SOURCE: CBS MIAMI
Racketeering charges have been dropped against two high level Wackenhut employees accused of overbilling the county for Metrorail security. Prosecutors said Thursday they couldn’t move forward with their case against Rene Pedrayes and Eduardo Esquivel. One reason the case fell apart was because one of the state’s key witnesses, Miami-Dade police officer Juan Aviles, was gunned down in May while on vacation in Puerto Rico.
Aviles was going to provide alleged key testimony in the racketeering and conspiracy trial against the former Wackenhut managers who were implicated in September. Officer Aviles, as outlined in arrest warrants, was an individual who gives testimony in the case that included allegations that the county paid Wackenhut for security services that the company never produced.
Officer Aviles had testified that he previously worked for Wackenhut from 2000 to 2003. According to one warrant Aviles swore to, “One of the posts was routinely left unmanned. He advised that it was because Wackenhut was billing Miami-Dade County as if the post was manned. He added that this was known as a ‘ghost post’ among supervisors.” Scott Srebnick, the attorney for Esquivel, however, said Aviles’ testimony had little to do with his client and Aviles’ death was not a factor in the state’s decision to dismiss the case against Esquivel