Miami Coffee Shop Busted for Selling Over-the-Counter Cocaine

On September 1, a Miami-Dade Police detective walked into Kareta Kafe on Bird Road in West Miami-Dade and sat down at the bar. He ordered a beer, which the bartender happily handed over.

He then ordered $20 worth of cocaine, and the bartender gave him that too.

According to police reports, Kareta Kafe was operating under the most aggressively South Florida business model: Undercover cops say they spent two months blatantly ordering cocaine at Kareta — including one huge, $140 "eightball" — all while calmly sipping beer, coffee, whiskey, and bottled water at the bar.

After a three-month investigation, cops raided Kareta Kafe yesterday and arrested at least three people for cocaine possession.

The cafe was apparently an intense place to hang out on a weekday evening: After the cops' first coke buy September 1, one officer said a sex worker walked right up to him and asked for a hit of yeyo in exchange for "a sexual act of manual stimulation, commonly referred to as a hand job, in the bathroom." The cop declined, pretending he'd bought the drugs for a friend, but the prostitute still charged him a $5 "entertainment fee" for chatting him up, which the cop paid. (The sex worker was also arrested.)

The same cop then returned a week later, sat at a gambling machine, and ordered cocaine from the bartender, Carolina Hernandez, in the open yet again. This time, Hernandez whipped the coke out from her bra and traded it for $20.

The police then upped the ante: On September 29, the undercover cop called Hernandez and asked if she had a three-gram eightball available. That's a lot of drugs, and the cops say Hernandez actually asked why the officer needed that much cocaine. The officer lied again and said he had a small base of clients that seriously needed some drugs.

Unfazed, police say, Hernandez then placed eight small baggies of coke on the bar and said the haul would cost $140. On October 12, the cop walked in, ordered some coffee and a bottle of water, and another eightball of blow. That order cost $150 — including the cocaine, coffee, water, and a tip.

On November 3, an undercover cop walked into Kareta and ordered a shot of whiskey and $40 in coke from a different bartender, Esther Nayibe. She charged him $10 for the shot — and then the same sex worker from before walked over, took the cop to the bathroom, and traded the cocaine.

On December 8, the cops finally raided Kareta Kafe: In addition to arresting the two bartenders, police noticed a third woman hanging out at the south end of the bar.

After walking over and questioning her, they searched a red plastic bag she had slung over her shoulder. They found roughly a half-gram of coke inside, along with a plastic straw.


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