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.

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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Officer Charged in Search Warrant Jewel Theft


As a result of a joint Miami-Dade County Police Department and Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office investigation, 9 year Miami Dade Police Department Detective Karel Rosario has been arrested and charged with:
  • 1 count       Dealing in Stolen Property      2nd Degree Felony
  • 1 count      Grand Theft                              2nd Degree Felony
After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) executed a May 20, 2015 search warrant at the residence of Mrs. Yulia Martinez which resulted in her being taken into Federal custody and bonding out of jail, Yulia Martinez discovered that several pieces of jewelry, including a Cartier watch containing a custom diamond bezel, a gold bracelet with diamonds, Cartier-style “Nail” bracelet, Rolex Daytona watch, a Bulgari ring, Bulgari bracelet, a David Yurman bracelet and several expensive bottles of perfume, were missing from her residence. No receipts were left at the residence specifying the items that were seized during the search warrant, as is the normal police procedure.
On May 27, 2015, Rosario met at the Seybold Jewelry Building with jeweler Mr. Joel Hernandez in an effort to sell a Cartier watch and Cartier style “Nail” bracelet. Mr. Hernandez told Rosario that he was not interested in the purchase. However, Mr. Hernandez posted pictures of the Cartier watch to post on a social site named “WhatsApp” so that others in the jewelry trade could see it and respond if interested. These negotiations were captured on the jewelry store’s video surveillance camera.
Mr. Hernandez was soon contacted by jeweler Joel Vigo who sought to learn who was in possession of the Cartier watch and the Cartier style “Nail” bracelet. Mr. Vigo told Mr. Hernandez that he had sold that specific Cartier watch which contained a diamond bezel and the Cartier style “Nail” bracelet to Yulia Martinez’ husband. Mr. Vigo later contacted Yulia Martinez and advised her of the incident. Yulia Martinez notified a member of the private defense bar because these items were missing after the search of her residence. On June 1, 2015, the attorney contacted the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office (SAO) initiating a criminal investigation.  Thereafter, State Attorney Investigator Supervisors working with the State Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force made contact with Ms. Martinez, Mr. Hernandez, and Mr. Vigo.  All parties were interviewed and Officer Rosario’s identification was verified.

“Good police work always depends on an officer’s honesty and integrity. Honesty and integrity are the core values of every effective police agency,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Detective Rosario’s stealing makes him no different than the thieves he would apprehend. This is a sad day for the law enforcement community.”
“Our integrity is fundamental to the Miami-Dade Police Department maintaining the trust of the community we protect and serve,” stated Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.  “That integrity, and the need to maintain the absolute trust of the community, requires that whenever one of our officers breaks the law, we hold that officer accountable.”

Monday, June 15, 2015

County Landscape Supervisor Charged in Fuel Theft


As a result of a joint Miami-Dade County Police Department, Miami-Dade County Office of the Inspector General and Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office investigation, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Employee Siul Delgado was arrested on Thursday June 11, 2015 and charged with one count of Organized Scheme to Defraud under $20,000.

The investigation started via information from a confidential source in April of 2015 indicating that Delgado was possibly dispensing county gasoline at a private home located at 16988 SW 141 Court, Miami-Dade County.  Further investigation and surveillance indicated a pattern of suspicious gasoline movements utilizing a County-owned pick-up truck containing gas and diesel tanks on its bed.  Normally, such trucks are used to pump fuel into County landscape equipment being used at various sites around Miami-Dade. 
Investigative surveillance revealed a number of fuel fillings, in excess of normal usage, and unexplained movements of the fuel truck to the 16988 SW 141 Court address, followed by the operating sound of the fuel truck pump. Other surveillance showed Delgado adding county fuel to his own private vehicle and also leaving 5 bags of county fertilizer at the same SW 141 Court location.
 “Individuals who feel that they are entitled to use and steal county property have no place in our county workforce,” commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “A public salary never allows anyone to become a public thief.
 “We value our continuing partnership with the Miami-Dade Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office.  Confidential complaints from honest employees and citizens sent to us enable our agencies to root out those who violate the public’s trust,” said Miami-Dade County Inspector General, Mary T. Cagle. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thef of County Gas for Private Use Leads to Officer's Arrest


Miami (May 18, 2015)  As a result of a joint Miami-Dade Police and Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office investigations, 16 year veteran Miami-Dade Police Sergeant Emil Van Lugo was arrested on Friday May 15, 2015.  He is charged with:
  • 1 count    Organized Fraud $20,000 or less     (3rd Degree Felony)
  • 5 counts     Petit Theft      (2nd Degree Misdemeanor)
This investigation arose from concerns that Sergeant Lugo was improperly using his Miami-Dade County access during the period from January 2015 through March 2015.  Not only was Sergeant Lugo fueling his vehicle at a fuel station rarely used by police officers (the 7900 SW 107 Avenue site was primarily utilized by the Solid Waste Department) but the computer records tracing the amounts of fuel consumed appeared to exceed the miles driven.  County gas access is intended to fuel county vehicles, in this case Sergeant Lugo’s official marked police vehicle.

The investigation involved video surveillance of both the county refueling station favored by Sergeant Lugo and at his home.  Surveillance showed gas cans, filled at the county refueling station being used to refuel a private vehicle at his residence.  The bond for this offense was set at $10,000.

“It is a shame that a veteran police officer would go out of his way to steal from Miami-Dade County just to save a few dollars on gasoline,” commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “A police officer, who would sell his good name and his integrity just to put gas into his wife’s car, tarnishes the reputation of every good officer on the force.  I applaud the actions of the Miami-Dade Police Department to investigate and correct this theft problem.”

“Integrity is the foundation of the Miami-Dade Police Department, and it is imperative that we maintain the community’s trust,” stated Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.  “Anytime one of our officers tarnishes the badge we will hold them accountable to the law, in order to not jeopardize that trust.”

Friday, May 1, 2015

Senate Passes Revenge Porn Legislation

Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is pleased to announce that the Senate has passed legislation making revenge porn a crime and providing stiff criminal and civil penalties for violators. The bill had previously been passed by the House and now awaits Governor Rick Scott’s signature.
 
“This significant legislation will strengthen our ability to prosecute the heinous crime that is revenge porn. I am very appreciative of the wonderful collaboration with our stakeholders and legislators, particularly former prosecutor and now State Representative Carlos Trujillo and the efforts of Senator David Simmons and State Representative Tom Goodson who co-sponsored this important bill,” commented State Attorney Fernandez Rundle.
 
State Attorney Fernandez Rundle worked tirelessly on this legislation with local stakeholders and advocacy groups, including Deborah Baker-Egozi, President of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers and University of Miami Professor Mary Ann Franks. In Tallahassee, she met with the bill sponsors in both chambers as and worked together to find a common ground between the two bills.
 
The legislation specifically prohibits the posting of sexually explicit or nude photos of a person to an internet website without that person’s consent with the intent to cause emotional distress. It provides for substantial criminal penalties as well as the ability to pursue civil actions against violators. These actions include injunctive relief, monetary damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MISLABELING CITY & COUNTY GASOLINE FOR PROFIT


Amancio Alonso the owner and operator of MacMillan Oil and his corporate oil transporter, Hialeah Transport LLC, were each charged today with two counts of grand theft related to thefts from the City of Hialeah and from Miami-Dade Aviation.  Both the City of Hialeah and Miami-Dade Aviation were making purchases midgrade (89 octane) gasoline from MacMillan Oil.  An investigation revealed that MacMillan Oil purchased regular (87 octane) gasoline from Port Everglades and sold it to its customers as if it was midgrade (89 octane) gasoline thereby overbilling Hialeah and Miami-Dade Aviation about .07 cents per gallon purchased.  Documents obtained from the City of Hialeah revealed that the City of Hialeah was overbilled by $46,911.94.   Documents obtained from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department revealed that Miami-Dade Aviation Department was overbilled by $3,362.30.

“I wanted to congratulate the detectives from Miami-Dade Public Corruption Unit and the State Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force for putting together the pieces which led to these arrests.  With the consumption of this gasoline, it could have been a very difficult crime to uncover,” commentated Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  “Instead, we will be getting this money back to the City of Hialeah and Miami-Dade County.”

As part of the investigation, detectives from Miami-Dade Public Corruption Unit and the State Attorney’s Public Corruption Task Force responded to MacMillan Oil Company and executed a search warrant of the premises to obtain the relevant documents. Amancio Alonso also admitted knowing that his drivers were delivering regular gasoline but he and Hialeah Transport were charging for a higher grade of gasoline.  Alonso stated that this was done when there was an order for midgrade and the plant did not have enough of the midgrade blend. 

Alonso stated that none of the staff of MacMillan Oil’s billing department were aware of the overbilling and they would just submit a bill based on the documents they received from the driver.   Amancio Alonso was charged since he was the owner of both Hialeah Transport and MacMillan Oil, and was responsible for ordering the drivers employed by Hialeah Transport to falsify their delivery records.  Hialeah Transport was charged since it employed the drivers that falsified the delivery tickets to the City of Hialeah and to Miami-Dade Aviation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Report on the Shooting of Raymond Herisse Released


Miami –March 17, 2015
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has released an 86 page final report relating to the May 30, 2011 fatal shooting of Raymond Herisse.  The report provides extensive information relating to the variety of different crime scenes extending from the initial police contact at the 1600 block of Collins Avenue to the final incident at the intersection of 13th and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach.  Contained in the report are 62 witness summaries (32 civilian witnesses and 30 police officers) which provide a picture of the entire stream of events which ended with the shooting of Raymond Herisse.
As is done with the release of every report on a fatal police shooting, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office will be forwarding this report to the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida for their review.           
The report can be accessed from the following location:
 
Below is a short summary of the report.
SUMMARY
On May 30, 2011, at approximately 3:50am, during the Memorial Day Urban Beach weekend, a Hialeah Police Officer, conducting a traffic stop in the 1600 block of Collins Avenue, attempted to arrest a driver for failure to obey lawful commands.  While fleeing the scene the driver, Raymond Herisse struck the officer and fled southbound on Collins Avenue at a high rate of speed in the northbound lane.  Officers in the 1500 block of Collins Avenue fired at the vehicle in an attempt to prevent any injury to persons in the area.  As Herisse drove south on Collins Avenue, he crashed into multiple occupied automobiles, at times driving on the crowded sidewalks.  Herisse also attempted to run over uniform police officers on bicycles who were forced to jump over barricades to avoid being struck.  Herrise ran over the bicycles moments after the officers jumped off.  Officers in the 1400 block of Collins Avenue also fired at Herisse to try to stop him from hitting them or anyone else in the area.  Unfortunately, because of the crowd of people who were in the area, three (3) civilian bystanders sustained gunshot injuries as a result of the police actions during this incident.
Herisse’s vehicle, a Hyundai, came to a stop at the intersection of 13th and Collins Avenue.  Although the vehicle stopped, Herisse did not turn off the engine.  Further, the off and on flashing of the brake lights indicated that the brake pedal was repeatedly being pressed and released.  Prior police radio transmissions to officers in the area indicated that Herisse had struck another officer, shots had been fired, and that he was fleeing at a high rate of speed.  Gunshots were audible throughout the area, but the officers at 13th Street did not know who was actually doing all of the shooting.  Approximately one minute after Herisse fled down Collins Avenue striking civilian cars, attempting to run over police officers, with shots being fired, the source being unknown, police officers surrounded the Sonata and commanded Herisse to stop moving and exit the vehicle for their protection.  Herisse did not comply with these commands and continued moving inside the vehicle, including a downward motion in what the officers would have reasonably perceived to be a threat.  Upon seeing these movements by Herisse inside the vehicle, several police officers discharged their weapons numerous times at the Herisse fatally wounding him.  A fully loaded 9mm firearm that was reported stolen in West Palm Beach in 2009 was found wrapped in a T-shirt on the rear passenger floorboard of the vehicle.
As with the other shooting event, a civilian was severely injured during this last shooting. 
Herisse was later found to have a blood alcohol content of .14.  It was also subsequently determined that Herisse had a suspended driver’s license.
The statutes applicable to the use of deadly force by police officers are ss. 776.05 and 776.012.  These statutes permit an officer to use deadly force when the officer believes it is necessary to defend him or herself or another from bodily harm while making an arrest, when necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice, or when the officer reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. 
The courts have recognized that “especially trained law enforcement officers, take risks when they think they are called upon to prevent imminent harm to person or property.  Efforts to prevent such harm sometimes cause injury to the officers or to bystanders.”  McClamma v. State, 138 So. 3d 578, 585-86 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014). 
In each of the different shooting incidents, the evidence points to the conclusion that the officers did not commit a criminal act and were justified in the use of the deadly force they reasonably believed to be necessary to defend themselves from bodily harm or using while attempting to arrest Mr. Herisse, who was a fleeing from the commission of multiple felonies.