On July 13, Alexander I. Perez stood underneath a new street sign christening a
portion of SE 10th Avenue in front of his Hialeah warehouse as "Banah Sweet Way." A gaggle of local politicos -- including Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, his Hialeah counterpart Carlos Hernandez, and County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa -- huddled around the owner of Banah International Group, a sugar-making company that boasts it will create 300 jobs in La Ciudad Que Progresa.
In addition to the street renaming, Perez's company has also received $400,000 in state and county tax breaks thanks to Gimenez, Hernandez, and Sosa.
The occasion capped a sweet turnaround for Perez, a 48-year-old Cuban American who was released from federal prison in 2007 after serving four years for moving a different type of ingestible white substance: cocaine.