October 30, 2012

Trunk or Treat

In the spirit of the season, Deputies Spenser Bryan and Scott Ward attended a Trunk or Treat event Sunday at Zaza Pizzeria Napoletana on Sugarloaf Key. In the  photo, Deputy Ward visits with Buzz Lightyear at the event.

Former deputy dies after battle with cancer

Our thoughts are with Charlene Sprinkle-Huff and her sister, Yvonne Sprinkle whose father died yesterday in Mobile, Alabama after an eight year battle with cancer.

Charles Emery Sprinkle, Jr. was a former Monroe County Sheriff's deputy who served in Marathon in the 1970s. At the time of his death, he was also a current member of the Masonic Lodge in Marathon. He fathered seven daughters and had 10 grandchildren.

I will follow up this message with information about funeral arrangements when it becomes available. Photo of Charles Sprinkle is attached.

October 29, 2012

Man arrested for firing a gun

A Big Coppitt Key man was arrested Sunday, charged with firing a gun at a couple after an argument.

Deputy Lazaro Valdes responded to a residence on 4th Street at 4:20 p.m. to reports of shots fired. When he arrived, he met with two victims who told him 30 year old Derek Pierce fired a gun at them. They said they were at Pierce’s house and argued with Pierce over money. They were leaving in their vehicle when they heard a gunshot. When they looked to see where it was coming from, Pierce was pointing a gun at them.

They fled in their car and called the Sheriff’s Office for help.

When Deputy Valdes arrived, he found Pierce still on the scene. Pierce denied having a handgun, but gave the deputy permission to search his house for a weapon. Instead of a weapon, the deputy found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in plain view in Pierce’s bedroom. Pierce finally told the deputy the handgun in question was in the armoire in the living room.

The gun was recovered. Pierce said he discharged it accidentally. He was arrested. He was charged with discharging a firearm in public, aggravated assault and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.

Five cited for selling alcohol to minors

On October 26, 2012 the Special Investigations Division conducted an operation checking businesses that sell alcohol in the lower keys. Twelve businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. Five of the businesses served alcohol to minors during our investigations. The five people were given notices to appear before a Monroe County Judge.

The following are a list of the business and suspects who sold the alcohol:

·         Chevron 5220 US-1 Stock Island, Fl attendant – 53 year old Vera P Zasicova 
·         Baby’s Coffee 3178 Overseas Hwy Bay Point, Fl attendant – 48 year old Susan Reynolds
·         Sugarloaf Marina 17015 Overseas Hwy Sugarloaf, Fl attendant – 43 year old Robert J. Rupp
·         Kickin Back Food mart 21362 Overseas Hwy Cudjoe Key, Fl attendant – 22 year old Wesley  R Wilburn
·         Murrays Food Market 24560 Overseas Hwy Summerland Key, Fl attendant – 19 year old Megin R.

The Sale Clerk violations are up to 60 days in jail $500 fine, $235 in court cost, $75 in cost of prosecution, and $40 in cost of investigation.

The Licensee Violations are:
1st offense $1000 fine and 7 day suspension
2nd offense $3000 fine and 30 day suspension
3rd offense Revocation of license.
The remaining business checked, were in compliance with the law.

This operation was conducted in cooperation with the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community. 

October 28, 2012

Key Largo man arrested for burglary

Key Largo – A 19 year old Key Largo man was arrested Saturday night after deputies found he was living at an unoccupied home on Adams Drive.

On Saturday just after 6 p.m., a woman who lives on Adams Drive called the Sheriff’s Office. She said she heard her downstairs garage door closing and looked outside to see a man walking out of the door. When Deputy Kyle Page arrived, neighbors told him they’d seen in various locations in the neighborhood in past days, including using a pool at one home, and trespassing in the front and back yards of other homes.  The woman who called told the deputy the house next door to hers was unoccupied and suggested he check to see if anyone was staying there.

Deputy Page checked the unoccupied home and found evidence someone had been staying there. The house itself was secure, but there was clothing  on the porch, and a fire was lit in the barbecue grill. As the deputy continued to investigate, neighbors reported the suspect was walking around the neighborhood.

19 year old Adam Tribble was finally located and apprehended as he was returning to the Adams Drive residence. He admitted he’d been staying there because he said he had nowhere else to go.

He was charged with burglary and theft for entering the victim’s garage and taking several beers from her refrigerator. He was further charged with trespassing at the home he’d been staying at. He was also charged with loitering and prowling. He was booked into jail.

October 26, 2012

New Master Deputy

Sheriff Bob Peryam and Chief Tommy Taylor congratulate Victor Arguello Castellon on his new Master Deputy status. He wears a double rocker because he is also a qualified Field Training Officer.

New Detention Sergeant

Sheriff Peryam and Chief Tommy Taylor congratulate Marc Floyd on his recent promotion to Detention Sergeant.

October 25, 2012

Sheriff’s Office features missing persons, unsolved cases on Facebook

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office hopes social media will help reinvigorate long unsolved cases and perhaps help people remember details which might help solve a few of them.

The cases will be posted on a new “Florida Keys Missing and Unsolved” Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-Keys-Missing-and-Unsolved/187864244671823?ref=hl ). People can “like” the page, and visit it to read about those who have gone missing over the years and have never been found, bodies that remain unidentified, or unsolved murders and other major crimes which still need resolution.

These types of cases are never truly closed and continue to be worked on by detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit. Detectives revisit the cases as they have time. They double check old leads, make sure DNA  and other information is entered in today’s databases, check with family members, recheck names of those involved, doing anything they can to move the cases forward.

“We hope by featuring these cases on Facebook, someone will see them and maybe remember something that will help us,” said Major Crimes Unit Sgt. Linda Mixon. “Maybe someone who was originally reluctant to cooperate has grown up, or changed their mind; maybe someone heard from a person reported missing and just didn’t think to let us know. Stranger things have happened,” she said. Sgt. Mixon has the job of making sure old cases are assigned to current detectives and that they spend time becoming familiar with them. She also asks that they touch base with family members to let them know the Sheriff’s Office hasn’t forgotten them.

The first three cases to be entered on the Facebook page will be:

Lisa Sanders, 20 years old,  murdered in 1988 on No Name Key

Lisa Sanders was just 20 years old when she was brutally murdered on No Name Key December 16th, 1988. Lisa lived on Big Pine Key. She was  a small woman, just 4’10 inches tall, 106 pounds when she died.

That night, she attended a party with friends at the end of No Name Road on No Name Key. Her friends last saw her leaving on foot about 9:30 p.m.

Her parents reported her missing the following day and a short time later, her body was found lying beside a dirt road near a gravel pit on No Name Key. She had been beaten, stabbed and dragged behind a car by a rope tied around her neck.

Since that time, hundreds of people have been interviewed by detectives and her case continues to be investigated but no one has yet been charged with the crime. Major Crimes Sgt. Linda Mixon has been assigned to this case. Anyone with information about it can contact her at 305-797-0089.

Patty Lanza, 4 years old, murdered on Little Torch Key in 1988

Patricia Lanza was just four years old on July 2, 1988 when she was murdered. Patty had attended a fourth of July party with her mother at a home on Gato Road, Little Torch Key. She was last seen by her mother at 10 p.m. Her body was found nearby the following afternoon. She had been raped and hit in the head, then her body was thrown in some bushes off the side of the road.

Several hundred people have since been interviewed in relation to the case. A man who was at the party admitted to being with Patty, but said she was alive when he last saw her. He was arrested shortly after the crime on charges of false imprisonment, but the charges were later dropped for lack of sufficient evidence. He died the following year of natural causes. His DNA was later tested and he was excluded as a suspect in the crime.

No one has ever been arrested for her murder. Anyone with information about this case should contact Major Crimes Detective Geni Hernandez at 305-809-3040 or 305-797-0046.

Unidentified Valentine’s Day murder victim, murdered on Bahia Honda in 1991

On February 15, 1991 the body of a young woman was found on a short, dirt trail in a heavily wooded area near the south end of the Bahia Honda Bridge. She had been beaten and strangled.  

She has never been identified, and was given the nickname by the media of the “Valentines Day” murder victim. She is described as a white female, 16 – 25 years of age, 145 pounds with brown eyes and straight, collar-length dark brown hair. She had a Timex wristwatch with a silver band on her right wrist, and four earrings in each ear. She was wearing a pink, peach and aqua bikini top, a pair of denim shorts and a long sleeve sweater that had broad horizontal purple and rose colored stripes. On her feet were a pair of Indian moccasin type booties that were black with red stitching. She had two tattoos which you can see drawings of by clicking on the flyer accompanying this report. One was a heart with the word “Love” in cursive on her upper left arm. The other was a cross on the web of skin between her thumb and forefinger of her left hand.

Detectives have exhausted the few leads they had in this case, but hope someday someone will come forward to help identify this victim so they can continue their investigations into who may have killed her. Contact the Sgt. Linda Mixon with the Major Crimes Unit if you have any information which might help in this case, 305-797-0089.

October 23, 2012

Groups join together in holiday toy effort

A number of local groups who have led past efforts to bring holiday cheer to Monroe County children are joining together this year to consolidate those efforts. Under the name “Holiday Helpers of the Florida Keys”, The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Key West Police Department and Wesley House Family Services will pool their resources with the goal of helping even more needy families during the upcoming holiday season.

Wesley House will be the umbrella organization who will lead the effort. They will register families in need and keep records for the program. The two law enforcement agencies will lend a hand with fundraising efforts, toy collection, toy delivery and anything else the program needs to succeed.

Plans for this holiday season include the distribution of 200 toy collection boxes to businesses county-wide. The boxes will be used to collect new, unwrapped toys. When the holidays approach, special “Toy Stores” will be set up in the upper, middle and lower Keys where needy families who are registered with the program will have the opportunity to shop for gifts (at no cost to them, of course!).

For more information, or to register a needy family for this program, contact Wesley House Family Services at 305-809-5025 or email holidayhelpers@wesleyhouse.org. You can also find information about the program on Facebook at Holiday Helpers of the Florida Keys – www.facebook.com/holidayhelpersofthefloridakeys.

In the photo: To kick off the joint effort, the Sheriff’s Office Toyz for Keyz Kidz program donated last year’s left over funds to the new Holiday Helpers program. All those in the photo were involved in other toy efforts in the past and are now on the board of directors for Holiday Helpers. Back row, Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detective Manuel Cuervo, Sheriff’s Colonel Rick Ramsay, Key West Police Community Affairs Officer Steve Torrence,  CEO of Wesley House Family Services Doug Blomberg, Media and Events Coordinator for the Wesley House Lissette Cuervo Carey. Front row, left to right, Sheriff’s Assistant Records Director Tiffany O’Connell and Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit Sergeant Linda Mixon.

October 21, 2012

40 Queen Conch returned to the water alive; two arrested for illegal harvesting

Islamorada -A tip called in to a Sheriff’s deputy Saturday afternoon led to the arrest of two people for possessing 40 Queen Conch. All 40 Conch were returned to the water alive.

Deputy Nelson Sanchez received a text just before 5 p.m. Information in the text was that a group of people came in to the dock at the rear of the Day’s Inn in Islamorada with a large number of Queen Conch. The reporting person gave the deputy a description of the truck the people were driving.

Deputy Sanchez caught up with the truck as it was pulling out of the parking lot of Days Inn. He approached the truck and asked if they were in possession of Queen Conch. The driver, 48 year old George Galiszewski of Miami, admitted having conch in the truck. Both he and one of the passengers, 43 year old Elena McGrane of Miami, admitted to harvesting them.

Deputy Sanchez inspected the Conch and found they were still alive. He photographed them for evidence and then returned them to the water.

Both Galiszewski and McGrane were arrested. Each was charged with 20 counts possession of Queen Conch and they were booked into jail.

October 19, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a special time for children, but children don’t always know what is and is not safe. If your children are trick or treating on Halloween, there are several tips to follow for their safety.

Make sure they wear light colored costumes with plenty of reflective tape so they are visible to cars and trucks.

Have them go while it is still light outside.

They should be accompanied by an adult, or an older brother or sister.

They should never enter a stranger’s house even if invited.

They should not sample candy given to them until it has been checked by an adult for possible tampering.

Check with area hospitals to see if they offer free X-raying of treats on Halloween.

Notify a deputy if suspicious or harmful items are found in your child’s collection of treats.

They should stay away from homes with dogs loose in the yard.

Having a Halloween party is a good alternative to the tradition of trick or treating. It gives kids an opportunity to have a good time in a supervised and safe atmosphere.

For more Halloween Safety Tips, click here.

Arrest made in theft of political signs

A Key Largo man was arrested Thursday for removing and throwing away two political signs in his neighborhood.

77 year old Herbert Hudson was charged with two counts of petit theft for removing signs  from the vicinity of Michelle Drive and U.S. One in September. The signs belonged to candidate Steve Gibbs. Detectives arrested Hudson after receiving a complaint from Gibbs about his missing signs. During the course of the investigation, Hudson admitted to throwing the signs in a dumpster near the Yellow Bait House. He said he removed them in an effort to clean up the neighborhood.

Sheriff Bob Peryam would like to reiterate the Sheriff’s Office takes this crime seriously and will arrest anyone caught removing political signs illegally. Those candidates who have had signs stolen or vandalized are encouraged to report those crimes to the Sheriff’s Office so we can investigate.

It is legal for a property owner to remove signs from his/her property without notice. Anyone placing a sign on private property should always ask permission of the owner first.

The Florida Department of Transportation would like to remind candidates and their campaign workers they cannot place signs on FDOT right of ways.  According to an email from an FDOT spokesperson:

“We make every attempt to reach out to campaign staff to give them a ‘heads up’ that their signage is in the right of way, and to give them an opportunity to relocate it.  There are some cases where immediate removal is needed, i.e. when mowing or other state right-of-way maintenance functions are in progress.  There have been hundreds of small campaign signs placed in both state and local municipal right-of-ways. 

“We realize signs are expensive and want to educate rather than confiscate signs whenever possible.  We keep a log of removals and we do not remove signs from private property.  If someone is missing a sign from the right of way, they should contact our Asset Maintenance contractor, Transfield Services here in Marathon at (305) 289-4360 to see if it’s been logged in.  They will then have an opportunity to retrieve the sign for a period of two weeks before it is then taken to the transfer station.”

Deputies attend kids event at K-Mart

Deputy Andrew Leird (pictured) and Deputy Jason Keith represented the Sheriff’s Office and the Traffic Unit at a recent K-Mart Kids Day in Key Largo. The Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit was also there with Key Largo Fire Rescue.

Farm at Sigsbee Fall Fest

Farmer Jeanne, faithful volunteer Sally Bothelo and animals from the farm visited the Sigsbee Naval Air Station for their Fall Fest last week. You can follow Jeanne and the Animal Farm on Facebook on her at www.facebook.com/KeysAnimalFarm page.

Animal Farm at Lights Out after School

 Farmer Jeanne and her animals from the Sheriff's Office Animal Farm made a visit to Bayview Park Thursday night for Lights on after School, hosted by the Boys and Girls Club. As usual, they were a big hit with kids! You can follow Jeanne and the Animal Farm on Facebook on her at www.facebook.com/KeysAnimalFarm page.

Car wash for LEO related organizations

Sheriff’s Explorers and the Fraternal Order of Police held a car wash in Marathon last weekend to raise money for both organizations. There will be more car washes in the future for the same purpose and we will be announcing them on this page for those who want to support them.

October 17, 2012

Loud music leads to drug arrest

Key Largo – Deputies who responded to reports of loud, vulgar music blaring from a vehicle parked at Key Largo Community Park Tuesday evening arrested a 19 year old for possessing a felony amount of marijuana. The reporting person said she’d asked him to turn the music down, but he and others with him had begun yelling at her.

When deputies arrived at the park at 6:45 p.m., they found a silver colored Charger parked, with its doors wide open and music blaring loudly from the car. The driver, a 17 year old Tavernier boy, walked over and turned the music down when he saw them arrive. As Deputy Vaughn O’Keefe spoke with the driver, he could smell the distinct odor of marijuana coming from the car. Deputy Pedro Garcia was also present. He glanced in the window and saw a green leafy substance on the floor boards.

A brown colored purse was located on the back seat. The driver told deputies it belonged to his friend, 19 year old Aaron Marietta of Islamorada. He said he didn’t know Marietta had placed the bag in the car, but he’d seen Marietta with it in the past. He said Marietta uses the purse to carry marijuana. He said Marietta has been selling marijuana for several weeks, admitting that he has purchased some from Marietta in the past.

Marietta was found nearby and admitted the bag belonged to him. Inside the bag, deputies found a total of 83 grams of marijuana. They also found plastic bags used to package the illegal substance, rolling papers and a grinder. Marietta was arrested. He was charged with possession of a felony amount of marijuana within 1000 feet of a park and possession of drug paraphernalia and he was booked into jail.

A package of cigarettes was found in the 17 year old’s pocket. He was issued a Juvenile citation for being a minor in possession of tobacco. He was turned over to the custody of his father.

October 16, 2012

Reminder: please don’t let small children play with cell phones

Sheriff’s Office dispatchers would like to remind the public not to let children play with cell phones.

Recently, a small child called Sheriff’s dispatchers repeatedly during the course of a day, needlessly tying up phone lines and taking up dispatchers time. It was apparent to dispatchers she was playing with a cell phone belonging to an adult but she was too young for dispatchers to find out who she was, where she was calling from, or to convince her to find and adult.

“We want adults to teach their children how to call 911 in an emergency – that is important,” said Lt. Charlene Sprinkle-Huff, who heads up the Sheriff’s Office Communications Division. “But it is important for everyone to understand that cell phones aren’t a toy and should not be used as such.”

Even when a phone is deactivated, it can still be used to call 911. Federal law requires that cell phones must be able to call 911 at all times. As long as an old cell phone is functional, it can be used as an emergency phone.

“People think if a phone is deactivated it won’t make any calls at all, but that isn’t true. This incident took up a lot of time on the part of our dispatchers – time needed to answer real calls from people who really needed our help,” Lt. Sprinke-Huff said.

Another important piece of information for cell phone owners: If you call the Sheriff’s Office on a cell phone – on regular phone lines or on 911 – dispatchers cannot tell where you are calling from like they can on a regular hard-line phone. You must stay on the line and tell dispatchers where you are so they can send assistance to you.

Small child found in a canal dies despite resuscitation efforts

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit are investigating the death of a small child who was pulled from a canal on Sugarloaf Key Monday and could not be resuscitated.

Deputies were dispatched to Green Turtle Lane to reports of a 4 year old boy, not breathing. According to adults on the scene, he was last seen sitting on a porch eating pistachios. His mother, 29 year old Carletta Butler of Key West, was inside, feeding her second child, a newborn baby.

When she went to check on the 4 year old –Jadiyean Butler - he was no longer sitting on the porch. She and another adult, 42 year old Adrian Poitier of Sugarloaf Key, went looking for him and found him in the canal, not responsive.

They pulled him from the canal and were performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation when deputies arrived and took over CPR.

Paramedics also responded and made attempts to resuscitate the child as well, with no success.

Detectives will be investigating the circumstances of the case.

October 15, 2012

Damaging or removing political signs is illegal

Sheriff Bob Peryam would like to remind everyone that damaging or removing political signs without the permission of the owner of the signs is against the law.

While the Sheriff’s Office has not received any formal complaints, Sheriff Peryam says he and other members of his staff have received informal reports that some signs have been tampered with in various ways. So far, no one who has mentioned the incidents has wished to file a formal complaint.

He would like to encourage candidates who are having problems to come forward and make a report about it so our agency can investigate.

“Damaging a sign constitutes the crime of Criminal Mischief and removing one entirely is theft,” he said. “We take these crimes very seriously and will investigate them accordingly. This activity will not be tolerated,and violators will be arrested without any exception.”

October 14, 2012

Traffic stop leads to two drug arrests

Marathon – Two women were arrested Friday night after a traffic stop on their vehicle which had a tag light out.

Detective Nick Whiteman was on patrol at 9 p.m. when he spotted the beige colored Nissan four door passenger car with a tag light out. He pulled it over at 33rd Street in Marathon.

When the detective approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside. He asked the driver, 26 year old Sierra Williams of Miami for permission to search the car and she agreed. There were two female passengers in the car as well.

Deputies Spenser Bryan and Anthony O’Dea, along with Sgt. Ken Fricke, responded as back up. Under the driver’s seat, the detective found hundreds of small purpled colored ziplock bags. Hidden behind a side panel on the front passenger side, he found a large amount of marijuana in 95 separate plastic bags, packaged as if for sale.

Passenger Brandi Harley, 26, of Key West told Detective Whiteman the marijuana was hers. She was arrested. Driver Williams had a prescription bottle not in her name with Oxycodone inside. She was also arrested. The third person in the vehicle was released.

The marijuana weighed a total of 142 grams. Harley was charged with possessing a felony amount of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Williams was charged with possession of a controlled substance. Both women were booked into jail.

Fire destroys home on Loeb Avenue

Key Largo – Deputies and firefighters responded to a residential fire on Loeb Avenue in Key Largo Saturday afternoon.

Deputy Sever Hustad arrived at 223 Loeb Avenue at 3:17 p.m. and spoke with the home’s resident. The victim said he was cooking chicken on the stove when the grease caught fire.

He said he tried to put the fire out with water, but it spread up the wall. Firefighters from both Key Largo and Tavernier responded and extinguished the blaze, but the mobile home suffered extensive damage.

The Fire Marshal’s Office will be investigating.

October 12, 2012

Home Depot helps with CART

Home Depot in Marathon, and manager Joanna Williams, donated over $1,000.00 worth of equipment to the Monroe County Child Abduction Response team recently. Here is Williams, with CART members Elaine Woodson, Manny Cuervo and Linda Mixon, along with Colonel Rick Ramsay.

Cadets learn about Honor Guard

Plantation Key School cadets learned about the Honor Guard from Deputy Andrew Leird and Reserve James Aurelio this week.

Snake at the airport

This 10 foot long snake was found in the grass near the edge of the commercial ramp at the Key West airport Thursday. It was turned over to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In the photo, left to right, Deputy Don Stulken and Airport Security Technicians Mike Schwartz and Danny Valdez. Photo taken by Sgt. Evan Calhoun.

October 11, 2012

Sheriff's Animal Farm open Sunday, October 14th

The Sheriff's Animal Farm will be open this Sunday October 14th, between 1 - 3 p.m. Bring the family and come visit the animals at the farm, including horses, a cow, pigs, goats, bunnies, alligators, tropical birds, a Kinkajou, Sloths, a Lemur, Kramer the Emu, a family of Patagonian Cavys, tortoises and turtles, snakes and many more. It is free of charge (donations are welcome).

The farm is located just off of College Road, on Stock Island, at the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters complex. Groups may schedule special tours at the farm by calling Farmer Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7300.

You can also keep up with the farm and it’s animals on Facebook. Visit our page at www.facebook.com/KeysAnimalFarm.

October 10, 2012

Man found dead, floating in the water off Key Largo

Key Largo – A Key Largo man was found dead in the water offshore of the Florida Bay Club, on the bay side of the 103.5 mile marker of the highway today.

Detective Deborah Ryan of the Major Crimes Unit says there were no signs of foul play in evidence on the body of 58 year old Robert Thomas Gannaway of Key Largo when he was pulled from the water. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

Gannaway’s wife told Detective Ryan she woke up at 5 a.m. and found that her husband was gone from the house. He left his wallet and cell phone at home. His truck was gone.

At 10:20 a.m., Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call that a man’s body had been found just offshore of the Florida Bay Club. The body was identified as Gannaway.

His truck was found a short time later parked near Adam’s Cut Bridge, where Detective Ryan believes he most likely went into the water.

Search warrant leads to drug arrest

Stock Island - The Sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics Team, Special Investigations detectives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant Tuesday at 12:30 P.M.on Stock Island.

The warrant was served at 35-A 8th Avenue. As entry was made through the front of the trailer, 19 year old Jack Dennis Cantres ran out the back and was detained by detectives. The search turned up a half of a cookie of crack cocaine, the equivalent of about 45 crack cocaine rocks. Also found were  131 grams of powdered cocaine, 202 grams of marijuana and scales with drug residue. Detectives seized $4,841.00 in suspected drug proceeds. Several chickens on the property were turned over to the Florida Keys SPCA.

Cantres was arrested and charged with trafficking in cocaine and felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He also faces charges of possession of a counterfeit drivers license, and possession of drug paraphernalia. More charges are still pending.

October 8, 2012

Teen arrested for fleeing police, stolen auto

A 17 year old Cudjoe teen, arrested Friday for burglarizing vehicles on Big Pine Key, was arrested again today for fleeing from deputies in a stolen car.

Deputy Michael Claudy was parked in Layton at 3:30 a.m.  when driver Nicholas Burttram drove by him in a white pickup truck with “Pepsi” on the side in excess of 100 miles per hour, southbound. When Deputy Claudy pulled behind the truck and turned on his lights and siren, Burttram refused to stop.

Deputies at two locations in Marathon attempted to use tire spikes to stop the truck; Burttram used evasive maneuvers to drive around the spikes on both occasions, continuing at a high rate of speed. Deputies finally turned off lights and sirens on the Seven Mile Bridge in the hopes Burttram would slow down.

They followed Burttram at a distance to Sands Road on Big Pine Key, where he turned off the highway. He finally came to a stop at a residence on Avenue C on Big Pine Key. He was taken into custody at that location without incident. In the car, deputies found a bottle of Vodka that was almost empty. Burttram said he refused to stop for deputies because he was angry.

The truck he was driving turned out to have been stolen from a residence on Cudjoe Key.

Burttram was charged with fleeing police, reckless driving, burglary and theft of an automobile, possession of alcohol by a minor and resisting arrest. He was booked at the Marathon jail and turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

October 5, 2012

Key Largo man charged with fleeing police

Key Largo – A Key Largo man who attempted to flee from deputies early today was arrested.

Deputy Darnell Durham was stationary at the 102 mile marker at 1:40 a.m. when he saw 23 year old George Bosque, driving a Mercedes, run a stop sign at Laguna Avenue and U.S. One at a high rate of speed. The deputy pulled out to follow Bosque, who accelerated northbound.

Deputy Durham attempted to stop the vehicle using his lights and sirens, but Bosque refused to stop. Deputy Kyle Page was also in the area. He spotted the speeding vehicle just north of Pennekamp State Park. As he pulled behind the vehicle with his lights and siren activated, the vehicle turned right onto Collins Drive at a high rate of speed.

Bosque finally pulled over at the intersection of Collins Drive and Largo Avenue. He was placed under arrest. Inside the car, Deputy Page found an open Budweiser beer and a prescription bottle with marijuana inside.

Bosque was charged with fleeing from police, careless driving, possession of marijuana, possession of an open container of alcohol, running a stop sign, and not wearing a safety belt. After rolling papers were found in his pocket at the Plantation Key Detention Center, he was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and introduction of contraband to a detention facility.

Cudjoe teen charged with car burglaries

Big Pine Key – Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a Big Pine Key neighborhood early today to reports of a young man knocking on doors, talking and not making any sense.

Deputy John Gabay first went to a home on Avenue G at 1:30 a.m. The homeowner told him a young male in a white tank top and shorts knocked on his door. He said the young man was speaking but not making sense, so he called the Sheriff’s Office for assistance. As Deputy Gabay was at that location, a second call came in from Avenue D. A woman reported a man on her front porch wearing a white tank top and shorts was banging furniture around saying he was going to kill everybody.

Deputy Gabay responded to that location. He found the male, identified as 17 year old Nicholas Burttram, laying in the woods near the house. A vehicle parked at the home on Avenue D, had been burglarized. The glove compartment had been ransacked. A watch and a pack of cigarettes from the car were found in Burttram’s pocket. Also in his pocket was a GPS, and an Ipod.

Sgt. Mark Maison arrived as backup. He turned the GPS on and pushed the “home” button. The GPS gave an Avenue E address. The officers responded to the address and found a car which appeared to have been burglarized. The homeowner confirmed a GPS and an Ipod had been taken from his car.

All the property was returned to the owners. Burttram was still saying things that didn’t make sense and appeared to be under the influence of some type of controlled substance so an ambulance was called to the scene to make sure he was all right.

After he was checked out by paramedics, he was placed under arrest for two counts of vehicle burglary and two counts of theft. 

October 4, 2012

Customs Agent talks with Sheriff Cadets

Agent Tom Lofton from U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted a class with Plantation Key School cadets on his job in the aviation section of CBP. He also discussed his military background and how the cadets could start preparing and thinking about their possible future in military or law enforcement service, or both.

October 2, 2012

Missing woman found

The 50 year old woman who left home this morning on foot was found this afternoon.

Robin Barros was located a short distance from her home. Her husband reported her missing at 10:20 a.m. and said he last saw her before she left the house about 7:30 a.m.

Detectives say she was found hiding in some bushes beside the road and appears to be under the influence of a controlled substance of some kind. She is being checked out by paramedics.

Detectives say they don’t know where she has been, but they are relatively sure she was not in the location she was found for very long. Both detectives and a K-9 search team had been through that area several times already.

“The important thing is she was found safe,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Becky Herrin. “Thank you to everyone who turned out to help us look for her. We had all kinds of support from local public service agencies, residents of the area and from the media.”

Deputies search for missing woman

Sheriff’s deputies and detectives are currently working to find a woman reported missing near the 74 mile marker.

50 year old Robin Barros was reported missing by her husband, Michael Baxter, at 10:20 a.m. He said he last saw her at 7:30 a.m. when she left the house on foot. The two live at the 74 mile marker of the highway, on Lower Matacumbe Key.

She is described as five foot six inches tall, 130 pounds with shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes.

A K-9 search team has been dispatched to the area to assist in the search.

Anyone with information about her, or where she might be should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 305-289-2351.

October 1, 2012

Alcohol compliance check in Marathon

On Friday, the Special Investigations Division conducted an operation checking businesses that sell alcohol in the Middle Keys. Eleven businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. Two of the businesses served alcohol to minors during our investigations. The two people who sold the alcohol were given notices to appear before a Monroe County Judge. 

Brass Monkey Package store 232 55th St Marathon, Fl attendant – 79 year old Gloria Anne Holohan.

Citgo Gas Station 11011 Overseas HWY Marathon, Fl attendant – 60 year old Asep Tatang Sutardi 

The Sales Clerk violations are up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, $235 in court costs, $75 in cost of prosecution, and $40 in cost of investigation.

The Licensee Violations include:
·        1st offense $1000 fine and 7 day suspension
·        2nd offense $3000 fine and 30 day suspension
·        3rd offense Revocation of license.
The remaining businesses checked, were in compliance with the law.

This operation was conducted in cooperation with the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community.