Apr 04
“Violent Sexual Predator” arrested in Marathon

Sheriff’s deputies initially investigating a trespassing call in Marathon Friday morning arrested a man who turned out to be designated as a “violent sexual predator” in two other states.

Deputy Chuck Kellenberger was behind Gulfside Village in Marathon when he asked a homeless man sleeping in the area for his identification. The man said he had no identification, but gave his name as Jean Paul Sebastian, along with a date of birth and a social security number. A check on that name returned as “no record found” so Deputy Kellenberger asked him again for his correct identification. This time he gave his name as first name “Sebastian”, then changed it to first name of “Paul”, then said he could not remember his date of birth of his social security number.

Sgt. Dennis Coleman responded to back up Deputy Kellenberger. As Deputy Kellenberger was on the radio with Sheriff’s dispatchers, the man began to act in an agitated fashion with Sgt. Coleman. He kept reaching in his pocket and refused orders to keep his hands in sight.

Sheriff’s dispatchers continued trying to discover who the man was using various permutations of the name and other information he had given. Dispatcher Andrea Fricke finally found the name he had given attached to a record belonging to Alan Bruce Robinson. Robinson is designated as a “sexually violent predator” from the State of Illinois. Robinson is also wanted in the state of Minnesota for being a “Sex Offender – Predatory Off Viol.” With no further information available regarding the charges. His identity was confirmed using photographs available from the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry.

Robinson was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, giving a false name to a law enforcement officer and failing to register as a sexual offender. He was booked into jail.

Apr 04
Road rage incident leads to arrest

A Lower Keys man was arrested Monday after he became angry over a driving incident and almost hit a man with his car.

The victim told Deputy Kim Trullender he was at the intersection of North Roosevelt Boulevard and Highway U.S. One, turning onto the highway just after 1 p.m. A black colored Lexus was merging into traffic from South Roosevelt Boulevard. The victim said the Lexus got too close to his car and he honked his horn to let the driver know he was there. He said the Lexus, driven my 79 year old James Robert Cooper of Key Haven followed him.

The victim said he pulled into Chico’s Restaurant to have lunch. He said Cooper followed him and began yelling threats at him. The victim took pictures of the Lexus and the driver so he could document the threats. He said as he was taking a picture of the front of the car, Cooper suddenly stepped on the gas as if to hit the victim. Cooper then drive away in the Lexus and the victim flagged down a nearby patrol car.

A witness corroborated the victim’s story. Deputy Trullender went to Cooper’s house on Amaryllis Drive. Cooper was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault.

Mar 28
Truck catches fire on Sugarloaf

A semi tractor trailer truck caught fire early last Friday morning on Crane Boulevard, Sugarloaf Key. Crane Boulevard was closed to traffic from 1:30 until about 5:30 a.m. as firefighters first fought the blaze and then the Fire Marshal’s office took a first look at it. The Fire Marshal will be investigating the cause of the fire, which completely destroyed the truck. The trailer was empty at the time of the fire, but there was about 125 gallons of fuel in the truck, which caused an explosion which was heard by neighbors in the area. No one was injured.

Mar 28
Stock Island man arrested for molesting boy

A Stock Island man was arrested Tuesday, charged with molesting a young boy.

Major Crimes Detective Lissette Zuelch investigated the case against 26 year old Robert Morales. The conclusion of her investigation was that Morales sexually molested a six year old boy. The boy told family members what happened.

The Sheriff’s Office became involved when a family member of the victim first confronted then punched Morales. When deputies responded to the disturbance they were told about the molestation accusations.

Florida law prohibits anyone from identifying the victim in this case, or from disclosing any information which might identify him.

Morales was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious  molestation of a child. His bond is set at $500,000.

Mar 28
Man wanted on numerous warrants apprehended with the help of Crime Stoppers

A designated career criminal wanted on both Monroe County and Key West Police felony warrants was apprehended with the assistance of a Crime Stoppers tip and an alert deputy Friday.

Deputy David Lariz had information from a Crime Stoppers tip that 34 year old Frank Jones might be traveling on the highway in a mint green BMW. At 5:30 p.m., Deputy Lariz spotted the car southbound at the 11 mile marker of the highway.

He followed it and watched it pull into a condominium complex at 201 Coppitt Road. Frank Jones, wanted on multiple charges including false imprisonment and aggravated battery, got out of the driver’s seat. Two small children got out of the back seat and a woman, the registered owner of the car, got out of the passenger seat.

Deputy Lariz confronted Jones. Jones was visibly nervous and began to back away. Deputy Lariz asked Jones to give up quietly and not to cause any problems in front of the children. Jones began reaching in his pockets despite the deputies orders to keep his hands in sight. Deputy Lariz deployed his Taser, hitting Jones but Jones was still able to turn and flee southbound on the highway. He was apprehended with the assistance of Lt. John Crane from the Sheriff’s Detention Center, who was in the area at the time and acted as backup.

Jones’ license had been suspended numerous times. He was taken into custody, and faces the following charges:

  • Driving with license suspended with knowledge
  • Resisting arrest
  • Failure to register as a career offender
  • Aggravated battery and kidnapping / false imprisonment (Key West Police warrant)
Mar 28
Poker game leads to beer bottle attack

One man was arrested and a second went to the hospital after a fight over money broke out during  a poker game early Saturday.

When Deputy Deanna Torres arrived at the home on Aviation Boulevard in Marathon at 2 a.m., they met the victim’s brother outside. He told them his brother had been hit in the head with an empty Corona beer bottle and was bleeding heavily. He advised the deputies not to go inside alone because there were a lot of people inside “acting crazy”.

Deputies Garrett Test and Danielle Malone arrived quickly on the scene and the three officers entered the house. They found the victim covered in blood, sitting just inside the door. They found a number of other people inside, and broken bottles and blood trails leading too all the rooms in the house with the largest concentration of blood in the living room.

The victim and other witnesses identified the suspect as 21 year old Isaac Vargas, a roommate of the victim. He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. The victim was taken to Fishermen’s Hospital where received numerous staples to close two wounds in his head.

Mar 21
Crime Prevention Tip: Safety when traveling

Tourist season is in full swing in the Florida Keys. While you and your family are traveling, it’s important to remember tourists make tempting targets for thieves. Often lost or distracted, weighed down with bags, and carrying cameras, plane tickets, money, and other valuables, unsuspecting travelers can attract crime like a magnet.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:

  • Don’t display expensive jewelry, cameras, bags, and other items that might draw attention.
  • Check maps before you go out so you can move around confidently.
  • Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets – don’t take shortcuts.
  • Always lock your car when it’s parked, even if the stop is going to be brief. Always keep valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk. Don’t advertise you’re a tourist by leaving maps or guidebooks on the seat or dashboard – keep them in the glove compartment or underneath the seat.
  • Traveling safely with your family also means sticking together and keeping an eye on your children at all times. Make sure they know where you’re staying (name and address), and teach them what to do if they get lost or separated. You might want to agree on a meeting place, just in case. And by all means, make sure your kids know not to accept rides, gifts or favors from strangers.

Make your family vacation a memorable one for all the right reasons. Stay safe and enjoy the Florida Keys.

Mar 21
Traffic stop leads to marine violations

A trio from Miami were pulled over in a car northbound on Big Pine Key Sunday for a  traffic violation. The case turned into a marine violation case after the deputy found illegal fish in a cooler in the car.

The red sport utility vehicle was northbound at 2:20 a.m. Sunday when Deputy Kendall Bailey pulled it over for having no tag light. The driver, 55 year old Larry Brown, turned out to have a suspended driver’s license.

As Deputy Bailey was issuing Brown a notice to appear in court for driving with his license suspended, he noticed a cooler in the back of the vehicle. He asked to see what was inside. Brown told him they’d been fishing from a bridge on Cudjoe Key. He opened the cooler, revealing a large number of fish inside.

Deputy Bailey called for assistance from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. After counting and measuring the fish, there were a total of 80 mangrove snapper – 65 over the bag limit. Twelve of the fish were undersized. They also had one undersized Mutton Snapper and one undersized School Master.

Brown, 33 year old Travis Rolle and 56 year old Yvonne Jackson – all Miami residents -  were issued marine violations in connection with the undersized and over the limit fish.

Mar 14
Stock Island man charged with selling marijuana

A Stock Island man is in jail today charged with selling several pounds of marijuana.

29 year old Timothy Bouchard of Miriam Street on Stock Island is accused of selling the large amount of marijuana in late February during an operation conducted by the Sheriff’s Monroe HIDTA group along with Key West Police detectives from their Special Investigations Unit and investigators from Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A warrant was obtained for his arrest and he was picked up last Wednesday, charged with sale of marijuana.

Man arrested for cocaine trafficking

A Stock Island man was arrested for trafficking in cocaine Sunday.

A search warrant was served at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at 5312 3rd Avenue Apartment 6 after a multi-agency investigation revealed the occupant of the apartment was selling large amounts of cocaine.

68 year old Juan Vazquez was at home when the search warrant was served by investigators from Monroe County Sheriff’s Office HIDTA, Key West Police Special Investigations Unit, Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The search of the residence revealed a large number of individual bags of cocaine hidden in a coffee table in the front living room and cocaine hidden under the kitchen sink and on top of the bed in the bedroom. A total of 231.6 grams of cocaine were found.

A large amount of cash – $2,914 – was found hidden in the wall of the hot water heater closet.  The cash was seized for possible forfeiture as the possible proceeds of drug sales.

Mar 14
Man eats money he stole

A Marathon man was arrested for battering and robbing his girlfriend. On the way to jail, he then ate a large portion of the money he stole from her.

Sgt. Joel Slough and Deputy Vince Weiner responded to Ocean Terrace in Marathon at 8:45 p.m. last Wednesday to reports of a domestic dispute. When they arrived, they found the suspect Leosvel Cordova Parrado who was clearly intoxicated. The victim, his girlfriend and her son were also on the scene.

The victim told deputies they were at a party earlier and Parrado became angry and demanded they return home. She said once they were at home, he pushed her around in their residence and the two of them struggled over her wallet, which he took from her by force. The wallet contained $750 in cash.

When deputies placed Parrado under arrest, they found a large amount of cash in his pocket along with a valium pill which he did not have a prescription for. He said the pill belonged to his girlfriend. The cash was left in his pocket temporarily as the deputies walked him outside to a patrol vehicle. Once outside, they attempted to find the cash but it was missing from his pocket. They asked him where it was and he said he took it out of his pocket inside the house and threw it on the bed.

Parrado was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car. As Sgt. Slough was driving to the detention center in Marathon, he heard a strange noise in the back of his car. When he looked in his rearview mirror, he saw Parrado with his mouth full of cash. He was literally chewing  – and choking on – the cash he had stolen from his girlfriend.

Sgt. Slough pulled over and attempted to recover the money Parrado was eating, but when he counted the remaining cash he found $277 missing from the whole amount the girlfriend said he stole. Some of the money was found in his underwear and deputies think that is where he hid it prior to eating it.

Parrado was charged with robbery, battery, grand theft, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence.

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