May 29, 2015

Deputy investigating felony criminal mischief

A Sheriff’s deputy - Deputy Matt O'Neill - would like the public’s assistance identifying a truck that damaged one of the gates at Galway Bay trailer park in Marathon.

Surveillance video on the west gate entrance on the night of May 21st shows a truck pushing its way through the gate arms, doing approximately $1,000 in damage to them. The vehicle was entering the park at the time and, after the damage was done, the truck never stops and no one gets out to check on the damage that was done.

The truck is described as a grey or gold older model crew cab truck with a tool box in the bed of the truck. It has a white sticker on the top of the rear window and two smaller stickers on the left side of the rear window.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

Life saving award

This group - including Sheriff’s Dispatch Supervisor Terry Devooght and Deputy Todd Wyatt - received the Phoenix Award for lifesaving for their actions saving the life of a man March 22, 2015 who was not breathing. The award, created by the Emergency Medical Community to recognize such life saving actions, was given to them by Islamorada Village Mayor Mike Forster and Fire Chief Terry Abel.

Safety Patrol learns about law enforcement

District Four Detective Scott Ward and Deputy James Hager show the Stanley Switlik  School Safety Patrol the workings of a squad car. Not pictured but also present, Lt. Derek Paul and Det. Sgt. Tom Walker.

May 25, 2015

Routine ID check leads to homicide arrest

A routine check on people fishing in a no fishing zone turned in to an arrest on homicide charges.

Sgt. Chuck Kellenberger was at the north end of the Seven Mile Bridge at 2:30 a.m. today and saw a group of people fishing in an “No Fishing” area. He walked onto the bridge to warn the group and saw they were in the process of packing their things and leaving.

Sgt. Kellenberger asked the group for identification. When he checked names he found one of the men, 41 year old Yoan Chavez Estenoz of Hialeah, had an outstanding warrant from Hillsborough County for Homicide – First Degree Murder.

Estenoz was taken into custody without incident and was transported to jail where he will be held until he can be returned to Hillsborough County to face the charges.

May 22, 2015

Wanted man in custody

A man wanted for multiple Stock Island burglaries is in custody today.

23 year old Rigoberto Hernandez was arrested at 11 p.m. after a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling north at the 86 mile marker. The Sheriff’s Office received information he might be trying to flee the Keys and had details about the vehicle he might be traveling in.

Hernandez was taken into custody without incident. He is currently in jail charged with two counts of burglary and three counts each of grand theft and criminal mischief.

May 21, 2015

Farm donation from Zero K Run

Author, businessman and philanthropist David Sloan, organizer of the Cow Key Channel Zero K Bridge Run, hands over partial proceeds from the event to Mo the sloth. Mo gratefully accepted the check on behalf of himself and his fellow animal farm residents who are the grateful beneficiaries of this wonderful donation of $1,400. Farmer Jeanne Selander, who oversees the farm operations, was also present for the check presentation.

Girl Scouts painting fence at Farm

Girl Scout Troop 823 is decorating this new fence today around a mulch pile at the Animal Farm, making it beautiful for the animals and visitors alike. Come on out to the farm on Sunday between 1 - 3 p.m. and see their gorgeous artwork! Thanks girls!!!

Cudjoe man charged with molesting girl

An 18 year old man from Cudjoe Key has been charged with sexually molesting a 5 year old girl.

Johnathan Roberts is in jail charged with two counts sexual assault on a child under 12 and lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim under 12.

The abuse was reported to the Sheriff’s Office on April 23rd and was investigated by Major Crimes Detective Lissette Zuelch. After interviews with the victim, the victim’s parents and the suspect, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Roberts was booked into jail. His bond is set at $100,000.00.

May 20, 2015

Police Memorial Day photos

 Photos from last Friday's Police Memorial Day ceremony held at Bayview Park in Key West. Thanks to everyone who attended to honor fallen officers.

May 19, 2015

Drug arrest after warrant service

Arrest warrants were served this morning at a Stock Island residence.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, along with Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration served the warrant at 6436 2nd Street, on Stock Island at 11:30 a.m.  At the residence, detectives found 58 year old Hinh Q. Tran, the suspect listed on the arrest warrants.

A consent search of his residence turned up over 270 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and over $9,500 in cash - suspected proceeds from drug sales. 

Tran was charged with three outstanding warrants, each one for sale of cocaine and use of a two way communication device to facilitate a felony; he also faces charges of trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into the Stock Island detention facility.

May 15, 2015

Sheriff's deputy arrested

A Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested today on an outstanding warrant for domestic battery.

The warrant was issued based on a criminal investigation conducted by Key West Police into a domestic incident May 5th between 37 year old Edgar Piniero and his ex-girlfriend during which Piniero called her obscene names and allegedly spit in her face.

Piniero was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Piniero was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in January of 2003. He is employed as a deputy working Court Security at the Key West Courthouse. Piniero is currently suspended from his employment with the Sheriff’s Office until resolution of the case and the outcome of a Sheriff’s Office internal review.

Sheriff’s Office will participate in Click It or Ticket

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the state-wide Florida Click It or Ticket campaign starting on Monday. The campaign will run through May 31st.

Sheriff’s deputies – and particularly Traffic Enforcement deputies – will be paying particular attention during that time to seat belt enforcement.

So make sure you buckle up. It only takes a few seconds and it has been proven that seat belts save lives.

Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony tonight

I hope we will get a good crowd tonight at this event at Bayview Park at 5:30 p.m. We will be honoring officers fallen in the line of duty. Please attend and help remember them and their sacrifice.


 Members of the Sheriff’s Office turned out to help Saturday with the Key West Police Athletic League 5K. As you can see, they had a lot of fun!

State Attorney gives award for cooperation

On Wednesday at the quarterly Law Enforcement Luncheon held at the Naval Air Station Fly Navy building, the State Attorney’s Office gave a special award to Sheriff’s General Counsel Patrick McCullah for his ongoing efforts to promote a spirit of cooperation between the two agencies. Left to right, Assistant State Attorneys Nick Travado, Manny Madruga, Patrick McCullah and State Attorney Catherine Vogel.

State Attorney gives deputy award

On Wednesday at the quarterly Law Enforcement Luncheon held at the Naval Air Station Fly Navy building, the State Attorney’s Office gave their Officer of the Quarter award to Deputy Andrew Hudson for his skill and assistance working with them on DUI cases. Left to right, Assistant State Attorneys Manny Madruga, Nick Trovato, Deputy Andrew Hudson and State Attorney Catherine Vogel.

Life saving awards

 Deputy Donald Stulken, Sgt. Evan Calhoun and Deputy Todd Wyatt all received Sheriff’s Medals for lifesaving at Friday’s Employee Awards Ceremony in Marathon. Stulken and Calhoun pulled a woman from a burning building and Wyatt saved a man’s life by performing CPR.

Awards for shooting incident

 These two groups were recognized for their part in a shooting incident which took place in Key Largo in January. In one photo, Trooper Christine Gracey, Sgt. Sydney Whitehouse and Dep. Nestor Argote all received the Medal of Valor for their actions in directly confronting the armed gunman, who fired repeatedly at them as they attempted to take him into custody. In the second photo, Amanda Robinson, Carolina Diesen, Christina Russell Sielicki and Dustin Dumovich, all Communications Officers who worked during the incident and  Detective Barney Sajdak who responded as a back-up officer at the scene, were all recognized for their part  in the incident.

Employees of the quarter honored

The Sheriff’s Office honored its Employees of the Quarter at a ceremony May 8th in Marathon. In the photo, left to right, Information Services Supervisor Mike Grattan, Sgt. Jason Madnick, Res. Deputy Emil LaVache with Sheriff Rick Ramsay. Not pictured: Explorer David Williams  and Corrections Deputy Robert Salter.

May 14, 2015

Stolen rods/reels recovered during search warrant

Sheriff’s detectives recovered rods and reels stolen in two separate boat burglaries during a drug related search warrant Monday.

When Special Investigations detectives served the search warrant at 6529 Maloney Avenue, Lot 14 on Monday, they arrested 40 year old Miguel Chavez on drug charges. While searching the residence, they also found rods and reels in the hallway and in the back yard. The rods and reels were from two boat burglaries that took place at Oceanside Marina on Stock Island. Several of the rods were easily identified because they had been marked with the name of the person they were stolen from.

Chavez told Detective Dave Chavka they were his. He said he bought a few of them new, and the others from “people on the street” for between $10 and $30, well below the estimated value of the equipment.

Chavez was charged Wednesday with two counts dealing in stolen property, in addition to the drug charges he was already facing.

May 13, 2015

Man airlifted for head injury; detectives investigating

A Key Largo man was airlifted this morning after suffering a head injury. Detectives are investigating the circumstances.

The victim, 47 year old Daniel Rivero, told Deputy Gil Gonzalez he went to bed Tuesday night about 9:30 p.m. He said he woke up at an unknown time “feeling like he had been hit with something”. When he tried to get out of bed, he couldn’t stand and noticed a large amount of blood coming from an injury to his head. Rivero suffered a laceration on the left side of his head and a fractured skull.

Sheriff’s dispatchers received a report of someone injured at the residence and, when deputies arrived, they found Rivero sitting on the stairs of his apartment building. He was transported to Mariner’s Hospital and then airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Detectives are investigating the case.