U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney, Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Troy Walker, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), today announced federal charges against former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano and former Officers Charlie Dayouband Raul Fernandez for their roles in conspiring to falsely arrest a 16-year-old juvenile, T.D., for four unsolved burglaries.
Atesiano, Dayoub and Fernandez were charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 241; and deprivation of T.D.’s civil rights, under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242. If convicted, Atesiano, Dayoub and Fernandez each face a maximum statutory sentence of 11 years in prison. An initial hearing for Atesiano was held today, in Miami, before U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan.
The indictment alleges that Atesiano, as the Biscyane Park Police Chief, caused and encouraged officers to knowingly arrest T.D. without a legitimate basis in order to maintain a fictitious 100 percent clearance rate of reported burglaries. Atesiano directed Dayoub and Fernandez to arrest T.D. on June 13, 2013, and falsely charge him with unsolved burglaries knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges. The indictment further alleges that following Atesiano’s instruction, Dayoub and Fernandez gathered information for four unsolved burglary cases, completed four arrest affidavits for the burglaries, and included a false narrative that an investigation revealed that T.D. had committed the four burglaries of unoccupied dwellings. Atesiano, Dayoub and Fernandez knew there was no evidence and no lawful basis to arrest and charge T.D. with those crimes. On July 9, 2013, at a meeting of the City Council for The Village of Biscayne Park, Atesiano announced that his department had a 100 percent clearance rate for burglaries.
An indictment merely contains allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.Mr. Greenberg commends the investigative efforts of the FBI, the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force and FDLE in this matter.
Mr. Greenberg thanked the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for its assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Wallace and Special Assistant United States Attorney Trent Reichling of the Southern District of Florida, and Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.