The holidays make it a busy time for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the county.

The holidays are a busy time for the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We know across the nation Thanksgiving is predominantly the busiest travel day of the year. We should see a lot of heavy traffic on the roads and airports and other means of travels. So this is a time to really kind of plan ahead, leave early, don’t be impatient to get where you need to go. But do expect this is one of the worst times ever to travel and it’d be no different here in the Keys. We’re going to have heavy traffic in the Keys obviously and the sheriff’s office will have extra staffing out. We’ll be prepared to try to make sure the roads are safe and secure as best we can. We’ll work closely with our friends at the Department of Transportation to try to stop construction projects during the holiday time.”

Remember not to drink and drive during the holidays.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “There’s a lot of parties going on, people will be going to and from people’s homes. We want people to have a good time, surely, but we want people to think ahead and have a plan, have an action plan in life. Whether you have a designated driver, use a taxi, use an Uber, some alternate means that make sure that you’re not part of the problem. There’s so many ways to still have a good time, but make sure you and others are safe.”

A woman from Big Pine Key was arrested in Atlanta, GA, recently on a financial fraud case. She was working for a Florida heating and air conditioning business.

Sheriff Ramsay explained, “This was a contractor as well as a notary, who were both working in tandem, to do some fraud. The contractor was illegally filling out permits and having her illegally notarize them, but yet they weren’t going through the government entity that this work was really occurring. It’s important that we do work that we have licensed contractors and we have stuff that’s gone through the city and county permitting to make sure it’s compliant with policies, rules, regulations, and building codes and make sure there’s a record of what is or isn’t being done, and that there’s some type of inspection by an inspector to make sure that they’re done properly. It’s really the means to make sure things are done the way they’re supposed to be done safely. So 14 different times the contractor and in this case, the notary had falsified documents, illegal use of notaries to notarize documents that were false, knowing they were false. These are difficult challenging paper cases that we have to do a lot of paper trail to get these cases together. So my detectives did a good job here to arrest her and hold her accountable and stop her from using her notary illegally. In this case, the state will revoke her notary status. That’s what we do, whatever comes up, we deal with it. We have to be a jack of all trades, whatever case comes up, we’ve got to be able to handle it. We’ve got detectives, which are specialized in certain types of investigations, whether it be homicide or major crimes or sexual abuse or paper cases or general crime. So we have people in narcotics, we have detectives that are specialized, we try to put the right investigator on the case to make sure we get the best outcomes.”

A number of minors were arrested for gun sales in Marathon. Now another 15 year old minor in Marathon was arrested Tuesday for illegal firearm possession.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We did name this individual. We named him for a few reasons. I don’t generally name juveniles, but based on the totality of the circumstances, the crime, the complexity, this was a juvenile delinquent. He’s been deemed by the courts to be a juvenile delinquent, been arrested so many prior times and convictions that the courts have deemed him as a delinquent. But also because we’re dealing with someone who’s in possession of weapons after being adjudicated as a delinquent, you can’t possess like a convicted felon weapons or ammunition. Our ongoing investigation into the initial case, we did get into phones. We got search warrants to get into the phone of some of the players and we found this individual on multiple Facebook video posts, holding handguns, shotguns, ammunition. Clearly, it was all after he was adjudicated delinquent, which violated a law. So we decided that we’re going to charge him, but also we’re going to identify him and out him. The outing is because he’s still a juvenile and my stance is that other parents who don’t know that he’s a juvenile delinquent need to know so they can determine whether this man is welcome at their house, whether they want their kids to hang out, associate, maybe they don’t want their daughter to be able to date this kid. As a parent, you need to make informed decisions to the best interest of your children. I don’t think it’s right to hold back sensitive information that is so important when it comes to a person who’s violent, weapons, drugs, crime. I think the parents need to know so they can determine whether this kid can hang out at their house, hang out with their kids, that they don’t influence or have them put their kids in harm’s way. So we don’t do it to mean, but some kids, I think the public interest outweigh the privacy that juvenile.”

A traffic stop in Marathon recently led to the arrest of a man and woman for drug violations, including fentanyl.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We talk about our traffic enforcement work and what comes out of it. Yes, we stopped this vehicle on a traffic stop with a male driver and a female passenger. We came up to the car, we smelled marijuana coming out of the car. We ultimately got the two people out. The search found narcotics on both of them. They both were arrested for drug charges. The female and male were brought to the main jail in Key West. We always tell people if you have any contraband, you better tell us now because it’s going to be additional charges. They always tell us no, no, no. We brought the female in and most people don’t know, but we use a body scanner. I got a $200,000 body scanner, which when you come in, you go through the body scanner. We’re looking predominantly, most importantly is weapons that may be on a person hidden somewhere. But also we’re looking for illicit drugs which can be a detriment for the facility. So when the female was on the scanner, we found three large bulges that were not part of a human anatomy that were inside of her person. It’s called suitcasing when stuff’s inside of them. So ultimately, now we’re concerned about a medical condition that we believe it to be narcotics, we’re worried about it could burst rupture inside of her and she could die. So we have to bring her into the hospital as a medical emergency. Ultimately, the doctors did pull out three packages of narcotics. One had 70 grams of fentanyl, which is enough to kill hundreds of people. One had about 14 grams of crack cocaine, and one had a couple grams of powder cocaine. So she had a lot of narcotics illegally inside of her person. We were able to recover those drugs. I’m going to charge her with introduction of contraband into a facility as well as the additional drug charges. This body scanner is really important to ensure the integrity, the safety, security, the facility, the men and women who worked there, and the men and women who are housed there as a prisoners.”

With the holidays, take time to be grateful.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “I want to thank you and your listeners for the time every week with you. I appreciate the time and I wish our listeners and you and your family and friends a safe Thanksgiving. I hope everybody just takes time to enjoy this special day and remember what it’s all about.”