Former Hialeah mayor's uncle arrested on ballot fraud charges

2nd absentee ballot broker arrested in 1 month


HIALEAH, Fla. – Sergio Robaina, the uncle of former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina, was arrested Friday on ballot fraud charges.

Investigative documents claim Robaina, also known as "El Tio," touched more than 200 absentee ballots and illegally dropped them off for voters. He's also accused of completing the absentee ballots for both an elderly woman and her son.

In a sworn statement from a Miami-Dade police detective who arrested Robaina said he went to the Hialeah home of a man identified as "G.M." to help him and his mother fill out their absentee ballots.

"G.M." stated that neither he nor his mother had any input into which candidates were designated on their ballots. At one point, "G.M." told Robaina that he wanted to vote for a specific candidate, but Robaina responded, "no."

"He voted whom he wanted to vote, and then asked them to sign the back of the absentee ballot," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle said.

Robaina is the second absentee ballot broker, or "bolletero," to be arrested in Hialeah. Last week, Deisy Cabrera was charged with the same offense—and there may be more arrested to come.

"We're going to continue to work this one and others that are occurring throughout the community," Fernandez-Rundle said.

Sergio Robaina could not be reached for comment. His nephew is not connected to the case in any way.