January 30, 2015

Canadian man dies after dive offshore of Key Largo

A man from Ontario, Canada died Thursday after diving at French Reef offshore of Key Largo.

The dive vessel, called “Visibility” came in to John Pennekamp State Park shortly after 3 p.m. with CPR in progress on the 58 year old victim, James Leek. Paramedics took over at the dock, transporting Leek to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The captain of the vessel told Deputy Jean Gonzalez they were diving at French Reef. The dive was about half an hour at 38 feet in depth. Leek was with a dive instructor in the water. The two men surfaced and Leek appeared to be fine. When they reached the boat’s ladder, Leek became unresponsive. He was loaded onto the boat and they began performing CPR immediately, bringing him in to shore.

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

January 29, 2015

FSA honorary member honored

Sheriff Rick Ramsay with Stanley Hayden of Islamorada. Mr. Hayden was recognized by the Florida Sheriff’s Association for supporting the group for the past 25 years.

Graffiti eradication

 Deputy Donald Stulken located this and some other graffiti in several spots near the south end of Bahia Honda. Sgt. Linda Mixon’s squad worked together to get supplies and paint over the unsightly mess. Here are before and after pictures. In the photos, Deputies Stulken, Jon Riggs and Nancy Roberts.

District Seven formal inspection

 District Seven in the Upper Keys had its formal inspection this week. Here are some photos of those awesome troops!

Islamorada formal inspection

Our Islamorada District had its formal inspection this week. Here are some photos......Looking sharp!

January 28, 2015

Literacy Week Gerald Adams School

In the Lower Keys, deputies read to kids at Gerald Adams School during Literacy Week. In the photo, Deputy Vicki Lockwood reads to a group of kids at the school.

Corrections recruits start academy training

Corrections recruits started their academy training this week and they are looking sharp. Today they took part in a team building exercise that involved a timed exercise where the group, blindfolded, had to work together to form a rectangle utilizing a rope. They were looking a little bit challenged when I took this photo.....

Literacy week at Stanley Switlik School

In Marathon, the Sheriff's Office partnered with Stanley Switlik School to celebrate Literacy Week. Lt. Derek Paul, Deputies James Hager, Matthew Pitcher, Caridad Calloway, Detective Scott Ward and Detective Sgt. Tom Walker all joined in the fun.

Layton clean up

The Sheriff's Office worked with community partners this past weekend to pick up over 700 pounds of trash in Layton.

Literacy Week at Key Largo School

The Sheriff's Office partnered with Key Largo School to celebrate Literacy Week. Several members enjoyed reading to elementary kids, including Lt. Lee Ann Holroyd, Lt. Al Ramirez, Sgt. Dawn Leird, Sgt. Mark Coleman and Sgt. Jennifer Torres.

Fingerprints identify motorcycle thief

A man from Doral, Florida who stole a motorcycle from Key West in August was arrested and charged with the crime Tuesday.

33 year old Eric Jimenez stole the Suzuki motorcycle from a Key West resident on August 25th. Key West Police issued a notice to be on the lookout for it that morning. Deputy William Daniels spotted it at the 62 mile marker northbound, but was unable to turn around to pursue it. He radioed other deputies and Deputy Rosary Ponce, on patrol in Islamorada, spotted it at the 73 mile marker. The motorcycle and driver fit the description given by KWPD. She began following and was backed up by Deputy Caridad Bellon.

The motorcycle appeared to be pulling over at Whale Harbor, but after looking back at the deputies, the driver sped up again, reaching speeds of 103 miles per hour. He finally pulled off the roadway at the 86 mile marker and ditched the motorcycle, fleeing on foot.

A search failed to turn up the driver. His fingerprints, however, were found on the motorcycle.

The prints were processed and were identified as belonging to Jimenez. A warrant was issued for his arrest. He was booked into jail Tuesday on charges of grand theft and two counts fleeing and eluding police.

Two charged with gun threats

Two Marathon residents were arrested Tuesday, charged with threatening another man with a gun.

Deputy Orlando Alvarez responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Manor Lane Friday at 10 p.m. When he arrived, he found a truck along with two men and a woman who appeared to be friends. He also found two handguns on the scene – a .22 caliber Ruger pistol on the ground and an MK2 9 mm pistol in the truck. Both guns were loaded and the one in the truck had a round stuck as if it jammed upon firing.

All three subjects said they had no knowledge of the firearms and they said they were friends and had no problems between them. None of them had outstanding warrants and the guns were checked and were clear. There was a seize tag order on the truck. The tag was seized and the three were allowed to go.

The following day, Saturday, one of the men called and said he wanted to report being threatened with a gun. He said he didn’t report it the night before because he was afraid. He said the man and woman he’d been with the night before, whom he identified as 33 year old Nicole Rice and 26 year old Michael Ivens, had threatened him. He said they were angry at him because they said he was saying bad things about Rice.

He said before deputies arrived, he’d gotten into a confrontation with Ivens, who was wearing surgical gloves and had one of the handguns. He said they struggled over the gun. He said during the struggle, Ivens yelled to Rice, “shoot him.” He said Rice then pointed the second gun at him and pulled the trigger. He said the gun jammed and that is when deputies arrived on the scene.

On Sunday, the victim called the Sheriff’s Office again. He said he’d received threatening calls and text messages from Ivens. During a phone call he said Ivens thanked him for not reporting him, but said he was still going to shoot him. A text message from Ivens which he showed to deputies said “thank you, but I’m still going to shoot you.” He also received several threatening text messages from Rice which he showed to deputies.

Warrants were issued for Rice and Ivens, who were subsequently arrested Tuesday. Both were charged with aggravated assault, carrying concealed firearms and intimidating a witness. 

January 26, 2015

Woman charged with fleeing from deputy

A Key West woman failed to stop for a deputy in a marked patrol car. She was later found to have illegal prescriptions in her car, as well as identification cards for a number of different people she said she did not know.

A citizen called in a reckless driver at 1:30 p.m. Sunday after seeing a van swerving and driving very slowly just south of the Boca Chica Bridge. Deputy Lazaro Valdez was in the area and got behind the van, which he also saw swerving in the roadway. He turned on his lights and siren to stop the vehicle, but it continued southbound into the city of Key West.

Deputy Valdez could see the female driver looking into her side mirror at him, so he knew she was aware he was trying to pull her over. Instead of stopping, she continued at speeds of 5 – 10 miles per hour onto South Roosevelt Boulevard and onto Duck Avenue. She finally stopped in the 3700 block of Duck Avenue.

The driver was identified as 38 year old Lourdes Mena of Key West. Her driver’s license had been suspended six times for failure to pay traffic fines. She was arrested and charged with fleeing and attempting to elude police.

She had three pill bottles in her purse, two of which had another person’s name on them. The pill bottles contained Hydrocodone and Diazepam. She also had a driver’s license and several social security cards in other people’s names. She said she did not know who the people were.

She was further charged with fraudulent use or possession of another person’s identification, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and trafficking in a controlled substance. She was booked into jail.

Mississippi man charged with 2006 warrant

A Mississippi man was booked into jail Sunday, charged with a warrant for dealing in stolen property from 2006.

In November of 2006, the victim told deputies let 44 year old Frank Holland stay in a small apartment behind his Marathon home. He said he returned home after being out of town for a few days and found his rear sliding glass door ajar. His Rolex watch and some cash were missing from inside.

The victim went to the Cash Flow Pawn Shop in Marathon where he found his watch. He called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.

Investigations revealed Holland was the person who pawned the watch, receiving $150 in return for it. A warrant was issued for Holland’s arrest. On January 5th, the Sheriff’s Office received notification Holland had been picked up in Mississippi. He was returned to Monroe County to face the dealing in stolen property charge as well as an outstanding charge of violation of probation for possessing a false identification, driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia.

January 25, 2015

Woman attacked behind her home

An Islamorada woman said a man attacked her behind her apartment in the early morning hours today. When she asked the man why he was hitting her, he told her it was because he loved her.

The 63 year old victim told Deputy Josh Brady it was 12:30 a.m. when she heard a knocking noise at the back door of her apartment, which is in the vicinity of the 82 mile marker of U. S. One. She opened the door and found a man – later identified as 66 year old William Roberts of Tennessee. Roberts was wearing a sweater he had taken from her vehicle, which was parked just outside the door. The victim had never seen Roberts before and had no idea who he was.

Roberts had a stick in his hand and he began to beat her with it. When she asked why he was beating her, he told her it was because he loved her.

During her struggle to get away, the victim tore off the sweater he was wearing. He reportedly had nothing else on besides a pair of white underwear. At that point, Roberts backed away from her allowing her run back inside her apartment and lock the door.

Sgt. Ralph Williams found Roberts a short distance away. He was arrested. He was charged with aggravated battery and burglary of a vehicle and he was booked into jail.

January 23, 2015

Congratulations, employees of the quarter

Sheriff’s Office honored its employees of the fourth quarter of 2014 at a ceremony last Friday in Marathon. From left to right, Deputy David Lariz, Explorer Robert Hester, Reserve Deputy James Humelsine, Finance Assistant Carol Stephens and Detention Deputy Charles Miles. Congratulations!

Sugarloaf School Safety Day

 The Sheriff's Office had lots of fun yesterday at the Sugarloaf School Safety Day!

Formal inspection, Lower Keys

 The Lower Keys patrol district went through their annual formal inspection this week. They look sharp!!!