Former Prosecutor

The four boys were attending a party in Homestead when they apparently got bored and decided to leave. They drove around the area for a while in Quentin Vicks’ Ford Taurus stopping at a liquor store before moving on to the area of Mr. Vick’s neighborhood of Hidden Grove.

At the same time the four young men were en route to the South Miami apartment complex. Robert Nelson was making his rounds for his employer; 50 State Security, in his company car. He had previously worked as a flight attendant before taking the armed yet un-uniformed security job. Their paths crossing ended in tragedy with the ambush style murder of the security guard.

Nelson was well liked at the apartment complex which was located at the intersection of Southwest 271 Terrace and 138 Avenue close by to the Crystal Learning Center. One neighbor who was interviewed recalled Nelson helping his wife to the door of their apartment in the late night hours when it was very dark outside. “He shined the light on my doorway so my wife could come up the steps,” the neighbor said. Others living in the complex also had only good things to say about the security guard.

Retired Air Force Major Thomas Maffei’s attorney argued at trial that in addition to his client suffering from diagnosed PTSD, panic disorder, and major depression, he was recently tormented by severe insomnia and just returned from the VA clinic the day he shot his estranged wife and ex-father-in-law in front of their screaming four year old son.

His lawyer went on to say that on the day of the shooting Maffei was exceedingly anxious and made the trip to the VA clinic to have his medications adjusted. The clinic added a high dosage of Oxycodone to the opiates, other pain medications and added a new prescription.

Maffei was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed burglary, two counts of false imprisonment and child abuse.

In last month’s blog post, I began the story of Dalia Dippolito, a Boynton Beach woman who was convicted of the attempted contract killing of her husband, and then sentenced to twenty years in prison for the charge of solicitation to commit first-degree murder with a firearm in 2011.

The incident was initiated after Boynton Beach Police were tipped off that Mrs. Dippolito was looking for someone to kill her husband Michael.

Mrs. Dippolito’s solicitation was offered to a person who turned out to be an undercover police officer, posing as a hitman who she paid $7000 to commit the crime.

The scene opened with a text placard reading:

Contract Killing

It then fades out to a passage showing the entrance of the Boynton Beach Police Department where the narration by a detective begins as follows:

“We received a call that was transferred into our detective bureau related to a woman who wanted to hire a hitman to kill her husband”.

As Hurricane Irma barreled through the Caribbean laying waste to all centers of population in its path, opportunities arose for those with criminal intent.

After the storm basically leveled the tiny island of Barbuda leaving much of the Island’s 1600 residents homeless the category five storm continued further west wreaking havoc on Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts and the Virgin Islands. Up to ninety percent of the domestic and commercial structures on these islands were badly damaged or completely destroyed.

The storm then skimmed the northern coast of Puerto Rico producing a loss of power for more than one million of its residents but spared the island nation of its total force before setting its sights on the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Turks and Caicos along with the southernmost Bahamian Islands. It then grazed the coast of Cuba alternating between Category four and five status with its center of destruction correctly forecasted to turn north threatening the Florida Keys and the east coast of the state.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the opioid epidemic became a campaign issue with overdose deaths hitting a peak of 28,000 nationally the previous year detailed by the latest current available data.

It was just a few weeks ago that the President of the United States declared the opioid crisis a National emergency. More than a year earlier, the Governor of Florida stated that opioid abuse was a public health emergency in the state.

Locally, a Miami man was arrested this past June for heroin trafficking and possession of Fentanyl. He was coordinating transactions of the opiates with what turned out to be a police informant.

July 29, 2017

Dale Leary, of Cutler Bay had been married to his now ex-wife Claudia for more than 10 years when the couple decided to take in a high school exchange student from Spain.

They employed CCI Greenheart, a Chicago-based nonprofit that cleared students to live in the United States from numerous foreign countries.

Road rage and guns can be a lethal combination here in South Florida. The frequency of these incidents has more than doubled since 2014.

Florida and Texas which are states with the largest number of relaxed gun laws, and concealed carry permit holders lead the way according to the available data.

Just last month a Fort Lauderdale man was arrested after being accused of pointing a loaded gun at the passenger of another vehicle while driving on the US1 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.

Thankfully, in this case, no shots were fired.
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5/28/2017

When reporters asked Ariana Grande for comment as she disembarked in South Florida they were given no immediate comment. But the young Boca Raton pop star later tweeted through social media the following: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.” [Sic] – She later posted prepared remarks on Twitter which can be read by clicking this link.

This first online comment was in response to the heinous terrorist attack that took place in Manchester, England earlier last week killing at least 22 people and injuring 59, at last count.

APRIL 27, 2017
Marco Aurelio Coello was tortured in Venezuela before he left that country to seek asylum in the United States.

Coello is an activist who took part in a protest in 2014 in opposition to the regime of Nicolás Maduro when he was a high school student.

In due course the protest he attended became violent.
Coello was tear-gassed and arrested on charges of inciting violence before being tortured according to his lawyer. He was subsequently released due to what was labeled as psychological problems.

While awaiting trial in Venezuela the 19 year old student recognized the fact that he had no choice but to flee the country; the alternative could be facing a decade or more in prison because of his participation in the political demonstration.

In 2015 he told a local journalist that he knew he had no choice but to leave his homeland.
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