Couple arrested for stalking
A Big Pine Key couple was arrested on Wednesday for stalking another couple and sending them threatening text and voice mail messages.
The male victim called the Sheriff’s Office on July 26th. He told Deputy Alexandra Davis he used to rent a room from 42 year old Enrique Valdes, Jr. and 35 year old Omitsu Cervantes. He said the harassment from the couple started after he moved out at the beginning of June. He said they began asking him for more money; he paid them some extra money and they kept asking for more. He said since then, they have been sending he and his girlfriend threatening text and voice mail messages. He said at one point, Valdes threw something heavy at his car window when he was driving on Rockland Key.
The victims kept copies of the messages and turned them over to Deputy Davis for her investigation. Based on the evidence and information, warrants were issued for the arrest of Valdes and Cervantes. They were booked into jail today on stalking charges.
Employee of garbage company faces more charges
Further investigation into the theft of funds from Marathon Garbage Services by an employee has resulted in more charges against her.
34 year old Michelle Ludwig worked as office manager for the company. Last week she was charged with systematically stealing more than $80,000 from the company between February and July of this year. During that time period, she forged and cashed 69 checks written to herself and signed with a digital signature she was not given permission to use for this purpose.
Following her initial arrest, Detective Rosary Ponce continued with her investigation and discovered 42 additional checks forged and cashed by Ludwig. On Wednesday, she was charged with 42 more counts of grand theft, forgery and uttering a forged instrument.
The additional 42 checks she is charged with were written for a total of $15,396 bringing the total of stolen funds so far to $99,380. Additional bond from these newest charges is $63,000 bringing total bond to $270,000.
The investigation is continuing.
Man arrested for gun threats
A man from Seattle was arrested early Thursday for threatening his uncle with a gun.
The two men were staying at the Sugarloaf Lodge. According to the victim, they were drinking at the bar when he noticed his nephew, 48 year old David Storms, was becoming very intoxicated. The uncle tried to get Storms to go back to their room and he refused. The uncle left, but returned to the bar a short time later and again urged Storms to return to the room.
He said as they approached the door to the room, Storms became belligerent and began yelling. He then pulled out a handgun and put it to the victim’s head. He described the weapon as a .22 caliber “blued metal” handgun with wooden grips.
When Deputies Shannon Jones and Jenna Mueller arrived on scene at midnight, they heard yelling from the east side of the property, then spotted Storms walking toward them. They detained him. He was unarmed, but a .22 caliber handgun with wooden grips was found in the grassy area where he was located when the deputies arrived.
Storms was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and with improper exhibition of a firearm. He was booked into jail.
Man charged with undersized, out of season lobster
A Marathon man was arrested Wednesday evening after he was caught with a large bucket full of lobster.
Deputy Vince Pacifico responded to a report of illegal lobster harvesting at the north end of the Kemp Channel Bridge at the 24 mile marker at 7 p.m. When he arrived, he found 79 year old Adalberto Garcia of Marathon walking along the highway with a five gallon bucket full of lobster. Deputy Jenna Moeller arrived to assist. Further investigation revealed 29 lobster in the bucket. Eight of them were undersized.
Garcia was arrested. He was cited for 29 counts of possession lobster out of season, 23 counts of being over the limit of lobster and 8 counts of possessing undersized lobster. He was booked into jail.