11 charged in connection with credit card/fuel theft ring in Miami-Dade County

Eleven people have been charged in connection with a credit card/fuel theft ring in Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said at a news conference that authorities are searching for three of the 11 suspects.

The suspects face various charges ranging from racketeering, money laundering, possession of skimming devices and dealing in stolen property, among others.

According to the state attorney, a group of thieves known to detectives as “The Hernandez Crew” placed skimming devices at gas stations throughout South Florida to acquire people’s credit card information.

Fernandez Rundle said the group, whose leader was identified as Adryan Hernandez Morera, of AHM Trucking Inc., would then use counterfeit cards to purchase gasoline, which they would store in bladder fuel tanks that were outfitted inside trucks, vans and buses.

The fuel would then be sold at a cheaper cost to South River Fuel. Inc., which is run by President Jorge Guerra Victoria, authorities said.

Fernandez Rundle said during an eight month period, the scheme resulted in about $98,000 worth of fraudulent gas purchases a month. 

Hernandez Morera is currently being held in North Carolina, where he is charged with identity theft. He will later be extradited to South Florida to face the new charges against him. 

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Vigil held for Barry University student fatally shot in Miami

Friends and classmates attended a vigil Monday night in Naples to mourn the loss of a Barry University student who was shot to death in Miami.

Police said Priscilla Torres, 19, was found suffering from at least one gunshot wound early Saturday near Northwest 29th Avenue and Northwest 12th Street.

She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where she died.

Police said Torres had been reported missing later that day.

According to Miami Shores police spokesman David Golt, Torres had texted a friend shortly before 4:30 a.m. that she was on her way back to her dormitory in Miami Shores.

She never arrived.

Police said the vehicle in which Torres was last seen, a white Nissan Sentra with Florida tag HZBU86, has not been found.

A motive for the shooting is unknown.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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Are ‘sports players’ begging for money at intersections cashing in on your kindness?

You likely see them at intersections all over South Florida.  

In most cases, they claim to be collecting for their football team. But are they really cashing in on your kindness?

“I’ve seen them here for a few months already,” Sam Lazar, who works in northeast Miami-Dade, said.

Lazar said something didn’t seem to be right when he asked the men questions recently at a northeast Miami-Dade intersection.

“He just walks away. They are not wearing uniforms. They don’t have name tags on them,”  Lazar said.

One the men did tell Lazar he was collecting for the Fort Lauderdale Wolverines. 

Local 10 News investigator Jeff Weinsier recently spotted the same two young men at the intersection of Northeast 26th Avenue and Ives Dairy Road.

Both had signs that said they were collecting money for new uniforms.

One of the men claimed to be a wide receiver, and the other said he was a quarterback.

Both men told Weiniser on hidden camera that they were collecting for the South Florida Titans, which they said was a traveling “semi-pro” team.

But when the two men saw a Local 10 News TV camera, one bolted right away and the other refused to answer questions.

“Not today, sir,” the young man said, as he scrambled through cars to get away from Weinsier and the camera.

“Here is my card. Can we talk to you about who the coach is or what you are collecting for?” Weinsier asked several times as the man eventually began to run.

Local 10 News checked with legitimate, registered semi-pro leagues and teams in South Florida and around the state.

All said they never allow their players or anyone associated with their teams to ask for money at intersections.

“This is first and foremost a safety hazard. We have an administrative order that prohibits this,” Mark Thompson, a commissioner with the Florida Football Alliance, said.

Thompson said there is a team called the South Florida Wolverines in his league, but he doesn’t recognize the two men.

Nikkolas Bocanegra, who owns the Miami Immortals, a semi-pro team in Homestead, also forbids begging.

“We are involved in Center Play at Hard Rock Stadium. We do fundraising at the American Airlines Arena concession stands. We sell merchandise. There are other ways of fundraising,” Bocanegro said.

Thompson and Bocanegra have never heard of the South Florida Titans.

There is no registered team or organization by that name with the State Department of Revenue as a nonprofit.

“I would not advocate anyone giving money at an intersection. If they are legit, they will talk to you, they will set some time aside and they said, ‘This is our plight and this is what we are trying to do,'” Thompson said.

“It’s not begging, it’s stealing,” Lazar said.

A spokesperson for the Aventura Police Department said officers often ask individuals to move out of intersections.

The Miami Dade Police Department said it has received no complaints about this activity in unincorporated Northeast Miami-Dade.

It’s certainly each individual’s choice whether to donate or not. But the next time “this team” takes to the intersection, at least  you now know their “play.”

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Hialeah police track down man accused of dozens of armed robberies

Hialeah police have arrested a man accused of a string of armed robberies in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, including four in Hialeah.

Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Hialeah Police Department, said Damon Woodard II, 26, faces a number of charges, including armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated battery and resisting arrest.

Suwayne Hylton,25, was also arrested Saturday. Police said he acted as an accomplice in at least one of the robberies.

Rodriguez said Woodward robbed 24 businesses at gunpoint over a seven-month period, threatening witnesses and employees and assaulting at least one worker. 

On Jan. 12, police said Woodard pistol whipped an employee during a robbery of a cash-advance business in Hialeah.

During a Dec. 29 robbery of a Hialeah gas station, a witness to the holdup told Local 10 News that Woodard attempted to carjack him, but the man managed to escape.

Many of the robberies were captured on security videos. In the videos, a man is seen waving gun, demanding money. The man was often thinly disguised with a floppy hat or a hooded sweatshirt.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and South Florida law enforcement agencies assisted the Hialeah police with the investigation.

Woodard is currently being held at Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

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Barry University student identified as victim killed in Miami shooting

Police have confirmed that a missing Barry University student was shot to death early Saturday in Miami.

Miami Shores police spokesman David Golt said Monday that Priscilla Torres was the woman who was fatally shot in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Torres, 19, was reported missing Saturday after texting a friend shortly before 4:30 a.m. that she was on her way back to her dormitory in Miami Shores, Golt said.

It turns out the same woman was found suffering from a gunshot wound near Northwest 29th Avenue and Northwest 11th Street. She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Miami police released a sketch of the woman in hopes of learning her identity.

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North Miami Beach police seek elderly man last seen Sunday morning

Police are searching for an elderly North Miami Beach man who was last seen Sunday at 9 a.m.

Police said Miguel Angel Moran, 88, does not suffer from any illnesses, but does forget his address.

Moran frequents Walgreens at Northeast 15th Avenue in Miami Gardens, Publix at Northeast 17th Avenue in Miami Gardens and Kwik Stop at Northeast 19th Avenue and 181st Street.

Anyone with information on Moran’s whereabouts may call local law enforcement.

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