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.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were quite smooth thanks to the Monroe County Police Department keeping everyone safe.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “We always like being part of these events and fun.”
With violence in South Beach and Miami Beach, the mayor there has said spring break participants will no longer be allowed in those cities. There were two shootings in South Beach where curfews had to be enforced.
Thankfully, in Key West, the spring break visitors seem to be better behaved.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “We are lucky overall. We’ve had spring break in the Keys for years. At one point in time, for a couple years, this was the place to go and the crowds were too large, too crazy, too much chaos because they were the largest crowds ever.”
At that point in time, there was something called spring break jail, where the judges would give people eight hours of community service picking up trash.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “I’ve got to say the last few years we’ve had a really good bunch. It’s a smaller group, which is more manageable. It does give us issues for traffic and younger people who are drinking during these events who have not mastered the art of drinking and don’t know how much to drink and don’t know what their levels could be.”
Fights and disorderly conduct can occur in Key West.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “Overall it’s not too bad. We do look at other areas. I’ve seen cities say it’s just not worth it. They destroy hotel rooms. The police, fire, rescue are just tasked to the end. It’s a tough balance on communities who have tourism to determine whether you do or do not want this type of crowd.”
Recently a person was arrested for battery of a law enforcement officer in Ramrod Key. A 46-year-old man did not want to leave the premises around 3 p.m.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “He was giving us a bunch of garbage, unfortunately. You aren’t going to win these conversations with the sheriff’s office and home owners when we tell you to leave. We made several requests, giving him every option to leave. Then this turned into a kicking and punching matter.”
The officers eventually had to use a taser to get the person into custody.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “These tasers are used to try to protect the officers, the general public.”
Murder charges were brought against Alexis Joy Sather, 23, of Marathon on Wednesday, for selling fentanyl that killed 53-year-old Amanda Roberts of Grassy Key.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “What we’re doing is unprecedented. I took the stance that I was going to do everything I could to arrest people who sell drugs. I brought this up to the state attorney that this was my intent. I needed his support and he’s a good partner. He was on board with me on my vision to do something which is unprecedented. We’ve already arrested four people in three different cases in less than a year for selling drugs which resulted in someone overdosing and dying. My message remains solid and firm. I’m not going to let you sell poison to people in our community without repercussions. If they die, we are going to charge you with second degree murder. These cases are very difficult, but our teams have done a fabulous job on all of these cases.”
The case occurred in September 2022.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “This is sad. A 53-year-old woman who was unfortunately addicted to drugs and her life ended for nothing and this 23-year-old person who is a lazy bum, doesn’t have a real job, with no remorse. It took a while to get this to where we needed to be, but we knew who she was and we worked closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause of death. I take this hard line stance. I don’t make a secret about it. I’m making it crystal clear. You can’t say you didn’t know. If you did it, what’s going to happen to you? I’m going to make your life miserable.”
A package of cocaine was found washed up on the beach last week in Islamorada.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “We continue to see drugs floating onto shore all these years later. We’re always thankful for our citizens who find this, call us, report it and we come out, we determine what it is, we turn it over to the federal government to be destroyed.”
The government likes to investigate the packages for intelligence reasons.
Sheriff Ramsay said, “A lot of these drug dealers will put their mark or logo on these kilos. A kilo is 2.2 pounds of pure uncut cocaine. When cut, it can turn into so much more, but the government wants to look at these loads to see if they know what cartel it emanated from for intel gathering.”