Author Kyle Munzenrieder

telenovela_criminalshttp://images1.miaminewtimes.com/imager/u/745xauto/8548311/sunnyislesactorburglars.jpg

One of Rafael Pedroza’s earliest acting credits was a burglar on the Colombian soap opera Me Amaras Bajo La Lluvia (or, in English, You Loved Me in The Rain). Now he’s a suspect in a real life robbery in Miami-Dade.

Sunny Isles Beach Police are on the hunt for Pedroza and fellow Colombian actor Farid Duque. They believe the pair pulled off a June 12 heist at an apartment on the 19300 block of Collins Avenue. The duo is believed to have stolen more than $20,000 in goods.

Pasted_Image_6_28_16__7_17_PMPhoto by Giulio Sciorio

Mention Miami today to an out-of-towner, and a few images immediately pop to mind: Crockett and Tubbs in glorious pastel, white-sand beaches, and lots of extremely attractive people in scant clothing bathing in the sun. Miami is sexy. There is no denying it.

But at heart the Magic City is also a good old-fashioned, puritanical Southern town. And Miami has a long, ridiculous history of cracking down on sex and nudity.

bodybuilder_horse_hurtersCourtesy of South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Migdalia “Milly” Cowan and her husband, Alex Paez, were regulars on the national bodybuilding circuit, traveling cross-country to flex while glistening in Speedos. But while they competed, prosecutors say, they left their horses — which they used as props in muscled photo shoots — to starve back on their South Miami-Dade ranch.

Paez has already pleaded guilty to the animal abuse charge, but Cowan has so far fought the allegations in court. She’s scheduled to go to trial — and the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is already waiting in the courthouse to ask for a stiff sentence.

brian_krebsFort Lauderdale Police Department/GabboT via Flickr Creative Commons

Brian Krebs, 42  — the real-life inspiration for Steve Stifler, the rowdiest, drunkest, most upsettingly bro-ish film character since Bluto Blutarsky; the man American Pie screenwriter Adam Herz reportedly based the famed bro-mancer on — was convicted last Wednesday of second-degree murder, ending an ordeal that had stretched on for more than five years.

counterfiet_pursesImage via Facebooko

From a showroom set up in her pricey Coconut Grove home, Tascon peddled fake designer handbags from the likes of Louis Vuitton and counterfeit Rolex watches.

Selling clients a fake version of the good life earned her more than $700,000, and, in turn, the money helped fund her own good life. When she filed for bankruptcy in 2014, she failed to report the income from her counterfeit business. The feds soon uncovered a web of money laundering and counterfeit trafficking.

Sheriff Scott IsraelPhoto via Broward Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Scott Israel

In May 2014,  Deerfield Beach resident Louis Hilaire, 25, was contacted by his ex-girlfriend out of the blue.
“I’ve been looking for you,” she allegedly said via Facebook message. She then called him on the phone, and the pair went out drinking the next night and, according to court documents, ended up having sex.

A few hours later, she revealed why she’d reached out to him: One of her friends, she said, worked as a housekeeper at the nearby Budgetel Inn in Pompano Beach, near the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and the Coconut Creek Parkway. She went on: There was a safe in room 125 at the hotel, she said, which contained cash, jewelry, and a gun. And there was a housekeeper willing to give her and Hilaire a key to go steal the items inside, as long as the housekeeper got a cut of the loot. Hilaire, who had pleaded guilty in the past to charges of marijuana possession, attempted robbery, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, initially declined. But, according to court records, his ex pleaded with him to “please help her out,” and eventually, he agreed.

Turns out, the woman was acting as a confidential informant for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Kevin Kulik, who represents Hilaire, says his client’s case had been part of a repeated, unconstitutional sting operation by BSO’s VIPER Unit. Kulik alleges the VIPER Unit is using “amorous” women to illegally entrap young, black offenders into committing crimes.

cryptsy“I’m Paul Vernon — Big Vern — of Cryptsy,” said the CEO, whose company was an online marketplace where users could trade their Bitcoins — a virtual form of money — for a growing number of digital imitators with names like Litecoin and Darkcoin.

Business was booming. In barely a year, Cryptsy had amassed 250,000 users trading millions of dollars, and Vernon was flying cross-country to speak at conferences from New York to San Francisco. His firm had outgrown its first office and moved its dozen or so employees into this Mediterranean-style building. Soon, Vernon himself would upgrade to a million-dollar Delray Beach mansion.

But there were hints that something wasn’t quite right at Cryptsy.

palmettoexpresswayImage via Google Maps

The action in Carl Hiaasen’s Miami crime novel debut Tourist Season begins when a body is found floating down a river in a suitcase. That was very much fiction, but the idea of body parts being found stuffed into weird things in weird places remains very much a chilling reality in Miami.

Today, Miami Gardens police found two bags full of body parts that were hidden in the brush right off the embankment of the Palmetto Expressway. The discovery happened late in the morning. The location was near NW 12th Avenue.

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Amongst the worst places to base your drug dealing business: a cop’s house. Even if that cop is your own father

Just ask Tyler Palmer. The 20-year-old son of a Miami-Dade Police major was busted earlier this month for dealing drugs out of his family’s home.

The investigation was carried out by the Professional Compliance Bureau, also known as internal affairs. The bureau specifically deals in cases of police misconduct, indicating that this wasn’t a random happenstance. They knew they were dealing with an officer’s son.

sex_traffickingPhoto by Microgen/Shutterstock

Jeffrey Jason Cooper lured Asian college students to Florida for the summer with the opportunity of doing clerical work for his Miami Beach yoga studio. When they arrived, the students were informed that no such yoga studio existed. Instead, Cooper ran an erotic massage parlor and forced the students into performing sex acts for money instead.

Those are the claims made in an indictment handed down this morning from the Southern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office. Cooper faces 11 charges related to the sex-trafficking scheme.

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