School threats are taken quite seriously with the State Attorney’s Office

January 5 – When an out-of-state threat came in through social media about a Key Largo School on Tuesday, law enforcement and the state attorney jumped into action.

Monroe County State’s Attorney Dennis Ward joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning about what’s been happening in his office.

The Key Largo School threat made it to the attention of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Ward said, “The sheriff responded appropriately and quickly as we do in cases like this. They are very troubling. We get them every once in a while. The sheriff and I are both on the same page with this. We take these threats seriously, no matter the age of the child or teenager or adult. We take them very seriously. There’s nothing more important than the safety of our children and our school personnel.”

The investigation produced a warrant for an 11-year-old in New Jersey. The child will brought to Monroe County to face charges.

Ward said, “The kid will be treated as a juvenile.”

The Sheriff’s office also commended the State Attorney’s Office for the quick work.

Ward said, “That’s still going on. People in New Jersey were very concerned to have someone making threats from New Jersey to the Florida Keys. They’re concerned about their schools up there now.”

Officers are still working on a possible motive. Monroe County Sheriff’s Department increased law enforcement presence in the schools.

Ward said, “I support our sheriff 110 percent and the quick action that he takes whenever we get wind of anything like this is to be commended and they do a great job.”

The migrant crisis is still a major issue for the Keys.

Ward said, “The US Embassy is going to start taking VISA applications in Cuba. Hopefully that may have some impact. That may slow this down a little bit. There’s rumors on the street over in Cuba that there’s going to be a deadline for people to come here and be granted asylum. Basically what we’ve seen happen here is a reinstatement of the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy. That seems to be what the Customs and Border Patrol and the federal government are doing. If you get here on land, you’re going to be able to sit here and file for your asylum and sit here and wait for years and years until you get a response from the federal government. If they catch you out there on the water on a boat, they’re going to load you in a Coast Guard cutter and take you back and dump you back in Cuba.”

A recent case saw a Monroe County judge dismiss 50 counts of illegally harvesting spiny lobsters.

Ward said, “That’s very troubling, but not surprising. This judge has been problematic as far as prosecutions are concerned over the years. I can tell you that the federal partners that expended a lot of government money, taxpayer dollars, to investigate this whole casita thing, they’re upset. Maybe we can get something federally filed and get with the judges up there. I’m sure there will be a different outcome.”

Monday will see a jury selection for the murder and sexual battery case of a woman in Marathon.

Ward said, “That’s a death penalty case. On the 19th, we pick a jury up here in the Upper Keys for the Duval Street shooter who shot three people on Duval Street four or five years ago. The trial starts on the 23rd.”