Category: News

NBC 6: Slain 6-Year-Old’s Family, Miami-Dade State Attorney Plead for Clues in Shooting

The family of a 6-year-old girl who was shot and killed while leaving a friend’s birthday party in January is speaking out together with the Miami-Dade State Attorney to ask for the public’s help in solving the tragedy.

Family members of Chassidy Saunders, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo held a Monday afternoon news conference to discuss the case.

“It’s hard, especially when we have our youngest son who doesn’t know anything, he misses his sister, his other half,” father Charles Saunders said. “Everyday he has to wake up, just look at his sister’s pictures, watches the videos, smile, laugh. He doesn’t see her anymore, it hurts.”

Saunders and two adults were shot back on Jan. 16 outside a home near the intersection of Northwest 6th Place and 55th Street.

The two adults survived but Saunders died from her injuries.

Grandmother Sheri Cullins said Chassidy was a “beautiful, spirited little girl.”

“Please, please come forward and let us know who did this to our baby Chassidy,” Cullins said. “It’s very hard to wake up every day knowing that Chassidy is not with us.”

No arrests have been made, but Acevedo said the shooting could be linked to gang violence.

“When someone takes a child’s life, the streets talk and it’s time for these streets to talk. We’re long overdue and I can tell you we’re not gonna give up on this case,” Acevedo said.

“We cannot allow callous young men to casually kill our children. We cannot allow them to steal our childrens’ lives and our childrens’ futures,” Fernandez Rundle said.

This story was published by NBC 6 Digital Team for NBC 6 Miami.

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Press Conference: Family of Chassidy Saunders Asks for Community Assistance

Miami, Florida (May 17, 2021) – Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle held a press conference that allowed the family of murder victim Chassidy Saunders to ask for community assistance to help solve the killing of six-year-old Chassidy on January 16, 2021. The joint press conference included Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo.

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press release

Media Advisory: Family Plea for Assistance in Solving Chassidy Saunders Homicide

Click here for the PDF version of this advisory.

Miami, Florida (May 17, 2021) – The family of murder victim Chassidy Saunders, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo will be holding a joint press conference today asking for community assistance to help solve the January 16, 2021 killing of this 6 year-old child.

WHO: Family of Chassidy Saunders Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: May 17, 2021 2:00 pm

WHERE: State Attorney’s Office 1350 N.W. 12 Ave, N418 Miami, FL 33136

PHOTO/INTERVIEW: Available after News Conference

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For further information, please contact Lissette Valdes-Valle, Public Information Officer, at (205) 547-0885 or LissetteValdes-Valle@MiamiSAO.com.

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Investigation Report: Kesner Liberal

On May 6, 2021, an investigative report was signed by State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in the officer involved shooting case involving Kesner Liberal.

Kesner Liberal Investigative Report

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press release

For Immediate Release: Former Opa-Locka Building & Licenses Employee Charged in Alleged Theft of City Fees

Click here for this release.

Miami (May 13, 2021) – As a result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, former Opa-Locka Building & Licenses Office employee Mary Brown has been charged in the alleged theft of $266,784.00 in city fees. Brown worked as a Building Clerk in the Building and Licenses Office for approximately 5.5 years and has been charged with one (1) count each of Organized Scheme to Defraud (1st Degree Felony), Grand Theft (1st Degree Felony) and Official Misconduct (3rd Degree Felony).

“Allegations that a former City of Opa-Locka employee would have used her position to blatantly steal from the city is horrendous enough,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “But given all the fiscal difficulties that the City of Opa-Locka has worked hard to overcome, such actions are a betrayal of the residents of the city and of those city workers committed to making Opa-Locka stronger. I commend the Miami-Dade Police Department and my prosecutors for aggressively pursuing this investigation.”

Over a 3-year period, beginning in fiscal year 2016 and continuing through fiscal year 2019, Brown allegedly defrauded the City of Opa-Locka by stealing the payments from customers paying cash for business licenses. Brown allegedly organized a scheme to manipulate and circumvent the standard operating procedures established by the City of Opa-Locka by utilizing customer receipts that she deliberately did not inventory or assign in the computer database, as was required. The failure to reference customer receipt numbers in the database limited Opa-Locka’s ability to properly reconcile licenses and payments and allegedly allowed Brown to provide customers with the purchased licenses without the city detecting the thefts. The investigation of Brown’s cash deposits to her personal bank account for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 indicated alleged cash deposits of $116,922 in addition to her total salaried city income of $106,795 for the same period.

“I am very proud of the thorough investigative skills and teamwork exhibited by my Public Corruption Section and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III. “Holding an official post in public service comes with great responsibility, and a violation of such is simply not acceptable.”

For media availability, please call the Office of the State Attorney at 305-547-0535.

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For further information, please contact Ed Griffith, Public Information Officer, at (305) 547-0535 and EdGriffith@MiamiSAO.com.

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WPLG 10: City employee pocketed more than $100K in licensing fees, prosecutors say

Photo: Mary Brown, Former City of Opa-locka Employee
Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade Country Corrections and Rehabilitation

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – Officers arrested a former city of Opa-locka employee on Thursday who is accused of stealing nearly $117,000 of taxpayer’s money.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Mary Brown found an opportunity to steal from the city as a clerk for the building and licensing office.

“She would meet with the person seeking a license. She would take the money from the person seeking the license, she would take the cash herself, and there was no record of it,” Fernandez Rundle said. “Sometimes the person would get a receipt; sometimes they wouldn’t.”

Brown, 54, who worked for the city for about six years, got away with stealing from 2016 to 2019 by failing to reference customer receipt numbers in the city’s database, according to prosecutors.

“The reason it was caught is because we got information from the city itself to come forward and say, ‘You know, you need to take a look at this! Something is going on,’” Fernandez Rundle said.

Brown allegedly deposited the stolen funds into her bank account. According to the city’s human resources department, Brown was hired on Nov. 20, 2013, she resigned on Sept. 13, 2019, and her ending salary was $41,787.20.

Records show Brown remained at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Thursday afternoon. She is facing charges of organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and official misconduct of a public servant. Her bond was set at $150,000.

This story was produced by Hatzel Vela and Andrea Torres for Local10.com.

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press release

For Immediate Release: Miami-Dade State Attorney Office Price Gouging Hotline in Full Operation

Click here for the PDF version of this release.

Miami – May 12, 2021 – Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has announced that her Price Gouging Hotline is operational and her team of investigators is fully prepared to respond to any and all complaints of price gouging given the state of emergency declared by Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Now that the Governor has declared a state of emergency, price gouging is a criminal offense. We are joining efforts with the Miami-Dade Police Department to combat any greedy individuals and businesses that may use threatening events like the cyberattack on the fuel pipeline to take advantage of our community’s fundamental needs by unnecessarily hiking prices to outrageous levels,” commented State Attorney Fernandez Rundle.

“Greedy actions will not be tolerated before, during, or after any event wherein a state of emergency has been declared.”

To report any suspicion of price gouging, and in order to accommodate as many residents as possible, we have set up an email mailbox where complaints about possible price gouging may be sent. The email address is Hotline@miamisao.com Complainants will receive an automatic reply that the information submitted will be reviewed.

Complaints should include the business name, physical address, item(s) believed to be price gouged with photos and receipt(s) and contact information for our staff to communicate with the complainant. Residents may also call the State Attorney’s Hotline at 305-547-3300.

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For further information, please contact Terry Chavez, Public Information Officer, at (305) 547-0535 at TerryGonzalez-Chavez@MiamiSAO.com.

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NBC 6: Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Launches Gas Price Gouging Hotline

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced Wednesday that Gas Price Gouging Hotline is in full operation and that her team of investigators is prepared to respond to any and all complaints of price gouging following the state of emergency declared by Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Now that the Governor has declared a state of emergency, price gouging is a criminal offense. We are joining efforts with the Miami-Dade Police Department to combat any greedy individuals and businesses that may use threatening events like the cyberattack on the fuel pipeline to take advantage of our community’s fundamental needs by unnecessarily hiking prices to outrageous levels,” said Fernandez Rundle. “Greedy actions will not be tolerated before, during, or after any event wherein a state of emergency has been declared.”

The state attorney is urging members of the community to report any suspicion of price gouging. Residents are encouraged to email their complaint and include the business name, physical address, item(s) believed to be price-gouged with photos and receipt(s) and contact information for our staff to communicate with the complainant.

Residents may also call the State Attorney’s Hotline at 305-547-3300.

This story was published by Monica Galarza for NBC 6 South Florida

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State Attorney Fernandez Rundle Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month

https://player.vimeo.com/video/548018894?badge=0&autopause=0&player_id=0&app_id=58479

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle reminds the millions of individuals contending with mental illness that, “They are not alone.”

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Investigation Report: Ryan Simms

On March 11, 2021, an investigative report was signed by State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in the officer involved shooting case involving Ryan O’Neil Simms.

Ryan Simms Investigation Report

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