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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.

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.