including a hands on mock crime scene
  • Building searches
  • Introduction to specialty units: SWAT, Bomb, Dive, Major Crimes and Special Investigations

Space is limited, so anyone who is interested should contact the captain in the area where they wish to attend.

Cuban migrants arrive on Big Pine Key

A group of 13 Cuban migrants, all in good health, arrived on Big Pine Key this morning just after 4 a.m. They said they traveled from Cuba on a homemade boat which was docked at the Big Pine Fishing Lodge when deputies arrived. The migrants were turned over to Customs and Border Protection.

December 5, 2016

Inmate dies while in detention facility

An inmate at the Stock Island Detention Center died today of what appears to be natural causes.

The 54 year old man was arrested on December 4th by Key West Police on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court, ref. trespassing on the beach after hours.

At the time of his death, he was being held in the sick bay facility of the jail due to chronic health conditions. There are no signs of foul play. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

Detectives are asking that his name be withheld from publication pending notification of his next of kin.

Key West man faces drug charges

A Key West man who was driving erratically is facing drug charges after a traffic stop Friday afternoon.

Deputy Matthew Corey stopped the white Chrysler at 1:45 p.m. Friday after he spotted it speeding northbound at 17th Street in Marathon. He had received previous information from a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent who had seen the vehicle passing in a no passing zone at the 15 mile marker of the highway and driving carelessly on the Seven Mile Bridge.

When he pulled the car over, he approached the driver, identified as Dwayne Ritchie of Key West. As he spoke with Ritchie, he could smell the distinct odor of marijuana coming from inside the car.

As he spoke with Ritchie, he noticed Ritchie was nervous. When he asked for Ritchie’s identification, Ritchie indicated it was in a backpack behind the passenger seat.

Deputy Josh Baer arrived on the scene as backup. The deputies asked Ritchie if they could retrieve the identification from the backpack for safety reasons. Ritchie agreed.

In the backpack, the deputies found a Glock handgun and two magazines with 20 rounds of ammunition. They also found what looked like a ledger containing information which appeared to be related to drug sales. In the main compartment of the backpack they found 218 grams of marijuana packaged for sale.

Ritchie was arrested. As he was being transported to jail, he said he was traveling from Key West to Marathon to sell the marijuana.

He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Woman arrested for animal cruelty

A Marathon woman was arrested Sunday for choking a six month old Siberian Husky in front of witnesses.

Those witnesses told Deputy Joshua Baer the incident took place on November 20th . They said they found the female, Lulu, wandering near Aviation Boulevard in Marathon. They recognized the dog and knew she belonged at Coconut Cay Apartments.

They took the dog home and returned her to 45 year old Diana Linares, who is the mother of the dog’s owner. After they returned the dog, they saw a man at the apartment lift the dog by her front paws and hit her with a knee to her chest several times. They then saw Linares repeatedly pick the dog up by the collar, lifting her completely off the ground and choking her. She choked her repeatedly for up to 30 – 60 seconds at a time.

The two witnesses managed to talk Linares into giving them back the dog. They took the dog to Marathon Veterinary Clinic for an examination. The dog had sustained an injury to one of her eyes which the veterinarian said was due to either asphyxiation or blunt force trauma.

Animal Control responded to the clinic and referred the animal abuse case to the Sheriff’s Office for investigation. A warrant was obtained for Linares who was booked into jail on Sunday, charged with cruelty to animals.

December 3, 2016

Traffic delay Upper Keys

A large group of motorcycles on a charity ride may disrupt traffic in the upper keys between Key Largo and the 84mm starting at 11am today for a couple of hours. Please plan extra time as this could delay traffic particularly southbound.

December 2, 2016

Childcare Worker charged with leaving child in hot van

A worker at a Key Largo childcare facility was arrested today, charged with leaving a four year old child in a childcare van for 48 minutes. When the child was found in the van, he was dehydrated from the heat and was transported to Homestead Hospital where he recovered after treatment.

The suspect, 26 year old Kyle Lynch of Key Largo, told Detective Robert Dosh he was aware of the facility policy which requires a detailed accounting of each child. He admitted to violating that policy, causing the victim to be left in the van. According to investigations, the incident took place on November 25th. Lynch transported 14 children in a company van. When he arrived at his destination, he let the children exit the van without counting each child as required. Consequently, one child was left inside. Lynch then entered the child care facility and did not realize one child was missing until 48 minutes later. A short time later the child was found in the van and was removed and taken into the air conditioned building and cared for with cold towels and fluids as paramedics were called to the scene.

A warrant was obtained for Lynch’s arrest and today he turned himself in on charges of unlawful desertion of a child.

Triathlon race to affect traffic

Saturday traffic note:

A triathlon race that is taking place Saturday morning may cause some delays as bike riders travel between Rockland Key and the city of Key West. Between the hours of 6:45 and 10:45 a.m.

Northbound lanes of traffic between Key Haven and Rockland Key will be closed and will be utilized for the triathlon while vehicle traffic will be diverted into the two southbound lanes with one lane traveling in each direction.

According to the city of Key West, there may also be delays approaching the city and within the city limits. Both outbound lanes and one inbound lane of South Roosevelt Boulevard will be utilized for the triathlon.

People are advised to avoid the area or find alternative routes if possible.

A large number of law enforcement officers from Key West Police and from the Sheriff’s Office have been hired by race coordinators to help facilitate the race and to help minimize traffic issues.

Detective asks for help identifying suspect


Sheriff’s Detective Leon Bourcier is asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect who stole a  Honda motorcycle from a Marathon residence.

The 2013 Honda 250 CRF was taken from a home on Sombrero Boulevard just after midnight on November 28th. The owner told Deputy Matthew Cory he went to bed on the 27th, there were two matching motorcycles parked next to each other in the driveway. When he woke the next morning, one was gone.

A neighbor was able to produce surveillance video of the suspect as he stole it. The suspect, a white male wearing a stocking cap, dark colored zip up hoodie sweatshirt, blue jeans and sandals, spent about a half an hour working on the steering portion of the bike first; he is apparently unable to start the motorcycle and is seen pushing the bike away from the house.

The motorcycle was later recovered on Grassy Key, near Peachtree Avenue and Crain Street in a wooded area. There were a number of parts missing from the bike including the seat cushion, front headlamp assembly and left fender cover from the rear of the bike.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office at 305-289-2430. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

Cleaning up on Stock Island

Members of the Sheriff’s Office and the community joined together to cleanup Stock Island during the “I Love Stock Island” events of this past weekend. Particular thanks to Deputy David Lariz who helped to organize the entire effort and Deputy James Hager who has been diligently working to clean up the surrounding waters. 150 people turned out for the cleanup which removed 4,100 pounds of debris from the shoreline and 8,000 pounds of trash from landside.

Helping out at Thanksgiving

The Middle Keys District partnered with Keys Strength and Conditioning in Marathon to provide five families with Thanksgiving dinner. Road Patrol, Admin Assistants,detectives and dispatchers collected $723 in cash, presenting in to one family in need.

Man arrested for threatening lieutenants life

A Florida City man with a violent criminal history was arrested Thursday, charged with threatening to shoot a Sheriff’s Office lieutenant in the head.

Sheriff’s detectives received information from a source that 47 year old Johnny Nash was planning to shoot Lt. Al Ramirez in the head because he holds the lieutenant responsible for his arrest in October for Sale of Cocaine.  The information was Nash specifically said he planned to “ambush” the lieutenant at Friendship Park in Key Largo, take the lieutenant’s own firearm away from him and shoot him in the head with it.

Nash was arrested in October on an outstanding warrant for Sale of Cocaine. The warrant stemmed from a September incident where an undercover operative purchased cocaine from Nash on Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo.

Nash has a past arrest history which includes possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and attempted first degree murder. The attempted murder occurred in Florida City; he was convicted and served 8 years in prison.

He has also made other threats against law enforcement officers. Sources reported to law enforcement that he threatened to kill a Key West Police detective in September of this year and also had plans to kill a law enforcement officer during Fantasy Fest or Goombay in October of this year.

Nash was booked into jail on felony charges of making threats against a law enforcement officer. His bond is set at $75,000. Nash is being charged under a new Florida statute which just took effect on October 1st of this year, Florida Statute 836.12  makes it unlawful to make threats against law enforcement officers, state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, firefighters, judges, elected officials or family members of those persons.

“We take threats against anyone seriously,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay, “but this statute gives us a new tool when it comes to threats against law enforcement. We will not tolerate threats against our officers and will move quickly and decisively to make an arrest when someone threatens one of our own.”

December 1, 2016

Marathon man charged with stealing tools

A Marathon man was arrested Wednesday for stealing tools from the Home Depot store in Marathon.

At 12:30 p.m. Sgt. Chuck Kellenberger was driving by a wooded area on the west side of Home Depot in Marathon when he spotted a man behind some trees. He stopped to investigate the possible trespassing. The man was identified as 48 year old Todd O’Quinn. He noticed that O’Quinn was removing a blue Makita tool bag from a cardboard box and had a yellow Dewalt miter saw box on the ground nearby.

O’Quinn told the sergeant that a friend gave the tools to him. During the course of the encounter with officers, O’Quinn changed his story several times about where he got the tools.

Deputies Joshua Baer and Willian Guerra arrived on the scene. Deputy Guerra got the SKU numbers from the tool boxes and went to Home Depot to see who might have recently purchased the tools. Home Depot told Deputy Guerra the tools were still on their inventory and had not been sold to anyone.

O’Quinn admitted to having been in Home Depot earlier that morning. He said he got a cup of coffee, but did not admit to having stolen the tools.

O’Quinn was arrested. He was charged with grand theft and he was booked into jail.