Thanks to a reader tip we learned of a major drug bust that took place in the West Sandalfoot area known as Watergate Estates. Seven residents of that community were arrested, and all were booked around the same time between 5 pm and 6 pm.
Tiffany Ercolano (top left, 24) was charged with possession of drugs without a prescription and of drug equipment. She is in custody at the moment with bond set at $3000. We see nearly 20 cases in her past dating back to 2008 in the Palm Beach and Broward courts.
Jessica Pugliese (top center, 36) is charged with one felony count for heroin possession and over 10 counts for possession of drug equipment. She’s also in custody with bond at $5000. Her reported address is actually east of 441 on the south side of SW 18th. Her history shows multiple felonies dating back to 2003.
Terry Utter (top right, 60) is charged with one count of possession of drug equipment. Hassan Jones (bottom left, 42), with the same address as Ms. Utter, also faces one count of possession of drug equipment. Jones was released shortly after 9 pm without bond. Utter will probably be released as well. Ms. Utter and Mr. Jones both appeared in one of our articles in October after another Sandalfoot drug raid. We detailed their criminal histories in that article.
Also at the same address, Christopher Cerenzio (2nd from left, 28) faces one count of heroin possession and two drug equipment charges. His bond is set at $5K. We see felonies dating back to 2004 for him.
Richard Utter (2nd from right, 46) faces two heroin counts and his bond is set at $10K. He also appeared in West Boca News back in June on a burglary charge, where we detailed his significant history.
Finally Reginald Thomas (bottom right, 37) faces heroin, marijuana and drug equipment charges and awaits $5000 bond.
Of course, all arrestees are innocent until proven guilty. And as our regular readers are aware, West Boca News opposes the War on Drugs. It obviously isn’t working and turns troubled people toward more serious crimes.
We have eight arrests in our latest summary from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s blotter. On the upper left of the top photo we have Christopher Green (23) of East Boca, arrested by Delray police Friday night for possession of heroin and drug equipment, and also a couple DUI counts. He was released on bond Saturday. The Spanish River grad might be a fan of another Chris, the Birdman, of the Miami Heat. It appears to be the same man who had a felony battery charge back in 2008, and a couple of traffic cases.
Next we have Alexa Shuman (also 23) of Boca West. Ms. Shuman stands accused by deputies of marijuana possession. She was booked Friday morning and released that afternoon. Ms. Shuman may have had a prior marijuana arrest in New Jersey a couple years ago. She also had a traffic ticket back in 2011.
Anthony Brown (bottom right) was arrested Friday by Delray Beach police, allegedly selling cocaine. The charge is “enhanced” – the legal term for making it worse – because it supposedly occurred too close to a church, school, or some other restricted location. His reported address is in Countrypark, just south of SW 18th near the Turnpike. He was released last night on bond.
The charges against Mr. Brown date back about a month before the arrest, which always makes us suspicious about the quality of the case. He’s had a few misdemeanor and traffic cases dating back to 2003.
If we’re reading the charges correctly, Leslie Benhayoun (49) initially encountered deputies Saturday night because of a non-moving violation having to do with state right of way. That led to charges for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. She was still in custody when we checked the blotter. Her reported address is in West Sandalfoot, aka the Sandalfoot trailers. Her name shows up as a possible witness in a 2009 lawsuit against IHOP, so she may have worked there in the past. We see no prior cases for her, either traffic or criminal, in Palm Beach and Broward.
David Kornstadt (upper left, 29) was arrested Friday for battery on an officer, firefighter or EMT. He previously appeared in one of our October reports for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His reported address is in “Boca Trails” on the south side of Judge Winikoff just west of 441.
Tamas Orosz (upper right, 38) was arrested for domestic battery Friday morning by deputies and released Saturday afternoon. His reported address is in the Bella Vista apartments in Boca Del Mar (southeast of the Powerline-Palmetto Park intersection). The only history we see for him is a couple of minor traffic tickets.
Richard Utter (bottom left, 46) was arrested Saturday night for burglary. On a previous arrest in December (a drug case that was dropped) his reported address was in the Sandalfoot trailers, though this arrest has him as “at large.” He was still in custody with bond set at $5,000 when we checked the blotter. He has some history including a felony burglary in 2011 for which he got probation, and a 2003 felony case in Broward with burglary, indecent exposure and prowling counts.
This is one of those moments when we wonder why someone would get probation on a repeat felony burglary. Welcome to South Florida. In that 2011 case he eventually violated his probation and did about 3 months in county jail.
We went from a quiet weekend to a busy week. There were so many arrests we’re splitting them into two articles. First up there were five arrests for drug offenses. Of course all defendants are innocent at this stage. For the second article see Nine Arrests.
Dana Lipsic (above left, 37) of the Lakes at Boca Raton (near Cain north of Yamato) was arrested Saturday by Boynton Beach police and charged with four counts including heroin and cocaine possession.
Ms. Lipsic previously appeared in one of our January arrest reports for grand theft of a motor vehicle. Notes in the court docket indicate she was initially recommended for drug court in that case but rejected by the judge because of a previous drug court stint (from a 2007 cocaine possession charge). The charge was then dropped by prosecutors.
Dimitri Washington (center, 24) was picked up late Tuesday and also accused of four counts including a small amount of marijuana and battery. His reported address is in Boca Del Mar near Military and SW 18th. All charges are being heard in the domestic violence part. We reviewed the probable cause affidavit on this one. It looks like it might be a weak case against him if a motion to suppress is made, though it might be quicker and easier to resolve with some kind of pre-trial diversion.
Nicole Hartnett (right, 27) was arrested for heroin late Wednesday. Her reported address is a house owned by an absentee landlord from another state, and it borders the Del Prado Elementary School property. Court records show she was arrested in 2011 for a DUI, pled guilty a few months into the case, and was sentenced to probation which was completed in 2012.
Carl Monaco (left, 28) and Eric Topalian (right, 26) were booked at about the same time Thursday by Boca PD, and both were accused of drug offenses. The timing makes it look like they were arrested together but we’re not sure. Topalian’s reported address is in Boca Springs, north of Judge Winikoff near Hammock Street. Monaco is listed as “At Large” which might translate to homeless. Looking through his eight blotter entries in the past year all of the arrests have been by Boca PD, and the only address we see for him other than at large is in Okeechobee.
Mr. Monaco has a substantial record. This is his fifth arrest this year and his second felony arrest. Some of his recent arrests are for trespassing. Despite repeated convictions he keeps getting very short jail sentences. He does have some arrests for violence further back in his past.
For Mr. Topalian this is his 7th felony case out of over 30 court cases (mostly traffic) dating back to 2006. He achieved minor fame in 2012 by trying to bribe a policeman with tickets to a Dolphins game, as written up in the Palm Beach Post. Despite a terrible season, the Dolphins did win that game.
Mr. Topalian called us to offer us more details. His arrest had nothing to do with Mr. Monaco. It was an illegal search. The female officer claimed she smelled marijuana to justify the search and no marijuana was found. The car did not smell of marijuana. Rather he’d been eating a tuna fish sandwich and that is what the car smelled of.
The paraphernalia charge is for rolling papers and the drug possession charge is for a small strip of ceboxone.
The case involving the Dolphins case was dropped.