But Amador's past is described in a decade's worth of public records, mostly arrest reports and lawsuits. They paint a picture of a businessman who has regularly run afoul of the law, regulatory agencies, the county, and even his own employees.

In the past decade, he and his companies have been sued ten times by various organizations and people. He has also been arrested twice in that span, including in 2010 for operating his newest business, King Metal, without a license or registration. During those last ten years, Amador and his brother Jorge, the plant's co-owner, have also been involved in a money-laundering case, three personal injury and wages lawsuits, and a suit filed by the county over a previous environmental issue.

One of the lawsuits, in which a crane allegedly injured a man's leg at King Metal, was settled for an undisclosed amount. Two other suits were also settled, and three more were dismissed. Pending is a claim by 11 former employees that King Metal failed to pay overtime wages, as well as a suit filed by a finance company against the plant over a contract debt. Finally, two more lawsuits resulted in judgments against Amador, including a $200,000 lien in 2010.

The county case came in 2008, when one of Amador's companies, E.M.R. Export, continued to operate despite an order from DERM to close.

"He was deeply engaged in trying to prevent us from shutting him down," assistant county attorney Tom Robertson says. "I've worked for Miami-Dade County for 27 years, and it's very unusual to see someone fight charges like that."

Originally a resident of Hialeah, the 48-year-old Amador has built his fortune on scrap metal and gears. He now lives in Davie, in a $600,000 house purchased in January 2011. The home sits in a bucolic gated community named Riverstone, with private security. No entrance is allowed without an appointment. It's 20 miles and several tax brackets away from the homes surrounding King Metal.

Amador has been in the metal and manufacturing business for 20 years. He and Jorge, age 42, opened J.C. Industrial Manufacturing Corporation in 1992 to fabricate industrial equipment. The Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami Beach Department of Public Works hired that firm in the late '90s to maintain and repair drawbridges. But that deal wasn't on the up-and-up, court records show. Prosecutors later alleged that Pedro and Jorge were illegally paying city, county, and state employees under the table to get those repair contracts sent their way. Then the brothers allegedly overcharged for their work and pocketed the difference.

Over the course of five years, prosecutors claimed, the Amadors raked in nearly $1 million in bogus charges. But an internal investigation in 2003 by the Florida Department of Transportation unraveled the scheme, and in 2005 the Amadors, along with four co-conspirators, were arrested and charged with fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and a host of other crimes.

Pedro pleaded guilty to fraud and received ten years' probation; Jorge pleaded no contest to falsifying records and got a year of probation. Though they were fined more than $300,000, the brothers kept their companies running. They were even allowed to bid on and receive county contracts.

In April 2008, the Amadors decided to expand their operations to include metal recycling. That August, regulators noticed the pair's newest company, E.M.R. Export, was engaging in metal recycling without proper permits, either from the county's Department of Planning and Zoning or from DERM, according to court records. When the county told Pedro to cease operation until he received the necessary go-aheads, he refused. So in December 2008, the county sued him to get the company shut down — at least temporarily.

When regulators toured the plant site at 3400 NW 62nd St. — which Pedro claimed was for metal storage — they found heaps of junk and trash mixed with scrap metal. "It's clear it was solid waste," Robertson says. "There were whole dryers in there. We saw the rear end of a car with the tires still on it in one pile."

Furthermore, Pedro claimed he wasn't processing the scrap metal, despite photo evidence that showed company employees shearing and cutting scrap metal on-site, ­Robertson says.

What's worse is that, according to the county, he was processing metal in an environmentally protected area, near a well field that provides water to the John E. Preston Water Treatment Plant in Hialeah. Any kind of metal processing or recycling was, by rule, strictly prohibited in that area.

"The actions of the defendants have caused damages to the environment of Miami-Dade County," the lawsuit stated.

Amador and the county settled in October 2010. He paid $50,000, and E.M.R. Export had its permit to operate renewed, provided it met a number of zoning requirements. According to records at the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations, E.M.R.'s status has been inactive since December 2010.

The Amadors weren't done. In 2010, they purchased an abandoned steel mill in Broadmoor on NW 36th Avenue to use as a new recycling facility. A host of other heavy industries had taken root nearby. Just across NW 36th Avenue were dozens of small houses, as well as two schools: Madison Middle and Broadmoor Elementary. The residents and students were bounded on the west and south by railroads, highways, and manufacturing facilities.

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12 comments
truestory
truestory

I agree with the story,... But i believe another major poisoning issue that needs to be addressed asap is the poisoning of the water supply in Miami intentionally with fluoride,... this crap kills slowly over the years,? got arthritis?cancer? Thyroid problems? Stop being dumb down to be blind of the corruption committed by the invisible mafia,known as politicians...

ttsturrup
ttsturrup

wow.coach frazier was my teacher and his brother Dr.frazier.my uncle,brother,godfather played for him at da west and cc.i rememeber ms.frazier.i went to school with two frazier daughters.

voiceunheard
voiceunheard

Something really needs to be done about this asap

SPAZZZY
SPAZZZY

@StephVivanco @splakin I read a little on those articles. I'm buying a gas masks for me and Sharon.

splakin
splakin

@StephVivanco true life: our hood is killing us

Jimbo99
Jimbo99 topcommenter

Everyone complains about why there are no manufacturing in the USA any more ? Well this is one reason why ?

run.randrand
run.randrand

CHROMIUM FROM METAL BUMPERS AND HEAVY METAL TOXICITY LEECHING INTO THE SOIL AND GROUND WATER THERE------CRIMINAL TOXIC WASTE DESIGNATED AREA.......

natalie__ann
natalie__ann

@SPAZZZY @stephvivanco @splakin call up Erin Brockovich

splakin
splakin

@SPAZZZY if its your time it's your time

ivxx
ivxx

 @Jimbo99 yea dude.. we'll just keep outsourcing to those stupid asians who pay their employees cents and work them constantly...

 

people don't need to change to accomodate manufacturing jobs, manufacturing jobs need to change for people...

 

i guess i'm wrong though... people ARE changing... their body's cells are multiplying at an abnormal rate... evolution right Jimbo..?

Jimbo99
Jimbo99 topcommenter

 @ivxx

 Just where I rent, I have to sign off on waivers for potential lead paint and mold/mildew spores in the walls and ceiling. They want top dollar, yet don't want to be accountable & responsible for any health issues from what they profit as a business.

 
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