November 30, 2016

Job opening: staff accountant

The Sheriff's Office has a job opening for Special Revenue Fund Staff Accountant with our HIDTA group. The job requires a two year Associates Degree with college level course work in accounting. Other requirements can be found on our web site at

Semi-Annual Crime Stats show significant decrease

 The Florida Department of Law Enforcement yesterday released crime statistics for counties and cities, showing an impressive decrease for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for the first half of 2016.

Between January and June of this year, areas of the county patrolled by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office showed a decrease in major crimes of 19.3% over the same time period in 2015. Most of that decrease was in property crimes like theft, grand theft and burglary.

And the clearance rate for crimes in the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction was an impressive 28.9%. This is slightly lower than the same period last year, but still considerably higher than before Sheriff Rick Ramsay took office, when the clearance rate for crimes was consistently running at 23% or less. It is also higher than the overall state clearance rate of 25.7%.

“We are continually working to increase our clearance rates in Monroe County,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Clearing crimes in our highly transient county is tough – many South Florida criminals come here to commit crimes and then return home to other jurisdictions; this, coupled with transient victims who often leave and return home to other states or countries makes solving crimes difficult.”

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office does considerably better at clearing cases than other counties in Florida. For instance Orange County reported a 24.1% clearance rate; Miami-Dade County a 18.7% rate; Palm Beach County a rate of 20.8% clearance rate.

There are two ways to clear a case: by arrest or "Cleared by Exception", which means an offender has been identified but there is something beyond the agency's control which keeps that offender from being arrested. An example would be that the offender is dead, extradition from another jurisdiction is denied, or the case involves a juvenile offender who cannot be charged for some reason.

“I am very happy to see such positive numbers in the first six months of 2016,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. Our efforts at cleaning up our community  and making it more safe is having a consistent and visible effect on our crime,” he said.

November 27, 2016

Man flees from deputies, crashes his car

A Miami man is in the hospital after fleeing from deputies at a high rate of speed; deputies stopped chasing him due to the dangerous speeds. He later crashed his car in Islamorada and called 911 for help.

Deputy Mario Benedetti first spotted the white BMW northbound at 45th Street in Marathon at 3 a.m.  traveling at an estimated 90 mile per hour. The deputy attempted to stop the car. The driver, later identified as 38 year old Jason Dyer of Miami, refused to stop, instead speeding up.

The sergeant on duty ordered Deputy Benedetti to stop pursuing the BMW due to the dangerous speeds at which it was traveling. A notice to be on the lookout for the vehicle was issued over police radios. Several more deputies had contact with the vehicle, attempting to stop it without success.

Finally, at 3:34 a.m., dispatchers received a report of a white BMW which had crashed and was upside down on the old highway in Islamorada, at the 87 mile marker. Dyer had fled the scene of the crash on foot, but a short time later, he called 911 to report he was injured and needed help.

Dyer was found near the crash scene and was transported to Mariner’s Hospital. Florida Highway Patrol responded to the crash scene and will be investigating the vehicle crash. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be charging him in connection with the incident as well.

Man arrested for burglary on Stock Island

A Stock Island man was arrested Friday, charged with burglarizing his mother’s apartment.

Deputies were dispatched to an apartment building on 3rd Avenue, Stock Island at midnight. A woman who lives there was calling from Miami. She told Sheriff’s dispatchers a neighbor had seen her son breaking into her apartment through a back window. She said her son does not have permission to be in her apartment. She said he has a drug problem and has stolen from her in the past.

Deputies Auviana Lawson, Austin Hopp and Boyd Williams arrived on the scene and saw 21 year old Pablo Sanchez, Jr. through the front window of the apartment. The repeatedly ordered him out and he refused to come out. They finally told him a K-9 team was on the scene and they would send the dog in if he didn’t come out. He came out and surrendered.

Sanchez, Jr. was taken into custody. He had a cell phone in his possession he had taken from inside the residence. He was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and resisting arrest and he was booked into jail.

November 24, 2016

Man arrested for armed robbery with knife

A Stock Island man was arrested early today for robbing a Stock Island convenience store.

26 year old Israel Drago entered the Tom Thumb convenience store at 5:15 a.m. He was wearing a dark colored hooded jacket, a hat with a dark colored bandana over his face. He was armed with a large knife which he used to threaten the clerk in the store.

He forced the clerk to hand over the money in the cash register and then fled the store on foot. The clerk called 911 for assistance after the robbery took place, giving Sheriff’s dispatchers a description of the suspect.

Deputies responded to the area. Sgt. Jake Brady spotted someone matching the description a few blocks away. The man was identified as Drago. He was detained. Across the street, Deputy Boyd Williams found a bundle of cash underneath a parked car. A few blocks away, Deputy Jenna Moeller found a black hooded jacket with a large knife wrapped in it.

Deputy Williams reviewed surveillance video from the store depicting the robbery. The suspect in the video appeared similar in description to Drago; he was wearing a hooded jacket like the one found hidden nearby and the knife found was also similar. The cash recovered was close to the amount estimated to have been stolen from the register.

Drago was arrested. He was charged with assault and robbery with a weapon. He was booked into jail.