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 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

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

23 Charged in Round-Up of Retail Theft Organization


23 individuals have been charged as a result of a  joint investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Miami-Dade County Police Department and additional police agencies which included police activity as far north as the Orlando area.  Today, police were arresting all the members of this organized crime enterprise, from the shoplifting thieves through the various levels of middleman fences to the final retailer fences who sold the stolen goods to the unsuspecting public. This organization is estimated to have stolen some $15 million of merchandise.


Monday, January 13, 2014

3 Arrested for Trafficking 13 Year Old Girl


The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force, in conjunction with officers from the City of Miami Police Department and City of Miami Beach Police, have arrested 3 local adults in the forced prostitution and commercial exploitation of a 13 year old runaway girl.
Arrested were:  Vilbert Jean (DOB 2/15/1977), Marlene San Vincente (DOB 2/25/1991) and DeWayne Ward (DOB 2/22/1995).

 Each is charged with:
1 Count      Human Trafficking
1 Count      Delivering a Controlled Substance to a Person Under 18
1 Count      Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
1 Count      Lewd & Lascivious Conduct on a person less than 16.

As outlined in the arrest material, a 13 year old girl who had run away from home on 12/10/2013 was located by her mother on 1/6/2014 in the area of North Miami Avenue and NE 55 Street.  The 13 year old was forced to prostitute herself for the benefit of her exploiters and later forced to dance as an exotic nude dancer after she refused to continue to engage in prostitution.  Her earnings as a nude dancer were surrendered to her exploiters.  Defendant San Vincente supervised and tutored the 13 years old on how to work the nude club scene and how to maximize her tip earnings for the benefit of the 3 exploiters.

“This sad case shows how quickly human traffickers locate their young prey and turn them from children into cash producing machines,” commented Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “Sadly, to human traffickers, destroying a helpless child’s life is unimportant when compared to the consistent flow of cash into their pockets.  The people of this community will not tolerate this.  With the help of my Human Trafficking Task Force and my specialized Human Trafficking prosecutors, we will end this hideous practice.”

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Human Trafficking Unit Successfully Convicts First Known Case Charged Under The New Human Trafficking Statute


Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced today that prosecutors in her Human Trafficking Unit have successfully prosecuted what is believed to be the first criminal court case in Florida to be charged pursuant to the recently enacted Human Trafficking statute.

Assistant State Attorneys Jane Anderson and Anna-Bo Emmanuel convicted David Salomon on one count of Human Trafficking involving the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.

The jury trial lasted two days and Salomon was convicted after three hours of deliberation. Salomon is a habitual felony offender and is facing Life in Prison for this crime. Sentencing is set before Circuit Court Judge Rodney Smith on January 30, 2014.

This case originated during a City of Miami undercover police operation targeting prostitution in the area of Biscayne Boulevard and N.E. 79th Street. A young girl who solicited two undercover officers for prostitution turned out to have been just 15 years old. Another officer, acting as an “eyeball,” noticed defendant Salomon communicating with the young girl by hand signals and cell phone. The defendant appeared to be directing her to potential customers driving by and warning her of police presence. The defendant was arrested and Search Warrants were secured for both of their cell phones. The forensic examination of the cell phones exposed the full nature of their relationship. Text messages revealed that the defendant was acting as her pimp as she was being commercially sexually exploited on the streets of Miami. Unfortunately, the young victim has been missing since July 2013 and could not be located to testify at the trial.

“David Salomon is exactly the type of predatory individual my Human Trafficking Task Force has targeted and will continue to target. His 15 year old victim lost her innocence forever by becoming nothing more than his personal cash machine,” commented Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Fortunately, the City of Miami Police Department, the investigators and prosecutors from my Human Trafficking Task Force, and the expertise of the attorneys in my Cyber Crimes Unit, were able to compile sufficient evidence to gain a conviction in this difficult case.”

Friday, November 15, 2013

PROTECT YOUR BALLOTS, PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS


                 VOTERS: PROTECT YOUR BALLOTS, PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS

Miami (November 13, 2013)  With the mailing of absentee ballots for the forthcoming runoff  elections, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle wanted to remind voters to work to protect the sanctity of their ballot.  Some individuals may approach you with some highly questionable propositions regarding your absentee ballot, which you should have already received or which you are about to receive.

If you received an absentee ballot that you did not request, there may be something else involved.  Call my Absentee Ballot Task Force at 305-547-3300 and speak with my staff.  Such a small step may help avoid potential election improprieties.

If someone offers to fill out your ballot for you, get their name and ask them who are they working for but politely refuse their assistance.  Then call my Absentee Ballot Task Force at 305-547-3300.

If someone (a non-family member) offers to mail your ballot for you, they are committing a crime. Again, get their name and ask them who are they working for but politely refuse their assistance.  In Miami-Dade County, the ballot postage is already prepaid.  Let the U.S. Postal service safely transmit your ballot.  In that way, no one can alter your vote or make a decision for you.  Then call my Absentee Ballot Task Force at 305-547-3300.

If anyone offers you money for your vote, they are committing a crime. Again, get their name and ask them who are they working for but politely refuse their assistance.  Then call my Absentee Ballot Task Force at 305-547-3300.

“Your vote is your choice,” commentated State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “Don’t let anyone take that choice away from you with a nod or a wink or a promise.  Too many people have struggled too long to put that ballot in your hand.  As you vote with an eye to the future, remember those who have sacrificed their blood to put that vote in your hand.  Handle it carefully and vote with pride.”



Monday, October 21, 2013

Educator Ernesto Perez Charged


                   SWORN STATEMENTS TRIP UP EDUCATOR ERNESTO PEREZ 
                   Unacknowledged Prior Criminal Conviction Leads to Charges

Miami (October 18, 2013)  At the conclusion of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigation, Dade Medical College President Ernesto Perez has been charged by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office with felony and misdemeanor crimes relating to his actions undertaken to expunge a criminal arrest and relating to his appointment and re-appointment to the Commission on Independent Education.  In both these circumstances Ernesto Perez, also known as Rhett O’Neil, failed to acknowledge his 1990 criminal arrest for the charge of a Second Degree, Sexual Assault of a Child, his pleading “no contest” to the Misdemeanor crimes of  Battery and Exposing Genitals to Child, his conviction by a Wisconsin court and his 180 day jail sentence.


Specifics, outlined in the arrest warrant, deal with the following events:

On February 27, 2012, Perez completed an FDLE, Application for Certification of Eligibility to expunge a Miami area arrest.  As part of the expungement process, Perez submitted a sworn and notarized “Affidavit in Support to Expunge” to the Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in September 2012, stating that he had never been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or a comparable ordinance violation.  Based upon this sworn affidavit, the Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit issued an order expunging Perez’ 2002 arrest on October 16, 2012.

In July of 2013, FDLE conducted a review of Ernesto Armando Perez’ 2009, 2011, and 2012 “Senate Confirmation Questionnaires.” These notarized documents were signed by Perez for appointment and re-appointment consideration to the Commission on Independent Education. On these documents, Perez failed to disclose his arrest and conviction in the State of Wisconsin.

As a result, Ernesto Armando Perez is charged with:

1 Count Expungement/False Information On Sworn Statement                  (3rd Degree Felony)
2 Counts Perjury Not In Official Proceeding                                    (1st Degree Misdemeanors)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Couple Arrested in County Overbilling Scheme

As the result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, two individuals have been arrested in a vendor overbilling scheme.

 Arrested today were:

Jorge Isaac Maquilon (President/Director & sole owner Decomax Corporation & Emporium Supplies  Corporation)
      
And his wife Ivy Evans-Maquilon (former employee of the Miami International Airport Hotel)

Mrs. Ivy Evans-Maquilon , a member of the management team running the Miami Dade County-owned hotel at Miami international Airport, developed a scheme which bypassed the existing financial controls and allowed her to enrich herself, her husband Jorge Isaac Maquilon and another employee of the Miami Dade County owned hotel.

The fraud manipulated the existing management agreement which, when properly utilized, had the hotel owner, Miami Dade County, reimburse the contracted hotel operators for normal operating expenses.  Under the management agreement, expenses over $1000 required three competitive bids to secure the best price for Miami Dade County.  This process was manipulated  through the use of fake bids to make it appear that companies owned by Ms. Ivy Evans-Maquilon’s husband, Jorge Isaac Maquilon (Decomax and Emporium Supplies) were the best supply source.  To further facilitate this scheme, Ivy Evans-Maquilon kept her relationship to Jorge Isaac Maquilon less visible by only using her unmarried name (Ivy Evans) in her official hotel capacity.  

The investigation started in 2010 when the Inspector General’s Office was informed that the Miami International Airport Hotel had apparently been over paying anywhere from 3 to 5 times the purchase price for wallpaper Miami-Dade County already had in stock from a previous March 2009 hotel renovation.

During this investigation, it was discovered that the overbilling supplier, Decomax, was owned by Jorge Isaac Maquilon and that required competitive bids were faked.  The investigation then revealed additional frauds relating to the purchases of maintenance supplies from Emporium Supplies Corporation, another Jorge Isaac Maquilon company. Some of these supplies were never delivered and others were purchased and highly inflated prices.   This fraud required the cooperation of the hotel maintenance supervisor, Nestor Aznar who profited from the scheme but who pleaded guilty and is now cooperating in the investigation.

Jorge Isaac Maquilon and Ivy Evans-Maquilon are both charged with:

1 Count Organize Scheme To Defraud              1st Degree Felony
1 Count Grand Theft                                             1st Degree Felony
1 Count Grand Theft                                             2nd Degree Felony

"The greatest horror for any business is to learn that a trusted employee has committed a theft.  Miami Dade County’s business of running an airport hotel relied entirely on having a competent management team in place.  Sadly, that competency appears to have been lacking,” commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “This detailed investigation by the Office of the Inspector General and the Dade State Attorney's Office unraveled some complicated financial shenanigans and supplied the evidence necessary to build our strong criminal case."

In commenting on the arrest, Interim Inspector General Patra Liu stated, “The Miami International Airport is not an open pocketbook to benefit some dishonest employee or vendor.  The Miami-Dade County OIG, with our law enforcement partners at the State Attorney’s Office, remain fully committed to rooting out fraud at all levels of county government.  I believe that Evans-Maquilon and Maquilon have gotten that message.”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

State Attorney and Staff Recognized During National Crime Victims' Rights Week


As part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week which runs from April 22 through April 26, 2013, Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle received the “Justice For All” award for her efforts on behalf of Human Trafficking victims during the annual ceremony held to commemorate innocent victims of crime.

Assistant State Attorneys Reid Rubin, Christine Zahralban, and Laura Adams, along with Victim Witness Counselors Idalma Gurruchaga and Diane A. Santana, and Senior Trial Coordinator Debbie Gromosaik, were honored for their tireless work and recent successful prosecutions of the remaining defendants who brutally raped and murdered Ana Maria Angel and tortured her boyfriend Nelson Portobanco in what became known as the South Beach Murder Case. State Attorney’s Office Administrator Sandra Lawrence also was recognized during the event with the Florida Network Victim Witness Services Training Award.

State Attorney Fernandez Rundle was the Keynote Speaker at the luncheon event which took place on April 22nd at the Coral Gables Country Club. Many local community leaders, law enforcement personnel, victim advocates and survivors gathered together to celebrate the 29th anniversary commemorating the federal Victims of Crime Act.

“Victims of crime are always the primary concern in all of our cases. My prosecutors and support staff are committed to work tirelessly to ensure that victims' voices will never be silent", commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. "Our community is deeply indebted to every individual who has worked on behalf of victims and dedicated so many years of service to those who have fallen victim to crime."