Columns

Thirty-Six Charged in Huge North Miami Beach Gang Bust

In the early morning hours of Jan. 8, 2008, in a dark alley off South Glades Drive, a gang member named Andrew James Rolle walked up to a white Ford Taurus and blasted the man inside to death.

The driver was an off-duty Miami detective named James Walker, and his murder helped fuel a joint local and federal sting to bust up gang activity in the North Miami Beach neighborhood around the scene of the crime.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami announced this afternoon that the force netted 36 suspected gang members under indictment on charges ranging from robbery to burglary to pot possession to cocaine sales to illegal weapons.

Thirteen suspects are under federal indictment for the more serious charges. The rest will be tried in Miami-Dade courts.

"Gang violence is not self-contained," acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman said in a release. "Too frequently we hear about innocent victims who are killed in the cross-fire of rival gangs."

As for Walker's murderer, Rolle was arrested last January, a week after the crime, when an acquaintance tricked him into driving right to Miami PD headquarters downtown. His case goes to trial in September.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink