February 20, 2017

Islamorada event expected to create heavy traffic

The Annual Nautical Flea Market in Islamorada is coming up this weekend and is expected to cause heavy traffic and significant delays for drivers.

Sheriff’s deputies will be on hand directing traffic, but the large number of cars associated with this event will be an issue. Anyone traveling through the Islamorada area during this time should be aware of it and plan extra time for the trip. Those people needing to make flights in Miami should plan up to an extra two hours in order to make it in time.

The Nautical Flea Market will take place at Founder’s Park Saturday, February 25th from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, February 26th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Delays will most likely take place for up to an hour after the event closes each day.

Those planning to attend the event: there will be free parking at Coral Shores High School with a free shuttle to take people to and from the flea market.

February 19, 2017

Man charged with stabbing another man

An Islamorada man is in jail, charged with stabbing his wife’s boyfriend.

Sgt. Yunier Galvez responded to Sea Breeze Trailer Park at the 87.4 mile marker of the highway at 1:30 a.m. Saturday to a report of a stabbing. When he arrived, he found the 40 year old victim outside of trailer #64, holding his stomach. He said he’d been stabbed by a man inside the trailer, 55 year old Fredrick Kimble.

The victim lives in the trailer with Kimble and Kimble’s wife. Kimble and his wife are reportedly estranged and the victim and the wife are now a couple.

Two Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrived on the scene as backup for Sgt. Galvez. The three officers went into the trailer to investigate further.

Interviews with the victim and his girlfriend revealed they were all outside the trailer together when Kimble and his wife began to argue. The victim said he  intervened and told Kimble to stop yelling at her. He said she began to pull him away from Kimble; it was at that point the victim “felt a stab” to his abdomen and realized Kimble had stabbed him with a knife.

The victim was airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment of a stab wound. Kimble was placed under arrest, charged with aggravated battery. The pocket knife used in the stabbing was recovered from his pants pocket.

Two women charged with neglect of children

Two Stock Island women were arrested early Friday, charged with neglecting two small children.

Deputy David Lariz responded to Roy’s Trailer Park just after midnight Friday to a report of two small children wandering around by themselves. They’d been found by a tow truck driver from Arnold’s Towing. The small girls, both two years old, were crying and appeared to be cold. One was nude and the other was wearing only a tshirt and underwear. Deputy Lariz got a towel out of his car to cover the nude child and then began to look for someone responsible for them.

Two women showed up in the area a short time later and said they were the ones  responsible for the children. Investigations revealed the two women, who said they had been drinking alcohol, had left the children alone in a nearby trailer while they went to visit friends in another trailer.  They said they were only gone a short time and when they returned, they found the door to the trailer open and the children gone.

24 year old Jessica Saintil and 23 year old Yveline Saintal were both arrested and charged with child neglect.

Fort Lauderdale man faces gun charges

A Fort Lauderdale man was arrested for improperly exhibiting a firearm at a bar in Key Largo.

Deputy Ignacio Molina responded to the Hilton Resort in Key Largo at 2:40 a.m. today to reports a patron at the bar was armed and had on several occasions shown weapons to other patrons.

The bartender and others at the bar said 54 year old Richard Andrews was in the bar drinking with other bar patrons. At one point, he reportedly pulled up his shirt and shown people a handgun in his waistband. On another occasion, he reportedly took out a knife and showed it to a group of people at the bar.

When someone made fun of the knife, Andrews reportedly took the gun out of his waistband and placed it on the bar. At that point he was asked to leave the bar and the Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene.

Andrews was found in his hotel room. He produced the gun when Deputy Molina asked him about it. He also produced a concealed weapons permit.

Andrews was charged with use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and with improper exhibition of a firearm. He was booked into jail.

February 17, 2017

Detectives looking for second suspect in Marathon robbery

Sheriff’s Detective Leon Bourcier has identified and obtained warrants for the arrest of a second suspect in the February 2nd Robbery of a Marathon man.

46 year old Timothy Scott Farmer of Marathon is wanted on charges of robbery and battery. The victim reported the crime to the Sheriff’s Office on February 2nd. He told detectives he was on his way home from work when two men attacked and robbed him.

The first suspect, 21 year old Cordney Hayes, was arrested February 9th.

Anyone who knows where Farmer is 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 www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

Speaking to Crime Watch

Lower Keys Detective Sgt. Smith, Detectives Spencer Curry, John Gabay, and Marine Deputy James Hager recently attended a crime watch meeting with Big Pine residents. During this meeting they discussed fraud investigations and keeping your identity safe; they also discussed different topics pertaining to marine related activity (boating safety, derelict vessels, fishing/ resource laws and regulations.

Cleaning up on Stock Island

Recently Deputy Matt Dowling received complaints about abandoned vehicles and rusted boat trailers on Laurel Avenue on Stock Island. He enlisted the help of Deputies Lazaro Valdes and James Hager and tagged the abandoned items for removal. A vehicle with attached tag not assigned was also towed.  Deputies posted notice on approximately 7 abandoned boat trailers/ vehicles.

Cleaning up on Big PIne

Deputy Todd Jones located an illegal camp in a wooded area on Big Pine Key. the camp was full of trash. He enlisted squad members Richard Wang and James Hager to help clean out the wooded area and remove the trash. Public Works also helped out with hauling away all the debris.

Speaking to members of AARP

District One’s Criminal investigations Unit conducted a crime prevention seminar on fraud and identity theft to AARP members.  Detective Sgt. David Smith and Detectives Spencer Curry and David Fernandez discussed fraud and I.D. theft.  The audience was filled with about 40 members of AARP.

Helping the homeless

Deputy Aaron Coller and Deputy / Trainee Ryan Chlebanowski helped out a homeless resident of Marathon who’d been walking around barefoot for days by getting him these sandals from the KAIR organization.

February 15, 2017

Key Largo woman falls victim to federal grant scam

A Key Largo woman reported to the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday she fell victim to a scam promising Federal Grant Money.

The victim said she received a Facebook message from a friend telling her how she can apply for Federal Grant Money. She contacted the person in the Facebook post who gave the name of Kelly Boykin. The scammer told her to send $500 to process the application via Western Union.

After she sent the money, Boykin told her she needed more money. This time she was told to send $2,000 via Western Union. After more delays, she was asked to send a further $3,000. She told the scammer she could only afford $1,169, which she then sent via Western Union.

She was alerted to the fact it was a scam when one of the people she spoke with on the phone mentioned the money “clearing customs”. At this point, she called the Sheriff’s Office.

The Federal Trade Commission has more information on-line about such scams. They say:
·         Never give out bank account information
·         Don’t EVER pay money for a “free” government grant

Marathon woman loses money to fake IRS scammers

This time of year we always start getting calls about crooks using the name of the IRS to scam money from people.

A Marathon woman called the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday to report being scammed out of $4,200. She said she got a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS saying she owned taxes for the years 2010 to 2015. She was told to purchase a large number of iTunes gift cards and call in the card numbers to the scammer. She was also instructed to do perform three Wells Fargo Money Transfers, which she did.

According to the IRS, they will never call you to demand immediate payment. They won’t call you at all without first sending you a bill in the mail.

They will never require you to pay in a certain way, like requiring payment in prepaid gift cards or Wells Fargo Money Transfers.

They will never ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

They will never threaten to bring police or other law enforcement agencies to arrest you for not paying.

Here is a good source of more information, straight from the IRS:

Deputy needs help identifying woman

Deputy Rosary Ponce is asking for help identifying a woman who paid for a bathing suit with a fake $100 bill.

The woman bought the black colored size 20 bathing suit February 11th just before 8 p.m. at the Sandal Factory in Marathon. She said she was buying it for her mother. She paid for the bathing suit with a $100 bill. The clerk said she looked closely at the bill and used a counterfeit detector pen on it. She said it looked well used – or as she put it “washed a hundred times”. But the pen did not indicate it was fake so she took the bill.

The bank called on Tuesday to say the bill was a fake. The store pulled surveillance photos of the woman making the transaction. The clerk said the woman is a black female in her 20s with a slim build. At the time she was wearing black pants and a black tank top. She was the passenger in a silver Dodge Charger with a Florida Handicap sign hanging in the front window. Deputy Ponce would like help in identifying her so she can interview her in connection with this case.

Anyone with information about this case 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 www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

February 14, 2017

Sheriff’s detectives investigating vehicle thefts

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of two personal watercraft, three all-terrain vehicles, a truck, an SUV and three trailers stolen from Upper Keys neighborhoods this month.

The first theft was reported February 1st from a home on Pearl Avenue, Plantation Key. A man called to report he’d been out of town and someone had taken two 2015 Yamaha Wave Runners on a trailer. The trailer was secured by a cable and a large lock prior to the theft taking place. The Wave Runners were black with gold trim.

The rest of the thefts took place between the night of February 9th and the morning of the tenth.

  • ·         Two ATVs on a trailer and a white Infinity QX80 SUV were stolen from home on Indian Mound Trail in Tavernier. The ATVs were secured to a pole with a cable and a lock. The cable and lock were found on the ground. The cable had been cut. The victim still had the keys to the Infinity. It is unknown if the vehicle was locked or not.
  • ·         A gray 2004 Ford F250 was taken from home on Normandy Drive in Key Largo. The truck was not locked, but the victim has the keys. The truck was recovered the following day in Miami-Dade County in good condition. 
  • ·         An ATV was stolen from Drury Drive in Key Largo. It was a blue and white 2015 Yamaha on a trailer. The trailer was not stolen. It had been moved and the ATV was removed from it.
  •  ·         A utility trailer was stolen from Pueblo Street in Tavernier. It was a 2004 Magic Tilt trailer, 6’x14’ single axle with fold down rear gate. It had a black metal frame and old weathered wood.

Update on Big Pine Key death investigation

Sheriff’s detectives and the medical examiner’s office are still working to identify a body found in a wooded area on Big Pine Key.

The remains were found by a man and his brother on Saturday; they were in the area to retrieve some belongings left at a homeless camp in the area, which is just past the intersection of 5th Avenue and Chambers Street. The body appears to have been there for some time.

Detectives say they still have not made positive identification of the dead person; they are also working to confirm the sex of the victim, although they say there are some indications the person may be a male. There were some papers found in the vicinity of the body, with some identifying information but they do not know if the papers belonged to the person who died, or were from some other person who has stayed in the vicinity. There were signs of a homeless encampment near where the body was located.

The Medical Examiner’s Office has possession of the body and the investigation is continuing.

Marathon man arrested for threats, extortion

A Marathon man was arrested after stalking and threatening a Marathon couple.

The suspect, 51 year old Matthew Collins, is a previous employee of the male victim. While working for the victim, he reportedly injured his knee. The victim said he offered to have Collins’ knee  looked at afterward. Collins was subsequently terminated from employment with the victim’s business.

The victims said since then, for the past year and a half, Collins has been periodically contacting them; this behavior escalated on January 12th when he called them 12 times in 24 hours. The victims did not answer the calls and instead, let them go to voice mail so they would have a recording of them. They provided these recordings to Deputy Aaron Coller, who investigated the case.

During his calls he makes threats, referring to his knee injury and says he wants them to pay him $5,000 or “he knows where they live.” In one message, he says they can either pay for his knee or pay for their daughter’s knee, saying a knee for a knee is a fair trade. On another call, he made a threat to kill them.

Deputy Coller obtained warrants for the arrest of Collins, who was picked up on February 9th. He was booked into jail charged with aggravated stalking and extortion.

Key Largo woman charged with fraud

A Key Largo woman was arrested after she was caught stealing and using another woman’s credit card information.

The suspect, 39 year old Michele Moser, works at a Key Largo restaurant that takes on line orders. The victim told Deputy Dave Campbell she placed an order at that restaurant and soon after, someone used her credit card to order pizza for delivery. She contacted the pizza restaurant and was given the address where the pizza was delivered. It was a home on La Paloma Road, where suspect Moser lives.

Deputy Campbell went to the restaurant where Moser works and the manager was cooperative, showing the deputy video of the transaction where the victim called in to make an order. The video shows Moser taking the order. The credit card information is routinely printed out from a printer under the register. The employee who handles the transaction is supposed to process the card for payment, then use a black marker to cover all the credit card information on the receipt. In the video, Moser appears to take a picture of the credit card information. This is one way of acquiring credit card information for fraud purposes.

It is shortly after this happens that the victim’s card is used for the pizza delivery to Moser’s house.

A warrant was obtained for the arrest of Moser. She was picked up on Monday and charged with  fraudulent use of a credit card and use or possession of another person’s identification without their consent.

February 13, 2017

Update: More charges in Marathon vehicle burglaries

Sheriff’s detectives in Marathon say they have warrants charging two more young men with a spate of burglaries which took place earlier this month.

19 year old Thomas Lancaster, who is currently in jail on unrelated charges, is being charged today with three counts of vehicle burglary, one count of grand theft of a firearm and two counts of theft.

21 year old Shemar Fantroy is currently not in custody and is wanted for the same charges. 

Anyone with information about the location of Fantroy 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 www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

February 12, 2017

Dead body located in Big Pine wooded area

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a body found in a wooded area of Big Pine Key Saturday.

The body was located by a homeless man who, along with his brother, reported finding the body just after 7 p.m. Saturday. It was in a wooded area just past the intersection of 5th Avenue and Chambers Street. The body remains unidentified and appears to have been there for some time.

The Medical Examiner has taken possession of the body and will be investigating along with detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit.