MIAMI-DADE OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY, 11th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
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The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is dedicated to providing accurate information to the public and media. If you are a member of the working media and would like an interview with the State Attorney, or you need information on a case, would like to talk to a specific assistant state attorney or are looking for an expert in a certain area of prosecution, please contact our public information officers Ed Griffith, Terry Chavez or Lissette Valdes-Valle.

ED GRIFFITH Public Information Officer PHONE: 305-547-0535

LISSETTE VALDES-VALLE Hispanic Media Relations Public Information Officer PHONE: 305-547-0535

TERRY CHAVEZ Hispanic Media Relations Public Information Officer PHONE: 305-547-0535

Below you'll find recent news releases issued by this office.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Couple Arrested in Illegal Slaughterhouse Case

As a result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Miami-Dade Police Department, undercover investigators from the Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) group and officers from the Florida Wildlife Commission, 45 year old Angel Ricardo Vargas and 41 year old Mayelin Rodriguez were arrested and charged with felonies relating to operation of an illegal slaughterhouse at their residence at 19400 SW 136th Street, Miami-Dade County.

During an undercover investigation commencing on May 1, 2015 and ending today, undercover operatives visited the site on four (4) different occasions, often filming the acts of animal cruelty which entailed the repeated stabbing, hooking, dragging and boiling alive of animals intended to be sold to the purchasers who visited the residence.    These animal slaughter activities were occurring in a residential area of Miami-Dade County and were not permitted to occur by existing zoning and health laws. 

Angel Ricardo Vargas has immediately been charged with:
4 counts          Cruelty to Animals                                                          3rd  Degree Felony
1 count          Conspiracy to Commit Cruelty to Animals                     3rd  Degree Felony

Mayelin Rodriguez has immediately been charged with:
1 count            Cruelty to Animals                                                          3rd  Degree Felony
1 count          Conspiracy to Commit Cruelty to Animals                     3rd  Degree Felony

The on-site investigation has led to a variety of additional findings which may include the directing of potentially unhealthy meat into the food chain.  The discovery of industrial ovens at the site (photos attached in following email messages) and the filthy conditions have raised serious concerns which will need further investigation. 
“Anyone involved in the food industry knows that there are easily performed, painless ways to slaughter livestock for food. At these illegal slaughterhouses, it seem to be too much trouble to render the animals senseless”, commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “Instead of following Florida’s Laws, Angel Ricardo Vargas, and his wife, Mayelin Rodriguez turned a part of their home into an animal house of horrors.   I applaud the partnership which allows my prosecutors, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Animal Recovery Mission to effectively shut down such ghastly operations.  Now we need to know if the meat from this site has been entering our local food chain.  That state and federal investigation is now ongoing.” 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Officer Karel Rosario Pleads Guilty in Search Warrant Jewel Theft


Suspended Miami Dade Police Department Detective Karel Rosario pled guilty today before Judge Teresa Pooler to the charge of Dealing in Stolen Property.  This charge arose from Rosario’s actions during the execution of a May 20, 2015 Federal search warrant at the residence of Mrs. Yulia Martinez which resulted in her being taken into custody.  It was during this incident that Detective Rosario took some very distinctive and expensive jewelry from the Martinez residence.

On May 27, 2015, Rosario was captured on video at the Seybold Jewelry Building meeting with a jeweler in an effort to sell a Cartier watch and Cartier style “Nail” bracelet. The uniqueness of the jewelry played a key role in Detective Rosario’s subsequent investigation by the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Miami-Dade Police Department and Rosario’s later arrest. Today’s plea to the court shows the effectiveness of the investigation and the strength of the criminal case.  

“Every police department depends on the integrity and professionalism of its officers,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Detective Rosario sold out his integrity the minute he picked up that jewelry.  He has let down the good people of Miami-Dade County and every professional police officer who risks death each day to uphold our laws.”

Friday, November 6, 2015

Halloween Carjacker Arrested

After an intense joint investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Coral Gables Police Department and the Miami Police Department, the suspect in the Halloween armed carjacking and shooting of a teenage couple, previously identified as Luis Alberto Basalo, has been taken into police custody.    The carjacking and shooting took place in the 400 block of Rosario Avenue in Coral Gables, Florida.

“I am overjoyed that the intense collaboration between one of my senior violent crimes prosecutors, the Coral Gables Police Department and the Miami Police Department has led to this individual being taken into custody.  It is only a matter of luck that these two young victims were not fatally assaulted.  The process of developing the proper and appropriate criminal charges is now underway”, commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

 

Clinic Owner & Patient Broker Arrested in Insurance Fraud Scam


As a result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department, 55 year old Violeta Otero, the owner and operator of the Sunshine Wellness Clinic and 52 year old Ida Mercado Rico, a patient broker, were charged in an insurance fraud scheme which targeted the Miami-Dade School System by defrauding its self-insurance plan. 

Utilizing forms previously completed at the Sunshine Wellness Clinic, insurance accounts of a number of Miami-Dade School District patients were filed for medical treatments and injections which never occurred.  Many of these patients were initially recruited to come to the clinic by Ida Mercado Rico and were often paid in cash by Ida Mercado Rico.

Violeta Otero has been charged with:

1 count            Organized Scheme to Defraud                  1st Degree Felony
166 counts      Grand Theft                                                 3rd  Degree Felony
166 counts       False and Fraudulent Insurance Claims   3rd  Degree Felony
 
Ida Mercado Rico has been charged with:
1 count            Organized Scheme to Defraud                  1st Degree Felony
77 counts        Grand Theft                                                 3rd  Degree Felony
77 counts         False and Fraudulent Insurance Claims   3rd  Degree Felony
4 counts           Patient Brokering                                        3rd  Degree Felony

“Insurance fraud is an attack on every individual on every person who pays an insurance premium”, commented Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle “ Insurance fraud scams that steal from our public school system take dollars intended to make our schools function, dollars that can educate our children, and put those dollars into the pockets of thieves.  I applaud this partnership which allows my prosecutors and the Miami-Dade Schools Police to effectively shut down such swindlers.”

“Protecting the interest of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, our students, and employees is paramount,” said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. “Today’s arrest of individuals who sought to defraud our school district is a direct result of first-class investigative work by Miami-Dade Schools Police and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office. The genesis of this indispensable partnership began in 2014 with the creation of the Fraud Prevention Task Force to help curb abuse of employee health care benefits.”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

WOULD-BE LOBBYIST ARRESTED FOR CAMPAIGN FRAUD

As a result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force and the Miami-Dade County Office of the Inspector General, David Alberto Carcache (Carcache), a would-be lobbyist and political consultant, was arrested and charged with:
  • 2 counts     False Swearing           (3rd Degree Felony)
  • 1 count      Aiding, Abetting, or Advising in the Violation of the Election Code      (3rd Degree    Felony)
  • 5 counts     Falsifying Records     (1st Degree Misdemeanor)
Carcache, also known as David Carcache-Guzman and David Guzman, represented himself as a lobbyist/consultant assisting various candidates running for several Miami-Dade Community Council positions during the August 26, 2014, elections.

“A young man’s goal of creating his own business is something we usually encourage,” commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “However, Mr. Carcache’s business approach of undermining Miami-Dade’s Community Council system, corrupting our election process, has led to his arrest. The investigation by my Public Corruption Task Force and the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General uncovered evidence of numerous fraudulent campaign documents and transactions.  Thanks to their efforts, someone working to taint our election system has been thwarted.”

The investigation began when a resident of Community Council #12 received a letter from the Miami-Dade Department of Elections providing information to new candidates. However, no one at the address was actually running for election. The resident contacted authorities, initiating    an extensive
investigation which identified Carcache and his scheme to solicit and control candidates running for Community Council seats. Having enough politicians beholden to him on various Community Council seats would allow Carcache to effectively sell his (unregistered) lobbying and consulting services. Carcache was undeterred by the fact that some of his candidates were unqualified for election since they did not reside within specified Community Council boundaries.
 
“‘All politics is local’ a phrase taken to heart by Carcache who sought to manipulate and peddle his influence in our County government.  But for this investigation, there would be three elected officials in office, being controlled by the defendant.  The OIG will continue to provide oversight of the election process and robustly investigate all allegations of election fraud as it pertains to every level of Miami-Dade County government,” stated Mary T. Cagle, Miami-Dade County Inspector General. 
 
The investigation found that Carcache prepared fraudulent candidate qualifying documents, set up and controlled candidates’ email accounts, and submitted fraudulent campaign treasurer finance reports. At Carcache’s direction, thousands of dollars in campaign expenses were paid in checks or money orders payable to Carcache's sister and mother. Carcache submitted, or caused to be submitted, numerous documents containing false information and falsely sworn documents to the Miami-Dade Elections Department in connection with the campaigns of three Community Council candidates. Two candidates, Mauricio Rodriguez-Varela and Daniel Diaz won their positions to Community Council #11/113 and Community Council #12/123, respectively.  They have resigned as a result of the investigation. The third candidate, Jesus Antonio Salas, withdrew from the race prior to the election.

 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

STATE ATTORNEY SELECTED FOR MUJERES GIVING BACK AWARD


Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has been selected by The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade for their Mujeres Giving Back 2015 Award in the Talent category.

“I am greatly honored to be recognized by The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade for this amazing award. The Women’s Fund has long recognized that fostering community enrichment starts with recognizing and fostering the good works done locally by individual women. What we give back to our community enriches us all,” commented State Attorney Fernandez Rundle.

This is the second year that The Women’s Fund has selected a group of women to highlight the philanthropic impact of Hispanic women leaders in Miami-Dade County. The candidates are nominated by South Florida residents and selected by an independent judging panel of community leaders. The winners are women who give back to our community through their time, talent or treasure. Mujeres Giving Back recognizes women who have been leaders in leveraging their power and influence to give back to their community.

Founded in 1993, The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade empowers women and girls through advocacy and funding for innovative initiatives that build equality, foster social change and create community partners.
 
State Attorney Fernandez Rundle and her fellow nominees will be honored at a Recognition Luncheon hosted by The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade on Friday, November 6, 2015, at Jungle Island.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Weston Meat Exporter Arrested - Fake Invoices Used in Import/Export Fraud

As a result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Inspector General’s Office of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, 61 year old Weston resident Carlos Hernan Del Valle has been arrested for his alleged role in a scheme to defraud Plus International Bank of Miami and the Export-Import Bank of the United States of $750,000. Mr. Del Valle was arrested by Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies and Special Agents of the Inspector General’s Office of the Export-Import Bank on a Miami-Dade County warrant.

Carlos Hernan Del Valle has been charged with:
  • 1 count      Grand Theft                              1st  Degree Felony
  • 1 count       Organized Fraud                     1st Degree Felony
“Sophisticated white collar crimes appear radically different from burglaries and armed robberies”, commented Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “But they have one thing in common: they are acts undertaken to steal from others; from home owners, from citizens or, in this instance, from our government.  This was a complex crime investigated by dedicated investigators from the Office of the Inspector General for the Export-Import Bank and worked by my prosecutors. I am proud to be a part of such a law enforcement partnership.”

Mr. Del Valle, through his company Lion Trading Corporation, represented that he sold and shipped meat products to nine businesses in the Dominican Republic from November 17, 2011 through January 23, 2012. To facilitate his export business, Mr. Del Valle applied for and received a line of credit totaling $750,000 from the Miami-based Plus International Bank, a lender who specializes in international trade finance.

Based on an investigation, it is alleged that Mr. Del Valle submitted fraudulent sales and shipping documents to Plus International Bank purporting to support exports that never occurred in order to receive the funds. It is believed Mr. Del Valle used the fraudulently obtained funds to pay off earlier loans.