Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

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April 30, 2016

Man scammed out of thousands

A Key Largo man was scammed out of $2,500 because he believed his wife was kidnapped.

The 30 year old man told Deputy Gil Gonzalez he received a call Friday at 10 a.m. from a man – “Mike” -  who claimed to have his wife; Mike said the victim’s wife was involved in a car crash and had killed Mike’s son in the crash. Mike said after the crash he kidnapped her. He claimed to be a drug dealer and said he did not want to involve law enforcement. Mike said he was keeping the victim’s wife in the trunk of a car and would kill her if the victim did not pay him $2,500.00. Mike repeatedly played the victim an audio tape over the phone that sounded like his wife screaming. The caller instructed him to wire money to two different people in Puerto Rico.

The scammer kept the victim on the phone, insisting if he hung up he would kill his wife. The victim walked to a nearby grocery store and withdrew money from his bank account and did what he was instructed to do.

After the money was paid, the scammer hung up the phone. At that point, the victim received text messages from family members and from his wife letting him know she was fine and he realized he had been scammed.

Deputy Gonzalez spoke to the victim’s wife and she said she received similar calls that same day from a man claiming to have kidnapped her husband. She said she told him she didn’t believe him and hung up the phone.

This scam is a common one and a number of other people in the Keys have also been victimized in a similar fashion. The scammers always claim they have a family member and usually threaten to kill or injure that family member in order to get compliance. They also always insist the victim stay on the phone the entire time because they do not want to allow the victim to talk to anyone who might realize it is a scam. They ask that money be wired to a location outside the United States; sometimes they also ask the victims to purchase green dot or other types of cash cards as payment.

April 21, 2016

Two charged with drugs after search warrant

A search warrant was served Wednesday evening at a Marathon resort.  Detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit served the warrant at the Blackfin Resort and Marina, located at 4650 Overseas Highway, Room-16, in Marathon.  Inside the room Detectives found several occupants including 42 year old Shayon Bryant of Marathon, 30 year-old Jessica L. Frederick of Miami and two young children. 
 
The search of the room turned up approximately eleven grams of Crack Cocaine, eleven grams of Heroin, five grams of Marijuana, over a dozen Alprazolam (Xanax) pills, drug paraphernalia and over eight hundred dollars of possible drug proceeds.  Bryant was charged with possession of Cocaine with the intent to sell, Heroin Trafficking, possession of  Heroin with the intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, and child neglect. Bryant was also arrested on an active arrest warrant for Violation of Probation with an underlying charge of sale of ecstasy.

Frederick was charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and child neglect. Both were booked into the Marathon jail.

April 18, 2016

Burglary suspect caught by video

A burglary suspect was arrested after a video camera at a Key Largo residence caught him stealing fishing rods and reels.

Deputy Bryan Cross was called to a home on 7th Lane in Key Largo on April 2nd. The homeowner had returned after several days away and found the window on a storage shed broken and a number of rods and reels missing from inside.

A security camera on the property caught the burglary and gave a clear picture of the man who committed the crime as well as the vehicle he was traveling in. Detective Bob Dosh was assigned to investigate.

Detective Dosh was aware of another burglary being investigated in which a possible suspect, 55 year old Billy Costner of Key Largo, had been questioned. He recognized Costner as the person in this video stealing the rods and reels. He confirmed the identification with the detective investigating the other case.

A warrant was obtained for Costner and on April 16th he was arrested. He was charged with burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief and he was booked into jail. The other burglary case is still under investigation.

Burglary suspect caught by video

A Tavernier man is in jail after a home surveillance system caught him stealing rods and reels from a storage shed at a Key Largo residence.

Deputy Titus Hodges responded to a home on South Ocean Shores Drive in Key Largo March 19th. The homeowner wanted to report over $5,000 worth of rods and reels and a power drill stolen from his storage shed. He told the deputy he knew the man who stole his property.

The victim said he had hired someone to do work on his property. He said the man he hired had hired a helper, 48 year old Sergio Yero. When he found his property missing, the victim reviewed footage from his surveillance camera. On the video, he saw Yero breaking a lock on the shed, taking his property from the shed and putting it into a black Chevrolet truck.

A warrant was issued for Yero and on Sunday he was arrested. He was booked into jail on charges of burglary and grand theft.

Stock Island man charged with marijuana

A Stock Island man was arrested Saturday afternoon on multiple charges including possession of over 100 grams of marijuana.

Traffic Deputy Greg Korzen was on patrol at 1 p.m. when he saw a silver Chevrolet Impala on Fourth Avenue, Stock Island. The car was driving erratically, weaving and crossing the center line of the roadway. Deputy Korzen also noticed one of the brake lights was not working, so he pulled behind the vehicle. The vehicle stopped in a nearby parking lot and the deputy pulled in behind it.

As Deputy Korzen approached the vehicle he could smell an odor he recognized as marijuana. The driver had no driver’s license and said he had just purchased the car and had not yet registered it. He said he was driving erratically because the steering mechanism was in “bad shape” and needed repair. He said he’d put his girlfriend’s license plate on the car in order to drive it to the store.

A search of the vehicle turned up four plastic bags in the trunk; in each bag were 50 buds of marijuana. The marijuana weighed 103 grams.

The driver, Clifford Leconte, was arrested. He was charged with possessing a felony amount of the illegal substance. He was also charged with possessing drug paraphernalia after rolling papers were found in the car. He was cited for attaching a tag not assigned to the vehicle, failing to exhibit a driver’s license, having no proof of insurance and driving his vehicle in an unsafe condition.

April 15, 2016

Big Pine man charged with exposing himself on the beach

Sheriff’s detectives charged a Big Pine Key man Thursday with exposing himself and fondling himself at Coco Plum Beach in Marathon Thursday.

In response to complaints about nudity and inappropriate sexual acts in public in the area, detectives were at Coco Plum Beach Thursday afternoon when they saw 51 year old Guy Lovering lying on the beach wearing only a straw hat on his head. A short time later, they observed him fondling himself.

Lovering was charged with exposure of sexual organs and was issued a notice to appear in court on the charge.

April 11, 2016

Teen charged with burglary at campground

A Miami teen staying at an Upper Keys campground was arrested after he was caught on camera burglarizing the housekeeping building at the campground.

Deputies responded to Fiesta Key Campground Saturday at 7:30 a.m. after a housekeeper noticed someone had forced the door open burglarized the building and take several items from inside. A surveillance camera showed a young man wearing shorts and sandals enter the burglarized area. He takes something from a refrigerator, then rummages around in a purse on a table inside, taking a phone charger from the purse. He is seen on video leaving the area on a distinctively styled bicycle.

Deputies Kendall Bailey and Tony Conde drove around the park and found the bike in front of a travel trailer. Inside, they found a young man who looked like the man in the video footage. The man was identified as 19 year ikd Daniel Tabares of Miami. Tabares admitted to “just going around and going into stuff” in the campground. Several bottles of beer were found next to his bed in the trailer. He said he took the beer from a campsite to drink later.

Tabares was arrested. He was charged with burglary, criminal mischief, theft and possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21. He was booked into jail.

April 3, 2016

Ramrod man charged with machete threats

A Ramrod Key man was arrested Friday evening for threatening his ex-girlfriend with a machete.

The suspect, 56 year old Kevin Smith and the victim still live together on St. Lucie Lane, Ramrod Key. According to the victim, she and her two girlfriends went to dinner and Smith joined them. She said they all eventually returned to the house on St. Lucie Lane where Smith was acting strangely.

She said Smith started a bonfire behind the house. She said it got too big, so she began to use a hose to put the fire out. She told Deputy Wendy Negron that is when Smith grabbed a machete and began to swing it at her, making threatening and aggressive comments.

She and her two friends retreated into a downstairs room and locked the door. They called 911 for help as he was hitting the door and the outside wall with the machete.

When deputies arrived at 8:20 p.m. they found Smith still on the scene. They found the machete and  damage to the door and wall consistent with the victim’s story. Both the victim and her two girlfriends all told the deputy what happened. Smith was arrested. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and he was taken to jail.