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Keys deputy charged with soliciting money from inmate

Zachary Reams
Zachary Reams

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office corrections deputy was arrested Wednesday and charged with unlawful compensation for official behavior and smuggling contraband into a detention facility after investigators say he arranged a deal to take money from an inmate in exchange for favors.

According to the sheriff’s office, Zachary Reams, 26, was arrested when he showed up at an attorney’s office Wednesday to receive $5,000 from inmate Robert Pearl.

Instead, deputies were there to meet him and placed him under arrest.

Pearl, who is facing multiple counts of fraud and possession of child pornography, told his attorney Bernadette Restivo that Reams offered him “a cell phone or other commodities,” in exchange for money, according to the sheriff’s office.

Restivo reported the offer to the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Unit on March 8. Special Investigations Sergeant Juan Llera then met with Pearl and Restivo. Pearl told Llera that March 3 Reams offered to get him whatever he needs and told him that if there was a cell search he would be OK, according to the sheriff’s office.

Reams then arranged to pick up money from Julio Margalli, who Reams thought was Pearl’s attorney. The sheriff’s office reached out to Margalli, who agreed to help the deputies. Margalli handed Reams a sealed envelope with blank paper inside and when Reams walked out, deputies were there to arrest him, according to the sheriff’s office.

Reams, who was hired in June 2014 as a detention deputy at the Stock Island jail and made $45,583.90 a year, was booked into the Stock Island jail. He has been suspended without pay.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff