Areas of Practice

  • All Federal and State Courts
  • Probation/Parole ViolationsWarrants & Bond
  • Major Felonies
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Money Laundering
  • Firearm Charges
  • Drug Offenses
  • Sex Crimes
  • Homicides
  • Grand Jury Matters
  • Asset Forfeitures
  • Trafficking
  • Appeals
  • RICO

Recent Trials

State of Florida vs. Michael Levas Case #: 11-018248-MM-10-A
Charges I. Disobeying Lawful Order/Direction of Law Enforcement Officer; II. Driving Under the Influence.
October 15, 2014
International Hedge Fund Operator stopped by police after allegedly driving through crime scene on a roadway by driving through yellow crime scene tape and past illuminated marked units at roadblock was acquitted by a jury on all charges including the DUI.
Result: NOT GUILTY VERDICT, ALL COUNTS

State of Florida v Patrick Powers Case # 85-000645
Charges Count I. Grand Theft 3rd Degree Count II, Forgery, 3rd Degree
March 19, 2014.
The Florida State Clemency Board, consisting of the Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General, Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner at Agriculture, Adam Putman, voted to grant a four-time convicted felon a FULL PARDON, restoring his civil rights in full, despite the Florida Department of Parole’s report objecting to same.
Result: Full Pardon

State of Florida Vs. Kyle Brooks Case #: 13-005425-CF-10-A
Charges: Possession of Ecstasy and Drug Paraphernalia-
April 17, 2014
Officers located a felony amount of Marijuana and MDMA in Defendant’s cooler. Upon Defendant’s Motion to Suppress before trial challenging the basis of the search, the Court granted the Motion finding that the officer violated Kyle’s 4th Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures and suppressed all drugs seized by law enforcement.
Result: State Dismissed All Charges

US v. Osvaldo Cuello Case #: 86-511-cr-Ryskamp
Charges: A Miami police officer found guilty of racketeering and drug charges. Main Defendant in “Miami RiverCops Case.” Represented in Federal Parole Termination Hearing. Parole was Terminated. Mr. Coello is now a free man.
Result: Parole Termination 11/22/2013

U.S. v. James Price Case No:12-CR-60016
Wiliams/Snow, (June 2012) Southern District of Florida, Miami Division;
Federal child porn case, client, a computer programmer/cloud specialist, accused of possession and distribution of child pornography,
VERDICT: guilty, hard fought trial with expert forensic computer analyst, but jury felt that the government proved their case.

State of Florida v. Gabriel Perez Case No: 11-006451MM10A
Broward County Court; Judge John Fry (February 2, 2012)
CT 1: DUI
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY
CITATIONS DISMISSED BY COURT
Major Airline carrier executive arrested for DUI Aquitted by a jury after state’s theory of impairment was successfully challenged, client was facing termination after 33 years with the airline and risked loss of his accrued benefits if he was convicted. 

State of Florida v. Daniel Scala, ET.AL. 
Case No: F10-020301E
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court; Trial Judge Darrin Gayles (March 28, 2011 – April 4, 2011)
CT 1: GRAND THEFT, FIRST DEGREE
VERDICT:  GUILTY OF LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE:  GRAND THEFT,
THIRD DEGREE  (STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS VIOLATION MOTION
PENDING)
Defendant was charged in a multi-count, multi-defendant mortgage fraud case involving multiple defendants.  Client was alleged to be a straw buyer of a luxury condo unit in a high rise on Miami Beach.  Client was acquitted of Grand Theft, 1st degree, and found guilty of a lesser included offense.

State of Florida v. Charles V. Kertesz Case No: 2010MM002200AXXX
Palm Beach County Court; Trial Judge Barry Cohen (March 5, 2011 – March 6, 2011)
CT 1: STALKING
VERDICT:  HUNG JURY/MISTRIAL
Defendant was charged with stalking a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office detective’s wife.  The trial resulted in a mistrial-hung jury.

State of Florida v. Christina Rodriguez, Case No: 09-005482MM-10-A
Broward County Circuit Court, Ginger Lerner-Wren
CT I:DUI (October 5, 2010)
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY
Christina is a registered nurse, and due to an arrest for DUI, she may have lost her nursing license if convicted. The Broward Sheriff’s Office DUI Task Force deputy’s testimony and video of the DUI investigation was successfully challenged and Ms. Rodriguez was acquitted.

United States of America v. Neville Neil Thompson; Case No: 1:10-CR-20080-WMH
U.S. Southern District of Florida; Senior Judge William M. Hoeveler
(May 24 – 27, 2010)
CT I: 21 U.S.C. § 963-Consp. to Import Controlled Substance
CT II: 21 U.S.C. § 841-Poss. w/intent to Dist. Controlled Subst.
VERDICT: JURY ACQUITTED HIM OF ARMED TRAFFICKING, AND FOUND HIM GUILTY OF LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
Mr. Thompson was charged with Armed Trafficking over 50 kilos of Marijuana, together with a 924 (c) (Firearm) count, after a go-fast boat was boarded off the coast of Florida en route from the Bahamas.  Mr. Thompson allegedly was to accept delivery of the drugs and was armed.  He was acquitted of armed trafficking.

State of Florida v. Hasco Logan, Case No: 2008-011890-CF10A
Broward County Circuit Court, Judge I. Holmes
(March 30 – April 5, 2010)
CT I: CT II: RESIST/ARREST W/VIOLENCE; BATTERY ON POLICE; DISORDERLY CONDUCT
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS
A Broward jury acquitted Mr. Logan after he allegedly spit, kicked, and severely bit the cheek of a Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective during a struggle at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.


State of Florida v. Eugenio Spitalieri
, Case No: 2008-CF-001500
Lake County Circuit Court, Judge G. Richard Singletary
(November 16 – 20, 2009)
CT I: CT II: MURDER
VERDICT: GUILTY OF LESSER OFFENSES
Mr. Spitalieri was charged with two counts of murder after shooting two individuals in the back after they attempted to steal his money and drugs.  Mr. Spitalieri was found not guilty of both counts of murder, but was found guilty of lesser included offenses.

State of Florida v. Everett Leon, Case No: 07-020777-CF-10A
Broward County Circuit Court, Judge Michael Gates
(March 30, 2009 – April 1, 2009)
CT I: MURDER
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY
Mr. Leon was charged with murder after firing a .357 Magnum and striking a front passenger in a vehicle traveling parallel to his vehicle in the head.  Upon asserting self-defense, whereby Mr. Leon was challenged to a fight by four occupants of the other vehicle, chased, and threatened with various deadly weapons, he was acquitted by a jury.


State of Florida v. Abdelaziz Hamze
, Case No: 07-10490-CF-10A
Broward County Circuit Court, Judge Andrew Siegel
CT I: MURDER                (March 9 – 23, 2009)
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY
Mr. Hamze was charged with striking an individual while driving a vehicle and dragging her two and a half miles to her death.  The jury acquitted Mr. Hamze of murder, but found him guilty of lesser crimes.


State of Florida v. Jeffrey Frye
, Case No: 2600-CF-00322-A-P
Monroe County Circuit Court, Judge Luis Garcia
CT I: CT II: CAPITAL SEXUAL BATTERY          (January 20 – 27, 2009)
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY ALL COUNTS
Grandfather charged with rape of a child in his care over a long period of time.  A variety of issues challenging the veracity of the allegations were challenged successfully.


State of Florida v. Volney Mondelus
Case No: 07-002031-CF-10A
Broward County Circuit Court, Judge Jeffrey Levenson
CT I: MURDER; CT II: ATT. MURDER          (October 22 – 27, 2007)
VERDICT: NOT GUILTY ALL COUNTS
Mr. Mondelus was identified by two state witnesses as allegedly being the triggerman sitting in the rear of a vehicle during a drive-by shooting.  The credibility of the State’s two material witnesses was challenged and an alibi defense was presented successfully.

Facing Criminal Prosecution?

Call Richard A. Merlino 965-745-7497