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| Columns |

Thirty-Six Charged in Huge North Miami Beach Gang Bust

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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.

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