Mario Tabraue Zoological Imports Indicted
A drug-smuggling ring that killed an informer and cut up his body while trafficking in a half-million pounds of marijuana has been broken, the Federal authorities said today.
The ring also bribed police officers to protect their operation, said Richard Gregorie, the chief assistant United States Attorney here. At one time, the indictment charged, members of the ring used Miami police officers to collect, count and disburse drug profits.
The ring operated for at least 10 years, smuggling the marijuana, along with some cocaine, into Louisiana and Florida, Mr. Gregorie said.
Six of the seven people indicted in the case were arrested here by a special Federal law-enforcement group combatting drug smuggling. The seventh was in custody in another state. $50,000 Caught by Agent Among those arrested were the men who the authorities said headed the ring, Mario Tabraue and his father, Guillermo. When the men were arrested at their homes in Dade County, Mario Tabraue's wife tossed a bundle of $50,000 in cash out the back window, said Lloyd E. Dean, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation here. The money was caught by a Federal agent, Mr. Dean said.
The authorities said that in July 1980, members of the group apparently became aware that Larry Nash was an informer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
''Mr. Nash was murdered and mutilated,'' Mr. Dean said. ''His body was cut up with a chain saw and then burned.''
The ring paid bribes totaling $150,000 to a former Key West deputy police chief, Raymond Casamayor, and other Monroe County officials, the indictment said. Mr. Casamayor is serving a 30-year prison sentence in a separate case.
The indictment also charged that from the fall of 1977 until at least the end of 1979 Mario Tabraue had Miami police officers collecting, counting and disbursing large amounts of cash made from the ring.
No Miami officers were named in the indictment. ''But the investigation is still continuing,'' Mr. Gregorie said.
AP Published: December 17, 1987
Mario Tabraue Zoological Imports Was Convicted but is now (2010) out of prison and back in the exotic animal trade in Florida. Zoological Imports 2000, Inc. Miami, FL 33187 (800) 300-6542 (305) 969-3696 Fax: (305) 969-3620