Author Jerry Iannelli

Porsche_Design_Tower_November_2016Via Wikimedia Commons

This past March 23, singer Alicia Keys headlined the grand-opening party for the Porsche Design Tower, an ultraluxury condominium complex in Sunny Isles Beach built by father-and-son Miami developers (and former Trump business partners) Michael and Gil Dezer. The event was a spectacular display of wealth at the Porsche Tower, a massive steel-gray building filled with spartan German decor, billionaire investors, and elevators that lift whole cars right into residents’ condo units.

Just a few months later, the developers have been tied to an international money-laundering probe in Brazil looking into whether a Brazilian contractor funneled millions into the United States to avoid taxes.

neonazisMonroe County Sheriff's Office

For the past year, Brandon Russell has saluted the flag and worn the uniform of the Florida National Guard while serving his country as a private first class. But in his suburban Tampa apartment, Russell and his three roommates pledged allegiance to a whole different ideal. Russell’s bedroom was decorated with neo-Nazi and white supremacist propaganda and a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. His garage was full of guns, ammo, and high-powered materials for bomb-making.

Russell is now in federal custody after Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him in Key Largo this past Sunday. He was busted after a bizarre and bloody massacre last Friday, when one of his three neo-Nazi roommates — 18-year-old Devon Arthurs — apparently converted to Islam and then executed their other two housemates.
balharbourGoogle Street View

Mention Bal Harbour to a random Miamian, and two things come to mind: an über-luxury shopping mall and one of the most notorious speed traps on A1A. Violent drug-related shootings would certainly not appear on that list.

Yet that’s exactly what Bal Harbour’s small police force — fresh off a house cleaning over a major international money-laundering scandal — has been grappling with for the past two weeks after a 49-year-old man was shot twice in the parking lot of a beachfront condo building.

kinseyYouTube

Miami-Dade’s top prosecutor, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, has recently faced a tidal wave of criticism from police-reform activists for her reluctance to prosecute cops who kill on the job. Today, Rundle did something she’s never done in her 24 years in office: charged an officer for an on-duty shooting.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced it has charged North Miami SWAT Officer Jonathan Aledda with felony attempted manslaughter and misdemeanor culpable negligence after Aledda shot Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man, in July 2016. Kinsey was simply trying to help an autistic man, Arnaldo Rios-Soto, out of the street when a bystander called 911 and said Rios-Soto might have been holding a gun. Rios-Soto was, in fact, holding a toy truck when Aledda fired his weapon.

A cell-phone video caught Kinsey lying on his back with his arms in the air, repeatedly stressing he was complying with cops, and begging officers not to shoot just before he was hit.

littlehavanaMiami-Dade Corrections

Going into debt with a drug dealer is never a fantastic game plan. But police say one Miami man who stiffed his connection out of $500 worth of narcotics ended up suffering far worse payback than he ever could have imagined.

The victim, whom police haven’t identified, ended up kidnapped at gunpoint, locked on a Little Havana back patio for four days, and then shot in the head. Amazingly, he survived the ordeal, and police have now arrested four people behind the bloody payback, including a 21-year-old woman who cops say pulled the trigger
willyfalconOrange County Jail/HistoryMiami

Twenty-six years ago, the feds busted Miami’s biggest smuggling operation of the Cocaine Cowboys era: a $2 billion pipeline run by high-school pals Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta. It would take another decade of contentious court battles before the pair was finally convicted, wrapping up one of the nation’s most massive drug cases.

But there was always a loose end. Just before the two were indicted in 1991, Gustavo “Taby” Falcon, Willy’s brother, vanished. He hadn’t been seen since — until yesterday, when federal agents found him in a rented home in Kissimmee. Falcon was nabbed as he returned from a bike ride with his wife and hauled off to Orange County Jail in a neon Nike shirt.
corey-jones-photoCourtesy of Corey Jones' Family

Corey Jones almost certainly died without knowing that the man who fired the six shots at him October 18, 2015, was an on-duty cop. In the hours to come, Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja would insist that he had identified himself as law enforcement, that Jones had been pointing a gun at him when he fired the fatal shots, that he had no choice but to shoot to kill.

Investigators and prosecutors likely would have believed him — except the AT&T Roadside Assistance call captured what really happened. With that rare, independent record of a fatal police shooting, Palm Beach County prosecutors did the extraordinary: They criminally charged an officer for killing someone in the line of duty.

jesse-lenz-floating-cocaineThe untold story of Key Largo’s most brutal homicide in 25 years shines a light on a drugged-out Upper Keys underbelly worthy of a Bloodlines subplot and reveals a surprising truth: Every year, dozens of Florida fishermen find square groupers — packages of marijuana or cocaine, sometimes worth millions of dollars — drifting in the ocean. Then they have to choose: Call the Coast Guard? Or chase the promise of riches far beyond what a fishing boat can provide, risking prison time — or, in some cases, unimaginable bloodshed.

kinseyYouTube

Moments before North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda shot unarmed behavioral technician Charles Kinsey last July 18, another cop on the scene warned there was no gun, only a toy.

After the shooting, an assistant chief repeatedly lied to the police chief, and City Manager Larry Spring ignored vital evidence.

Moreover, the crime scene was mismanaged, and the police department and city government were in disarray and plagued by infighting.

Those are among the stunning revelations in an hourlong audio recording of North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene’s interview with Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigators, which was obtained by New Times Tuesday.

North_Miami_FL_city_hall01Eyabe via Wikimedia Commons

The North Miami Police Department appears to be in complete disarray: In the last two years, the department failed a critical accreditation test and shot Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man. After audio emerged last week of its chief describing widespread dysfunction among his cops, North Miami officials have been desperately trying reassure the public that the force is fixing its problems.

Amidst all that turmoil, a North Miami cop was arrested Saturday on domestic violence charges. Police say the off-duty officer, Alfred Lamont Bryant, body-slammed his wife to the ground and smacked her head repeatedly on the floor in front of their three children.

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