2021 | Volume 3
A Message from the State Attorney

Dear Friend,
With the multiple shootings this past Memorial Day weekend throughout our County, I could not ignore these recent events that have left our community stunned, angered, heartbroken and in tears.

We have seen innocent bystanders injured, shot and even killed as bullets fly indiscriminately through the air in broad daylight at popular tourist areas and at night outside of nightclubs and trendy restaurants. No matter when or where incidents of gun violence occur, there are victims whose lives are forever shattered, and families left heartbroken and helpless.

Gun violence is not unique to South Florida. It is an issue that is affecting our nation from coast to coast. Rampant gun violence is a national public health issue that must be addressed at all levels. From the White House to each individual home, we need to systematically, methodically and holistically attack and dismantle this threat piece by piece once and for all.

I know that everyone has had enough of the senseless violence and loss of life. We have seen these cycles of increased - gun violence in the past and have taken action to meet the challenge head on. But this time it is different. We are all sick the devastating feeling we get when we see lives cut short for no good reason.

I want to invite you to join me for a Gun Violence Virtual Townhall on June 16th, 2021, at 6:30pm. Our panel will include various Chiefs of Police Departments discussing the obstacles they face and how our community can be part of the solution. Members of my Gun Violence Units will also participate, giving their perspective of the prosecutorial aspect of a criminal case.

In the coming week, I will be sending out a flyer for this event and I ask you to share it with anyone you know that wants to partner with us in putting an end to gun violence in our community.

The Zoom information for this event is
Meeting ID: 948 3332 6068
Passcode: 569472. 

Our community is strong, and we must work together to face these challenges as they arise. Once again, we as government leaders and law enforcement, along with community organizations, religious groups and everyday people, need to roll up our sleeves and work together because lives depend on it…Miami-Dade County depends on it.

Stay healthy, safe and strong.

Together As One Town Hall:
Asian American Community on Hate Crimes
“As an integral division of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, my Hate Crimes Unit represents not just our office’s commitment to upholding the law, but a commitment to making this community as safe as possible for everyone, no matter who you are,” shared State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

We have been working diligently with our community partners, including the Asian American Advisory Board, to spread awareness to this issue and to help build relationships with the AAPI community.
We have created a 24 hour hotline, 786-687-2566, to allow members of the public to call our office and report incidents of hate.”

Policing Reform Bill HB 7051
police badge

HB 7051 Passes in
Florida Legislature
Smart Policing in Action:
Civil Citations for Juveniles
by State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle
and Chief Assistant Stephen K. Talpins
The State Attorney’s Office and the 34 local police departments have helped reduce the crime rate by almost 70% in the last 30 years. We have achieved these great results by treating offenders as individuals and addressing them according to the severity of their misconduct and criminogenic needs, a method we refer to as Smart Justice.  

As part of our strategy, we developed and implemented a civil citations program in 2007 that allows officers to cite juveniles who commit low level misdemeanors in lieu of arresting them. MDC police departments have successfully cited instead of arresting over twenty-one thousand (21,000) youth since the program’s inception. In this article, we discuss the program’s use and how it has helped us drive down the crime rate while saving significant resources.  
In The News

Two Hialeah Police Officers Arrested for Allegedly Issuing Fake
Traffic Tickets
Woman Pleads Guilty
In DUI Case that Killed
3 Young Soccer Players in North Miami
Another arrest made in insurance scam involving Miami-Dade school bus employees
Young Money Launderer Charged, "Grandparent Scam"
Links Exposed
Four Charged in Money Transfer Scam, Walmart Victimized for
Over $360K
Spring Term 2021 Grand Jury
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Chief Assistant Howard Rosen empaneled the Spring Term 2021 Grand Jury at the Dade County Courthouse.

The Miami-Dade County Grand Jury serves a very special function in Florida’s criminal courts and consists of 21 citizens who have been summoned and empaneled by a judge of the Circuit Court.

The Grand Jury investigates and when appropriate, issues indictments in criminal cases. All first-degree murder cases must be presented to the grand jury since no one may be prosecuted for a capital crime except by a vote of the Grand Jury. It also can investigate and issue reports on matters of great public importance.

As part of its investigating and reporting functions, the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury has examined how public officials conducted their offices, discharged their public trusts, and administered their agencies. The Grand Jury has issued reports identifying problems and shortcomings within our County and recommended various remedies. The myriad of topics covered over the past decades include issues such as mental health, public housing, juvenile crime, absentee ballots, environmental issues, the County contracting process, transportation, the AIDS epidemic, use of Tasers, and much more.

Aventura Marketing Council’s Second Annual Conversation with Law Enforcement
"In keeping with my commitment to engage with our community to keep residents involved, I was honored to serve as a moderator for the Aventura Marketing Council’s Second Annual Conversation with Law Enforcement," said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

State Attorney Fernandez Rundle joined numerous police chiefs from the different municipalities in our community to discuss three topics of great community concern: Hate Crimes, Human Trafficking, and Domestic Violence.
The Women's Fund Miami-Dade:
The Power of the Purse
State Attorney Fernandez Rundle spoke at The Women's Fund Miami-Dade's "Power of the Purse". She shared insights on the SAO’s nationally acclaimed Human Trafficking Unit and Task Force, her innovative approaches to address domestic violence, and snapshots on how our office has continued to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual forum attracted hundreds of attendees from a cross-section of Miami-Dade County. Officials, corporate, and civic leaders united to share best practices in creating a positive impact for women and girls.

Miami-Dade County League of Cities
Swearing-In Ceremony

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle presided over the virtual swearing-in of the new Board of Directors of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities.

"As public officials and as individual citizens, we have all been through some frightening and troubling times over the last year," said State Attorney Fernandez Rundle.

"This Installation is a vigorous step back to normalcy; a normalcy that we, and all the people we serve, so desperately are seeking. And for that, I want to congratulate all the members of the incoming Miami-Dade County League of Cities Board. You have worked hard to earn the trust of the League’s membership, and now the new board will move into a position of serving as the communal voice of Miami-Dade’s municipalities. It is an important job, serving all of us."

Courtroom Highlights
Trial Victories
·        Congratulations to ASAs Daniel Walsh and Gaby Alfaro for obtaining a guilty verdict before Judge Tinkler-Mendez against a defendant charged with Attempted Armed Robbery, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon Causing Great Bodily Harm and Attempted-First Degree Murder with a Deadly Weapon. The State presented numerous eyewitnesses, video, photographs, medical records, and numerous circumstantial details connecting the Defendant to the crime. After approximately two hours of deliberations, the jury returned a guilty verdict for all charges, along with weapons enhancements. The Defendant faces up to life in prison.
A special thanks to Shaun Williams and Jerry Pierre for their dedication and hard work on this case. Congratulations on a job well done!
·        Congratulations to ASAs Lindsey Johnson and Wally Hernandez for securing a guilty verdict on a Defendant who was charged with Possession of Cocaine and Resisting Arrest Without Violence. The Defendant was caught making a hand to hand transaction during an undercover narcotics investigation conducted in Coconut Grove. He was apprehended while attempting to get over fence. After an amazing closing and second closing argument by ASA Johnson, the jury came back with a guilty verdict in 7 minutes.
Special recognition goes to Alexa Perdomo, Roseel Bracamonte, Elizabeth Frade, Senthia Brizard, Trinere Purifoy, Director of IT Harry Fisher and the Litigation Support Team.

·   Congratulations to Misdemeanor Domestic Crimes ASAs Andres Duran and Alex Cook on securing a guilty verdict in the injunction violation case against defendant Acevedo-Cruz. The Victim had sought the injunction against the Defendant due to sexual abuse. The Defendant is her mother’s boyfriend, yet the Victim’s mother did not support her daughter and testified on behalf of the Defendant.
Due to our prosecutors’ arduous and comprehensive preparation for this trial and their ability to successfully handle a last-minute ruling regarding admissibility of evidence, they were able to demonstrate how each element of their charge was met. The jury came back with a guilty verdict.

Special thanks to Assistant Chief of Misdemeanor Domestic Crimes Natalia Pinzon-Martinez and ASAs Lily Wisset, Natasha Mathurin and Elisabeth Pratt for their assistance and support. A special recognition goes to Victim /Witness Counselors Ashley Benitez and Ursula Sanchez for their support of the Victim, especially during the trial as Ashley never left her side! And of course, to our WONDERFUL Litigation Support Team.

Community Outreach in Action
Community Outreach Representative Angie Fernandez participated in the Walking One Stop event in Coconut Grove along with numerous community residents, members of law enforcement, and volunteers.

Community Outreach Representative Janeen Jones joined local leaders and clergy at the Historic Saint Agnes Episcopal Church in Overtown to commemorate National Day of Prayer, celebrated annually for people "to turn to God in prayer and meditation".

SAO Gun Violence Initiative team are working alongside Miami-Dade Police Department Northside Officers. They spoke to residents about resources and services available to gun violence victims and the importance of sharing any information they may have to help us solve our community’s cases.

SAO Profile in Passion
Miriam Martinez,
Administrator, Felony Divisions,
FSU Resets & Processing
This month we highlight a member of our SAO Family

This month’s SAO Profile in Passion is Miriam Martinez.
Spring 2021 Tenure Presentation
As State Attorney, it is always an honor and a privilege to work with so many extraordinary individuals who are truldedicate themselves to serving our community.

Please click on the image to enjoy our Spring 2021 Tenure Presentation as we celebrate 61 employees with a total of 820 years of combined service.