Police say the black Hummer was humming along a portion of U.S. 1 that runs through the National Key Deer Reserve on Big Pine Key at a speed clocked at 110 mph on radar 85 mph more than the posted speed at night.
The end result was a DUI arrest that Monroe County Sheriffs Deputy Juan Martin-Reyes likely will not forget. It involves a $41.5 million Key West road construction project, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, a $30,000 bribe, a not-so-subtle death threat and nine cats.
According to the arrest report account, it all began at 2:23 a.m. Friday when Reyes spotted the speeding Hummer and gave chase at mile marker 30. Seven miles later, the driver, John Quincy Chaney, finally pulled over.
Chaney claimed he was in charge of the road construction in Key West and that he has been at work for 72 hours. He later said he was tired and just wanted to go home to Kendall, so that he could see his nine cats.
Another deputy and a border patrol agent arrived as backup. Chaney failed to pass roadside sobriety tests and was taken to the DUI room at the Monroe County Sheriffs Office in Marathon.
There, he became angry when asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. He kicked the chair away with his leg and got within inches of Reyes face, telling the deputy he was a millionaire with a lot of money who could have him taken care of.
Chaney, 64, told stories of his criminal past, reports that included working for Escobar and smuggling cocaine into the United States. Reyes report states that Chaney had told him he had killed people in the past and that he should be afraid of him.
Chaney calmed down enough to take two breath tests. On the first, he blew a 0.149; on the second, he blew a 0.146. The legal limit is 0.08.
At 4 a.m., Reyes explained the results to Chaney. Thats when Chaney, who was especially concerned because he already had two DUI arrests, must have figured death threats werent working and tried good old bribery, police said.
Again, Chaney told Reyes about the road construction project in Key West and that his company was worth $14 million and asked if there was any way I could help him out and maybe reduce the results of the breath test. Reyes told him no.
Chaney was taken to Fishermens Hospital for medical clearance. There, he tried once more with a bribe of $20,000. Reyes wrote in his report: I told John that was not too much money, to which he replied to me, How about $30,000?
Chaney is president of State Site Developments in Miami. Dean Walters, spokesman for the Key West road construction project for the Florida Department of Transportation, said he was not sure if it was Chaney or Chaneys wife who owned the company which was subcontracted to install sewer pipes by the main contractor, DeMoya Construction.
The construction has been going fine, and I dont anticipate this will impact the project, Walters said. This was personal, and not job related.
As for Chaneys claim of a connection to the deceased drug lord, thats not clear. But in 1988, Chaney was indicted for his major role in a multimillion-dollar drug-smuggling ring that was set behind the facade of a Fort Lauderdale exotic-car dealership that agents called Operation Excalibur.
The indictment said they smuggled 10,800 pounds of marijuana and 5.9 tons of cocaine into South Florida in 1984 and 1985.
Much of the drugs came from Colombia.
Chaney entered a plea agreement in 1992, but its not clear if it involved any more jail time.
This time, he is charged with felony DUI for having multiple prior DUI arrests, fleeing with disregard to safety to persons or property, bribery and drug possession.