Florida Keys

Federal agent arrested on DUI flashed emergency lights and threatened cop, police say

Kevin Patrick Kenny
Kevin Patrick Kenny Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Friday night just south of Marathon in the Florida Keys after sheriff’s deputies said he drunkenly drove 20 mph over the speed limit while straddling a lane divider in an unmarked law enforcement SUV.

Before a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy could stop Kevin Patrick Kenny — and record his blood-alcohol levels to be about four times the legal limit — the special agent was driving south on U.S. 1 near Sunshine Key going 20 mph slower than the posted speed limit, according to a report issued by the sheriff’s office.

Kenny, 44, then sped up to 75 mph in a 55-mph zone in his Chevrolet Trailblazer while “continuously failing to maintain a single lane,” forcing an oncoming motorist to slow down in order to avoid a crash, the Monroe Sheriff’s Office said.

When the deputy trailing him switched on his emergency lights and sounded his siren, Kenny flashed his own emergency lights installed on the inside of the unmarked law enforcement vehicle. Once stopped, he handed the deputy his driver’s license and a DHS business card identifying him as a special agent, the MCSO said.

He struggled to maintain his balance and used the deputy’s vehicle to stand upright, the sheriff’s office said. His clothes were dirty and his eyes were bloodshot. He smelled of alcohol, deputies said.

After failing sobriety exercises, Kenny was arrested. Inside his vehicle, deputies found a 9-millimeter Glock pistol, a tactical vest and two unopened boxes of wine. DHS supervisors were called to retrieve the pistol and tactical vest.

Kenny’s blood-alcohol content was measured at .339, more than four times Florida’s legal limit of .08, according to MCSO. He was booked into the Marathon jail on a charge of DUI with a blood-alcohol level of .20 or higher.

“I will remember you,” Kenny told a deputy upon his being booked into jail, according to the sheriff’s office “Things will, you know, what goes around comes around.”

MCSO said it considers that a threat.

Kenny posted a $3,500 bond, and the county released him from custody at 11:35 a.m. Saturday.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued the following statement:

“As the matter is currently under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific case however I can tell you that as public servants working for a law enforcement agency, every employee at ICE is held to the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct. ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigates all allegations of employee misconduct and takes appropriate action when such allegations are substantiated.”

Several prominent people have been caught in alchohol-related incidents in the Keys the past few years.

In 2016, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was busted in a Key West bar after a brawl.

Miami Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz was arrested on a drunk-driving charge in 2016. Although he was later acquitted, Diaz refused to take a breath-alcohol test after police said he was speeding more than 40 mph over the posted speed limit while on his Harley Davidson motorcycle in Key West.

William Smith Meyers, then the student body president of the University of Florida, was arrested for criminal mischief after police said he drunkenly kicked over two motorcycles while on spring break in Key West in 2017. As part of a pre-trial intervention agreement, a judge ordered the 22-year-old Meyers to do 12 months of court-ordered supervision, 100 hours of community service and enroll in substance abuse evaluation and treatment. He also agreed to pay about $300.

A Pasco County Sheriff’s deputy’s body camera captured footage of a suspected drunk driver who appears to be dancing during his sobriety check. Deputies had to wake up the man, who was asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle.

Martin Vassolo is a general assignment reporter on the Miami Herald’s metro desk. He was a member of the Herald’s reporting team covering the 2018 midterm elections and Florida’s recount. Previously, he worked as a political reporting intern with the Herald and as editor-in-chief of the University of Florida’s student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator.