June 29, 2012

Resource violation, Tavernier

In the photo: 63 year old William Adams of Byron, Georgia. Cited for possession of one Queen Conch by Deputy Michael Cofield. Stopped in Tavernier Creek Thursday at 3 p.m. Had a cooler full of legal sized fish he’d been spear fishing for. On top of the cooler was the illegal Queen Conch, which he said he caught so he could display it on his mantel at home. The Queen Conch was still alive and was returned to the water.

June 28, 2012

Two arrested for stolen vehicle, boat

Key Largo – Detectives arrested two men for stealing a Chevy Suburban and a boat in Key Largo early today.

Detective Francisco Gaete saw the Suburban towing a boat in the vicinity of Cabrera Street and U.S. One at 1:30 a.m. The boat trailer was closely followed by a white pickup truck. When he saw all the vehicles run a stop sign, and saw the trailer had no lights working on it, he stopped them.

42 year old Jeffery Hines of West Palm Beach fled the scene on foot when the detective identified himself as a law enforcement officer. He returned to the scene just minutes later on his own, however.

A check on the Suburban and boat revealed both had been stolen. The Suburban was stolen from the Holiday Inn hotel in Key Largo, and the boat from a residence on Cabrera Street.

Hines and the second suspect, 22 year old Stephani Baker Lake Worth, Florida, were both arrested. Hines was charged with three counts of grand theft, two counts criminal mischief, burglary, possession of burglary tools, theft and resisting arrest. Baker was charged with burglary, two counts of grand theft, criminal mischief and theft. Both were booked into jail.

June 22, 2012

Yearbook / Pictorial Memory Book

We are working on a Yearbook / Pictorial memory book about the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. We are taking pre-orders now. The more pre-orders, the more pages the book will have and the better the book will be! Click on the link to see examples of other agency's books and to find out more about it. http://www.mtpublishing.com/newsletter/monroefl.html

June 21, 2012

Detectives need help locating boat theft suspect

Little Torch Key – A stolen boat has been recovered and Sheriff’s detectives say they need help finding the man they suspect stole it.

The 21 foot Angler was stolen from a home on Long Beach Road, Big Pine Key on June 16th.  Today, an employee of Tow Boat U.S. saw the boat at the Dolphin Marina on Little Torch Key. He recognized it and knew it had been stolen. He spoke with the two men on board, telling them he thought they were on a stolen boat. He asked them to stay there until law enforcement arrived to check it out.

Instead, the suspect, identified as 30 year old John Nydam, took off in the boat. The man with him, who later called the Sheriff’s Office, told detectives he confronted Nydam about the information about the boat being stolen, and told Nydam he did not want to be involved in the crime. Nydam pulled the boat to shore and both men got off; Nydam fled the area and the other man walked to a nearby house and called the Sheriff’s Office to report Nydam’s location.

Deputies and officers from Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with a K-9 Team from that agency, responded; they were not able to locate Nydam. The boat was recovered and returned to the owner.

Detectives are investigating. They are looking for help locating Nydam. They would also like to speak to a woman believed to be his girlfriend. They are asking that 22 year old Amber Rochon contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-292-7060 so they can interview her in connection with Nydam’s actions.

Nydam is also wanted on outstanding warrants from Venice, Florida. He is 5-9 – 5’10” tall, thin with a goatee and with a tattoo of a sunburst on his left arm. A photo of Nydam and one of Rochon are attached.

Anyone with information which could help this investigation should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips can be submitted on line at tipsubmit.com.

Detectives need help identifying suspect

Monroe County – Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect who is believed to have burglarized two Radio Shack stores on June 12th in the early morning hours.

On June 12th at 1:45 a.m., deputies responded to the Radio Shack in Key Largo to an alarm call. When they arrived, they found a front window broken out. The suspect had done some damage inside, but it appeared he had to flee before he could take any property.

A few hours later, at 4 a.m., deputies responded to the Radio Shack on Big Pine Key to an alarm going off. When they arrived, they found the front window broken out and a number of items missing, including cell phones, digital cameras and GPS systems.

Detectives Yunier Galvez and David Brummer, who were  assigned to investigate the cases were able to obtain photos of the suspect from surveillance cameras. He is described as a white male, 18 – 25 years of age, five foot eight to six feet tall wearing a long sleeve black shirt and multi-colored “board” shorts; they need the public’s help to identify him.
 Anyone with information which would help identify the suspect in the photo should call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 305-289-2351. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime  Stoppers of the Florida keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller will be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips can be submitted on line at tipsubmit.com.

June 20, 2012

Fire destroys building on Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key – Fire destroyed a structure on Big Pine Key overnight.

Deputies and Monroe County firefighters arrived at 200 Palomino road just after 3 a.m. to find the structure fully engulfed in flames. The structure houses two businesses – Big Pine Paint and Body and K and M Auto.

A neighbor called after hearing a lot of “popping” sounds; she told dispatchers when she looked out the door, she could feel the heat from 50 yards away. Another caller said he could see flames up over the trees.

The fire was extinguished by just after 4 a.m. The state and county fire marshal were both notified and will respond to the scene to investigate the cause of the blaze.

June 15, 2012

Shark bite reported on Summerland Key

Details are somewhat sketchy, but Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a call at 2:22 p.m. about a victim who was bitten by a shark at a home at 987 Ocean Drive, Summerland Key. Monroe County Fire Rescue units responded to the call. When they arrived, they found an adult male victim with an injury to his calf.

According to Monroe County Fire Rescue, the 23 year old male victim was fishing when he hooked a nurse shark. He reportedly went into the water and was trying to disengage the hook from the shark when he sustained the bite to his calf. The bite was superficial and was not a serious injury. He is being treated at Lower Keys Hospital.

There is no further information to report.

Colonel, Police Chief on Channel 19

Colonel Rick Ramsay and KWPD Police Chief Donie Lee were both on Channel 19 this week talking about interagency cooperation. Here they are with Host and Television Anchor Jenna Stauffer.

Florida Sheriff Youth Ranch Supporters

Sheriff Bob Peryam recently met with two generous supporters of the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches and presented them with plaques in recognition of their donations to that worthy cause. The Mission of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is “to prevent delinquency and develop strong, lawful, resilient, and productive citizens who will make a positive contribution to our communities for years to come.” On the top,Jody Gyokeres  with Sheriff Peryam; on the bottom, Dr. Michael Sander with the Sheriff. Thanks to you both!  For more information about Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches, visit their website at http://www.youthranches.org/.

Sugarloaf School Project ALERT

These smiling faces are proud graduates of SRO Deputy Sonya Morgan’s Project ALERT class at Sugarloaf School. Deputy Morgan taught them how to resist peer pressure to do drugs, bullying prevention and many other important topics. Great job to Sonya and to all the kids who participated!

Employees attend Florida L.E.G.A.L. Conference

Captain Penny Phelps and Human Resources Specialist Charles Slebodnick attended the recent Florida Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians (L.E.G.A.L.) Conference in Orlando, where they worked recruiting new employees.

Slebodnick is the Secretary / Treasurer of the organization, the goal of which is to promote “diversity, acceptance, and non-discrimination of all classes of persons in our communities and within the criminal justice profession through education, solidarity, and professionalism; to provide a network for education, support, and collegiality among gay and lesbian law enforcement officers and other criminal justice professionals.”

June 14, 2012

Two boys charged with burglary

Two boys were arrested Wednesday evening after they broke into a Duck Key home, set off the burglar alarm, and were caught doing it on video surveillance tape.

Deputies Mark Jones and Nicholas Abroe responded to an alarm call on Corsair Road just before 8 p.m. They found someone had broken into a locked garage through a doggie door. Fishing line trailed out of the doggie door toward a back yard gate. The fishing line was attached to a fishing pole lying on the ground; the reel had been removed from the pole. The reel was later found discarded in some bushes nearby.

A witness told the deputies she saw two blond haired boys fleeing on skateboards from the home on a skateboard toward a residence on Harbor Drive. Deputy Jones called the homeowner, who was out of town. The homeowner told him he had video surveillance equipment and would check it for photos of the suspects. A short time later, he called Deputy Jones back. He said the video tape showed two boys breaking in. His description of them matched the witness description.

The deputies went to the Harbor Drive home and saw a skateboard in the car port. An adult couple were there and confirmed two boys – their son and his friend - were staying in the home with them. They are all from Jupiter, Florida and are renting the home, on vacation.

14 year old Michael Hill admitted that he and 14 year old Matthew Glafenhein did break into the doggie door and steal the rod and reel. He said they reached inside and unlocked the garage door. When they entered the garage, they set off the alarm. He said that is when they became frightened and fled the scene.

Both boys were charged with burglary and theft and they were booked on the charges at the Monroe County Detention Center.

June 11, 2012

Marathon man charged with sexual assault

Marathon – A Marathon man is in jail, accused of attempting to force a woman to have sexual relations with him Sunday in the early morning hours.

The 39 year old victim and a witness both told deputies they were at the Manor Lane home of 22 year old Tommy Alo when the incident occurred. They said they were hanging out with Alo and some friends when they decided to go to one of the bedrooms and have sex.

Afterward, as they lay in bed together, Alo entered the room. According to both the victim and witness, Alo jumped on top of the victim and attempted to have sex with her. She refused repeatedly; at one point, he reportedly grabbed her around the throat and pinned her to the bed during the struggle. The witness finally had to physically restrain Alo in order to allow the victim to escape. Another witness who was at the house at the time of the attack heard the victim screaming at Alo to stop and get off of her.

He and the victim left the residence and called the Sheriff’s Office for help just before 5 a.m. After interviewing everyone involved in the incident, Alo was arrested, charged with battery and sexual assault, and was taken to jail.

Four charged with short grouper

Four people were cited Saturday for possessing short grouper by a Sheriff’s Office Marine deputy.

Deputy Michael Cofield was on patrol near the Channel 5 Bridge when he saw a pontoon boat with five people on board. He approached and asked how the fishing was going. The group all said it was going well. He asked them to show him the biggest fish they’d caught – they proudly displayed a 21 inch red grouper. He asked them to show him the smallest fish they’d caught; they proudly displayed an obviously undersized red grouper. He finally asked them to show him all the fish they’d caught. They opened a cooler with six red grouper inside; only one was legal sized.

When he asked who had caught the fish, they replied that all of them had. He asked if they could each show him which fish they had caught, and asked if they wanted a picture taken with their fish. They all agreed; he handed them each their respective fish and took their pictures one at a time.

Four of them were cited for possessing undersized red grouper. All four were also warned for having no valid fishing license:

61 year old John Sala of Dania, Florida
47 year old Marcel Chiforan of Coral Springs, Florida
19 year old Erin Horvath of Hollywood, Florida
28 year old Marian Borz of Davie, Florida

June 4, 2012

Tennessee woman dies diving

A 64 year old woman from Monterey, Tennessee died Sunday while diving in a rock quarry in Tavernier.

Anne Morey was planning to dive with her husband, 65 year old Robert Morey in the quarry Sunday afternoon. Robert told Deputy Matt Koval they both got into the water together, but he discovered he did not have enough weight. His wife told him she would go ahead and dive to the bottom and wait for him there.

He got more weight and got into the water to join her about 20 minutes later. He found her about 40 feet deep in the quarry, not breathing.

He inflated her buoyancy compensator and managed to get her to the surface, but could not get her on shore. He called the Sheriff’s Office for help.

Deputies and paramedics arrived and she was transported to Mariner’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.

Man dies snorkeling Saturday

A 66 year old man from Venice, Florida died while snorkeling offshore of Key largo Saturday morning.

John Dowicki and his wife, Nancy, were on a commercial vessel out of John Pennekamp State Park. Witnesses say Dowicki went into the water about 10 a.m. with a number of others, about five miles offshore at Grecian Rocks. Members of the vessel’s crew noticed him drifting away from the group. They yelled at him and threw him a drift line , but he was not responsive. The first mate went into the water and got him, but he was not breathing. When he was pulled onto the boat, they began CPR. When they reached shore, deputies and paramedics met the vessel. Dowicki was pronounced dead by paramedics on the scene.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

June 1, 2012

Diver’s body found

The body of a missing diver was found this afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of 62 year old Raymond Lent of Oswego, Illinois at 12:30 p.m. today. It was reportedly found about 15 miles out and 10 miles north of Davis Ledge, where he disappeared Thursday morning.

The body is being brought into the Coast Guard base in Islamorada; it will be turned over to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Cadets learn about Armed Forces

On May 23rd, Upper Keys cadets met with United States Army Special Forces
 Lt. Colonel Brendan Welsh. He talked with them about the armed services,
with an emphasis on special forces. They learned about the missions
 special forces go on, and what they could expect should they
decide to enlist in the armed forces.

Cadets tour courthouse, meet judge

 On May 16th, Upper Keys Cadets received a tour of the Plantation Key Courthouse and were allowed to watch part of a civil hearing in front of Judge Garcia.

Cadets learn about patrol equipment

 At their meeting on May 9th, Upper Keys cadets learned about equipment used by road patrol officers. Deputy Dave Stark talked with them about the in-car video system, in-car computer and the weapons carried by deputies.

Career Day at Switlik School

Julie Todd with Emergency Communications and
 Dispatcher Lynn Faircloth recently visited
 Stanley Switlik School for Career Day.
They talked with kids about calling 911 and
about being a working in the field of communications.

Sgt. is top Zontian in Marathon

Our own Detective Sgt. Linda Mixon was recently
voted Zontian of the Year by the Marathon chapter
of Zonta. Congratulations, Linda, you deserve
it for all you do for the community!

Dive team picks up trash

The Sheriff’s Dive team picked up approximately 50 pounds of trash
at the Whale Harbor sandbar on May 16th, following the annual bartender’s event there.

Sheriff participates in DUI Demonstration

 The Sheriff’s Office recently participated in a demonstration for students at Coral Shores High School about driving under the influence of alcohol.

Communications Officers attend training

Sheriff’s Office Communications Officers recently attended Ground Communication
Training in an effort to better understand and work with the
Trauma Star helicopter and it’s crew members.

Sheriff and Colonel meet with Wounded Warrior Rep

On the right, Sheriff Bob Peryam and Colonel Rick Ramsay met recently
with Justin Lightcap, manager of the Soldier Ride with the Wounded Warrior Project.

New software will make recovering stolen / pawned items easier

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is joining law enforcement agencies all over the country in a collective effort which will make it easier to find and track stolen items that are later pawned by suspects.

State law requires that businesses holding second hand dealer’s licenses – like pawn shops -  report transactions electronically to law enforcement, as long as the law enforcement agency provides the software to do so. The Sheriff’s Office will be using web based software provided by is Business Watch International USA, also known as BWI. The software registers items that are pawned, and information about who pawns them. The Sheriff’s Office will have access to the on-line database and will be able to search it for items that are reported stolen during burglary and theft cases. A letter is going out today to all such businesses in the county with instructions about how to comply with the requirements.

Currently, businesses holding second hand dealer’s licenses record information about the item being pawned and who pawned it, including taking a fingerprint. Periodically, the Sheriff’s Office visits the businesses and picks up a copy of those records. A clerk at the Sheriff’s Office enters the information into a database, which is then available for detectives working open cases. If an item is stolen in Monroe County but pawned in another county, a detective must contact that other county and ask them to search their records for similar items.

With the new system in place, the business holding a second hand dealer’s license would enter the information directly into an on-line database already being used by many Florida agencies, and agencies all over the country; a detective will then be able to access the database and search for a stolen item in any county that uses the same service.

The Sheriff will pay a yearly service fee of $8,000.00 for use of the on-line database. This cost will easily be made up in man-power savings, according to Sheriff Bob Peryam.

“This will save the time it takes for us to pick up the paperwork and to enter it in our database and it will also make the recovery of stolen property much faster and easier,” said Sheriff Peryam. “Right now, we are finding a lot of stolen items are being pawned in other counties and the time and effort it takes to find and recover them is monumental. We are looking forward to having this crime fighting tool at our disposal and the tool will only get more useful as more agencies get on board with it,” he said.

Sheriff’s Office will accept old or outdated medications Drug Drop program: Environmentally friendly way to dispose of medications

Note: The Sheriff's Office will not accept medications from commercial establishments

Monroe County -  The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone about the Drug Drop Program, an environmentally friendly way to dispose of medications that are old, outdated or no longer needed.

County-wide, citizens may bring no-longer-needed prescription drugs and other medications in for disposal, or call and someone will pick the medications up for disposal. It should be noted, the program does not accept needles or liquid medications.:

·         In the Upper Keys, medications will be accepted at the Roth Building on Plantation Key and the Islamorada Substation Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. For pickup, call 305-853-3211 or 305-664-6480 during office hours.

·         In the Middle Keys, the Marathon Substation will accept any medications Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For pickup, call 305-289-2430 during office hours.

·         In the Lower Keys, citizens can drop off medications at the Freeman Substation on Cudjoe Key Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call 305-745-3184 for pickup; medications can also be dropped off in the first floor lobby of the Sheriff’s Headquarters building during business hours.

People who call to have medications picked up can do so with no questions asked. "Our goal here is to dispose of this stuff properly, not to catch people with illegal pills," said Captain Gene Thompson, Commander of the Lower Keys District.

Proper disposal of prescription and over the counter medications is important. Flushing them down the toilet or sink can introduce dangerous and environmentally damaging substances into the water system; throwing them away in the trash can also introduce them into the environment, and runs the risk of them winding up in the wrong hands. The medications collected by the Sheriff’s Office are burned by Detective Sgt. Bobby Randolph, who operates the Sheriff's Burn Unit and who holds a special license to burn narcotics.

Marathon man charged with robbery

Marathon – A Marathon woman called the Sheriff’s Office Thursday morning to report being hit from behind and robbed on 24th Street.

The victim called to report the robbery at 5:20 a.m. She told Deputy Joshua Brady she was walking to buy cigarettes at the Tom Thumb Store when the incident took place. She was walking down 24th Street when she saw two men near a pool. She said hello to them and one of them replied by asking her for a dollar. She took money out of her pocket and handed him a dollar, returning the rest of the money to her pocket. She said she continued walking and was suddenly hit from behind, and knocked to the ground. She said the man who asked for the dollar was the one who hit her. She said her phone fell and broke on the ground and, once she got up, she realized her money was gone as well.

Sgt. Joel Slough and Deputy Mark Jones were also in the area, checking for suspicious persons who might have been involved in the robbery. They located two men who resembled the victim’s description of her attackers. The victim was transported to the area to look at the possible suspects. She was able to positively identify one of them as the man who hit her from behind; 22 year old Marcus Butler was arrested and charged with robbery and criminal mischief and he was taken to jail.