Florida Keys

Florida City man was going to ambush Florida Keys police lieutenant, Sheriff’s Office says

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Florida City man Thursday who they say was planning to kill a high-ranking law enforcement officer.

Johnny Lynell Nash, 47, faces a felony count of threatening the life of a law enforcement officer. Nash made detailed plans to kill Sheriff’s Office Lt. Al Ramirez, said Deputy Becky Herrin, public information officer for the agency. He planned to shoot Ramirez in the head because he held the lieutenant responsible for his arrest in October on a cocaine dealing charge, Herrin said.

That arrest was through a warrant for when police say Nash sold cocaine to an undercover operative on Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo in September.

Nash has a long drug-related crime history in the Keys. He was also convicted of first-degree attempted murder and served eight years in prison for a crime that happened in Florida City, according to his arrest warrant.

A confidential source told police that Nash planned to “ambush” Ramirez at Friendship Park in Key Largo, take his gun and use it to shoot him. The charge on which Nash was arrested this week is a new Florida statute that took effect Oct. 1, Herrin said.

“Florida Statute 836.12 makes it unlawful to make threats against law enforcement officers, state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, firefighters, judges, elected officials or family members of those persons,” Herrin said.

Deputies arrested Nash Thursday as he left the Plantation Key courthouse for an unrelated case, Herrin said. He was booked into the county jail in Key West. His bond is set at $75,000.

“We take threats against anyone seriously,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement Friday. “But this statute gives us a new tool when it comes to threats against law enforcement. We will not tolerate threats against our officers and will move quickly and decisively to make an arrest when someone threatens one of our own.”

This isn’t the first time Nash has threatened to kill a law enforcement officer, Herrin said.

In September, confidential sources told police he threatened to kill a Key West Police Department detective. He also reportedly had plans to kill an officer in Key West during either Fantasy Fest or Goombay in October. An informant told police Nash had a .38-caliber revolver and wanted to use it to ambush an officer, according to his arrest warrant.