Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin
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May 25, 2015
Routine ID check leads to homicide arrest
A routine check on people fishing in a no fishing zone turned in to an arrest on homicide charges.
Sgt. Chuck Kellenberger was at the north end of the Seven Mile Bridge at 2:30 a.m. today and saw a group of people fishing in an “No Fishing” area. He walked onto the bridge to warn the group and saw they were in the process of packing their things and leaving.
Sgt. Kellenberger asked the group for identification. When he checked names he found one of the men, 41 year old Yoan Chavez Estenoz of Hialeah, had an outstanding warrant from Hillsborough County for Homicide – First Degree Murder.
Estenoz was taken into custody without incident and was transported to jail where he will be held until he can be returned to Hillsborough County to face the charges.
May 22, 2015
Wanted man in custody
A man wanted for multiple Stock Island burglaries is in custody today.
23 year old Rigoberto Hernandez was arrested at 11 p.m. after a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling north at the 86 mile marker. The Sheriff’s Office received information he might be trying to flee the Keys and had details about the vehicle he might be traveling in.
Hernandez was taken into custody without incident. He is currently in jail charged with two counts of burglary and three counts each of grand theft and criminal mischief.
May 21, 2015
Cudjoe man charged with molesting girl
An 18 year old man from Cudjoe Key has been charged with sexually molesting a 5 year old girl.
Johnathan Roberts is in jail charged with two counts sexual assault on a child under 12 and lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim under 12.
The abuse was reported to the Sheriff’s Office on April 23rd and was investigated by Major Crimes Detective Lisette Zuelch. After interviews with the victim, the victim’s parents and the suspect, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Roberts was booked into jail. His bond is set at $100,000.00.
May 19, 2015
Drug arrest after warrant service
Arrest warrants were served this morning at a Stock Island residence.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, along with Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration served the warrant at 6436 2nd Street, on Stock Island at 11:30 a.m. At the residence, detectives found 58 year old Hinh Q. Tran, the suspect listed on the arrest warrants.
A consent search of his residence turned up over 270 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and over $9,500 in cash - suspected proceeds from drug sales.
Tran was charged with three outstanding warrants, each one for sale of cocaine and use of a two way communication device to facilitate a felony; he also faces charges of trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into the Stock Island detention facility.
May 13, 2015
Man airlifted for head injury; detectives investigating
A Key Largo man was airlifted this morning after suffering a head injury. Detectives are investigating the circumstances.
The victim, 47 year old Daniel Rivero, told Deputy Gil Gonzalez he went to bed Tuesday night about 9:30 p.m. He said he woke up at an unknown time “feeling like he had been hit with something”. When he tried to get out of bed, he couldn’t stand and noticed a large amount of blood coming from an injury to his head. Rivero suffered a laceration on the left side of his head and a fractured skull.
Sheriff’s dispatchers received a report of someone injured at the residence and, when deputies arrived, they found Rivero sitting on the stairs of his apartment building. He was transported to Mariner’s Hospital and then airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Detectives are investigating the case.
May 12, 2015
Woman scammed out of thousands
A Stock Island woman is out a significant amount of money, a victim of a scam.
The victim told Deputy Kim Trullender a man named “Mike” called her. He told her there was a warrant out for her arrest because she failed to show up for a jury summons.
He told her she would be arrested unless she paid a “fine” of $2,700. He told her to visit several stores and send money grams using the “red phone”. She did so, sending money to three separate debit card numbers.
She sent money from two separate CVS Pharmacies. At the last location, the Euro Market on Kennedy Drive, the clerk told the victim she thought something about the situation was strange, but the victim insisted on making the payment anyway.
In a second incident Monday, a woman who lives on Stock Island reported getting a phone call she thought was a scam. She said she got a call from a “Detective Harris” from the “Monroe County Warrants Division”. The caller told her she was in contempt of court and needed to use the “red phone” at a CVS Pharmacy to pay a fine of $1,900 or she would be arrested. She did not comply with the scammer’s request and instead, reported it to the Sheriff’s Office.
Do not fall for these types of calls. Law enforcement agencies do not operate this way. Neither do utility companies and the IRS says definitively they will NEVER call. Lots of variations on these scams exist - it seems there are more and more lately.
If you have any questions about a call you receive, and whether or not it is a scam, call us immediately at 305-289-2351 and we will help you figure it all out.
Drug arrest after search warrant
Stock Island - A search warrant was served Monday afternoon at a Stock Island residence.
Detectives from the Special Investigations Unit, along with Lower Keys criminal investigations detectives, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration served the warrant at 6529 Maloney Avenue, Lot-14, on Stock Island. Inside the property Detectives found 39 year old Miguel Chavez and two others.
The search of the residence turned up over fourteen grams of Crack Cocaine, drug paraphernalia and over $1,300 in cash - suspected proceeds from drug sales. Chavez was charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Chavez was also arrested on a warrant for the sale and possession of cocaine. Chavez was booked into the Key West jail.
The other two on the scene were released without charges.
May 10, 2015
Local man wanted for multiple burglaries
A Stock Island man is wanted in connection with multiple burglaries. Detectives want everyone to keep an eye out for him and call if they see him. Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to his arrest.
23 year old Rigoberto Hernandez III is wanted for three counts of burglary, two counts of grand theft and three counts of criminal mischief. Bond on the warrants is a total of $80,000. Two of the burglaries were committed in Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction; the other was in the city of Key West.
Sheriff’s detectives say Hernandez broke into Hanson and Bringle Cabinets and Chico’s Cantina on Stock Island. At Hansen and Bringle he entered through a window and left behind considerable damage. He also left behind fingerprints which were positively identified from records already on file from a previous criminal case. At Chico’s Cantina he pried open a side door and stole cash; he also damaged a safe when he tried to force it open. During the break in he was caught on video; officers viewing the video recognized him from previous law enforcement contacts.
Anyone who knows were Hernandez is can call Crime Stoppers to report it. Callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and will receive a cash reward if he is arrested based on the information from the tip. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.
Man arrested for burglary of occupied home
A man from Lehigh Acres, Florida was arrested after he broke a window to gain access to a Marathon home. The man who lives there with his family struggled with him, holding him until deputies arrived.
Sgt. Chuck Kellenberger was first on the scene at the home on 109th Street in Marathon Saturday at 5 a.m. When he arrived, he heard a woman yelling for help. He entered the home and found the suspect being held on the floor by the male victim.
According to the victims, they were sleeping in the bedroom with their one year old son when they heard glass breaking in the room next door, and heard their dog barking. When the male victim opened the bedroom door he saw 30 year old Darvin Cano Murillo rushing at him.
The two men struggled. The victim managed to hold Cano Murillo on the floor until deputies arrived. Cano Murillo was arrested. He lost consciousness during the struggle with the victim so he was transported to Fishermen’s Hospital to be checked out before he was booked into jail. He was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and criminal mischief.
Man arrested for drugs after driving recklessly
A man who told deputies he was just released from jail in Volusia County was booked into the Monroe County jail Friday on drug charges.
Sheriff’s dispatchers received multiple calls Friday at 1 p.m. about a black Ford truck weaving in the roadway and driving into oncoming traffic. Deputy Kendall Baily was at the 55 mile marker of the highway when he spotted the truck. He also observed the dangerous driving behavior, so he pulled the truck over.
The driver, 37 year old Chance Borman, was holding a marijuana pipe in his hand when the deputy approached the vehicle. There was the strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the truck. Borman was asked to step out of the truck and he was detained. A search of the truck turned up a felony amount of marijuana, heroin and several other controlled substances in the form of pills. Borman also had several items of drug paraphernalia.
Borman was sweating profusely and appeared to not be feeling well. He told Deputy Bailey he took a large “hit” of drugs just before being pulled over. He was transported to Fisherman’s Hospital to be checked out prior to being transported to jail. Borman was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a felony amount of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
May 7, 2015
Lower Keys Alcohol Coalition Checks
On May 5, 2015, The Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit conducted an operation checking businesses that sell alcohol in the Lower Keys. Nine businesses were checked including restaurants, convenience stores and bars. One of the businesses served alcohol to a minor during the checks. The clerk who sold the alcohol was issued a Notice to Appear before a Monroe County Judge.
The following Business, and attendant sold the alcohol:
• Dion’s Quik Mart - 4908 Overseas Highway, Big Coppitt Key. Attendant: Angela M. Denbleyker, 47 years of age. Notice to appear issued (NTA).
The Sale Clerk violations carry a penalty of up to 60 days in jail, a $500.00 fine, $235.00 in court costs, $75.00 in cost of prosecution, and $40.00 in cost of investigation.
The Licensee Violations are:
1st-Offense $1000 fine and 7 day suspension.
2nd-Offense $3000 fine and 30 day suspension.
3rd-Offense Revocation of license.
The remaining businesses checked, were in compliance with the law. This operation was conducted in cooperation with the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community.
Search Warrant served in Marathon
A search warrant was served this morning in a Marathon residence.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit, along with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration served the warrant at 434 82nd Street (Ocean), in Marathon. During the search of the property detectives found several occupants including 27 year old Harold Reece and 47 year old Charles Antrobus.
The search of the residence turned up approximately twelve grams of crack cocaine, a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Reece and Antrobus were charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Both men were booked into the Marathon jail.
May 6, 2015
Stock Island man arrested for stealing boat motor parts
A Stock Island man was arrested after surveillance video caught him as he stole boat motor parts from a boat on Roberta Street on Stock Island.
The owner of the boat called the Sheriff’s Office May 1st to report he found parts missing from the motor on his boat. Deputy Matt Dowling took the report and then called for assistance from detectives.
Detectives David Chavka and John Underwood responded. Detective Chavka found a nearby surveillance camera and watched the video for the night the parts were taken. On the video, at 12:30 a.m. he saw a man and woman near the boat. The woman leaves and the man stays near the boat for several minutes. He then returns later on his bike and is seen putting something in his shirt and riding away.
The man in the video was identified as 45 year old Roberto Cardenas. Cardenas later admitted to taking the motor parts and, in doing so, damaging the motor. He was placed under arrest and charged with grand theft. He was booked into jail.
Drug arrests, Ramrod Key
The Sheriff’s Office made several drug arrests Tuesday.
Special Investigations detectives went to Looe Key Tiki Bar at 5:15 p.m. to serve arrest warrants on two employees. 18 year old Tristan Vergara, who was wanted on three outstanding warrants for sale of marijuana and 36 year old Phillip Pinkerman was wanted on two outstanding warrants for sale of cocaine.
When the two were placed under arrest, they were found to be in possession of illegal substances and drug paraphernalia. Pinkerman had a small amount of marijuana. Vergara had several individual packages of cocaine hidden in two cigarette packages. Items of paraphernalia were also found that belonged to both of the men.
Pinkerman was further charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and Vergara was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. They were both booked into jail.
Drug arrest, Stock Island
At 1:20 p.m., Deputies Lazaro Valdes and Freddy Rodriguez were dispatched to a domestic disturbance on 5th avenue, Stock Island. When they arrived, a man told them his girlfriend had taken his immigration papers and would not give them back.
The girlfriend – 48 year old Odalys Lovett Delisle – denied having the papers and told Deputy Valdes he could search her purse for them. Upon searching the purse, the deputy did not find the papers but he did find several different pills in two pill bottles. One pill bottle had her name on the label; the other did not. In these pill bottles there were 189 tablets of two different types of Oxycodone for which Delisle could not produce a legal prescription.
Delisle was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. She was booked into jail.
May 5, 2015
Detention deputy arrested in Homestead
A Monroe County Sheriff’s detention deputy was arrested Monday night for child abuse.
47 year old Juan Cotto was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in April of 2012 as a detention deputy. He is currently assigned to a post at the Marathon jail facility.
Homestead Police placed him under arrest for child abuse – not causing bodily harm. Details of the arrest should be obtained from that agency.
At this time, Cotto’s employment status is under review.
Business burglaries on Stock Island
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating multiple burglaries and attempted burglaries to businesses on Stock Island.
Anyone with information about these crime should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.
Multiple boat burglaries in Marathon
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating multiple boat burglaries in the Marathon area.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that crimes such as these are preventable. We recommend not leaving expensive equipment on board your vessel when it is not in use.
Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.
May 3, 2015
Two arrested in connection with burglary
A couple was arrested Saturday after burglarizing two trailers at Gallway Bay trailer park in Marathon.
Deputy Greg LaRochelle responded to Gallway Bay Trailer Park Saturday afternoon to reports of a burglary to one of the trailers in the park. The victim told him he came home at 4 p.m. and found 31 year old Nicholas Belanger in the bedroom of his trailer. He said Belanger had taken his 9mm pistol from the nightstand and was holding it when he walked in. The victim said when he confronted Belanger, Belanger threw the gun on the bed and and pushed him, then fled from the trailer.
The victim was able to identify Belanger because Belanger used to live in the trailer next door. When Deputy LaRochelle checked the trailer next door, he found evidence Belanger had also entered that residence.
Witnesses who live nearby told Deputy LaRochelle they saw Belanger enter both trailers at about 4 p.m. Saturday. They said he was riding in a green sport utility vehicle driven by a woman, later identified as 26 year old Kayla Courtemanche. They said they saw Belanger come running from one trailer and jump in the SUV, which then quickly drove away.
Investigations by Detective Scott Ward indicated the couple might be in the area of Big Pine Key, where Courtemanche lives with her father. Deputy Andrew Hudson spotted the green SUV – a Kia Sportage – southbound at the 31.5 mm at 5:30 p.m. He attempted to stop the vehicle on 1st Street but briefly lost sight of it. He caught up with it at 1st Street and Avenue H. Courtemanche was driving.
She was initially uncooperative, but later admitted Belanger had been in the car with her and had fled from the vehicle on foot. She was arrested and charged with being an accessory to Belanger’s crimes.
Just before 9 p.m., Deputy Darren Jensen spotted Belanger walking on Avenue A, Big Pine Key. Belanger was taken into custody. He was charged with burglary with battery on the occupant, armed burglary, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and resisting arrest.
Woman arrested for forging doctor’s note
A 45 year old woman was arrested Friday for forging a doctor’s signature on a note excusing her from work.
Deputy Vicki Fleck-Lockwood responded to Dr. George Peterson’s office. The doctor told her he was contacted by the Monroe County School Board about one of his patients. He said he’d seen her in October and given her a note excusing her from work for one day. According to the school board, she had turned in a note with his signature on it excusing her from work for three weeks.
Deputy Fleck-Lockwood met with Wardlow, who admitted altering the doctor’s note. She was arrested and charged with fraudulently using another person’s identity without their permission. She was booked into jail.
Two arrested on marijuana charges
A traffic stop at 10 p.m. Saturday led to the arrest of two Key West men after a large amount of marijuana was found in their car.
Deputy William Daniels was on Long Key when he saw a vehicle southbound with a headlight out. He pulled the car over on North Conch Key, at the 63 mile marker. When he approached the car he could smell the odor of marijuana inside.
The passenger, 19 year old Shayne Alongi, handed over a small plastic bag with two marijuana cigarettes inside. Both men said there was no more marijuana in the car. Deputy Daniels then asked Alongi and the driver, 18 year old Adam Lepine, to step out of the car so he could search it.
A plastic bag with marijuana and several items of drug paraphernalia were found in a backpack. More marijuana was found in a red duffle bag and in suitcases in the back of the car. A total of 111 grams of the illegal substance were seized, along with a grinder, a scale and other drug paraphernalia.
Alongi was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Lepine was charged with possession of marijuana, four counts possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Both men were taken to jail.