I can't bring myself to write about Detective Jorge Baluja today, sorry Jorge! Somehow last night my mind wandered onto the subject of whether or not someone who's going to be charged criminally should be arrested at their home, place of work, etc or be given the courtesy of surrendering themselves to the police. Let's take a look at some recent cases and see how they went down...
Dennis Stackhouse, so called developer that swindled Miami Dade County out of millions for a bio med park that was pure fantasy.
SURRENDERED to the police on Thursday October 29, 2009, charged with with two counts of first-degree organized scheme to defraud and two counts of first-degree grand theft.
OK, how about that attorney, Sally Sawh that we talked about a few days back? She's accused of stealing over two million dollars from her clients, how did that go down?
How about attorney Ben Kuehne? I mean he was charged with some pretty heavy duty $hit wasn't he? The government alleges that he was involved in a money-laundering conspiracy and approved tainted legal payments by an accused Colombian drug kingpin to his defense attorney in Miami. So what happened to Mr. Kuehne?
SURRENDERED on Thursday February 7, 2008.
How about Mike Nifong that overzealous prosecutor at the heart of the Duke Lacrosse scandal? He was found guilty of lying to the court (isn't that interesting, a prosecutor lying to the court?) and had to serve a day in jail as a result. Did the popo go and arrest him?
NOPE! Mr. Nifong surrendered himself and walked right into jail.
Ok, one last one, how about the mastermind of the largest Ponzzi scheme in history, Bernard Madoff?
Nothing strange here folks, when people know an arrest is imminent or when they're cooperating with the police and the state attorneys office, they're afforded the courtesy of turning themselves in. In the case of Mr. Kuehne and Ms. Sawh, they turned themselves in on a Thursday so they wouldn't get stuck in jail over the weekend in case something went wrong with their bond. There are instances throughout the history of Miami Dade county of all sorts of criminals surrendering themselves to law enforcement, everything ranging from murders all the way down to people who commit white collar crimes. So what happened to the folks in the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud case? From the records in the court house, Mr. Romney and Mr. Martinez were arrested at their homes. This is somewhat understandable since they both had rap sheets and may have been perceived as flight risks especially since Detective Baluja did such a great job of surveilling Mr. Romney. But what about the third co defendant? Remember that attorney that closed the deal that according to the paperwork we found made ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY DOLLARS from the alleged fraud?! What happened there? From what I've heard and what I saw in the court file yesterday, the attorney was dragged out of her office in the middle of the day by police officers with badges and guns emblazoned on a FRIDAY no less, using that age old police/prosecutor trick to keep the accused in jail over the weekend. Who was the mastermind behind that move? Was it Detective Baluja? Was it Assistant State Attorney Bill Kostrzewski? Wow.
Don't worry Jorge, it's all you tomorrow, we'll lay out proof of our favorite Detective ordering a witness to lie.