The Five Craziest Miami Crime Stories of 2016

If 12 months pass, and a food establishment in Miami isn't busted training errant opossums to deal cocaine out of its rear entrance, did the Earth really orbit around the sun at all? Try as Miami might — and oh, how its cops have tried and tried — South Florida's crime problem stays weird, year after year. Yes, a lot of truly sad stuff happened. Multiple children were shot and killed this year, heroin use is on the rise, and police kept on beating poor people of color up for no reason. We'd be lying to ourselves if we expected any of that to cease in 2017.

But cheers to these next five crime stories for being extremely weird and entertaining us along the way.

Best Mugshot: Miamian with half a beard arrested on 4/20 with full intent to sell weed.

In Kevin Gibson's defense, his beard looks awesome. But on April 20 of this year, Gibson was caught on South Beach drinking from a Heineken bottle in public. This then led police to the 70 alleged grams of weed he had stashed on his person. His look hasn't caught on, however, perhaps due to the long series of felonies in Gibson's past, including assault with intent to murder, aggravated battery, and felony sexual battery.

The VFW Hall is a unique spot in South Beach, hidden inside a condo tower with views of Biscayne Bay. It was also a den of coke dealing and illegal gambling, cops say.
The VFW Hall is a unique spot in South Beach, hidden inside a condo tower with views of Biscayne Bay. It was also a den of coke dealing and illegal gambling, cops say.
photos by Jacob Katel

Best Use of Surprise Drugs: South Beach VFW Hall Shuttered for housing cocaine ring

The South Beach Veterans of Foreign Wars hall was one of the last places in ritzy Miami Beach where you could get drunk on $1 Bud Light cans while listening to grizzled Vietnam veterans rant angrily about Barack Obama. In grand Miami tradition, the hall was also a hotspot for cocaine-dealing and illegal gambling for decades too. Miami Beach cops raided the famed establishment in May and shut the place down after a six-month sting. Now, New Times' cocaine-addled grandfather is stuck at home on his armchair, and he's been extra grumpy without his weekly hit of blow.

Best Use of Blatant Drugs: Miami coffee shop busted selling over-the-counter cocaine

While the Miami Beach VFW hall was able to operate a coke-ring for years without getting caught, Kareta Kafe in Southwest Dade wasn't quite as lucky. That's perhaps due to how obvious their coke-selling scheme was: Cops say they spent three months, from September to November of this year, walking into Kareta and just ordering coke over-the-counter. Including an entire eightball of snow. Oh, and one of the cops was offered a handjob in the meantime. Naturally, Kareta is no longer open.



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