September 14, 2014

Man injured in fight

A Marathon man is at Ryder Trauma Center being treated for injuries he suffered during a fight in the parking lot of a local bar.

Witnesses say they saw 28 year old Michael Pietsch in a fight with another man outside the Brass Monkey Bar in Marathon. The other man then left in a white colored vehicle, possibly a sport utility vehicle, southbound on the highway leaving Pietsch lying in the parking lot, unconscious.

When deputies arrived shortly after 2 a.m., they found Pietsch still unresponsive. Paramedics transported him to Fishermen’s Hospital. He was reportedly suffering from multiple brain bleeds, broken bones in his face and a spine fracture. He was taken by ambulance to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami where he was reported to be in critical but stable condition as of Saturday.

Detectives will be investigating in an attempt to identify the other man involved in the fight.

Woman charged with hitting man with pool cue

A Key West woman was arrested Saturday in Marathon after hitting a man in the head with a pool cue.

45 year old Beverly Anderson, who lives on a boat offshore of Key West, was at the Brass Monkey bar at 2:45 p.m. with the victim, a 53 year old Key West man. The victim told deputies she swung a pool cue at him, hitting him on the head. The victim had a knot the size of a quarter above one eye.

A witness said he saw Anderson swing the pool cue at the victim and heard an impact which may have been the pool cue hitting the victim’s head.

Anderson was apprehended as she left the bar, walking across the highway toward Crane Point. She was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. The victim declined treatment of his injuries.

Man arrested for shooting truck with pellet rifle

Deputies responded to reports of a man shooting a rifle at Smuggler’s Cove Marina in Islamorada late Saturday. They arrested a man for shooting a pellet rifle at an occupied vehicle.

At 10:30 p.m. Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received reports first of a man firing a rifle repeatedly at the marina and then of a man shooting a rifle at an occupied vehicle in the parking lot. When deputies arrived, they saw a man standing on a balcony. They ordered him to show them is hands, but he failed to comply, instead walking away. He returned a short time later, this time holding his hands up.

Deputies handcuffed him and then searched his room, which opened off the balcony. They found a pellet rifle and an open can of pellets. The television set in the room had a hole in the middle as if it had been shot by a pellet.

Deputies met with people who’d called to report the incident. They all said they heard multiple shots they thought were from a gun. One of them reported seeing 30 year old John Lear of Tavernier walking around carrying what appeared to be a .22 caliber rifle. One man reported he was in his truck in the parking lot of the marina and heard something that sounded like  bullet hit the truck. There was damage on the driver’s side of the truck.

Lear was charged with shooting a missile at an occupied vehicle. He was taken to jail.

September 12, 2014

Employees achieve career goals

Congratulations to Debbi Johnson and Ben Elmore on achieving recent career goals. Both recently moved from the Sheriff's Office Communications Unit. Johnson is now a Victim’s Advocate for the Sheriff's Office and Elmore is now a road patrol deputy.

Captain speaks about leadership

Recently, Captain Penny Phelps spoke at an Upper Keys Business and Professional Woman’s luncheon. During the presentation, Captain Phelps awarded BPW member Tom Tharp a challenge coin from the organization Building Warrior Women. The coin was given in recognition for Tom’s support of women in business and leadership positions.

The luncheon offered a great opportunity for Captain Phelps to present information on the language of leadership, the importance of communication in the workplace and the relationship between the community and governmental agencies that serve our community.

Picture: Left to right- Captain Penny Phelps; Tom Tharp, BPW member; Lieutenant Lee Ann Holroyd, BPW Secretary and Theresa Sutter, BPW Treasurer.

Award from Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches

Dr. Michael Sander, an Orthodontist who practices on Summerland Key, received an award for his generous contributions to the
Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches this week. In the photo, Florida Sheriff Youth Ranches Donor Relations Officer Debi Girard, Dr. Sander and Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

September 11, 2014

Sheriff Ramsay appointed to Florida Accreditation Commission

Sheriff Rick Ramsay was appointed this week to be a member of the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation beginning in January of 2015.

According to the agency’s mission statement, “The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation strives to enhance professional excellence in the Florida law enforcement community by assessing an agency’s ability to comply with accepted law enforcement standards and accrediting those that succeed.”

Only four sheriff’s are appointed to the commission, along with four police chiefs, one judge, one League of Cities representative, one Association of Counties representative and one representative from the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office currently holds a total of five professional accreditation certifications, including both national and Florida state law enforcement accreditation; national and Florida state corrections accreditations and accreditation from the  National Commission on Correctional Health Care. The agency has been accredited by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement since June of 2002.


“I am honored to be appointed to this commission,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “I believe in the process of professional accreditation and am proud of the fact that we hold five such accreditations here at the Sheriff’s Office. Being professionally accredited means a community and its members can be confident an agency meets the highest standards when it comes to its policies, procedures and practices,” he said. 

September 10, 2014

Cleaning up in Marathon




In Marathon, the Sheriff's Middle Keys district is keeping up with the effort to keep our community clean and safe. They had help from the city of Marathon Public Works in cutting and trimming trees and brush on 15th Street. They also installed no parking signs. The trees and brush were providing a potential a hiding place for law breakers and had become a place for people to leave their trash.  Not anymore!!!

Squad collects shopping carts

Sgt. Jason Madnick's squad tackled the ongoing problem of shopping carts left abandoned in various areas in the Upper Keys during their shift last night. This is part of Sheriff Rick Ramsay's ongoing effort to keep our community clean!

MCSO helps out at event

Yesterday, members of our Traffic Enforcement Unit helped out with an event held by Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. PHWFF is dedicated to the rehabilitation of disabled active duty military service personnel and veterans.

MCSO visits Grace Lutheran School

Bomb Squad Sgt. Mike DiGiovanni lets kids try on the helmet
he wears when he handles potentially explosive devices.
Members of the Sheriff's Office visited with students at Grace Lutheran School today, talking to them about various aspects of law enforcement
Sgt. DiGiovanni talks with kids about the Sheriff's
bomb robot

Inspector Henry Hamilton shows kids the equipment used
by the Sheriff's Dive Team

Traffic Enforcement Deputy John McGee shows off
his motorcycle

Airport Sgt. David Smith hands out special "Junior Deputy
stickers to kids.

Sheriff's Office talks with FKCC students

Charles Slebodnick and Suzanne Alexander from our Human Resources Division were on hand today at the Florida Keys Community College to talk to students about a career with the Sheriff's Office.

Man charged with interference with custody

A 27 year old Key Largo man, an employee of the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter, is under arrest today charged with taking two teens who’d run away to a motel in Cutler Ridge.

Investigations into what the teens became involved in after Ricky Atkins took them to the motel are ongoing. The extent of his involvement with other crimes is also still under investigation.

After receiving the report, Detective Vince Weiner from the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, worked with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force to investigate the allegations. The investigation is ongoing.

Atkins was booked into jail on Tuesday, charged with two counts of interference with custody – a third degree felony.

September 9, 2014

Clearwater woman dies diving

A 68 year old Clearwater, Florida woman died while diving offshore of the Lower Keys Monday.

Elizabeth Hoaglin was on a boat trip with friends, scuba diving and lobstering in about 10 feet of water Monday afternoon. The group was at Jewfish Channel when the incident took place. Her friends say they saw her struggling on the surface after only being underwater for a few minutes. They pulled her into the boat, began performing CPR and called the Coast Guard for assistance.


The Coast Guard responded and brought Hoaglin to shore where they were met by paramedics who transported her to Lower Keys Hospital. She was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:30 p.m. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.

Two charged with robbery at gunpoint

Two people have been charged with robbery and one person is still at large in a confrontation between ex-roommates in Key Largo Monday night.

The confrontation between the ex-roommates took place just before 9 p.m. at 13-B Janet Place in Key Largo. A 17 year old Key Largo man was moving some of his things out of the apartment; his mother and grandmother were there helping him. His two ex-roommates showed up along with another man and an argument took place over the ownership of property.

During the argument, 25 year old Chavely Sanchez beat and kicked the mother. 26 year old Luis Armenteros then pointed a gun at the 17 year old while the third suspect known by the street name “Pudgy”  took a gold chain and gold bracelet from him. “Pudgy” then hit the mother in the head with a red and black baseball bat.

The three suspects left the scene in two different cars. The victims called the Sheriff’s Office for help, giving  a description of one of the cars – a white Ford Edge with silver rims which was seen heading northbound on U.S. One.

Deputy Kyle Page spotted the car near the 106 mile marker and pulled it over with Deputies John Shinkunas and Greg LaRochelle backing him up on the traffic stop. Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol also assisted at the scene. Inside the car they found Sanchez driving and Armenteros in the passenger seat.

A loaded .45 caliber Glock handgun was located in the glove compartment. Sanchez claimed ownership of the gun. A red and black baseball bat was found on the back seat. The key to a U-Haul trailer was also found in the car; the trailer had been rented by the victims to use in the move.

Sanchez and Armenteros were both arrested. Sanchez was charged with aggravated battery, grand theft and robbery. Armenteros was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,  possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and robbery.

Detective Bob Dosh was assigned to investigate. He contacted Miami-Dade Police and asked for their assistance in locating the third suspect who faces similar charges.


The mother suffered a broken finger and wrist as well as a contusion on her. She refused transport to the hospital but was advised to go to Mariner’s Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

September 8, 2014

Deputy cleans up

Deputy Matt O’Neill found a bunch of trash dumped and washed ashore at the south end of the Long Key Bridge. He found the time to collect it all and dispose of it properly. The community thanks you, Matt.

Deputy talks to kids

Deputy Matt O’Neill attended the kickoff event for the Heros 5K run at Hawks Cay Marina. He talked with kids about law enforcement, handing out bike lights and coloring books.

Sea Oats Beach cleanup

We had a great turnout Saturday at Sea Oats Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key for our cleanup. Thanks to all the residents who turned out, and to all our community partners who helped us with this event. We filled up two and a half dumpsters full of trash! Thanks to Advanced Disposal, the Village of Islamorada, the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce, the Nature Conservancy, Save the Turtle foundation and the Green Turtle for being terrific community partners!



Key Largo cleanup coming up this week!

On September 12th, there will be a cleanup held in the vicinity of Gun Club Road, which is just off of Central Avenue at the 100.6 mile marker of Highway U.S. One in Key Largo. The event will start at 9 a.m. Water and garbage bags will be provided. Please bring your own gloves if you have them.

Miami man arrested; stolen mail and credit card scanner found in his car

A Miami man was arrested Sunday after stolen mail and a credit card scanner were found in his car.

Sunday afternoon Sheriff’s dispatchers received several reports of a suspicious car – a black Lexus with dark tinted windows. Callers reported the car was stopping at mailboxes and appeared to be taking mail.

Deputy Gil Gonzalez spotted the car at 3:30 p.m. leaving the area of Avenue H on Coco Plum Drive in Marathon. He stopped the car and began to talk with the driver, who identified himself with a Florida drivers license in the name of 22 year old David Arshad of Miami.

As the deputy spoke to Arshad, he smelled the odor of marijuana coming out of the open window of the car. He asked Arshad about it and Arshad admitted to smoking marijuana. The deputy asked Arshad to step out of the car and he looked inside, finding small amounts of the green leafy substance under the driver’s seat and a pipe in the center console.

Also inside the car, Deputy Gonzalez found numerous folders with credit card applications inside. He also found a credit card reader and many pieces of mail scattered around the car. The mail had numerous names on it, none of which was Arshad’s. Among the names on the mail were three Sheriff’s deputies names. Inside those envelopes were checks.

Further investigation revealed Arshad had taken mail from a mailbox at the Cudjoe Key Sheriff’s Substation, in addition to taking mail from many other mailboxes between Key West and Miami.

During the course of the investigation into Arshad and the contents of the Lexus, Arshad gave deputies and detectives several different identities. He told them he’d obtained his current identification under a false name. Another name Arshad is reportedly known under is David Emmanuel Rodriguez.

Arshad was arrested. He was charged with possession of a forged driver’s license, four counts of theft, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of giving a false name to law enforcement officers. Detectives are continuing to investigate his activities and more charges may be pending.

The local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified and will be investigating the possibility of federal charges in the case.


September 7, 2014

Florida City man charged with burglary

A Key Largo couple caught a Florida City man burglarizing their home Friday night.

The victims returned to their Musa Drive home at 9:40 p.m. and found the door forced open lights on inside. The male victim went inside and found 36 year old Sean Stacey in the process of burglarizing the home. He had removed a two flat screen televisions from the wall and placed them on the couch. He’d also eaten and drunk a number of items from the refrigerator. The victim managed to keep Stacey there until deputies arrived.


Deputies Angelina Lubin and Vaughn O’Keefe took Stacey into custody. He told Deputy Lubin he’d been “using crystal meth and drinking all day”. Stacey told the deputies “I feel like I’m gonna die” so he was taken to Mariner’s Hospital to be checked out and then he was taken to jail. He was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and grand theft.