Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Men behaving badly

Click image to enlarge.
Spend any amount of time working as a photojournalist in a big city and sooner rather than later you'll be assigned to shoot a "perp walk."

I've shot a few over the years.

Going through my files recently I came across these "perps" from back in the day.

Miami, September, 1985--Motorists on I-95 were being targeted by some bad boys from the hood. Seems a few of them would climb the embankments and throw nails or broken glass on the roadway. When unfortunate drivers hit some of the debris flattening their tires, the punks would spring into action.

The story made national news, giving Miami another black eye.

When the FHP arrested a couple of robbers in the act it was big news.

I hustled on down to their headquarters, which at the time was located at Flagler St. and 26th Ave. The cops invited me in to document the moment for history.

From the Herald story:

Miami Herald, The (FL) - Friday, September 6, 1985
Author: SANDY OPPENHEIM Herald Staff Writer

An apparent good Samaritan had more in mind than helping a disabled motorist Thursday evening when he leaned into a 1978 Chrysler Cordoba and helped himself to the driver's purse, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Trooper Domingo J. Torres, a member of the joint highway robbery task force who witnessed the robbery, pursued the 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 and its three occupants, said Lt. Noel Roy.

Torres stopped the car shortly after 5 p.m. at Northwest 74th Street and Second Avenue and arrested driver Keith Odell Cliett, 19, of 19544 NW 32nd Ct., and a passenger, Samuel Sinquefield , 18, of Miami. The arrests bring the number of task force arrests to 12 since the beginning of August.

The purse snatcher bailed out and fled on foot, Roy said. "We believe we know who the subject is," he said.

Cliett and Sinquefield , both former probationers with past convictions, now face an additional 15 charges between them, including burglary of a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and theft.

Torres recovered the purse belonging to Nieves L. Pello, 39, of Miami. He also recovered, from the back seat under two towels, a loaded .38-caliber Colt revolver.

"This technically can't be classified as a highway robbery," Roy said, since it happened on Northwest Sixth Avenue, immediately adjacent to the interstate. "But these people are being forced back into city streets because of increased patrol on interstate and are committing more crimes there."

Miami, April, 1990--Former race boat driver Benjamin Barry Kramer arrives for sentencing at federal court in downtown Miami and shows his displeasure at being photographed.

From the Miami Herald story:


Miami Herald, The (FL)-April 14, 1990
Author: MIKE McQUEEN Herald Staff Writer

Former champion race boat driver Benjamin Barry Kramer was sentenced to 10 years and five months in federal prison for a spectacular but unsuccessful helicopter escape from Metropolitan Correctional Center a year ago.

Kramer, 34, quietly stroked his goatee and declined an offer to speak on his own behalf during proceedings before U.S. District Judge James Kehoe.

The sentence was the maximum penalty Kramer could have received. He pleaded guilty last November to conspiring to escape, attempted escape and bringing a helicopter into the South Dade prison. "We urge the court to send a message to this defendant, and to this community, that these types of things will not be permitted," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Bondi.

Catherine Bonner, Kramer's attorney, told the judge it's pointless to give Kramer a harsh sentence -- he's already been sentenced to a life term for an unrelated conviction.

"Mr. Kramer has been through this criminal justice system for several years -- and he still has several more years in front of him," Bonner said.

After the speeches from the lawyers, Kehoe also ordered that Kramer pay a $100,000 fine. Friday's sentence was just one more for Kramer:

* He was sentenced in 1986 to life in prison in Illinois on a drug-smuggling conviction.

* Last December, U.S. District Judge Sidney Aronovitz sentenced him to five years for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

* On March 28, Kramer was convicted in federal court in Fort Lauderdale of masterminding a worldwide marijuana smuggling and money laundering network. The conviction on 30 counts came after a three-month trial.

He has not yet been sentenced. Kramer lived high and mighty.

His drug organization owned a fleet of boats, a corporate jet, condos and a $20 million poker club in California, according to testimony at his Fort Lauderdale racketeering trial.

He conducted business in South Florida, Los Angeles, London and Liechtenstein.

Kramer's attempt to escape from MCC last April 17 was high drama.

The pilot gently positioned the Bell 47-D copter over the exercise yard at the prison. Kramer dashed across the yard and leaped aboard.

As he did, his foot hit a control pedal, throwing the copter into a spin and into the fence.

Kramer, the boat racer, tried to take the controls from Charles Stevens, the pilot, and take off anyway.

The aircraft flipped over.

Kramer suffered a broken leg, and in the courtroom Friday he carried a crutch.
Kramer is still in prison serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Miami, Feb. 24, 1992--David L. Paul , former CenTrust Bank chairman, leaves federal court in Miami after surrendering on contempt of court charges.

From the Herald story:

David L. Paul , the former CenTrust Bank chairman, reported for jail Monday rather than turn over potentially damaging documents to a federal grand jury investigating him.

Though incarceration was a humbling setback for Paul , he and his attorneys contend that Monday's actions could set the stage for a greater legal victory.

By refusing to cooperate with the grand jury, Paul may now take his case to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. If he prevails there, he may be released from prison and, more significantly, be allowed to keep the potentially damaging documents from prosecutors.

"I think David feels so strongly that his constitutional rights have been violated that he is willing to pay this price to appeal to the 11th Circuit," said Aubrey Harwell, Paul 's attorney on criminal matters.

Paul , who did not have to report until 4 p.m., showed up at the U.S. marshal's office in downtown Miami at 10:30 a.m. with his son.

He was photographed, fingerprinted and assigned to a holding cell.

A bus with barred windows took him and other inmates to Metropolitan Correctional Center in South Dade on Monday evening. Going to jail on civil contempt cases, though relatively rare, isn't unheard of.
Paul's case wound through the courts and he ended up going to prison. In April 2004 the Herald's Joan Fleischmen wrote about his release after serving almost 10 years:
Former CenTrust chief David L. Paul is out of prison. The one-time multimillionaire power broker is living at Spectrum, a Miami halfway house, and working as a clerk at a graphics and design firm.

Paul , 64, walked out of Miami's Federal Correctional Institution's prison camp on April 2. He did nine years and three months of an 11-year sentence - bank and securities fraud - for spending $3.1 million from CenTrust 's coffers on a lavish lifestyle at his LaGorce Island compound.

During his first few days on the outside, Paul worked for attorney Guy Bailey Jr. - as a real estate consultant. But the Bureau of Prisons nixed that job, he says. Another work proposal: lecture college students on business ethics. The BOP shot that down, too, says Paul 's lawyer, Benson Weintraub.

``I've served my time,'' says Paul . ``To tell me that I can't use my education or my life experience in order to garner a living is crazy. I have no intention of spending my life flipping hamburgers. It isn't going to happen. It's wrong.''

His new job is at International Design & Display Group Inc. in Miami Lakes. The firm is owned by Ian Quinton and wife Debra. She was Paul 's personal assistant at CenTrust .

Miami looks different than when he entered prison on Jan. 2, 1995. Most noticeable: the building boom, the proliferation of cellphones, the widespread use of the Internet, even the colors. ``Everything in prison is either a drab beige or a drab green. There are no reds or blues or oranges.''

He says the toughest part was his separation from his children - David (``D.J.''), 36, a film producer in L.A.; Michael, 34, a real estate developer who shuttles between Miami and Boone, N.C., and Deanna, 17, who lives here. Soon, she'll be off to college - University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater, he says. Ex-wife Sandra, 54, divorced him in 1996. She is married to hotelier Stephen Muss, 75. Says Paul : ``Haven't seen her yet, but I will. I talk to her.''

The halfway house beats prison. ``The food is good, the rooms are clean.'' He expects to move into a family-owned condo in Bal Harbour by summer, and has three more years of supervised release. He owes more than $50 million in fines and restitution. He won't talk about his assets.

``People tell me I've changed,'' Paul says. ``I'm probably a little more tolerant - and a little more humble.''
The 48-story former Centrust Tower in downtown Miami, a monument to Paul's greed, is now the called Bank of America building.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on anything you read here.

All comments must first be approved. Spam and spam links will not be tolerated or approved.