Robbers Dressed as Fake Cops Leads Real Cops to Hialeah Grow House Bust
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What started as an investigation of a bizarre robbery by two men dressed as fake police officers eventually lead the real police to a grow house in Hialeah. Police responded to the armed robbery call at a round 6:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. Two men with guns barged into a house in the 1700 block of West 62nd Street and demanded money from a man and woman. One man had a police badge, and both falsely identified themselves as police.
In addition to the man and woman, a 16-year-old girl was also in the home. The fake cops weren't aware of that, and the teenager called 911. Turns out the actual police were nearby.
"We rushed to the scene," Hialeah Police Detective Carl Zogby told WSVN. "Really bad luck for these bad guys 'cause we had a SWAT drill going on nearby, so we had some SWAT officers here within moments."
The men made off with cash, but police busted them in a nearby parking lot. They were later identified as Fernando J. Fernandez, 27, and and Jorge Leonardo Valdes, 30. They face charges of home invasion robbery and kidnapping.
The robbers had bad luck, but police caught some two-for-one good luck.
It turns out that the house the men had targeted was a marijuana grow house. Police found 50 pounds of marijuana in the home with a street value of $175,000.
Fifty-year-old Lazaro Espinosa was later identified as the owner of the home. He now faces marijuana trafficking charges.