Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin

Follow us on Twitter @mcsonews and on Facebook at MCSO – Florida Keys. All of our press releases can be found on our blog at floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com

August 28, 2014

Georgia man charged with attempted robbery, battery

A man from Augusta, Georgia was arrested Wednesday after he confronted another man in a convenience store and tried to steal the gold chain from around his neck.

Witnesses and the victim say Julian James Oldham walked in to the Tiny’s convenience store at the 82.7 mile marker of the highway shortly after 10 p.m. The victim was in line at the counter when Oldham walked up and demanded he give him the gold chain from around his neck.

The victim refused. Oldham then grabbed the chain and tried to forcibly remove it. The victim pushed Oldham away and they struggled. Oldham became enraged and began knocking down shelves of merchandise, causing considerable damage in the store. He then left the store, getting in to a truck outside with two others in the truck.

The witnesses gave a detailed description of the truck, a grey colored “jacked up” Ford truck with a sticker on the back window of a woman pole dancing with the words “Dirty Hooker”. The truck was found at the Sunset Inn at the 82 mile marker of the highway. Oldham was identified by witnesses and the victim as the suspect.

Oldham was charged with battery, robbery, criminal mischief and disturbing the peace. He was booked into jail.

Snapchat video leads to occupied residential burglary

Five Lower Keys teens have been arrested and charged with burglarizing a Stock Island residence. They told investigators they saw a picture on the Snapchat app that led them to believe there was a lot of money in the home.

A 15 year old boy saw a Snapchat video of his cousin holding a large amount of money. He and several other teens subsequently  formulated a plan to go to the cousin’s house on Maloney Avenue, Stock Island and steal the money.

On the night of August 12th, they all drove to the home together. Two of boys used a pry bar to force their way inside the home. As the boys were going through shoe boxes in the apartment, the family’s dogs began barking. They woke the couple sleeping inside – the aunt and uncle of the suspect mentioned earlier.

She confronted them. They ran from the house, taking a MacBook Pro laptop with them from the house.

Detective Dave Chavka was assigned to investigate. The female victim told the detective she suspected her nephew might be involved. During the course of Detective Chavka’s investigation, he interviewed all five suspects who were eventually arrested for being involved with the crime.

The five suspects – including 18 year old Kevin Hawthorne who was arrested Wednesday – were all arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft.

The other suspects include:

17 year old Michel Canizares (one of the suspects who actually entered the home)
15 year old Patrick Lopez (the cousin/nephew of the victims)
16 year old Malcolm Scranton
15 year old Anniel Torres (one of the suspects who actually entered the home)

August 22, 2014

Two charged with burglary, grand theft

Two men from Homestead and Cutler Bay were arrested Thursday afternoon after they stole two kayaks and entered a sailboat anchored offshore without the permission of the owner.

The sailboat’s owner said he was on shore at Whale Harbor at 5 p.m. when he saw 18 year old Luis Morales Gutierrez and 20 year old Durbalino De Carvalho jump onto two rental kayaks and row out to his vessel, which is anchored just offshore of Whale Harbor. When he saw them climb on board his boat, he rowed out to the boat on a skiff and confronted them.

The two told him they were on his boat looking for beer. They then jumped into the water and fled back to shore on the kayaks.

When Deputy Josh Brady arrived on the scene, he spoke with both the burglary victim, and the owner of Seven Watersports – the business the kayaks were stolen from. Both victims said they wanted to press charges.

Morales Gutierrez and De Carvalho were both charged with burglary and grand theft and they were taken to jail.

August 21, 2014

Miami man arrested after DNA identification

A Miami man was arrested for a residential burglary after blood found at the scene was tested and identified him as the suspect.

The burglary took place March 28th in the vicinity of the 96 mile marker of Highway U.S. One. The maintenance man for the property called the Sheriff’s Office at 8:45 a.m. after finding the front door and a sliding glass door open. He discovered a television and five fishing rods and reels missing from the house. There were also kitchen cabinets left open, open liquor bottles and evidence someone had eaten and played video games inside.

Blood was found on the end of coaxial cable which had been attached to the missing television. The blood was collected as evidence and sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement laboratory for testing.

On July 21st, the lab report was received identifying 25 year old Jorge Moreno as the suspect in the case. A warrant was issued for his arrest for burglary and grand theft. On August 15th he was picked up on the warrant by Miami-Dade County police. He was returned to Monroe County to face the charges on Wednesday. He is currently in the Monroe County Detention Center.

Key Largo woman charged with burglary to neighbor’s home

A Key Largo woman who entered a neighbor’s home without permission, then got into an altercation with him was arrested for burglary.

The incident took place on June 8th at a home on Buttonwood Circle. The victim’s dogs began barking so he went downstairs to see what they were barking at. He found a woman – later identified as 42 year old Nancy Walker – inside the downstairs of his home. He confronted her, asking her why she was in his home. She said “I live here”. He told her to leave and she shoved him. A struggle took place and a number of items were broken. She finally left the property.

The victim did not recognize the woman and she was unable to be identified at the time of the crime.

On August 12th, the same deputy responded to a domestic disturbance on Ocean Way, just three houses away from the home on Buttonwood Circle. The male victim told the deputy his wife had a drinking problem. The deputy mentioned the breakin that had happened in June. The male victim said “That was my wife Nancy.”

The deputy put together a photo lineup which included a photo of Nancy Walker and showed it to the victim of the residential burglary. He positively identified her as the woman who had been in his house and who he had struggled with.

A warrant was issued for Walker for burglary with battery on the occupant and criminal mischief. She was arrested on Tuesday and booked into jail on those charges.

August 18, 2014

Man charged with vehicle burglary

A man from Pinellas Park, Florida was arrested for vehicle burglary at the Circle K Store on Big Coppitt Key this morning.

The store manager arrived at work just before 6 a.m. He parked his car and was standing beside the morning delivery truck when he saw someone inside his car with a flashlight, rummaging around. He confronted 31 year old David Devereux, yelling at him to get out of his car. Devereux complied. The manager called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.

A short time later, he was again standing by the delivery truck when he saw Devereux go back into his car and remove a backpack from the back of it, then walk up a ramp extending from the back of the delivery truck and into the back of the truck without permission. One of the truck drivers on scene ordered him out of the truck, but Devereux refused to leave the truck.

When Sgt. Rick Martin arrived, he found Devereux still in the truck and took him into custody. Deputy David Lariz arrived a short time later and transported Devereux to jail. Devereux was charged with burglary of a vehicle, possession of burglary tools and trespassing.

August 13, 2014

Hialeah man charged with robbery

A Hialeah man who snatched a Rolex watch from a store clerk at a jewelry store and then fled on foot was arrested Tuesday.

The store clerk called the Sheriff’s Office shortly before 1 p.m. to report the crime. She said a couple was in the Blue Marlin Jewelry store and stole a Rolex watch she was showing to them. She was able to give a description of the man and woman, and the car they fled in – a small black two door vehicle with dark tinted windows. The clerk sustained an injury to her hand during the robbery.

The car was stopped by Lt. David Carey at the 96 mile marker of the highway. There were four people inside. Two of them matched the description given by the store clerk. All four people inside the car agreed to go to the Sheriff’s substation to be interviewed.

One of the women in the car who was driving told Detective Bob Dosh the four of them took a day trip together to Key West and were returning to Miami when 22 year old Ronald Cordero told her to stop at the Blue Marlin Jewelry Store. She said Cordero and her girlfriend got out of the car; she said they were gone for a while and then returned, running, and Cordero yelled “drive”.

The woman with Cordero in the store confirmed she was looking at watches in the store while Cordero used the restroom. She said the clerk was showing her the Rolex when Cordero snatched it out of the clerk’s hand and they fled.

Cordero was arrested. He was charged with robbery, grand theft and battery and he was booked in to jail. The watch, which is valued at $13,000, has not yet been recovered.

August 11, 2014

Dogs perish in boat fire

A fire on a houseboat in Marathon killed two dogs and did considerable damage to the boat.

When Deputy William Daniels arrived just before 6 p.m. at 35 Sombrero Beach Boulevard firefighters had already extinguished the blaze. They were attempting CPR on one of two Great Danes that had been on board the houseboat during the fire. Neither dogs were able to be revived.

Neighbors initially saw the fire and attempted to extinguish it with fire extinguishers and hoses.

The owners of the houseboat said they’d been working on it all day making repairs and had just left shortly after 5 p.m. They said they were unaware of any issues on the boat which may have caused the fire.

Boat yard fire on Stock Island

Deputies and firefighters responded to a fire at 3D Boatyard this morning.

The fire was reported at 6:15 a.m. By the time Deputy Matt Dowling arrived, firefighters had extinguished the fire. A man who lived on board a boat next door to the burned building said he got up to use the restroom at 5 a.m. and did not smell anything burning in the area.

The County Fire Marshall arrived on scene and will be investigating the cause of the fire.

August 9, 2014

Man arrested for abusing girlfriend and dog

A man staying with his girlfriend on Summerland Key was arrested after he beat her, cut her, threatened to kill her and abused his dog.

The girlfriend was finally able to call for help at 6:45 p.m. after he passed out. She told Deputy Ian Cooper that Carlos Gascon had been beating her all day. She said he was angry at her because he had a dream she was cheating on him.

She said during the course of the day on Friday, he cut the back of her leg with a knife, poured hot coffee on her, choked her, held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.  He also reportedly picked her up and slammed her down on a glass table, breaking it. She said he also picked up his dog, slammed it on the ground and then put his foot on the dogs neck. She said she couldn’t find her cell phone or her car keys and she believes he threw them in the canal behind their house.

Gascon was arrested. He was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, domestic battery by strangulation, battery, false imprisonment, and animal cruelty.

Restaurant owner arrested after fight

The owner of the Hogfish Restaurant on Stock Island was arrested Friday night after an argument which turned physical.

According to numerous witnesses the incident began with a disagreement over restaurant patrons using restrooms at the marina next door. A woman who lives at the marina confronted several patrons, telling them they were not allowed to use the restrooms. Deputies later interviewed the marina manager who said restaurant patrons are allowed to use the restrooms.

The manager of the Hogfish Restaurant walked over in an attempt to resolve the situation. He had reportedly notified the restaurant owner, 57 year old Bobby Mongelli who also showed up at the scene.

Mongelli began arguing with the woman about her confrontation with restaurant patrons. Her boyfriend, who was also present, tried to intervene. A struggle ensued between the boyfriend and Mongelli. At some point, Mongelli pushed the boyfriend into the pool at the marina. As he was falling into the pool, the boyfriend hit his side on the edge of the pool.

Deputy Donald Stullken was dispatched to the area. When he arrived, Mongelli was sitting outside and the boyfriend was being treated by paramedics. He was transported to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken rib.

Mongelli was arrested and charged with aggravated battery.

Two charged with home invasion robbery

Two Marathon men were arrested, charged with committing a home invasion robbery on Grassy Key on May 27th.

When deputies arrived at 58080 Overseas Highway in the early morning hours of May 27th, they found victim Robert Moir shot in the leg. He said three men wearing bandannas over their faces forced their way in his home and, during a struggle with them, he was shot. He said he ran from the house and another round was fired at him, striking an outside storage trailer. The suspects took drugs from the house, including prescription medication, cocaine and heroin.

Subsequent investigations revealed the identity of the suspects involved. On Friday, two of them were arrested on outstanding warrants.

24 year old Matthew Storm and 21 year old Russell Kane were both taken into custody. Both men were charged with numerous felonies including home invasion robbery, use of a firearm and wearing a mask while committing a crime and aggravated assault and tampering with evidence. More arrests are expected in connection with this crime.

The victim, Moir, was recently arrested by Special Investigations detectives for trafficking in heroin and other drug related charges.

August 8, 2014

Trailer fire on Big Pine Key

Deputies and firefighters responded to a fire in a trailer in Seahorse Campground at 7:45 p.m.

Deputy Kendall Bailey responded as did firefighters from Big Pine fire department. The resident of the trailer, 55 year old David Baker, was also on scene.

The fire was extinguished, but the trailer reportedly sustained major damage. The Red Cross will be assisting Baker, since he lost most of his belongings in the fire. The Fire Marshal will be investigating the cause of the blaze.

Woman dies after diving with hookah rig

A 36 year old woman from Mirmar, Florida died after a dive suing a hookah rig offshore of Marathon Thursday.

36 year old Melissa Fellows was diving offshore of the Seven Mile Bridge on a dive trip on board a private vessel. She and another person were diving for lobster in about 12 feet of water using a hookah rig breathing apparatus. There were a number of others on the boat, including her husband, 32 year old Wayne Fellows.

Her dive buddy told Deputy Leon Bourcier the hoses from the rig got wrapped around a piling. When he tried to free it, his air shut off. He said he surfaced, but Fellows did not.

A short time later she did surface, but she was reportedly face down in the water and not breathing. Fellows was pulled from the water and people on board the boat began CPR.

Another boat was nearby and heard yelling. On board that boat were some trained paramedics who took over CPR. Fellows was brought in to the Sunset Grill on Knights Key where an ambulance took her to Fisherman’s Hospital. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

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

August 5, 2014

Four people arrested after search warrant served

Four people were arrested and 21 grams of heroin seized after a search warrant was served at a Grassy Key residence Monday.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit served a search warrant at 58080 Overseas Highway on Grassy Key at 1 p.m. Inside, their search turned p 45 plastic bags with heroin inside in a room belonging to 40 year old Robert Moir. More heroin was found in the living room and on a computer desk in a room belonging to 53 year old Serguei Koudriavtsev.

A metal spoon with heroin in it and a syringe with liquid heroin in it were also recovered. Moir told detectives he was in the process of “shooting up” heroin when they served the search warrant.

Small amounts of cocaine and marijuana along with Suboxone and several other unidentified pills suspected to be controlled substances were also seized, along with  $2,016 seized as suspected drug proceeds.

26 year old Joshua Deakins was found sitting in a vehicle in front of the residence. He was found to be in possession of an unknown pill and a small amount of marijuana.

As the detectives were serving the warrant a man later identified as 33 year old Randy Jones walked up to the rear of the residence. He was detained. He told detectives his seven year old niece was next door alone at the Bonefish Resort, where he was staying in room 315. He said he came over when he heard loud noises to see what was going on.

When the detectives went to check on the niece, they found marijuana, Oxycodone, heroin and drug paraphernalia in plain view in the room. Jones’ wife later returned to the room and took custody of the niece.

Moir was charged with trafficking in heroin, distribution of heroin, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Koudriavtsev was charged with distribution of heroin, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Jones was charged with possession of heroin, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Deakins was charged with possession of marijuana. All four men were booked into jail.

August 1, 2014

Two arrested after marijuana grow is discovered on Big Pine Key

Two people were arrested Thursday after deputies attempting to serve an arrest warrant discovered a marijuana growing operation at a Big Pine Key home.

Deputies Donald Stullken and Sean Moran went to the home at 30582 5th Avenue, Big Pine Key shortly after 2 a.m. looking for a man named Jared Michael Long wanted on an outstanding warrant. The home was his last known address.

When they arrived, they checked around the property for Long. They found two utility trailers which had air conditioners running inside; one had music coming from it as well.

As they got closer to the trailers they could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside. The trailer with music coming from it was unlocked, so they knocked and then opened the door to see if Long was inside. Instead of finding Long, they found a marijuana growing operation.

They notified their sergeant about what they found; he in turn notified the Sheriff's Special Investigations Unit so they could respond for further investigation.

As they were waiting for detectives to arrive, the deputies made contact with 66 year old Christine Kennedy, who was inside the rear of the residence on the property. Kennedy gave them permission to search the residence for Long, whom she said she didn't know. She also admitted to having marijuana inside the residence. The deputies took possession of a package of marijuana weighting 26 grams. She told them the trailers belonged to a man she did not know well. She said she only knew him by the name "Robby". She denied knowing what was inside the trailers.

When detectives arrived, they checked the registration on one of the trailers, which returned to a 50 year old Robert Blake. The other trailer had no license tag visible. Kennedy told them Blake would come to the property daily to check on the trailers.

Both trailers had air conditioning and had power and water running to them. A storage unit on the property also had water running to it and outside detectives found equipment and materials consistent with growing marijuana.

A search warrant was obtained for the trailers. Inside they found 132 marijuana plants. The plants were being cultivated in a sophisticated growing operation which included LED lighting, irrigation equipment, power supplies, air conditioning and items for packaging the marijuana once it was harvested. There was also harvested marijuana in the trailers weighting 372 grams.

Upon further questioning by detectives, Kennedy admitted that Blake, the owner of the trailers, was her son-in-law.

While detectives were on scene, Blake arrived. He was driving a Chevrolet Suburban. In the vehicle detectives found more marijuana as well as labels marked with different types of marijuana; these labels were similar to labels found inside the trailers as well.

Blake, who lives on Cudjoe Key, and Kennedy were both arrested. She was charged with possessing a felony amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into jail.

Dive and fishing related incidents:

A man on vacation in Marathon reported to Sheriff's deputies he left nine dive tanks in the back of his truck parked at 222 Angler's Drive South in Marathon overnight between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. When he woke in the morning all the tanks were gone. He was also missing a buoyancy compensator and four fillet knives from a tool box in the back of the truck.

A man staying at Coco Plum Condominiums in Marathon reported someone took items from his boat overnight between Thursday and Friday. The boat was docked at the marina across from the condo complex. Someone took a depth finder, sunglasses, a gas can, a boat paddle and a diver's mask from it.

The owner of the Driftwood Marina in Marathon reported sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning items were taken from boats kept in the marina. Only one victim was available for Deputy James Hager to talk to when he reponded Thursday afternoon just before 2 p.m. The boat owner said he was missing rods and reels, a speargun, several coolers, a Garmin GPS and tackle bags. The Sheriff's Office is still investigating and making contact with possible victims in this case