Freeman said he was eager to gain title to the smuggling vehicles for his department. A man going out on the smugglers mother ship could make a quick $100,000. The owner of a shrimp boat that was seized off Texas last year with 33 tons of marijuana aboard. Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. WebRobertson & Hunter, LLP 501 Whitehead St., Ste. I was just a hanger-on, not a player. He didnt. Dealers are also disguising the drugs to look like candy. "Several of the suspects arrested today were arrested previously in this investigation for drug related charges and were released after posting lowered bonds.". Police in Florida issued arrest warrants for over 100 members of a suspected drug gang on Wednesday and seized enough fentanyl to wipe out a large county. Huff is being held on $2.5 million bond, while both Walker and Wilborn are being held on just over $900,000 bond. They also confiscated 36 pounds of crystal meth, two kilograms of cocaine, over one kilogram of heroin, three kilograms of fentanyl, $108,000 in cash and 21 guns and ammunition - all in just three months. WebThe Border Patrol said 73 pounds of cocaine and 62 pounds of marijuana were found between two days. Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for There were kidnappings among that crowd, but that is another story and has nothing to do with this one. and help keep the future of New Times, Use of this website constitutes acceptance of our. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The lobster boat reportedly was outfitted with sophisticated radar equipment and, as an official described, the biggest engine Ive ever seen. One of the vehicles was said to have a built-in police scanner. Its like a big family reunion with five or sixfamilies, said another officer, gazing at the crowd ofkin that included two defendants in this yearscelebrated Key West Cop Case. Get the latest updates in news, food, music and culture, and receive special offers direct to your inbox. FLORIDA KEYS, Fla. (WSVN) The Monroe County Sheriffs Office carried out a drug bust. Inside the bag, deputies found 37 liquid marijuana cartridges used for vaping. Friday night, it became clear they were about to hit pay dirt, and officers added men to their stakeout in a posh neighborhood along a mangrove swamp just north of U.S. 1. Two teenage boys, ages 15 and 17, were sitting in the backseat. The senior citizen also had a 9mm handgun, 189 rounds of ammunition and a digital scale, police said. /* Style Definitions */ Alvarez-Bermudez is a convicted felon, so his possession of the gun drew a felony charge. The drugnet, in addition to the arrests, resulted in the confiscation of approximately 500 bales of marijuana; two T-Craft boats; a 40-foot Lobster boat, Miss Lucy out of Marathon; two closed body trucks, a 1980 van, a pickup truck and a 1979 Cadillac. Oct 23, 2020. Good Samaritans found the drugs & notified authorities. ; Ralph Jesus Valdez, 37, No. Horace Calhoun, Clarence Moore, Jr. and Shamichael Johnson were all at the apartment and taken into custody. They will be turned over to the sheriff for disposal, either by sale or for use in his department. So the cartels in Mexico are very good about marketing," Staly said. Several larger weapons were found in the car and in the area. Authorities said it the most defendants in a single Keys bust and among the most ever in any Florida bust. Police arrested 100 suspects and seized enough drugs to wipe out a large county. However, he dreaded the prospect of storing the marijuana. A major drug operation in the Keys was disrupted Friday, leading to the arrest of six people on multiple drug-related charges. A drug bust in Florida led to the seizure of enough fentanyl to kill at least 500,000 people, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. On Wednesday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrest of a massive violent gang operation in Florida linked to a Mexican drug cartel, WESH reported. Dyer is Howards boyfriend, according to the sheriffs office. From the Miami HeraldNovember 14, 1980By Michael Capuzzo and Robert Rivas Herald Staff Writers. Detectives said the organization was obtaining large quantities of drugs from overseas and distributing them throughout Brevard County, which is about 50 miles east of Orlando. Authorities said several rolled bills containing a powdery substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamines were found inside of the BMW. Florida Gov. Hes the uncle of County Commissioner Jerry Hernandez and the brother of former Key West police Chief Eugene Hernandez: Manuel Sanchez, 57, manager of the mens department at Key Wests Sears Roebuck & Co. store in Searstown Plaza on North Roosevelt Boulevard, and his brother Antonio, 54, a jewelry salesman. (U.S. Border Patrol) MONROE COUNTY, Fla. Within just five days, nearly $80,000 worth of drugs have been discovered 2: Drug Bust at Haulover Marina. They were expensive guns. At Least two, he said, had satin steel finish with pearl handles. Deputies said they knew Howard had warrants out for her arrest for drug trafficking, and as they were pulling her over they realized that her vehicle was being followed by a Lexus. All rights reserved. The most famous of these were the Big Coppitt cowboys, a lose group of guys with fast boats and police scanners. Miami was snubbed, Florida Keys firefighter arrested after deputies say she beat her wife outside a bar, Human smuggling, a truck and a school bus: A Broward child rapist goes back behind bars. Square Grouper is not an un-hip fish. Make a one-time donation today for as little as $1. Based on anonymous tips, Customs, Sheriffs Department and Marine Patrol aircraft began watching the Big Pine Key area, officials said. Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for WebOver the years, illegal drugs lots of them have been seized or discovered off Florida's shorelines. 1401 79th Street Causeway 5 Sunshine St., Stock Island; Orlando Vidal Maldonado, 42, Miami; Norman Lee Young, 30, Hilton Head, S.C.; Sergio Edward Galvan, 40, 3738 Paula Ave.; Richard Allen Shank, 31, 3533 Flagler Ave., route man for Pepsi Cola Miami; Mitchell Earl Noa, 22, Big Pine Key; Carmen Fernandez, 28, Miami, listed employer as Two Friends Inc, Co.; Enrique Blasco, 19, Laird St.; Raul Hernandez Miami, listed as owner Coral Fish Co., Miami; Edward Ronan, 57, Tarpon Lodge, Marathon; Rafael Francisco Lopez, Marathon; Rolando Aguiar 30, Miami; Bernardo L Valiente, 25, Marathon, Michael Patrick OBrien, 216 Lincoln Gardens, Stock Island; Fermin Tapia, 41, Jamaica Dr. (city directory lists same address on P. Avenue as given to authorities by Sergio Galvan); G. Collazo, 25, Marathon; Jose Morzon Garcia, 44, 29, Key West Villas, listed employer as Two Friends Inc, Co.; Catalino Rios Chambrot, 35, Miami; Richard Lee Mungin, 37, Sloan Trailer Park, Stock Island; Angel Cruz, 27, Miami; Juano Manuel Venegas, A37 8th Ave., Stock Island. Crime The guns ranged from .45 caliber automatics to .25 calibre automatics. WebKEY WEST, Fla. A Key West woman faces methamphetamine trafficking and other drug charges after a bust that was assisted by K9 cop Coral, the Monroe County Sheriffs Office Whats that smell in the Florida Keys? Nearly $80,000 worth of drugs discovered along the coastline in the #FloridaKeys since start of May. A reporter for the Miami Herald, who wanted to take pictures of the arrested men, was threatened by the lobby crowd who warned him that neither he nor the camera would make it out of the building unharmed if he took photos. A Key West woman faces drug trafficking and possession charges after a bust that was assisted by K9 cop Coral, the Monroe County Sheriffs Office says. Authorities say they then found the following in the Camry: In addition to the trafficking charge, Gesell also faces charges of possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance (pills) without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. Staly said in Flagler, the age of overdoses range from 18 to 60. ), Car dealership workers kidnapped, tortured in armed robbery: police, Woman buys new tires that turn out to be 9 years old. Pacheco waived his Miranda rights, according to the report, and told deputies he picked up the 17-year-old in Miami and the 15-year-old in Homestead. The two closed body trucks, both painted white, were former Sears vehicles, authorities said. He plans to break records, These Florida spots, one in the Keys, made the best beaches list. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service. 29 out of 31 is a pretty good scorefor only 5 men against 32 armed smugglers! This time she alerted deputies to drugs inside a Lexus and a BMW that were pulled over Monday afternoon on Big Pine Key. Officers also found more than $3,000 in cash. CAKEGATE 2023: Bad Bunny's Restaurant Accused of Gobbling Birthday Girl's Cake, Neighborhood Nazi Jon Minadeo Peddles Hate by the Minute, Affordable New "Micro-Units" Slated for Little River, Edgewater, Sen. Rubio's Permanent Daylight Savings Bill Sees Light of Day Once More, NFL Legend Ray Lewis Joins World Jai-Alai League Board of Directors. Agents of the Sheriffs Department, the U.S. CustomsService and the Florida Marine Patrol culminated amonth-long investigation at 4 a.m., seizing three boats,three trucks and a gold Cadillac. WebDeputies arrested a 46-year-old Key West woman on multiple drug charges after a traffic stop on Big Pine Key yielded a litany of pills, FLORIDA KEYS. All content Copyright 2000 - 2023 WSVN-TV. The only person who listed at out-of-state address wasNorman Lee Young, 30, 110 Gum Tree Rd., Hilton Head,S.C. From the Key WestCitizen November 14,1980BySheila Quickstad Citizen Staff Writer. FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. -- A traffic stop involving James Forbes Jr. happened just before 9 p.m. Tuesday night while riding a bike on Palm Avenue in Bunnell. A major drug operation in the Keys was disrupted Friday, leading to the arrest of six people on multiple drug-related charges. We didnt fire a single shot, a Customs agent said. Monroe County sheriffs deputies pulled over his four-door Mercedes around 1 a.m. Friday behind the Seagrapes Apartment complex at 7155 Overseas Highway. Hes in county jail on Stock Island, and his bond information was not immediately available. They also took at least a half dozen guns, including several satin steel, pearl-handled handguns, and a replica of a Colt .45. Law enforcement officers raided a Keys smugglingoperation Saturday and busted an assortment of KeyWests establishment: the head of the Sears mensdepartment, a Chevrolet dealer, w Pepsi Cola truckdriver and a county commissioners uncle. At the 11th avenue location, detectives found Marijuana, Oxycontin, crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia and another handgun. Colorful pills drive new warnings about deadliest drug in the US. Other than those listed previously, also arrested were: Vincente Jose Martinez, 36, 3817 Northside Ct.; Antonio Sanchez, 54, 1803 Atlantic Blvd. Miami, FL 33141 These Valuable Pennies Are Worth Thousands, Miami-Dade Mayor, State Attorney Announce New Measures to Protect HOA Residents, Teen in Vicious Attack on Florida Teacher's Aide to Be Charged as Adult, Given $1M Bond, Ex-UM Football Player Accused of Killing Teammate Granted $850K Bond. Coast guard members work to free the entangled turtle from the bundles of drugs. The canine deputy joined the department about three months ago and on Monday she caught yet another suspected drug dealer. A traffic stop on a Mercedes Benz driving with no lights on early Friday morning turned into a much bigger deal for the driver after Florida Keys deputies said they found a large amount of marijuana, two guns and two runaways from Miami-Dade County in the car. Deputies said they found Alvarez-Bermudez in possession of 22.7 grams of cocaine more than three-quarters of an ounce along with $10,182 cash they suspect came from illicit drug sales. Its coming from Cuba, weather forecasters say, Body found floating in channel off Key West, Monroe County Sheriffs Office says, A coconut tree farm caught fire in South Miami-Dade. A A. MARATHON, Fla. Two Marathon men are facing multiple drug charged, including trafficking in fentanyl, after a Monroe County Sheriff K9 It was a routine bust.. Deputies drove him to the COVID-19 checkpoint at mile marker 112.5 on U.S. 1, where his parents picked him up, Linhardt said. mso-style-priority:99; He was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine. The search by Special Operations detectives revealed a crack cocaine lab at the 2nd street location that contained powdered cocaine, crack cocaine and about 350 grams of marijuana packaged for sale. Its coming from Cuba, weather forecasters say, Body found floating in channel off Key West, Monroe County Sheriffs Office says, A coconut tree farm caught fire in South Miami-Dade. Pacheco told cops the gun belonged to the 17-year-old, who was also arrested and turned over to juvenile justice authorities, Adam Linhardt, sheriffs office spokesman, said. This page is compiled mostly from Major Seals scrapbook that he wasgraciousenough to share with us. One suspect was in the U.S. illegally. font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; MONROE COUNTY, Fla. Within just five days, nearly $80,000 worth of drugs have been discovered along the coastline in the Florida Keys, the U.S. Border Patrol in Miami announced Thursday. Authorities said additional deputies were called to the scene along with K9 Coral, who alerted them to drugs in the Lexus and BMW. I was with him at breakfast that morning when he had to leave Mister Jims Restaurant when he heard about the bust on US1 Radio while it was playing in the background. - A major drug bust led deputies to 120 gallons of liquid meth being transported in buckets by suspects from Georgia to Florida, overseen by a "mastermind" who ran the operation from federal prison, officials said Thursday. FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The US Coast Guard offloaded more than $500 million worth of cocaine and marijuana in South Florida on Monday. Copyright 2023 is published by WPLG INC., a Berkshire Hathaway company. Over the years, illegal drugs lots of them have been seized or discovered off Florida's shorelines. Deputies found the Taurus inside a fanny pack located in the back seat. Galvan returned from Cuba aboard the Blanchie III and was the first Cuban-American to announce that Cuba had opened the harbor to the Freedom Flotilla. WSVN broadcast educational and informational programming for children, and file quarterly reports with the FCC detailing the station's outreach to children. Fentanyl, often used to lace other drugs, is considered the deadliest drug in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you need help with the Public File, call (954) 364-2526. mso-para-margin-right:0in; Coral the K9 helped catch two suspected drug traffickers in the Florida Keys on Monday. She's just a few weeks into her job with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. They were too many of them and they were too obvious. The three alleged organizational leaders were identified as Brandon Huff, 35, and Jonathan Walker, 42, both of Cocoa, and Megan Wilborn, 31, of Merritt Island. WebIn all, 30 people were charged in U.S. District Court with drug trafficking. Copyright 2021 by WPLG - All rights reserved. FLORIDA KEYS, Fla. (WSVN) The Monroe County Sheriffs Office carried out a drug bust. All rights reserved, What's With the Construction on I-95 in Broward? 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. The 17-year-old was clutching a backpack, according to the report. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? Authorities said Bell was driving the Lexus and Dyer was the passenger. Newsroom: (305) 795-2777. WFTV Detectives said the organization Deputies say her Toyota Camry had expired tags and that Coral then alerted to drugs in the car. The sheriffs department already has more than 1,100 bales of pot stored in 16 vehicles under armed guards just outside Freemans office window. The long process known as coking in police language continued into the evening hours Saturday at the Monroe County Sheriffs Department 30 men rounded up during a pre-dawn marijuana bust were being questioned by officials. WebNo. As lawmen gathered near the off-loading site on the bayside of Big Pine Key, a Customs agent was approached by one of the alleged offenders. Robert Brown, a convicted felon, along with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrest of a massive violent gang operation in Florida linked to a Mexican drug cartel. Sergio Galvan was arrested Saturday, too. Authorities said it the mostdefendants in a single Keys bust and among the most everin any Florida bust. of cocaine valued at over 1.5 million dollars floating in the #FloridaKeys. Thompson said the 4 a.m. drug bust culminated a four week investigation involving members of the Marathon sheriffs sub-station, U.S. Customs and the Marine Patrol. #BorderPatrol agents have responded to multiple drug washups & seized approx. The tension and violence in the air was awful for a hippy like me. false In those days the cowboys had faster boats and knew the waters better than the Marine Patrol (except for Officer Mark Walker, the best Marine Patrol Officer anyone has ever seen) so most times they could outrun the law. mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} And as frantic efforts were being made to reach U.S. Magistrate Jack Saunders to arrange a bond hearing, Sheriff William A. Freeman Jr. fretted, Where the hell am going to put them? Freemans already over-crowded jail became even more cramped when inmates destroyed Cell Block 2 during a disturbance Wednesday night. Real-time updates and all local stories you want right in the palm of your hand. I was with five of the 29 the night before in the lawyers Eden Pines home (the lawyer wasnt there) snorting coke, smoking pot and drinking booze and trying to get out of there with my ass in one piece. Monroe County Sheriffs Office deputies were praising K9 Coral on Tuesday. They captured 29 smugglers, and only missedtwo who swam away. He was arrested on charges of possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. These werent Saturday night specials, the deputy, said. Danielle2.5 Tons Pot250,000 Quaaludes1979, Officers Mark Walker and Doug Smith Sugarloaf Key 1980. Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. A man in a smaller boat could clear maybe $40,000. Copyright 2021 by WPLG - All rights reserved. Both vehicles were pulled over between Mile Markers 32 and 33. The pot that came from a square grouper was called sea weed. bust a woman for drug possession in the Florida Keys. They were charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of over 2,000 pounds of marijuana and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. Two men and a woman were arrested on multiple drug violations. The 30 persons arrested were booked at the Monroe County Jail and questioned before being sent to a U.S. magistrate for bond hearings Saturday night. Geiger Key Resident: Jamardo, 10 Egret Lane, Key West Residents: Francisco Hernandez, 3000 Flagler Ave.Antonio Hernandez, 1803 Atlantic Blvd.Sergio Galvan, 373E Paula St.Domingo Galvan, 1612 United St.Richard Allen Shank, 3533 Flagler Ave.Manuel Sanchez, 1122 Watson St.Antonio Sanchez, 1803 Atlantic Blvd. "They're also making counterfeit pills that, they're multiple colors laced with fentanyl, so they're marketing to younger and younger people," Staly said. Drugs seized by the U.S. Border Patrol in Monroe County. Because the defendants were charged in federal court instead Circuit Court, Customs took the marijuana to Miami saving the sheriffs department the burden of storing it. They successfully evacuated the building, removed and destroyed the device. false Tipsters may remain anonymous. Plumber Fermin Tapia, 41, of 1701 Jamaica Dr.Vicente Jose Martinez, 36, 3817 Northside Ct.Fisherman Enrique Blasco, 19, 1504 Laird St.Two Friends Fish Co. fishermen Jose Monzon Garcia, 44,Key West Villas No. WebTwo men and a woman were arrested on multiple drug violations. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said a long-term drug investigation took down a major drug distribution ring in Jacksonville consisting of 27 arrests. The law caught on fast and the days of the cowboys didnt last much longer. mso-style-parent:""; On March 21. X-NONE Ingesting as little as 0.25 milligrams can be fatal. mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; A police K-9 sniffed out more than six ounces of cocaine inside a car during a traffic stop. Francisco Hernandez, 58, an engineer for the Key West City Electric System and a former civilian fire fighter at the Key West Naval Air Station. Border Patrol officials ask the public to report any suspicious activity by calling their toll free number 1-877-772-8146. 0 Drug smuggling really took hold and changed lifestyles in the Florida Keys in the 1970s and 80s. Switchboard: (305) 751-6692 mso-pagination:widow-orphan; Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports the Sheriff's mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; I hoped I could talk my way out of there. See what the rescue teams saw, Retired Navy officer enters Florida Keys undersea lodge. WebDrugs seized by the U.S. Border Patrol in Monroe County. Because of that the cops got a tip off that there was an pot unloading operation going on. Nelson Alvarez-Bermudez, of Big Coppitt Key, was jailed Thursday after the Monroe County Sheriffs Offices SWAT team, along with state and federal agents, found him at home at about 6:40 a.m. and served a warrant. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton brought 26,250 pounds of cocaine and 3,700 pounds of marijuana to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale -- the largest drug interdiction in the ship's history. K9 Coral assisted in the arrest of a Key West woman who faces drug trafficking and possession charges. Same as you, waiting, the agent responded. The situation changed dramatically as Forbes tried to run away after a deputy found a suspicious package during a pat down. Slosar said Good Samaritans stumbled upon the drugs and notified authorities. Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar confirmed that agents have responded to numerous drug wash-ups since the start of the month, seizing about 27 pounds of marijuana and three pounds of cocaine. The back door of one was still painted in the companys turquoise color with the word Sears still visible. #breakingnews #florida. a whopping$1.4 billion worth of cocaine and weed. The 30 suspects surrendered peacefully. Join the New Times community and help support mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; There also were grandfathers, a plumber, a power companyengineer, a crewman from the first vessel to arrive inKey West in the Cuban boatlift last March, and thebrother he brought back from Cuba. font-size:11.0pt; With this operation, we are making a significant dent in the sales of illegal drugs on Stock Island.. independent local journalism in Miami. That was one of the scariest nights I ever had. The estimated value of the marijuana was listed at $2 million. WebThe U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday that it was offloading a record-shattering amount of cocaine and marijuana at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These square grouper were picked up by cowboys in fast boats who listened to the marine radio day and night for word when there was a dumping. WSVN-TVSunbeam Television Corp FDOT Gives Update on Project's Progress, Credit Card Balances Reach New Record High. ~Editor. The suspects could face multiple charges ranging from conspiracy and trafficking to racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO). mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; Last week the U.S. Coast Guard seized what it deemed to be. Nothing ever happens on Big Pine Key and weusually like it that way. Theyre accused of selling crack The confiscated vehicles are expected to be valued in the thousands of dollars. A very special thanks to Major Monty Seals who ran theoperation. WebA Florida Keys man was pulled over by Monroe County sheriffs deputies, who said they found a lot of marijuana, several handguns and two runaways from Miami-Dade County. Copyright 2022 by WPLG - All rights reserved. over your mobile data limit,