In a small village like Biscayne Park, where crime is rare and local cops often have little to do besides keep an eye out for minor crimes such as car burglaries and vandalism, keeping pristine stats is all that matters. When your department has only a few dozen crimes a year to investigate, it looks pretty bad if you can't solve them.
That's exactly what motivated the chief and two cops in this village of 3,000 next to North Miami to cynically frame a 16-year-old kid for a string of local burglaries, according to the FBI.
In his zeal to keep a perfect clearance record, Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano and two officers, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, allegedly framed a 16-year-old resident, identified only as "T.D.," for the unsolved crimes. The three men, who have since been fired, were charged yesterday with civil rights violations. The string of break-ins occurred between April and May 2013 — the indictment does not explain how the feds caught Atesiano and his associates in the act five years later.
According to the feds, Atesiano orchestrated the scheme so he could tell residents he had solved 100 percent of the town's thefts.
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"Atesiano directed Dayoub and Fernandez to arrest T.D. on June 13, 2013, and falsely charge him with unsolved burglaries knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges," a news release sent yesterday reads. "The indictment further alleges that following Atesiano’s instruction, Dayoub and Fernandez gathered information for four unsolved burglary cases, completed four arrest affidavits for the burglaries, and included a false narrative that an investigation revealed that T.D. had committed the four burglaries of unoccupied dwellings."
The feds say Atesiano then later appeared at a city council meeting and gleefully announced his department had a "100 percent" clearance rate for burglaries, apparently because he'd pinned them all on one innocent teen. Each of the three men faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted. According to Atesiano's LinkedIn page, he left the department in 2014 and later became a security manager at the Fontainebleau and Soho Beach House resorts in Miami Beach.
According to the indictment, the department employed only 11 full-time officers at the time, which means the three cops involved in the framing made up more than one-quarter of their entire police force. Despite (or perhaps due to) the department's size, its cops still somehow get into loads of trouble from time to time: Last year, a man sued the department after he said he was savagely beaten by Officer George Miyares, a cop who had been rejected by nine other law-enforcement agencies in South Florida before Biscayne Park hired him. Miyares got his job in March 2013 — only a month before the feds say the chief began pinning crimes on an innocent kid.
"Atesiano, Dayoub, and Fernandez knew there was no evidence and no lawful basis to arrest and charge T.D. with those crimes," the news release reads. "On July 9, 2013, at a meeting of the City Council for The Village of Biscayne Park, Atesiano announced that his department had a 100 percent clearance rate for burglaries."