Of all the people in Miami, and all the problems he that faces, newly appointed Miami Police Chief Manuel “Manny” Orosa had to go and get pissed off at me on his  very first day as interim Police Chief. I guess that means Manny won’t invite me to Cuban Crafters for a cigar, a little Cuban coffee and to meet the gang.  I was so looking forward  to it.


Yesterday at 2 PM, interim Police Chief Manny Orosa held his first staff meeting. This was the time for him to demonstrate that he was up to the challenge of taking over the department in a crisis, and with a steady hand demonstrate the kind of leadership that would help in calming a divided police department.

Instead, within the first 10 minutes or so, Manny lost his cool. His neck started twitching in the way that lets everyone know that he’s loosing control, and he barked a verbal order to Major Al Alvarez, to deliver a personal message to me from him, that I could essentially take a public records request that I had submitted over the weekend and shove it.

Seriously Manny, people walked out of that meeting, started telling the staff in the building, and I started getting phone calls and emails.  You could have delivered that message in person, or just do what other folks who try and stiff me on public records do by just writing, ”There are no documents relative to your request,” and made me go and sue you.

Instead, you’ve gone and shown people that I can get your famous neck twitching by just asking for a couple pieces of paper.  I so hope you don’t end up going as crazy as your compadre Luis Cabrera did when I started writing about him.


Yesterday, when the news broke that Orosa was selected as the interim Chief, a couple TV news stations and a couple blogs went to work digging up information on his involvement with the Leonardo Mercado case.  The best of those was Bill Cooke’s, Random Pixels.

I too was interested in Orosa’s performance in that incident, but I’ve gotten to know some old Miami hands who have an institutional memory of things that happened in Miami before the Mercardo case, and this is what set Orosa off.

Specifically I submitted a public records request asking for the IA file on Orosa’s involvement in a case involving a local Bolita Kingpin names Valdez.

Orosa’s command to Alvarez was, “Go tell your friend Al Crespo that I was cleared of all charges in that case and all of those records were purged.”

Ah, there’s nothing like a moron who doesn’t know the law demonstrating his ignorance in front of his peers.

There are several levels to Orosa’s ignorance, including perhaps his participation in the illegal destruction of public records.

First, if all the files of police officers cleared after IA Investigations were purged, there would be very few files left.  Being cleared in an investigation has absolutely nothing to do with the maintenance of those files for the required number of years spelled out by Florida Statute, and case law.

In addition, many folks think that when public records files are destroyed, somebody just walks in, grabs the files and runs them through a shredder or throws them in a garbage can.  No such luck.

The Clerk of the City of Miami is responsible for the maintenance and destruction of public records, and in order for that to occur there is a very specific set of protocols  that must be followed.  Every city, every county and even the State Archives of Florida has these protocols.

So without being completely disrespectful to Miami’s new Chief of Police, he’s full of shit if he thinks he can bullshit me or anyone who knows anything about Florida’s Public Records Law into believing that the Valdez Bolita files were legally destroyed just because he says he was cleared of any wrong doing.

In fact, what’s really interesting is that not only were the files “purged,” but Orosa’s IA case history as a police officer, one that includes 4 separate use of force complaints filed against him, doesn’t even list this case, which has to mean that this investigation was purposely made to disappear. 

Now, there’s no proof that Orosa himself “purged” these files, but the fact that he unequivocally used the term “purged” at yesterday’s staff meeting clearly indicates that if he didn’t do it, then someone told him that it had been done, and consequently that individual, or those individuals committed a crime. This is more suspicious because the files were kept in the IA office, and Orosa was appointed Deputy Commander of Internal Affairs a couple years after the Mercardo case ended.

How does that happen? One year you’re implicated in helping coverup a murder and have to get ““use” immunity,” and then a couple years later you’re Deputy Commander of one of the most sensitive departments in the police department?

        This document, along with all the documents

        mentioned or included in this post, are available

        for viewing on a separate page in the Document

        section of this website, or by clicking on the

        the documents included in this post.

Being provided ““use” immunity” is not the same thing as being innocent of any crimes.  In fact, people who aren’t suspected or fearful of being charged with a crime never require ANY kind of immunity for their testimony.  You only take immunity if you’re worried about being charged with a crime.

The claims that Orosa was “innocent” in the coverup of  the horrific crimes committed by his officers, just as his pal Armando Aguilar did not  lie to a Federal Grand Jury  were sufficient for Orosa to get immunity and Aguilar to have an IA panel recommend he be fired.

Rather than spend more time rehashing this case, I have included the IA Reports that I obtained from a long-standing pubic records request that I made earlier this year in the document page.  There were 3 separate investigations, and they are all included.  If you want to read only one, I would suggest one I have identified as CASE A.


I’ve established that the connection between Manny Orosa and Armando Aguilar goes back a long time.  Now it seems, that Orosa and Aguilar are trying to downplay their relationship. In the last 24 hours, since focus has been placed on the relationship between these two and the  Mercardo case, several of my sources tell me that neither of these guys is happy about the amount of attention that has been generated in the bogsphere.

The FOP relationship between Aguilar, Orosa and Regalado goes back a long way, all the way back to Regalado’s first run for office as evidenced by a video interview I did with former Mayor Joe Carollo.


Joe Carollo has been a fixture in Miami politics for a while now; first as a City Commissioner, and then as the Mayor.

Joe has had his own colorful moments, like the time he fired City Manager Jose Garcia Pedrosa 3 times before Pedrosa finally took the hint and left.

As I’ve gotten to know him and matched the stories he’s told me with independent information from people who at times didn’t agree with him, but confirmed his version of events, I’ve come to appreciate that Joe is one of the straightest shooters in this town.

Earlier today I went to his home and  taped the following story about how he first got to know Manny Orosa.


Over twenty years have passed since the fateful day that  Leonard Mercardo was killed, and in the ensuing years the legacy of that event continues to to color and influence the political landscape in Miami.

After he was released from prison, Pablo Camacho went to work for Tomas Regalado, and continued to do so until he died last year. 

Armando Aguilar managed to survive being fired, and eventually worked his way into the presidency of the FOP where in 2009 he steamrolled the FOP into supporting Regalado by getting every officer to donate $30 to his campaign for a total of close to $30,000. 

He then got the FOP to support Regalado’s daughter for her School Board seat.

As I wrote on August 22nd, the whole FOP Recall scheme, initiated by Aguilar and his sidekick Javier Ortiz, was nothing more than a phony ploy, as has been the FOP’s intransigent refusal to negotiate with the city on this year’s budget.

Now, with the appointment of Manny Orosa to the position of acting Chief, the second major player in the Mercardo case still on the force has managed to survive himself into the catbird seat.

If Exposito is fired on Friday, Aguilar and Orosa will have managed to pull off one of the biggest inside heists of all times.

The thing to remember is that Manny Orosa got this far by being a professional tattletale.

He used the stories that his girlfriend told him to get next to Regalado.

He evaded the possibility of prosecution by getting “”use” immunity, and testifying in Federal Court, and he allegedly tipped off Valdez, the Bolita King to let him know that his fellow cops were coming after him.

Now, of course this last is only an allegation, but for Manny Orosa to prove me wrong and earn an apology, he’s going to have to pull those purged IA files out of his ass.

I’m willing to bet, that with a track record like Manny’s, the odds are that his days of telling tales might not be over. 

This time Manny, start making notes now about the deals that Regalado gets you involved in.  It’s easier to get “use” immunity when you can deliver evidence.

Armando Aguilar and Manny Orosa at Cuban Crafters.



As to the allegations against Orosa, I was told he was accused of being on Valdez’s payroll to provide protection and tipping Valdez off when the Miami Police Department went after him. 

I guess we’ll never know for sure what the real allegations were, or whether Orosa was really cleared, because as he claims, the records were really “purged.”

The one thing we do know, thanks to Orosa himself, is that he is mighty touchy about this case.  More so it would seem than his involvement in the Mercardo case, or the 4 Use Of Force complaints filed against him, or anything else that might be lurking out there.


Manny’s claim to fame as it was, is the Leonardo Mercardo case, where he was the Sergeant in Charge of the unit that beat Mercardo to a pulp, killing him.

The thing that most people who remember the case still remember most was the way in which Mercardo was killed - he was beaten and stomped so badly that the imprints of the soles of the shoes worn by three of the officers were imprinted on Mercardo’s face and back.

That has left a lasting impression that Miami’s police department was made up of cops more thuggish than the crooks they were supposed to be catching.

Inside the department the lasting impact of that case has been the continued presence of Armando Aguilar and Manny Orosa.

Armando Aguilar was indicted, tried and acquitted in Federal Court of lying to the Federal Grand Jury, and then faced an internal IA investigation where it was recommended that he be fired from the police department. 

Then Chief Donald Warshaw rejected that recommendation, and Aguilar went on to become the President of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police where his rule has begun to rub some of his members the wrong way since Tomas Regalado became Mayor.

Orosa was temporarily suspended during the Mercardo investigation, and then as a letter from one of the Assistant US Attorney’s in the case state, his lawyer negotiated an  “informal “use” immunity for his testimony.”

Here is that letter.