Murderer Cleared To Run Miami Airport Fuel Post

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Miamians are asking how a convicted murderer got the security clearance to run a facility that pumps 50 million gallons of fuel into airliners every month at Miami International Airport. The Miami Herald reports that Richard Caride, a former Hialeah, Fl., officer involved in the 1985 murders of a popular nightclub owner and his girlfriend, managed the airport’s fuel farm and had access to the most restricted parts of the airport. Miami prosecutor Katherine Fern├índez Rundle says he was the ringleader of a conspiracy that stole jet fuel and bilked the airport through kickbacks, bogus invoices, and grossly inflated bills. Beyond a rip-off of at least $5.5 million, investigators found security so lax that they warned the federal Transportation Security Administration last year that “Osama bin Laden could drive a fuel truck right through the back gate and no one would notice.” Nothing changed; truckers continued to enter and leave without even stopping at the guardhouse.

Yesterday, prosecutors finished a round of arrests that netted 10 defendants, including a well-connected lobbyist and a project manager at the county Aviation Department. Caride, 46, has been cooperating with authorities and has been ill. He served three years of a seven-year sentence for second-degree murder in the 1980s. On his job application, Caride said he was working at a fence company when he was in prison. At the time, the county didn’t conduct criminal background checks on workers at the airport.


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