MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A tip to Crime Stoppers led police to two Miami-Dade businesses where the workers were reportedly selling drugs and operating illegal gambling machines.
On Thursday investigators served search warrants at Kareta Kafe at 10505 Bird Road near Kendall Regional Hospital and at another business, El Cortadito, on 98th Avenue and Bird Road.
“They were selling more than just alcohol here. You had several ladies that would come to your side and ask you to buy them a beer. That beer cost you $10. And then after it would lead to conversation of propositions for sex,” said Miami-Dade police Lt. Joe Gonzalez.
Carolina Hernandez, 39, sold $20 baggies of cocaine to an undercover detective on multiple occasions at the Kareta Kafe, according to her arrest report. One one occasion another woman in the cafe offered to perform a sex act on him if he allowed her to do the coke with him. The undercover detective noted that Hernandez also paid out of his winnings on a gambling machine in cash.
Yusimi Ponce-Garcia, 31, also reportedly sold small baggies to an undercover officer at the cafe, according to her arrest report.
During the night of the raid, also taken into custody at the Kareta Kafe was Ileana Medina, 47, who was charged with cocaine possession with intent to sell.
Yanelis Lamont, 35, was arrested at El Cortaditowhere more illegal gambling machines were found. Her arrest report said in addition to paying cash winnings to customers, she also kept a ledger of all the transactions.
“I’m not surprised (by the police activity). I always thought there was something going on there,” Yvette Orozco said of the Kareta Kafe.
The night of raid, the drugs were seized and the gambling machines were destroyed on site because they’re illegal.
One woman who regularly goes to the nutritionist next door to the Kareta Kafe said she’s known for a long time that things just weren’t right.
“It’s a place that you can’t come at nighttime, even at four in the afternoon they’ll be drunk, falling out of the car, people driving, women having sex in the cars, drug baggies all over the parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays,” said Alicia. “It’s been so embarrassing. I couldn’t even send any of my friends or clients here.”
Gonzalez said the Kareta Kafe had been on their radar for the last couple of years. He said they’ve responded to a number of complaints there and customer was murdered there three years ago.