Chris Paciello is an old school South Beach legend, a Bonnano crime family goon who conquered the nightclub scene before being sent to federal prison for his role in a murder. These days, he's back in his old stomping grounds working for the Delano Hotel, and is very sorry about having helped kill that lady. But Riptide has learned that this morning, he was popped by Miami Beach police for driving at incredible speeds through SoBe while suspected to be under the influence.
At 4:29 am, police officers spotted Paciello -- real name: Christian Ludwigsen -- driving recklessly in a dark-colored Jaguar, according to Miami Beach Police spokesperson Juan Sanchez. He headed northbound on Jefferson Avenue at approximately 80 miles per hour. The cops radioed in a description of the car and he was soon pulled over.
"There was a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and he had watery eyes," says Sanchez. Paciello refused a Breathalyzer test -- he similarly refused one during an incident in 1995 -- and is believed to still be in jail.
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Paciello was the subject of a series of four New Times features. Sentenced in 2000 to ten years in prison for a mob-connected murder, he cooperated with the FBI and only served seven. He turned down federal witness protection and returned to Miami this summer, taking what was billed as a "marketing" gig with the Delano. "The Light Group believes in second chances, and Chris has paid his debt to society," the posh hotel's parent company told the Miami Herald in a statement back in September 2011. "He is a welcomed addition to our team of professionals."
The Light Group has not yet responded to a request for comment on this latest arrest.
[H/T: Random Pixels]