Monroe County Sheriff's Report
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report
For more information, contact:
Deputy Becky Herrin, Public Information Officer
Office: (305)292-7116
Cell Phone: (305)797-0155
FAX: (305)293-1734
E-mail: BeckyHerrin@KeysSO.net
Web site: http://www.KeysSO.net

March 8, 2005
Jail Dogs Graduate
Florida Keys - D.O.G.s to C.L.A.S., an inmate trained service dog program in the Florida Keys, will be holding their first graduation on March 9th., at the Monroe County Correction Facility on Stock Island. The program has been a collaborated effort between the Monroe County Correction Facility, Sheriff Roth, Stand Up For Animals and D.O.G.s to C.L.A.S.
The program was developed by Nancy Lewis of D.O.G.s to C.L.A.S. a not for profit corporation created to change lives.
The D.O.G.s to C.L.A.S. vision is a rescue circle starting with inmates in a drug treatment program. The inmates receive instruction in behavior modification and attend hands-on training classes with a Service Dog Trainer. The Service Dog trainees are selected from shelter and rescue organizations. These trainees were cared for and provided by Stand Up For Animals in Marathon. The rescue circle is completed with the placement of the Service Dogs with an individual with a disability. The theme is "rescuing people, to rescue dogs, that rescue people."
The inmate handlers and their trainees have over 300 hundred hours of training time under their belts and collars. They have accomplished such feats as; opening and closing doors, drawers, file cabinets, refrigerators, clothes dryers, and can even unload the clothes from the dryer. These and other tasks will enable someone with a disability to lead a more independent lifestyle and ease the burden on their caregivers.
The graduates will be available for adoption to individuals with a disability. Applications can be made through D.O.G.s to C.L.A.S. c/o First Baptist Church Big Pine Key 100 Key Deer Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Sheriff's Animal Farm open this Sunday
Monroe County - The Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be open to the public this Sunday between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to visit, free of charge, and see the wide variety of animals at the park, which include tropical birds, snakes, ferrets, rabbits, horses, ponies, a cow, a llama, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks and more.
Easter at the Animal Farm will be held this year on Sunday, March 20th from 1 to 3 p.m. The Easter Bunny will visit the farm and hide lots of Easter eggs for children to find. Come on out to the farm and enjoy this FREE family event.
The Children's Animal Farm is located at the Stock Island Detention Center, just off of College Road. It is normally open to the public on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. This month, because Easter falls on the fourth Sunday, the farm will be closed that day. Groups may make special arrangements to visit the farm as well. Call the Sheriff's Office Detention Center at 305-293-7300 and ask for Farmer Elaine Lash.

Big Pine woman arrested for reckless driving
Summerland Key - A Big Pine Key woman who almost hit two deputies directing traffic at an accident scene today was arrested for reckless driving.
Sgt. Daryl Hull and Deputy Paul Schultz were directing traffic at 6 a.m. today (Tuesday) at the scene of an accident on Summerland Key at the 25 mile marker of the highway. There was a fire truck, ambulance and several marked law enforcement vehicles on the scene with lights flashing. The accident, involving a car which ran into the back of a semi-truck, was blocking the northbound lane of traffic. Sgt. Hull was directing southbound traffic onto the shoulder of the roadway, while Deputy Schultz was directing northbound traffic into the open southbound lane. They were both standing in the roadway in order to facilitate directing traffic through the scene.
Suddenly, a white 1997 Cadillac came barreling through the accident scene, traveling an estimated 40 to 45 miles per hour. The car never slowed down, and both officers had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by the car, driven by 51 year old Suzanne McKnight. Deputy Schultz pursued the vehicle in his patrol car, pulling it over at the 24 mile marker. Deputy Schultz had to order McKnight repeatedly to roll down her window. She finally complied and he explained why he'd stopped her. She told him that he and Sgt. Hull "shouldn't have been standing in the middle of the road." She said she saw them both, but it made her angry that they were standing there.
She was arrested, charged with reckless driving, and she was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

March 7, 2005
Detectives arrest six in drug sting - A drug sting operation on Stock Island run by detectives from the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division netted six arrests Friday night.
Undercover operatives sold crack cocaine in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue, Stock Island Friday night. Those purchasing the illegal substance were then arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. Detectives from the Key West Police Department assisted in the operation.
The following people were arrested during the sting:
Jeffrey Perkins, 45, charged with possession of cocaine. Also charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia for items found in his possession after his arrest.
Daniel Cron, 45, of Summerland Key, charged with possession of cocaine.
Daniel Hall, 42, of Stock Island, charged with possession of cocaine.
Donald Fields, 45, of Stock Island, charged with possession of cocaine. During his arrest, he swallowed the crack rock he bought, so he was also charged with destruction of evidence.
Gary Hoss, 49, of Key West, charged with possession of cocaine.
Manuel Garcia, 69, of Stock Island, charged with possession of cocaine.

Grand Opening of the Roth Building
Plantation Key - The public is invited to attend the Grand Opening ceremony for the new home of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Sector 7 Patrol Division. Please join members of the Sheriff's Office for the dedication of the Roth Building, located in the old Mariner's Hospital building at 50 High Point Road on Plantation Key. The ceremony will take place March 21, 2005 at 12 noon. Congresswoman Illeana Ross-Leitenan will officiate at the ceremony.
After the ceremony, there will be tours of the building. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and talk with many members of the Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff Rick Roth and Colonel Rick Ramsay; outgoing Captain of Sector 7 Jennifer Bell-Thomson and incoming Captain of Sector 7 Don Hiller, as well as Lieutenant of the Sector Don Fanelli and many of the patrol officers who work in Sector 7, which runs from Tavernier to the northernmost county line.

Inmate charged after resisting officers,
inciting other inmates to create disturbance

Plantation Key - An inmate at the Plantation Key Detention facility was charged Saturday night with causing a disturbance and resisting officers.
According to Corrections Officers at the facility, one of the dorms where inmates stay was becoming loud and unruly Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. so the officers ordered that the television be turned off and that all the inmates go to their bunks. Inmate Dominicke Terrell, 21 years of age, began to protest loudly, using obscene language and telling the officers the treatment wasn't fair. As he continued to yell, other inmates became unruly as well. After officers warned Terrell several times to quiet down, they finally ordered him to go to the isolation cell for confinement. He refused, telling them he would fight them.
They tried to physically escort him to the isolation cell and he began to struggle, hitting one officer in the face and knocking two officers radios off of their belts and onto the floor. The officers finally had to use pepper spray several times to subdue him. Deputies arrived from road patrol as back up and they restored order in the dorm area while Terrell was first taken to the isolation cell, then was decontaminated, and was finally placed into a restraint chair to calm him down.
Terrell, already in jail on multiple drug related violation of probation charges, was further charged with resisting an officer with violence, obstruction by depriving the officers of their means of communication, and inciting a riot.

Teens charged with auto burglary, using stolen credit cards
Big Pine Key - Sheriff's deputies arrested three teenagers Saturday afternoon for auto burglary and using stolen credit cards.
Two of the youths are accused of breaking in to at least four cars in the parking lot of the Big Pine House of Music Friday night then all three used credit cards stolen during the burglaries at several locations on Big Pine Key.
Deputies discovered they did it after a victim called her credit card company and was given a list of places her stolen card had been used. She went first to the Big Pine Restaurant, where the owner told her three teenagers used her card to pay for food. He gave her a description of the trio. She then went to Winn Dixie grocery store where an employee told her a boy she knew as Orlando Martin used the stolen card to pay for nine DVDs at the store.
The victim then called the Sheriff's Office and passed this information along to Deputy David Chavka who went to Martin's home to talk to him. When he arrived at the house, he found Martin and 16 year old Alexis Caletri there together. Martin told the deputy that Caletri and 16 year old Sylvia Bollig came to his house Thursday night and spent the night. He said the next morning he saw a number of items including purses and credit cards that the girl's brought with them to his house. He said they all knew the items were stolen, and he admitted that they used one of the stolen cards at the Big Pine Restaurant, at Paradise Petroleum and at Winn Dixie.
When the deputy questioned Caletri, she told him she and Bollig went to the Big Pine House of Music Thursday night and entered every car in the parking lot that had an unlocked door, taking items from inside the cars. She said they took all the stolen items to Martin's house. She said she told her parents she was staying at Bollig's house and Bollig told her parents she was staying with Caletri.
All three teens were charged with burglary, theft, forgery and fraudulent use of a credit card. They were all booked at the Monroe County Detention Center and then turned over to the custody of their parents. The investigation is continuing.

Deputies investigate damage to vehicles on Big Coppitt Key
Big Coppitt Key - Deputies are investigating reports of numerous vehicles damaged on Avenue A and Avenue B, Big Coppitt Key.
The vehicle owners all called the Sheriff's Office Friday to report damage to their cars. The vehicle, parked in front of homes in the area, had tires slashed, mirror's broken and paint scratched. Other property damage was done as well including a tree uprooted and a garden hose and grill cover slashed at one house.

Anyone with information about this case can call the Sheriff's Office, or Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers may remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward if the tip leads to an arrest in the case. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

March 4, 2005
Auto body shop owner charged with selling drugs
Big Pine Key - The owner of an auto body shop on Big Pine Key was arrested Thursday by Sheriff's detectives after he was caught selling cocaine.
Sheriff's detectives from the Special Investigations Division, working with Key West Police detectives and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, arrested 43 year old Angel Fonte at his business, Tropical Auto Body on Fifth Avenue, Big Pine Key. He was charged with sale of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Prior to the arrest, an undercover operative from the Sheriff's Office bought 4.6 grams of cocaine from Fonte for $200.00. The detectives then confronted him, telling him he was under investigation for sale of the illegal drug.
The detectives asked him for consent to search his property. Fonte has both his business and his residence in the same location. He agreed to allow a search, and told detectives they would find a cigarette box on top of the paint booth in his garage. Inside, he said they would find cocaine. Seven grams of the drug were found in the box. Detectives also found $349 in cash in Fonte's living room, and a handgun.
Fonte was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Three arrested for burglary of Key Largo home
Key Largo - Three boys were arrested Thursday for burglarizing a Key Largo home.
Deputies Laura Garcia and Lee Cowart responded to reports of a burglary at a home on Lignumvitae Drive just before 3 p.m. They found the front door kicked in and many items obviously missing from inside. A neighbor told the deputies he saw three boys drive up to the home, then saw them loading items from the house into their car. He said he thought nothing of it because one of the boys was the boyfriend of a girl, 16 year old Ashley Jones, who lives at the house.
The deputies recognized the neighbor's description of the car and it's occupants. Earlier in the day they had contact with them when they picked up Ashley, who had been reported missing by her mother - the owner of the burglarized house. Deputy Garcia asked Deputy Steve Kalogeras to go to Largo Cargo Apartments in Key Largo where they'd found the missing girl earlier and see if the boys were there. He sat watching the apartment for about 15 minutes, at which time the car drove up with the boys and some of the stolen items inside, including a large television set and computer equipment. He confronted the boys, asking them to get out of the car.
Deputy Cowart arrived as back up, and, after Deputy Kalogeras read them their Miranda rights, he told them he would like to question them. AT that point, one of them - 17 year old David Gilliland of Tavernier, fled on foot with Deputy Cowart in pursuit. Deputy Garcia arrived and joined the foot pursuit. The two deputies finally caught Gilliland at the entrance to Bayside Resort at the 99 mile marker and he was taken into custody. During the chase, Gilliland threw something into some bushes. The item was recovered and turned out to be a plastic bag with Xanax pills inside.
Upon questioning, Gilliland admitted that all three of them broke into the house on Lignumvitae Drive and burglarized it. He said they did it to get back at Ashley's mother for having her picked up by the Sheriff's Office.
Gilliland, along with 16 year old Finley Morrow and 21 year old Ryan Steele were all arrested and charged with burglary and theft. Gilliland was also charged with resisting arrest and with possession of the Xanax pills without a prescription. All three were booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

Stock Island woman arrested for threats
Stock Island - Deputies arrested a Stock Island woman for threatening to kill a man Thursday morning on Maloney Avenue.
Deputies Jorge Morffi and Maretta McNichol responded to the Tom Thumb store on Maloney Avenue to reports that a woman with a knife was chasing a man and yelling that she was going to kill him. When they arrived, they found Laguandra Marius standing in the parking lot. Across the street was 29 year old Sinyi Martinez. Just as the deputies pulled up, Marius began to run at Martinez, yelling that she was going to kill him and put him "six feet under next to his mother."
Deputy Morffi ordered Marius to stop, but she did not. The deputies finally caught her and, after a struggle, were able to subdue her and take her into custody. Even after she was under arrest, Marius reportedly continued to threaten the victim's life, saying she was going to "put holes all over his body." She was charged with assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and she was booked into jail.

Area of 88th Street in Marathon where dolphins are stranded closed to the public
Marathon - The Marathon sector of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office has closed the area of 88th Street in Marathon to everyone except those working with dolphin rescue groups. Lt. Larry Kelley says no one will be allowed to enter the area except those with identification showing they are rescue workers, and those who live in the area.
"There are just too many people showing up in that area wanting to see the dolphins," he said. "It is extremely disruptive to the neighborhood and makes it very difficult for rescue groups to conduct their business, so we are closing the area to the general public."

March 3, 2005
Marathon High student charged with pointing gun at bus driver
Big Pine Key - A school bus driver told deputies a Marathon High School student drove by his bus today (Thursday) and pointed what looked like a real handgun at him.
The driver said he was in his bus at a bus stop at the intersection of Hibiscus Street and County Road just after 7 a.m. picking up students. He said a white Chevrolet Lumina drover by the bus with a teen hanging out a rear passenger window. He said the teen, who he recognized as 17 year old Edward Bernhard, had what looked like a black semi-automatic handgun in his hand and he was pointing it in the victim's direction.
The victim called the high school and reported the incident to the vice-principle, giving her the names of the students she saw in the car. The vice-principle passed the information on to School Resource Officer Tony Pabon. Deputy Pabon responded to the school parking lot where he found the car described by the bus driver. There were five students in or around the car, including Bernhard who was still in the rear passenger seat. The driver of the car was standing at the rear of the car, with the trunk open.
Deputy Pabon confronted Bernhard, asking if he had a gun. Bernhard confirmed that he did have a gun. He said it was a "soft pellet gun" . Two of the students in the car told Deputy Pabon that Bernhard had pointed the gun at the bus driver and had fired it. Bernhard later admitted to it as well.
In the trunk of the car, the deputy found four firearms and several bags of pellets. The guns included two reproductions of a Berretta 92F semi-automatic handgun, a reproduction of a Berretta fully-automatic mini-submachine gun and a reproduction of a Mac 11 submachine gun. There was also a reproduction of a silencer for the Mac 11. According to Deputy Pabon, the guns resembled the real thing so exactly, he had trouble telling the difference himself.
Bernhard was charged with aggravated assault on a school official and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

March 2, 2005
Spring breakers work off criminal charges in Key West
Key West - In Key West, when Spring Breakers are arrested for minor non-violent crimes, such as disorderly intoxication or a minor in possession of alcohol, they are given the choice of jail time and or fines, accompanied by a criminal record, or they may work cleaning up parks and beaches in the city and, once they spend their allotted time working, their charges are dismissed.
The attached picture is of Spring Break visitor who chose to spend a day cleaning a county park, under the supervision of Monroe County Public Works. John Garcia, 19, was arrested for being a minor in possession of alcohol; he is a student at Johnson and Wales University in Miami. Allison Sinclair, 20, was also arrested on that charge; she is a student at the University of Florida. Overseeing their work details is Public Works employee Brian Blattenberg.

March 1, 2005
Key West man charged with threatening deputy
Key West - A Key West man warned for trespassing at Higgs Beach, and at a restaurant located on the Beach, was arrested after he refused to leave the area, caused a disturbance and threatened a deputy.
Deputy Paul Schultz was working an off-duty spring break detail at Higgs Beach Monday at 9:30 p.m. when he received reports of a man refusing to leave Salute Restaurant, located on the beach. When he, along with Deputy Reggie Williams, arrived at the restaurant, he found 45 year old David Dufresne inside. The manager told Deputy Schultz Dufresne was drunk and causing a disturbance, bothering restaurant patrons. The deputy asked an obviously intoxicated and defiant Dufresne to leave, and to vacate the entire Higgs Beach area.
Dufresne yelled obscenities at the deputies and refused to leave. After repeated warnings, he was finally arrested. He struggled with the deputies, who finally got him handcuffed and into the back of a patrol car. As he was being transported to the Monroe County Detention Center, he repeatedly threatened to kill Deputy Schultz, members of his family, and any law enforcement officer he came into contact with in the future. Once at the Detention Center, he was placed into a holding cell. While in the cell, he continued to yell threats and obscenities at Deputy Schultz and Corrections Officers, punching the holding cell window and throwing things at it.
He was charged with threatening the deputy and his family, resisting arrest and disorderly intoxication and he was booked into the detention center.

San Clamente man arrested for threats with a hatchet
Islamorada - Deputies were dispatched Monday at 4:15 p.m. to the Islamorada Coast Guard Station to reports of a man who threatened another man with a hatchet. According to witnesses, the incident occurred during some type of filming for a company called Powerski International on board three boats offshore of Islamorada. The suspect, 45 year old James Walker, of San Clemente, Florida gives his occupation as vice-president of the company. Witnesses say during filming, Walker hit one victim with a fishing pole, then struggled as the victim attempted to hold him down to keep him from hitting him again. Walker then got on board another boat and demanded he be taken to shore. He allegedly took a hatchet out of his bag and told the captain if he didn't head for shore right away, he would hit him in the face with the hatchet and kill him. When the captain of the vessel didn't head shoreward immediately, Walker allegedly hit him in the face with his fist and tried to take control of the vessel. The Coast Guard was contacted and responded to the scene, escorting the three vessels to shore.
Walker was charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of battery. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

February 28, 2005
Boca Raton man arrested for having gun at baseball game
Marathon - A Boca Raton man was arrested Friday after witnesses reported seeing him with a gun in his pocket at a High School baseball game.
Deputies William Mader and Chuck Kellenberger responded to Marathon High School after Sheriff's Office dispatchers received a call about a man with a gun at a baseball game taking place there. When they arrived, they found a number of witnesses who said they saw a gun in the pocket of 68 year old William Lipton. They pointed out Lipton, who was at the baseball field watching the game.
The deputies approached him and searched him for the weapon, but it was not in his pockets. They asked him if they could search his truck for a weapon and he refused to allow the search. Deputies then interviewed a number of people who said they saw the gun in his pocket. After taking several statements detailing the gun, it's description, and it's location in Lipton's pocket, the deputies determined they had probable cause to search the truck without Lipton's permission. Inside, they found a .380 Walther semi-automatic handgun under a cushion on the seat. The gun matched the description given by the witnesses.
Lipton was charged with possessing a weapon on school property and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

February 21, 2005
Three charged with burglarizing auto, using stolen credit card
Long Key/Islamorada - Quick action on the part of deputies, and the victim of an auto burglary resulted in the arrest of three Miami residents for breaking in to a car and stealing a large number of items.
Deputy Linda Kohout responded to the 63 mile marker to take a report of an auto burglary. A man and woman called the Sheriff's Office because their 2001 Daewoo had been burglarized while it was parked at the south end of the Long Key Bridge. The woman told Deputy Kohout her husband was on the phone with his credit card company and their credit card, stolen during the burglary, was being currently being used at an Islamorada restaurant.
Deputy Kohout radioed the information to Sgt. Wilson Williams, who was at the Islamorada Sheriff's Substation just a mile from the restaurant. He immediately drove there in an effort to catch the thief. With the cooperation of the restaurant's owner, he was able to identify a girl picking up food - 15 year old Janet Martinez of Miami - as one of the people using the stolen credit card. The sergeant followed her outside to a car and was able to detain her and the other's who were with her. Sgt. Williams contacted the victims, who had reported two cellular phones stolen in the burglary. When they called one of the stolen cell phones, Sgt. Williams heard the phone - the ringing was coming from Martinez' bra, where she'd hidden it. They called the second phone and the sergeant heard the ringing coming from inside the car. He located it sitting on the car's floorboards. He also found a digital camera stolen from the victims, and a large number of other items.
Martinez was arrested, along with her mother, 30 year old Caridad Velez and 27 year old Indira Anchundia. They were all charged with Grand Theft. Velez was also charged with burglary, possession of a stolen credit card and credit card fraud for using the stolen card. Anchundia was also charged with possession of stolen credit cards. Both adults were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. The Department of Children and Family Services responded and took custody of two children aged 7 and 9 who were also with the group.

February 17, 2005
Man arrested for brandishing knives at deputy
Stock Island - A Stock Island fisherman was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he threatened a deputy with two large knives.
Deputy Paul Schultz responded to reports of a disturbance at Ore Seafood on 5th Avenue, Stock Island. When he arrived, the owner told him that a man was kicking the building and trying to start fights with his employees. He pointed out the man, later identified as 45 year old Rogelio Gonzalez of Stock Island. When Gonzalez saw the deputy, he walked away, entering the building on the property. The owner warned Deputy Schultz that the building contained "lots of knives."
Deputy Schultz entered the building to look for Gonzalez. When he spotted him inside holding four lobster tails and two large knives, the deputy pulled his gun and ordered Gonzalez to drop the knives. Gonzalez dropped the lobster tails instead, and began advancing on the deputy holding the knives in a threatening manner. When he was within a short distance of Deputy Schultz, still holding the knives, he slipped and fell to the floor. One of the knives cut him on his finger. At that point, the deputy was able to secure him in handcuffs. As he was walking Gonzalez out, Gonzalez fought with the deputy.
Gonzalez was charged with burglary, theft and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He was taken to Lower Keys Hospital for treatment of his injury, and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Detectives look for newspaper machine thief
Upper Keys - Sheriff's detectives are investigating the theft of multiple Miami Herald newspaper machines in the upper Keys over the last week.
Five Miami Herald newspaper machines have been stolen since February 11th. Two have been recovered with damage to the coin boxes on the machines. Detectives are looking for a possible suspect, who has been arrested in the past for similar crimes.
Detective David Carey says he wants to talk to 45 year old Robert Wayne Meadows. Meadows is believed to currently live in the Homestead area. Meadows was arrested in January of 2002 after he was caught dumping two Key West Citizen newspaper machines into some bushes near the Vaca Cut bridge in Marathon. He was charged in that case with grand theft and illegal dumping. He was also a suspect in another case in Key Largo, but detectives did not have enough evidence to arrest him in that case. Meadows is a white male, six foot one, 165 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone who sees Meadows, or who has information about these cases, should contact the Sheriff's Office at 853-3211, with his location. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crime Stoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

February 11, 2005
Three family members arrested for drugs
Monroe County - A father, son and grandmother were arrested Thursday by Sheriff's detectives after a lengthy investigation into drug activity in the Keys. The investigation was conducted by the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division, assisted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol.
The arrests took place in two separate locations, at two separate times Thursday afternoon. During the course of their ongoing investigation, detectives received information that 50 year old Richard Slater, Jr. was going to travel to Key Largo to pick up drugs from his mother, 70 year old Merrie Slater. They followed him to a Key Largo restaurant where they watched as Merrie Slater took an envelope from the trunk of her 2001 Buick Park Avenue Sedan and hand it to Richard Slater. He left in his 1992 Camaro southbound. She left northbound, headed back to her home in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.
Detectives stopped Richard Slater a short time later, arresting him on two outstanding warrants for Trafficking in Oxycontin and Sale of Marijuana. The two warrants were the result of purchases of the two drugs made by undercover operatives during the course of the drug investigation. When they searched him, they found the envelope he'd gotten from his mother hidden in his pants. Inside the envelope were 52 80 milligram Oxycontin pills. He was further charged with another count of trafficking in Oxycontin and $430 dollars in cash found in his possession was also seized.
Merrie Slater was stopped in her car at the 105 mile marker of Highway U.S. One. Upon questioning, she admitted to meeting her son to give him an envelope, but denied knowing what was in the envelope. She was arrested for trafficking in Oxycontin and $2,185 in cash was seized after it was found in the armrest of the car.
At 5 p.m., a search warrant was served at B & M Marine on Cudjoe Key. Richard Slater, Jr. owns the business with his mother, Merrie Slater and he lives on the premises with his son, 21 year old Richard Slater III. Richard Slater III arrived at the business/residence while the search warrant was being served. Detectives had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for sale of marijuana. The warrant was a result of a drug purchase made from him during the course of the drug investigation.
A search of Slater's pockets turned up a plastic bag of marijuana and eleven plastic bags of cocaine. Detectives asked him if there were any more drugs inside they should know about. Slater led them to a shoe box with 226 grams of marijuana inside. Several items of drug paraphernalia were also found, including a smoking pipe, and scales commonly used to weigh drugs.
Slater was further charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of a felony amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. All three members of the Slater family were booked in to the Monroe County Detention Center.

February 8, 2005
Key Largo couple victims of home invasion robbery
Key Largo - A Key Largo couple told Sheriff's deputies and detectives they were the victims of a home invasion robbery late Friday night.
One of the victims, 60 year old Jose Antonio Sosa, told Deputy Jose Carballo he returned to his Pirates Road home at 11:30 p.m. Friday after spending time at a couple of area bars playing pool. He said as he was walking in the door, three men - two of them disguised with masks - forced their way into the residence. He said he fought with them and they hit him on the back of the head, knocking him to the floor. One of the men held him down while the other two ransacked the house, repeatedly asking for his money.
The second victim, 44 year old Marion Ruth Sergeant, told Deputy Carballo she saw Sosa fighting with two masked suspects. The third suspect, who was not wearing a mask, reportedly forced her to the floor and covered her mouth to stop her from screaming. She sustained minor cuts and bruises during the incident.
After the men were finished ransacking the house, they took the cash they found, tied the victims up with twine they found at the residence, and left. Neither of the victims called the Sheriff's Office to report the incident. Sergeant said she didn't call because the suspects ripped the phones out of the wall and she couldn't find her cell phone. The following morning, Sergeant told a friend and told Sosa's business partner about the attack. After discussing the situation, the decision was made to take Sosa to the hospital for treatment of his head injury. At about 11 a.m., the friend drove him to the hospital and called the Sheriff's Office to make a report.
Sosa was treated at Mariner's Hospital and then transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for further medical treatment. Detectives are investigating the case.
Two of the suspects were wearing some type of stocking over their faces to hide their identity. The only descriptions the victims could give was they were Latin males between 25 and 28 years of age, possibly wearing blue jeans. The suspect not wearing a mask was described by Sergeant as a "good looking" white Latin male, 5' 7" to 5'8" tall, slim and muscular with short curly hair. She said he had a "nice smile" and very white teeth, with a short goatee beard. Both victims said the men were talking to each other in both English and Spanish.

Card Sound Bridge Closing - On Tuesday, Card Sound Bridge will again be the sight of periodic closures for a commercial filming in that vicinity. Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., there will be short closures of the bridge to accommodate the filming. Anyone planning to travel in that area between those hours should plan extra time for the trip. Sheriff's deputies will be on hand to assist with traffic control. And, remember, Bell South is also working on the 18 mile stretch between now and April 1st and there will be periodic closures of the southbound lanes of that roadway, as needed.
For more information about planned road closures and other events which might cause roadway slowdowns, visit
http://www.keysso.net/patrol_ops/traffic/road_closures_delays.htm.

February 4, 2005
Marathon man suffers severe injuries after being struck repeatedly
with a tree branch

Marathon - A Marathon man is in a Miami Hospital and another man is in jail charged with striking him repeatedly with a tree branch Wednesday night.
The victim, 47 year old Mark Cannon, was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami to be treated for head injuries he sustained from the attack. He was also struck on the side, back, chest and shoulders. According to a man and woman who witnessed the attack, he was beaten by 40 year old Everett Youmans, a homeless man staying in a homeless camp just south of 60th Street in Marathon.
Cannon was reportedly visiting the camp when the incident occurred. He told Deputy Luis Blasco said he was delivering food to the homeless who live there. The witnesses say he, a homeless woman and Youmans were all lying on a mattress in the camp when the victim put his hand on the woman's thigh. She told him to stop touching her and suddenly, Youmans jumped up, grabbed a branch and began hitting Cannon. After beating the victim, Youmans left the camp, walking deeper into the woods. Cannon managed to crawl out to the highway, where he was spotted by a passerby who called 911 for help.
Deputy Blasco was dispatched to the scene, backed up by a Border Patrol Officer. A short time later, an officer from the Fish and Wildlife Commission arrived, along with Deputy Joel Slough. A search of the surrounding area turned up Youmans, who was further back in the woods, lying on the ground covered with a blanket. He had dried blood on his hands and shirt and was identified by witnesses as the man who beat Cannon.
Youmans was charged with aggravated battery and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

February 3, 2005
Two search warrants lead to arrests
Stock Island - Two search warrants served early today (Tuesday) resulted in the arrest of three people for possessing a variety of drugs and paraphernalia.
Detectives from the Sheriff's Special Investigation's Division received information from people living in the vicinity of Sun Haven Trailer Park that there was drug activity going on at 5671 McDonald Avenue Lots 3 and 4. After a month long investigation into the activity, two search warrants were signed by Judge Peary Fowler for the two residences.
The search warrants were served this morning by detectives, assisted by the Sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics Team, The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Border Patrol.
A search of the trailer at Lot #3 turned up liquid steroids, various unidentified pills and drug paraphernalia including a number of syringes in a bedroom belonging to 26 year old Yoandry Noa. He was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia. In another bedroom belonging to Cassandra Tingley, the search turned up marijuana and a pipe used to smoke the illegal substance. Tingley was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
A search of the trailer at Lot #4 turned up crack cocaine, marijuana, various unidentified pills, liquid steroids, drug paraphernalia including syringes, a scale, a grinder with marijuana inside of it, and $3,400 in cash. 24 year old Yoao Noa was arrested at that residence and charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana, steroids and drug paraphernalia. The cash was seized for possible forfeiture.
All three suspects were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center

February 2, 2005 Ohio man has skydiving incident
Marathon - Residents living near the Marathon airport called Sheriff's dispatchers Sunday just before noon after they saw a skydiver's parachute float through the air and become entangled in electric lines - with no skydiver attached.
The chute belonged to 43 year old Craig Coben of Copley, Ohio. Coben cut the chute loose when it failed to open as he was skydiving with a skydiving association called Aerohio. The group will reportedly be skydiving in Marathon through Tuesday. Coben used his secondary chute to land safely and he was not injured. The chute was removed from the electric lines by Florida Keys Electric Coop.

Raccoons removed from cage on Sugarloaf Key
Sugarloaf Key - Sheriff's deputies, along with a number of volunteers from various agencies, removed 40 raccoons Friday morning from two cages on a heavily wooded vacant lot on Upper Sugarloaf Key.
A neighbor who lives in the Indian Mounds subdivision called the Sheriff's Office after he detected a strong unpleasant odor in his neighborhood and decided to investigate. He followed his nose, and found two large cages on a vacant lot on Caribe Street. In the cages were 40 raccoons. The smell was emanating from a large amount of raccoon feces in and around the cages. The neighbor met with Deputy Charlie Cobb and showed him the cages and the raccoons.
According to Deputy Cobb, the raccoons appeared to have been in the cages for some time. He said most of the raccoons were in fairly good shape, and had apparently received food and water on a regular basis.
Upon investigation, Deputy Cobb discovered a mentally handicapped woman who lives nearby who said she trapped the raccoons because they were coming into her house. She said she fed the raccoons and gave them water, but didn't know what else to do with them. Deputy Chris Scott, who has a state license to capture and transport wild raccoons, responded and helped remove the raccoons from the cages safely and humanely. A number of agencies that deal with animals responded to the scene, including Stand Up for Animals, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Wildlife Rescue and the Wild Bird Center along with Dr. Jeff Bailey, a Veterinarian, who took the animals that were in need of immediate medical attention.

February 1, 2005
Stretch Re-opened - As of 6:24 p.m. the 18 mile stretch between Key Largo and Florida City is open to through traffic. For details about the traffic accident that closed the stretch for 13 hours today, contact the Florida Highway Patrol.

Becky Herrin
Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Stretch Closing Update - Due to the difficulty with removal of a truck involved in the accident early this morning, Florida Highway Patrol is advising it may be as late as 5:30 p.m. today before Highway U.S. One reopens between Key Largo and Florida City. Any specific questions about the accident should be directed to the Florida Highway Patrol as it is their investigation. Card Sound Road is currently open and traffic is flowing smoothly. Travelers headed in that direction should plan for a little extra time due to heavy volumes of traffic, however.

Accident at 113mm
Florida City - At 5:32 a.m. today,Two vehicles were involved in an accident at the 113 mile marker of highway U.S. One - a tanker truck with diesel sludge in it (per FHP) and a passenger car. The car went into the water and one person was trapped inside. He was extricated and transported via helicopter to a Miami-Dade hospital. The truck driver was transported by ambulance to Homestead Hospital. U.S. One is closed at Florida City and at Key Largo at this time and all traffic is being diverted onto Card Sound Road. Tolls have been lifted. Per FHP the road will be closed for at least two more hours (from 6:30 a.m.) due to the difficulty involved in moving the truck. All other areas of the Florida Keys have traffic flowing smoothly. The Florida Highway Patrol is the investigating agency in this case. Monroe County Sheriff's Office was first on the scene, and is assisting along with Miami-Dade County Police.

Update on accident:
The Florida Highway Patrol is now saying that U.S. One at the 113 mile marker will be closed for eight hours from 7 a.m. due to the difficulty with removing the tanker truck. The truck is reportedly off the road and into a mangrove area. It is still possible that there were passengers in the car that have not been found, so the area surrounding the accident is being searched by air and using a bloodhound. Florida Highway Patrol is the investigating agency.

UPDATE
Our dispatchers are getting reports of an accident on the Dade County side of Card Sound Road which may cause further traffic delays. I have no details at this time and media should contact Miami-Dade Police for more information. I understand they do have units en route to the scene. I don't know any further - Sorry.

Also, be aware that a commercial is filming today on the Seven Mile Bridge (just south of Marathon). There will be periodic traffic stoppages due to this activity. Be patient and plan extra time if you are traveling through that area of the Keys.

Update on travel to and from the Keys:
The accident at the 113 mile marker from 5:30 a.m. today still has the 18 mile stretch closed between Florida City and Key Largo. FHP's last estimate to Sheriff's dispatchers was that they expect the road to open around 2 or 3 p.m.
Card Sound Road, the alternate route into and out of the Keys, is open and traffic is flowing smoothly. There is a small back up for southbound traffic; there is no reported traffic backup northbound.
The Florida Highway Patrol is the investigating agency for the accident and everyone should contact that agency for updates and for details. FHP's PIO is Lt. Julio Pajon who can be reached on his pager at (877) 782-1388.
Traffic over the Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon will see periodic short stoppages today, tomorrow and next Tuesday as there is a commercial being filmed in that location. Permits allow four stops per hour at five minutes per stop. Sheriff's deputies are on the scene and are assisting with traffic control.
Traffic in other areas of the Keys is flowing smoothly.

January 28, 2005
Stock Island man charged with Trafficking
Stock Island - A Stock Island man was arrested Thursday after he sold four ounces of cocaine to an undercover operative working for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division.
Detectives working the case say the meeting took place Thursday afternoon and 55 year old George Malgrat handed over four ounces of cocaine in exchange for cash in the parking lot of a North Roosevelt Boulevard restaurant. After the exchange, Malgrat was arrested and charged with trafficking in cocaine. He then gave permission for officers to search his home at B-15 8th Avenue on Stock Island. During the search, two more ounces of cocaine in half ounce packages were found, along with 20 gram sized packages of cocaine, and two pounds of marijuana in various sized packages. Drug paraphernalia was also seized at the residence, along with Malgrat's 2004 F150 Pickup Truck and $1,000.00 in cash.
He was further charged with a second count of trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. The Sheriff's Office was assisted in the investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Key West Police and Border Patrol.

January 25, 2005
Tennessee man flees from deputies; stopped after spikes are deployed
Lower Keys - A Tennessee man who said the planes were driving him crazy threatened guards at the entrance to the Naval Air Station at Boca Chica today, then fled from deputies who were attempting to take him into custody.
41 year old James Carson reportedly pulled up at the entrance to NAS Boca Chica just after 9 a.m. and began yelling at the guards about the noise made by planes at the base. During the course of his tirade, he reportedly used a number of racial slurs and threatened to kill them repeatedly. When he left the scene, he reportedly swerved attempting to hit one of the guards with his truck. He then fled in his Toyota pickup truck, pulling a jetski on a trailer, heading southbound to Key West.
Deputy John McGee spotted the truck at Smather's Beach in Key West, and recognized it from a notice to be on the lookout, issued over police radios just minutes before. Carson was out of the truck, standing by the water on the seawall on South Roosevelt Boulevard when the deputy pulled up. Carson ran for the truck and, when Deputy McGee tried to stop him, Carson shoved the deputy and jumped back into his vehicle. As he was jumping into the vehicle, Deputy McGee pepper sprayed him. According to the deputy, Carson then sat in his truck with the doors locked and the windows up and made a phone call to an unknown person. As he was doing that, officers broke out one of the trucks rear windows and Carson was pepper sprayed again, but before he could be removed from the truck, Carson took off, heading north bound out of the city.
Key West Police and Sheriff's deputies followed Carson with lights and sirens as he fled up U.S. One at speeds between 50 and 65 miles per hour. At one point, he veered from his lane and attempted to knock Deputy McGee off his police motorcycle. A set of stinger spikes were used on the truck at the Bow Channel Bridge at the 20.2 mile marker and one truck tire was punctured slowing him to speeds of around 25 miles per hour, but he still didn't stop. A second set of stinger spikes was set up at the south entrance to Big Pine Key and a second truck tire and a tire on the trailer were punctured. At that point, Carson was driving on the wheel rims and traveling about 10 miles per hour, veering into traffic and endangering members of the public. Detective Bobby Randolph and Deputy Matt Dowling then used their patrol vehicles to box him in and bring him to a stop. Their vehicles sustained minor damage, but Carson was taken into custody without any injury to himself or anyone else.
At the scene, as he was being handcuffed, he again said the planes were driving him crazy. A search of the truck turned up a stun gun, two containers of pepper spray and a sword, described by officers as a "large Conan the Barbarian sword in a fancy scabbard."
Carson was charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers, battery and aggravated battery on law enforcement officers, aggravated fleeing and eluding and willful, wanton reckless driving. He was booked into the Monroe County detention center.

January 24, 2005
Detectives release name of man found in Cow Key Channel
Lower Keys - Sheriff's detectives say they have identified the man found floating in Cow Key Channel Thursday.
Preliminary results from an autopsy show that 55 year old Paul Henrichs death was consistent with drowning. Some tests from the autopsy have not returned as of yet, so the cause of death remains under investigation. Henrichs lived on board a boat in Cow Key Channel, not too far from where his body was recovered Thursday morning.

Memphis man dies while diving
Key Largo - A Memphis Tennessee man died while diving on the wreck "The Duane" Friday morning.
60 year old Lawrence Thurman was diving from the commercial dive vessel Tropical Voyager with a group of divers. His dive buddy told investigators he and Thurman dove to 90 feet for about 17 minutes, then began surfacing. He said they stopped at 15 feet and Thurman indicated he was having some sort of problem. They then reached the surface and swam to the boat's tow line, at which time Thurman reportedly collapsed. He was brought on board the boat unconscious and not breathing. Members of the crew began Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and he was brought in to Key Largo Harbor Marina. He was pronounced dead at Mariner's Hospital.
An autopsy has been done and, according to investigators, the death appears to be diving related. Final autopsy reports are pending and should be obtained from the Medical Examiner's Office.

January 20, 2005
Detectives investigating body found in Cow Key Channel
Cow Key - Sheriff's detectives responded to reports of a body found floating in Cow Key Channel this morning.
The body of a white male was found this morning. Detectives say an examination of the body has shown no obvious signs of foul play. He has not been positively identified yet, although deputies say he is familiar to them and they believe they will be able to identify him shortly. He is believed to be in his mid to late fifties, five foot five or six, about 150 pounds with think gray hair and a stubbly beard.
An autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause of his death.

Detectives warn about the dangers of Angel's Trumpet
Monroe County - Three Marathon teens found out that the high from ingesting a common plant called "Angel's Trumpet", also known as Jimson weed, is not as much fun they thought it would be. The three were hospitalized late Wednesday at Fishermen's hospital after they steeped some of the plant and drank it as a tea. One of the three became so violent from hallucinations that it required three deputies standing by at the hospital for several hours to make sure he, and hospital personnel, were safe.
The plant has beautiful trumpet shaped flowers which bloom in late winter and early spring, hanging down from the lush green foliage. They emit an "Angelic" odor in the late evenings, which accounts for the name. They come in a variety of colors from purple, to pink, red, yellow or white, and the seeds for the plant can be easily obtained on the internet, or from nurseries. The plant grows all over the southern United States, from Florida to Texas, Arizona, the Carolinas and California. People who have them growing in their yards may not even know how deadly the plants can be. Word gets around among kids, however, who are under the mistaken impression that ingesting the plant will give them a cheap high. Every year Hospitals, the Sheriff's Office and other area law enforcement agencies have to deal with the aftermath of the ones who decide to experiment with the poisonous substance.
"I don't think they got the high they expected," said Marathon Detective Rick Martin. "I suspect they will be going back to school and will be telling their friends not to do it," he added.
Angel's Trumpet reportedly contains the substances atropine, hyoscine, and hyoscyamine. Ingesting Angel's Trumpet will cause symptoms ranging from headache, agitation, fever and dizziness, to hallucinations, convulsions, coma and death. There is no reliable way to measure a dose so a person who decides to eat, drink or chew the plant has no way of knowing what the effect will be. A parent should be cognizant of the possible symptoms and if they suspect their child has ingested the poisonous plant, they should take the child to the hospital immediately.

January 18, 2005
Photos of the Park Channel Bridge Accident (18.8 mm of Highway U.S. One) today at 1:45 p.m. Two vehicles reportedly hit head on, on the bridge. Three or four injuries, with two people being flown via Trauma Star to Lower Keys Hospital from the accident site. Road was closed for an hour and a half, and re-opened at 3:20 p.m. Florida Highway Patrol is the investigating agency.

Photo credit: Sgt. Jim Wirth, Monroe County Sheriff's Office

January 13, 2005
Marijuana, explosive devices found at Grassy Key residence
Grassy Key - Two men who live next door to Sheriff Rick Roth were arrested Wednesday after marijuana and two explosive devices were found in their residence.
Sheriff's detectives from the Special Investigation's Division received reports that marijuana was being sold from the home on Guava Avenue, Grassy Key. According to the reports, the men who lived there would make jokes about the fact that they lived next to the Sheriff and were selling the drugs. A two month long investigation ensued, ending in the service of a search warrant Wednesday morning.
A search of the home turned up marijuana, drug paraphernalia and two suspected pipe bombs. A number of plastic bags containing marijuana residue found in a bedroom of the house indicated the marijuana was being packaged for sale. Detectives seized almost $4,000 in cash as possible proceeds from drug sales.
30 year old David Schugar was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with possessing the explosive devices after he admitted they were his. His roommate, 49 year old Michael Mariner was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both men were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Telephone scam being used by Jail Inmates
Monroe County - Residents receiving collect calls from jail inmates should be aware of a telephone scam some are using to make long distance phone calls.
The scam is one used by inmates all over the country. Sheriff's Office dispatchers have received approximately 10 complaints in the past few weeks here in the Keys. Here's how it works. An inmate calls someone collect - the only way an inmate can make a call from any of the Monroe County Detention Centers, aside from using a pre-paid calling card. When the person he or she is calling accepts the collect call, the inmate asks for help making contact with someone. The inmate asks the person to dial a number, usually starting with *72 - a call forwarding feature. This calls a new number, billing the call to the person's phone and potentially running up a very large phone bill.
Anyone with call forwarding on their phone can fall victim to this scam. People need to be aware of it and say no when asked to make such a call - no matter how sympathetic the story they hear.
"Some of these inmates can sound really desperate - they might tell you they have to call their mother because she is sick; they might tell you they need to contact their child, or wife because of a crisis of some sort," said Major Tommy Taylor, Commander of Keys detention facilities. "Don't fall for it. In fact, if you receive a collect call from a detention center and don't know the person calling, or don't want to talk to the caller, don't accept the collect call in the first place," he said.
Anyone who is receiving repeated unwanted phone calls or harassing phone calls from a Detention facility in the Keys should report the calls to the Sheriff's Office at 305-293-7300.

Safety Seat Checks
Monroe County - The Florida Highway Patrol and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office will be holding FREE Child Safety Seat Inspections in several areas of the Keys. People may stop by and have their seats and their seat installations inspected. If problems are found with the installation, inspectors will help install the seats correctly, and instruct the seat owners in how to install them as well.

In addition, child safety seats are available to those families who qualify. The following criteria apply:

Criteria for Distribution of a Child Seat for Families UNABLE to Afford a Seat

· Child and vehicle must be present for seat to be distributed.

· Technician assesses the actual need for a seat to be at least one of the following:

Current seat recalled
Current seat had an expired date
Current seat is defective
Current seat is incorrect for child’s height/weight
Original owner of current seat is unknown
Child does not have a seat
Only one child safety seat may be distributed per a child.

A donation or set fee must be collected for each seat distributed. (A minimum donation of $15.00 per a seat is requested. A family’s indigence can be looked at on a case-by-case basis to issue a seat free of charge, but only with the approval of the program coordinator.)

Cash, money orders and personal checks with photo ID can be accepted. Checks should be made out to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office with notation made in memo section about child seat fee.

Events will be held at the following locations:

Lower Keys:
Date: Thursday, February 03, 2005
Location: Key West Police Department, 1604 North Roosevelt Blvd., Key West
Time: 1400-1800
Date: Saturday, February 05, 2005
Location: Boca Chica, Trumbo Point Annex, Naval Air Facility, Key West
Time: 1400-1800

Middle Keys:
Date: Sunday, January 23, 2005 ***Will be MCSO event only, FHP will not be assisting
Location: San Pablo Church, 122nd Street, Marathon, FL
Time: 1200-1600
Date: Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Location: Ramada Inn, Oceanview, 13351 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL
Time: 1400-1800

Upper Keys:
Date: Friday, February 04, 2005
Location: Coral Shores High School , 89901 O verseas Highway, Islamorada, FL
Time: 0800-1200

January 11, 2005
Duck Key Drowning - Sheriff's detectives say a 98-year old man apparently fell into a canal and drowned on Duck Key this morning. The victim is identified as Kenneth Thomas. Family members said they went looking for Thomas when he failed to return to the house after breakfast. Thomas was found floating face down near a dock. Rescue personnel responded to a 911 call at 9:35 a.m. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff's detective James Norman said there were no signs of foul play and that preliminary investigation shows that it was an accidental drowning.

January 7, 2005
Teen reports kidnapping in Marathon
Marathon - An 18 year old Marathon girl reported being kidnapped as she was walking to a drugstore at 3:15 a.m. today (Friday).
The girl called the Sheriff's Office at 3:45 a.m. to report the incident. She told Deputy William Mader she was walking behind Walgreen's Drug Store on Industrial Road when a large black car pulled up. She said there were three black men in the car. The front and rear passengers reportedly jumped out. She said the front passenger had a small semi-automatic handgun and, although she was yelling and screaming, she was forced into the car.
The suspects reportedly drove her to the area between 39th and 41st Streets on the highway where they pushed her out of the car. The suspects car continued driving southbound. She walked to the Banana Bay Resort where she met up with a friend and called the Sheriff's Office.
The suspects were all described as black males with dread lock style hair. The driver was reportedly five foot seven inches tall and between 150 and 170 pounds. Both the front and rear passengers were described as five foot eleven inches tall, 180 pounds. The rear passenger had a black jacket and his top front teeth were gold.
The victim declined to be interviewed by detectives, and refused assistance from a Sheriff's Office Victim/Witness Advocate. She said she just wanted to go home and go to sleep. Detectives will be investigating.

Update on the alleged kidnapping in Marathon:
Detectives met with the victim this morning. She told them she never wanted to report the incident to police - that her cousin insisted. She said she does not want to talk to the police about what happened, and does not need any further assistance. She refused to speak further about what might or might not have happened.
Without further information in the case, detectives are unable to investigate further. Based on lack of evidence or further information, the case is closed. If the victim changes her mind and chooses to cooperate further or disclose further details, it may be reopened at a later date.

Man arrested with partially assembled cross bow and a knife
Marathon - Deputies were called to the Tom Thumb store on 25th Street in Marathon Thursday to check on a report of a man with a gun.
When Deputies Robin Tanner and Dennis Coleman arrived, the clerk said two customers told her there was a man outside the store with a gun, asking for money. Upon investigating, the deputies found 58 year old Elam Robinson by the dumpsters. He had a small crossbow in his hands and was attempting to assemble it. He was ordered to drop it and he did. He was taken into custody. A knife was also found in his pocket. A six pack of beer was sitting on the ground near him, and he also had a beer in his pocket and he smelled strongly of alcohol. No gun was found.
Robinson was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

January 4, 2005
Fatality Accident
Shark Key - Accident at the 11 mile marker of Highway U.S. One (Shark Key) at 6:45 a.m. School Bus versus Semi Truck...no kids on the bus. Truck driver is a fatality. Bus driver was taken to Lower Keys Hospital for injuries. Road is completely blocked and may be for quite some time, possibly as long as three to four hours from the time of the accident. Morning rush hour traffic will make the back up considerable. Florida Highway Patrol is the investigating agency.

Accident Update
Shark Key - As of 12:30 p.m., U.S. Highway One at the 11 mile marker is open and traffic is moving in both directions. The back up is considerable, so people should be patient as it may take a while to clear up.

January 3, 2005
Business burglaries under investigation
Key Largo - Sheriff's detectives are investigating and seeking help in connection with a series of business burglaries and criminal mischief cases in the upper Keys. Detectives say that between December 24 and January 2, five businesses were burglarized and money taken from the cash registers. In four of the cases, the suspects or suspects either broke a window or forced open a door to gain entry. In one instance, entry was made through an unlocked window. The business burglaries occurred at Keys Castaways Consignments, Paradise Pizza, Ashleigh's Attic, Brendaline's and Chad's Deli. All of these businesses are located between the 98 and 99-mile markers. Also, Sheriff's detectives say that five other businesses in the same area were victims of criminal mischief cases between the dates of December 24 and 28. Four of the businesses reported windows broken by thrown rocks and one business reported that a door was forced open. However, the businesses reported that nothing was taken. The businesses reporting criminal mischief were Anderson Financial, McDonald CPA, Affordable Marine, Shell World and Thrifty Car Rental. Sheriff's detectives are asking anyone who spotted suspicious activity or persons near these businesses from December 24 through January 2, to call Detective David Carey at 853-3211. Crime Stoppers will pay up to a one thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest in any of these cases. Callers may remain anonymous. The Crime Stoppers hotline is 1-800-346-TIPS (8477).