February 29, 2016
Programs Director Keena Allen participated in the Key West Black History Stroll; one of the stops was the Key West Cemetery where she spoke about Deputy Frank Adams, the first deputy to be killed in the line of duty in the Florida Keys on October 7th, 1901.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:23 PM
A Key Largo woman who works as a day care teacher at St. Justin Church in Key Largo was arrested today for child abuse.
51 year old Virginia Amaya is accused of injuring a 4 year old girl’s lip during the course of disciplining her for misbehavior on the playground. The incident took place on February 24th. It was reported to the Sheriff’s Office by the school’s administrator.
According to reports by Major Crimes Detective Vince Weiner, several children were misbehaving on the playground. Amaya reportedly was scolding the children when she pushed the 4 year old’s head down, hitting her lip on a table.
Amaya was arrested today and charged with child abuse. She was booked into jail.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 12:19 PM
February 27, 2016
An inmate at the Stock Island jail who had an apparent seizure in his cell just after midnight was pronounced dead at Lower Keys Hospital.
28 year old Michael Gunderson of Sugarloaf Key was arrested February 23rd after being stopped on the Boca Chica four lane for driving erratically. He was found to have no driver’s license and was in possession of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, all of which he was charged for possession.
The Corrections deputy on duty was doing a regularly scheduled check of cells at approximately 11:30 p.m. when he saw Gunderson laying on the floor of his cell with a blanket on top of him. Gunderson had no roommate and was alone in the cell. The deputy opened the cell door to tell Gunderson to get back onto his bunk. At that point, the deputy saw Gunderson’s hands were clenched. Further observation revealed he appeared to be having a seizure.
Nurses on duty at the jail responded to the housing unit and the fire department was also notified and responded. Gunderson was transported to Lower Keys Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Major Crimes Detective Manuel Cuervo responded to investigate. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was also notified and will be investigating. Detective Cuervo said there were no obvious signs of foul play.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 8:26 AM
February 26, 2016
These kids, from Mrs. Kate Hofstetter’s class at Treasure Village Montessori School, are celebrating. They just graduated an 11 week intensive drug, alcohol, and tobacco resistance course called Project Alert. Project Alert, taught by Sheriff's Office School Resource Officers, helps kids in 7th grade learn about the consequences of giving in to peer pressure as it relates to alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Each lesson has a specific topic, and kids act out skits during which they get to practice resistance skills. This particular classs was taught by SRO Deputy Larry O'Neill. The last class day ended with students writing a commitment essay on why they wish to live a healthy drug free life. In the picture, they are tossing up their essays as they would toss up their graduation caps.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:42 PM
A sharp cashier at a Key Largo business helped the Sheriff’s Office catch a couple passing fake $100 bills Thursday.
At 3 p.m., Detective Barney Sajdak heard over his police radio a notice to be on the lookout for a vehicle occupied by a couple involved in attempting to pass a fake $100 bill at Mother Ocean Consignment at the 99 mile marker of the highway. The clerk called the Sheriff’s Office after a woman gave her a $100 bill to pay for a purchase; the cashier recognized it was fake, gave it back to the woman, and then called to report it. The vehicle – a black Ford Ranger truck – left headed southbound on the highway with a man and a woman inside.
Det. Sajdak spotted a similar vehicle parked in front of a hardware store at the 92 mile marker. He pulled in and contacted the driver, 70 year old Francisco Montes-Quinones of Hialeah Gardens, Florida. The detective asked the man where his wife was, but the man refused to answer. He then asked the man if he had any money and if so, could he see it. Quinones opened his wallet, revealing a number of bills, including several that were a different color and had a different feel to them. In addition, in checking the serial numbers, the detective noticed all the serial numbers were identical. More of the fake currency was later found above the sun visor of the truck, in an envelope.
Quinones was detained; his wife, 52 year old Mariela Carvajal-Perez, then exited the Island Décor store nearby. She was carrying a shopping bag. At that point, Deputy Matt Koval had arrived on scene to assist, so Det. Sajdak went into the store to talk with the owner. She confirmed Perez had just purchased an item using a $100 bill and had received $78.50 in change. She produced the $100 bill which was identical to the others found in Quinones’ wallet.
More charges may be pending. Investigations are continuing into their connection with other reports of fake $100 bills passed at Upper Keys businesses in recent weeks.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 11:33 AM
Skeletal remains found on Summerland Key in December have been identified as a missing man from Norway.
Major Crimes Detective Manny Cuervo says dental records were instrumental in making the positive identi-fication. He says the body of the man found on Summerland Key is that if 56 year old Guiseppe Codiglia. Codiglia was reported missing by his son, Mats Codiglia Weberg in June of 2015.
Weberg said his father traveled to the United States in February of 2015 and spent time visiting a friend in New Jersey. Weberg said his father would check in with his family a couple of times a week, but stopped calling in late May. While in the States, Codiglia was reportedly traveling in a motor home registered to his friend in New Jersey. The motor home was towed from Summerland Boat Rental by Anchor Towing on May 28th and the owner was notified about the tow. He told Weberg where it was and the son came to the Keys looking for his father. When he was unsuccessful in locating him, the son reported the missing man to the Sheriff’s Office.
The motor home appeared undisturbed inside, and contained personal items belonging to Codiglia includ-ing clothing, a laptop computer, cell phone, and a gun case with paperwork for a .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver. There was no sign of a struggle or indications of foul play inside. Codiglia’s wallet, keys, passport and a second cell phone were not inside, however, leading to the possibility that he had simply walked away from the motor home and disappeared.
Flyers were issued with his information, and he was listed as missing with both the Florida and National Crime Information Centers (FCIC/NCIC). Detective Cuervo also called the Norwegian Embassy and notified them to be on the lookout for Codiglia should he return to his home country. Several tips were received from people who thought they spotted Codiglia, but none of them turned out to be true sightings.
On December 28th, human skeletal remains were found in a mangrove area on Summerland Key. A gun was found with the remains, matching the make, model and serial number of the paperwork found in the motor home in which Codiglia was traveling. Detective Cuervo contacted Norwegian authorities for assistance in obtaining dental records for comparison to confirm the remains were Codiglia’s. In late January, the dental records were provided to Interpol in Washington and forwarded to Detective Cuervo. He gave the records to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office for comparison. On February 18th, that office confirmed the remains were those of Guiseppe Codiglia. His family was then notified of that identification.
At this time, detectives say it appears Codiglia may have committed suicide. At the time of his disappear-ance, family members indicate he was having significant financial difficulties in Norway stemming from a bankruptcy, he’d recently lost his business and owed considerable funds to the government.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 11:21 AM
February 25, 2016
The Sheriff's Office has current job openings for Communications Officers. For more information about these job openings, or about any employment with the Sheriff's Office, visit our web site at: http://www.keysso.net/admin_divs/hrd/hrd.htm
Posted by Becky Herrin at 2:45 PM
A Kentucky man was arrested today in Key West after he pointed a gun at the driver and passenger of a truck as he was driving southbound on highway U.S. One.
The victims were traveling in a Dot Palm landscaping truck southbound just before 10 a.m. today when a white Chevy Silverado truck reportedly cut into the path of their vehicle in the vicinity of the Bahia Honda Bridge. The occupants of the vehicles reportedly exchanged gestures with one another. The driver of the truck, 58 year old Calvin Hudson of Rockfield, Kentucky pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the men in the Dot Palm truck. The victims said Hudson first pulled up beside them on the right hand side and pointed the gun at the passenger; he then pulled up on the left side and pointed the gun at the driver. The occupants of the Dot Palm truck called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.
Deputy Wang spotted and stopped the truck in the city of Key West, near Searstown Shopping Center. Hudson told Deputy Richard Wang he and his wife, who was also in the truck, had driven to Key West on vacation. The gun was found in a hidden compartment under the drink holders in the center console. Hudson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into jail.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:43 PM
February 23, 2016
The Sheriff’s Office Dive team and Marine deputy recovered a truck submerged in a canal on Summerland Key.
Deputy Richard Wang responded to East Shore Drive on Summerland Key Friday to reports of a truck in a canal. Two people paddle boarding spotted the truck in about 15 feet of water and called to report it.
Dive team members, assisted by Sheriff’s Marine Deputy James Hager and Anchor Towing, removed the truck from the water. The algae growth on the truck indicated it had been in that location for some time. The key was in the ignition and it was in neutral. The tag had been removed and all the windows were open.
The 2003 white Ford F150 was registered to Geico Insurance Company. According to a records check on the vehicle, an insurance claim had been paid on the vehicle in July of 2009. A report of a missing vehicle was filed with Homestead Police Department at that time, but the truck was not at that time classified as stolen, according to the records.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:14 PM
The Sheriff's Animal Farm will be open this Sunday February 28th, 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, a skunk, an opossum, tortoises and turtles, snakes and many more. It is free of charge (donations are welcome).
And, don’t forget to mark your calendars now because Easter on the Animal Farm is scheduled for Sunday, March 13th. Kids can visit and have their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny, hunt Easter eggs, participate in arts and crafts, visit the Home Depot workshop, listen to live music and much more.
You can keep up with the farm and it’s animals on Facebook. Visit our page at www.facebook.com/KeysAnimalFarm
Posted by Becky Herrin at 10:26 AM
In an event to raise money for Relay for Life, the Sheriff’s Office and the Key West Police will face off on the basketball court March 12th.
The Sheriff’s “Stars” will play the KWPD “Finest” in the fourth annual “Let’s Dunk on Cancer” game at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12th at the Key West High School gymnasium. The event is open to the public. A $5 donation would be appreciated at the door and there will be food, drinks and raffle tickets on sale. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life.
“This event is a lot of fun for everyone involved. It is a hard fought, good-natured competition for a great cause. We get a chance to play with our friends at the police department. Come on out and have fun with us on March 12th,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 10:12 AM
February 22, 2016
Sheriff’s deputies took a Marathon man into custody peacefully Friday after he pulled a gun on them as they tried to serve an active warrant.
Deputies Danielle Malone, William Daniels and Key Colony Beach Officer John Smith went to a home on 4th Avenue Ocean in Marathon just before 10 p.m. Friday. They were there to serve an arrest warrant on 43 year old David Williams.
Deputy Malone knocked on the door and Williams opened the door. When he saw she was a deputy, he tried to slam the door shut. Deputy Malone was able to grab the door and open it. Williams, who was just inside the door, began stepping backwards and raised a gun toward Deputy Malone.
Deputy Malone was able to take cover outside the door and yelled “gun” to let the other officers know Williams was armed. She then yelled for William to drop the gun and come out with his hands in the air.
At that point, Williams complied with orders and surrendered peacefully. The loaded firearm was located inside, on the couch. Williams later apologized for pointing the gun at the officers.
Williams was with the warrant; he was further charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 3:15 PM
February 21, 2016
Just received notice: FDOT says crews will be working on Cow Key Channel Bridge on the northbound side. There will be lane closures due to this work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday of this week. Please expect potentially major traffic delays and plan accordingly if you must travel through the area of the triangle during that time period. They say there will be officers stationed at the triangle and at College Road in an attempt to keep traffic flowing as much as possible.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 5:39 PM
February 19, 2016
Posted by Becky Herrin at 10:59 AM
A homeless Key West man was charged Thursday with stealing a truck from where it was parked at the 39 mile marker of the highway.
The owner of the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 truck told Deputy Todd Jones he parked it at the Ohio Bahia Honda Channel Bridge to take his morning walk. He put the keys in the gas cap compartment. As he was walking on the bike/walking path, he saw his truck pass him heading south on U.S. One. When he got back to his residence on Sunshine Key, he called to report the theft.
As Deputy Jones was taking the theft report, Sheriff’s Office dispatchers informed him that Key West Police had the stolen truck and a suspect in custody on numerous charges from an incident in the city of Key West. Deputy Jones responded to the Stock Island Detention Center where he additionally charged the suspect, 40 year old Chad Watson, with grand theft of a vehicle.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 9:19 AM
February 18, 2016
A small plane crashed upon trying to land at Tavenero Airport, a small private airport in Tavernier. One person – the pilot – was on board and was not injured. Florida Highway Patrol will be investigating the case. The Federal Aviation Administration has also been notified
When the plane crashed, it hit some phone lines in the area of Plantation Avenue. People who live in that area may experience problems with their service. The phone company has been notified.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 7:49 PM
Posted by Becky Herrin at 3:18 PM
Posted by Becky Herrin at 3:17 PM
A Cincinnati, Ohio man died while snorkeling offshore of Key Largo Wednesday.
65 year old Michael Schmidt and his wife were on board the 42 foot catamaran Reef Roamer, on a snorkeling trip. They were both in the water at about 2:45 p.m. when Schmidt began having trouble. Both the crew on the vessel and other snorkelers in the water heard Schmidt’s wife call for assistance. The vessel’s mate jumped in the water and swam to him, then towed him back to the boat performing rescue breathing on the way. Once on board the vessel, CPR was performed until the Coast Guard arrived on scene, after which they took over attempts to save Schmidt’s life.
The boat, escorted by the Coast Guard arrived at the Port Largo Homeowner’s Park at 3:20 p.m. At that point, paramedics from Key Largo fire rescue transported him to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 12:45 PM
February 17, 2016
Posted by Becky Herrin at 10:46 AM
February 16, 2016
Officers searching Marathon High School have declared the school "all clear" and it is safe for students and faculty to return. There were no devices found at the school. We take these cases very seriously and we will be investigating who may have made this false bomb threat at the school.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:37 PM
backhoe on the Seven Mile Bridge in the early morning hours today.
Update: Multiple officers from several different agencies on Marathon High School campus searching room by room to make sure the school is safe. Kids and employees are safely evacuated. Please be patient as we are doing all we can to ensure the campus is free from any danger before we allow anyone back into the school.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 12:58 PM
There has been a bomb threat at Marathon High School. Students and employees of the school are being evacuated as a precautionary measure while deputies search the school and make sure all is safe. Students are fine, but if parents feel the need to come to the area, they should go to Kmart where they will receive regular updates on the situation. Parents will not be allowed to go to the school itself for security reasons.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 12:02 PM
Here are a few photos of the backhoe that wreaked havoc on the Seven Mile Bridge this morning. These were taken after the spikes were used to flatten the tires, which finally stopped it at the north end of the bridge.
Photos taken by Lt. Derek Paul, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Posted by Becky Herrin at 8:11 AM
The Seven Mile Bridge was closed to traffic for over three hours early today after a man dumped boulders on the roadway with a backhoe at the north end of the bridge. He then took the backhoe for a ride, traveling back and forth on the bridge for an hour and a half.
59 year old Carl Blahnik damaged the roadway and the sides of the bridge with the backhoe as he recklessly traveled first southbound, then northbound changing directions several times. Deputies following him with lights and sirens had to also reverse directions several times to avoid being struck by the backhoe. One deputy’s patrol vehicle was damaged during the pursuit. Deputies finally left the bridge for their own safety, also making sure all other vehicles exited the bridge as well.
Finally, at about 1:20 a.m., Blahnik drove off the north end of the bridge and waiting deputies threw Stinger Spike strips in front of the backhoe puncturing its tires. The vehicle came to a rest and Blahnik was arrested. He complained of pain in his shoulder and trouble breathing so he was taken to Fishermen’s Hospital before being taken to jail.
It took more than an hour and a half to clean the roadway of debris with the assistance of Florida Highway Patrol and make sure the bridge was safe. Traffic was finally allowed to resume just after 3 a.m.
Blahnik was charged with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, digging up or any way disturbing any street or highway (FL. Statute 316.2035.3), failing to register a motor vehicle and grand theft of a vehicle.
Blahnik was carrying a Wisconsin identification card at the time of his arrest, but an encounter deputies had with him Monday morning revealed he is possibly homeless and staying in a wooded area near Coco Plum Beach. It is believed the backhoe may have been taken from a construction site at Marathon City Park.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 6:37 AM
Two Geiger Key residents were arrested Monday morning after a traffic enforcement deputy saw them driving recklessly at high rates of speed on the Boca Chica four lane in the Lower Keys.
The Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints from citizens about speeding in the construction zone on the four lane stretch of highway between Stock Island and Big Coppitt Key. The speed limit for the area has been set at 45 miles per hour while construction is being done.
On Monday morning, Deputy John McGee was on patrol at 8 a.m. on his motorcycle in that area when he spotted two vehicles – a green four door sedan and a blue pickup truck - traveling at over 85 miles per hour in that area. The vehicles appeared to be racing each other. The truck was behind the car, so Deputy McGee got behind the lead vehicle in an attempt to pull them both over. The woman driving the car – identified as 25 year old Melissa Bazley – refused to pull over. He pulled up to the driver’s side window, which was down, and motioned and yelled for her to pull over. She still refused.
Deputy McGee finally got both vehicles stopped. Bazely refused to produce her driver’s license, instead asking the deputy “why are you harassing me?” After repeatedly ordering her to produce her license, she continued to refuse. The male – identified as 24 year old Shaun Stevens – also began to get belligerent with the deputy, so he called for backup officers to assist.
Bazely had to be forcibly removed from her car because she continued to be completely non-compliant with all orders. Stevens was also resistive, and at one point as he confronted Deputy McGee, he stepped out into the roadway into oncoming traffic. Stevens at protested that they were “just speeding to get home” and asked why the deputy had to “harass them like that”.
Both of them were arrested and taken to jail. Bazley was charged with failure to obey a law enforcement officer, participating in unlawful racing and resisting arrest. Stevens was charged with participating in unlawful racing.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 6:35 AM
February 14, 2016
In order to benefit from this fix, please download the new update as soon as possible. If you have an older IPhone - an IPhone 4 or 5 - you will have to uninstall the app and reinstall it.Once you do this, you should once again begin receiving our notifications on your phone.
Thank you for your patience. Please share this information with others who may have the app.
For those of you who do not have our app and with to download it, search the Google Play store or the Apple Store for "Monroe County Sheriff's Office". We use our notifications to let you know when there are major accidents on the highway or other issues which might cause extended delays in traffic. The app also features our live Calls for Service, Arrests / Mug Shots, a list of Sexual Offenders and their locations and much more.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 9:36 AM
February 12, 2016
Sheriff's Office School Resource Deputies Dave Stark and Larry O’Neill conducted training for cadets on traffic stops and officer safety. Cadets Jayden Gattorno and Michael Anchetta got to practice doing traffic stops, talking on the radio using the military phonetic alphabet, and using proper police lingo and procedures.
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:26 PM
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:17 PM
Posted by Becky Herrin at 1:15 PM