November 28, 2018

ISLAMORADA — A longtime Florida Keys resident imprisoned for nearly 30 years on cocaine-smuggling charges deserves to come home, says Islamorada Village Council’s newest member.

Ken Davis, joining the council Thursday after a swearing-in ceremony for his first term, seeks support from the board for a clemency petition for Richard “Dickie” Lynn, 64, now serving a life sentence in federal prison.

Davis, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, writes in a background memo that “federal agents who investigated and prosecuted Dickie’s case have all written letters supporting clemency for Dickie. … I whole heartedly join them.”

“Dickie’s health is failing. He is 64 years old,” Davis wrote. “For 26 years, he has been documented as a ‘model prisoner.’ He does not deserve to die in prison.”

Lynn in 1989 was sentenced to life for being the organizer of three smuggling flights into Alabama, totaling 3,960 pounds of cocaine. While in custody, he escaped and was recaptured five months later. The escape renders Lynn ineligible for a lesser sentence, a federal judge ruled in a 2016.

“It is important to note: none of these crimes involved violence or weapons,” Davis wrote. Lynn later “fully co-operated with federal authorities leading to other arrests, as well as the seizure and forfeiture of millions of dollars in cash and assets.”

The meeting begins with Monroe County Judge Sharon Hamilton swearing in all five council members for two-year terms. Deb Gillis, Mike Forster and Jim Mooney return to office after not facing a challenger. Cheryl Meads was re-elected in a three-candidate race.

In other topics at the 5:30 p.m. Nov. 29 meeting at the Founders Park Community Center, the Village Council:

• Considers liquor license applications from the Fisher Inn on Windley Key, and the Twisted Shrimp restaurant on Plantation Key. Islamorada planners recommend approval of both applications.

The Fisher Inn, the former Harbor Lights near mile marker 85, applied for on-premises and package store approvals. TWG Overseas, an Atlanta company, owns the hotel.

Twisted Shrimp owner Monte Green and agent Cary Mraz seek an on-premises license for the business near mile marker 87.7.

• “Lighthouse Larry” Herlth, an artist who wants to preserve the Alligator Reef Light offshore of Islamorada, will brief the council on the uncertain future of the historic but aging lighthouse.

• Davis will discuss the possibility of acquiring three vacant lots off Gardenia Street and across from Plantation Key School as potential affordable housing sites.

• Forster will ask the council to pursue improvements to the Indian Key Fill area.

• Public Works Director A.J. Englemeyer will ask for council approval to request use of a Florida Department of Transportation lot near mile marker 80.2 to place three donated sculptures from the Art Students League of New York. Part of the Florida Keys Sculpture Trail, the artworks originally were intended for the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District but the proposed site would have reduced parking, required moving underground utilities and removal of large canopy trees.