Couple arrested after fleeing

A Broward County couple was taken into custody Monday after fleeing from Deputies in the Lower Keys.

Brandon Zambrano, 21, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, operating a 2016 Toyota sedan, and a 15-year-old female passenger from Hollywood, Florida, were seen by Deputy John Allen as they were driving on the shoulder of U.S. 1 at the 7 Mile Marker southbound to avoid bottle necked traffic due to an FDOT project.

At the 5 Mile Marker, Deputy Allen activated his lights and siren in an attempt to get the vehicle, traveling at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, to pull over.

The vehicle made an immediate U-turn fleeing north on U.S. 1 reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour as it forced other vehicles from the roadway passing recklessly and driving on the shoulder.

Reaching the 8 Mile Marker, the vehicle changed direction heading southbound and again, at the 4 Mile Marker, continued to attempt to avoid deputies, making another U-turn driving northbound on US 1 in the same manner.

Once reaching the 8 Mile Marker, the vehicle left the roadway driving on the bike path as it continued to elude law enforcement.

In the interest of public safety the initial pursuit was terminated. Deputies re-engaged with the vehicle at the 11 Mile Marker where the volume of traffic was lighter.

An unsuccessful attempt was made at the 15 Mile Marker to deploy spike strips to slow the vehicle as it was able to avoid the tire deflation device by driving into on-coming traffic.

The vehicle continued northbound and turned on Johnson Road at the 20 Mile Marker in the direction of the KOA Campground. At the end of the road, the vehicle turned around, heading back toward U.S. 1 nearly striking a pedestrian walking a dog and two pursuing Sheriff’s Office vehicles.

The suspect vehicle continued northbound on US1 at a high rate of speed of nearly 100 miles per hour at the 21 Mile Marker where Deputy Ty Torres was able to successfully deploy the spike strips deflating the front and rear driver’s side tires of the vehicle.

At the 21.5 Mile Marker, the vehicle suddenly turned into the parking lot of Fanci Seafood where the occupants bailed out of the disabled vehicle and led deputies on a foot pursuit. The female complied with deputies orders and was taken into custody.

Zambrano, who was observed to have a dark object in his hand, jumped into a canal concealing himself under a dock. Initially refusing to comply with deputies’ orders, Zambrano finally emerged and was also taken into custody. A loaded Glock .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered on the bottom of the canal where Zambrano had jumped in.

A search of the vehicle Zambrano was driving turned up large quantities of marijuana, marijuana wax, marijuana concentrate, four unlabeled prescription bottles containing 39 grams of Xanax tablets, drug paraphernalia, packaging supplies and $932 currency. Deputies also recovered an additional handgun. The loaded Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol was located in the glove box.

Both Zambrano and the female were charged with an array of crimes to include fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, two counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, possession of a firearm, tampering with evidence, possession of marijuana, possession of drugs without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Zambrano currently remains in the Monroe County Detention Center under a $70,000 bond. The female was turned over to the custody of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.