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This Week In Florida - Beware the Man with a Tanning Bed in His Barn

His operation is probably not on the level.
Κείμενο Billy Corben

Miami has always been America’s Casablanca; home to international intrigue, where a litany of Latin and European expatriates—and deposed third world leaders—could blend seamlessly with the local flavors. All the while, our leaders and law enforcement officers of dubious integrity are perpetually shocked to find that gambling (or fill-in-the-blank) is going on here.

In fact, thanks to the Cold War and South Florida’s proximity to the Soviets’ favorite proxy (Cuba is a mere 90 miles from Key West), in the 1960s, Miami was home to the second largest CIA station in the world (outside of their headquarters in Langley), located at what is called the University of Miami South Campus.Miami was designated "foreign soil" by a presidential order for the purpose of CIA operations and, according to some sources, The Agency had as many as 12,000 Cuban exiles on the payroll in the early part of the decade, which would have made the Central Intelligence Agency the county’s single largest employer.


Later, Miami’s Southern Air Transport, a CIA front company, undertook US covert activities in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Angola and was the American headquarters for the Iran-Contra operation.

The intrigue continues today…

- Four South Florida men were just charged with selling F-16 parts to Venezuela, a country that, reports say, recently sold that very same kind of fighter jet to Iran. Some of the men worked out of a business conspicuously called the Venezuelan Military Acquisitions Office in Doral, near the Miami International Airport. There’s always a Miami connection.

- The old adage, “Beware the man charging two bucks to use a tanning bed in his barn” didn’t become a staple of motherly advice for no reason: A man in Starke was just sentenced to 17.5 years in prison for secretly videotaping underage women who paid $2 to use a tanning bed in his barn. Why would anyone suspect he was up to something?

- Notorious bank robber Willie Sutton (who died in Florida in 1980), when asked by a reporter why he robbed banks, famously replied, “because that’s where the money is.” An Apopka man, just released from prison last December after a stint for a 2008 bank robbery, has now been linked to four recent bank holdups.

- A man shot and killed in Liberty City this week dodged a murder charge three months ago thanks to Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.

- Police in Niceville (seriously) caught a woman smuggling oxycodone in her vagina (no, seriously).


- The former chief of South Florida's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office will plead guilty to federal child porn charges.

- Tampa, the host city for August’s Republican National Convention, is estimating it’ll cost $24.8 million in police personnel alone to properly secure the event. That’s nearly half the $50 million federal convention security grant Congress appropriated. Or, as Mitt Romney would call it, “walking around money.”

- The Florida Department of Children and Families removed a 10-year-old Jacksonville boy from his grandpa’s home after he had his initials tattooed to his ankle, a family tradition for generations.

- A woman in Venus died while shielding her 3-year-old daughter from a tornado. Mother and daughter “were literally ripped from their home” by the tornado and thrown into nearby woods. The mother was pronounced dead at the scene, while the daughter suffered cuts, bruises and several broken ribs but is expected to make a full recovery.

- This story combines two South Florida passions: strip clubs and flesh-eating zombies. Bouncers, police, and paramedics attempted to restrain a 28-year-old man who was attacking a woman outside a Lauderhill strip club. He growled, spit blood at them, and repeatedly screamed, “Kill me!”

- An Indianapolis man was returning home via the Orlando Airport with his grandfather’s ashes. In violation of TSA’s own policy, a security checkpoint agent opened the jar, clearly labeled “Human Remains,” and spilled nearly a third of the contents onto the floor. The agent then laughed as the man fell to all fours and frantically attempted to recover what was left of his grandpa and sweep it back into the jar.


- A Tampa attorney representing a defendant in a murder-for-hire case filed a motion asking the judge to delay the start of the trial so that he could compete in the annual Ernest Hemingway Look-a-Like Contest at Sloppy Joe’s bar in Key West. The judge’s response: "Best of luck to counsel in next year's contest. The motion is denied."

- As you’ve probably heard, the toxicology report came back on Rudy Eugene, the face-eating Miami Zombie (aka Causeway Cannibal), and there were no traces of “bath salts,” LSD, cocaine, oxy or any other drugs found in his system. Just marijuana. Insert “Guess he just had the munchies” joke here.

- In Florida, if the zombies don’t get you, the bees will: Africanized honeybees, aka killer bees, injured a Palm City woman and killed her two pet pugs.

- Lastly, here’s a fun event that should lower the collective sexual frustration of Florida’s chronic masturbators: The local porn stars who promised to give blowjobs to all their Twitter followers if the Heat won the NBA Finals plan to deliver. Some restrictions apply.

Billy Corben is the co-producer and director of Cocaine Cowboys, The U, and the upcoming Broke for ESPN 30 for 30 Vol. II, among other films. He also runs The Billy Pulpit.

Previously - More Zombies and Molesting the TSA