Hialeah home invasion suspects denied bond
Police say suspects targeted man operating marijuana grow house
HIALEAH, Fla. – Two men accused of ambushing a man who was allegedly operating a marijuana grow house in his home in Hialeah were denied bond Friday.
Fernando Fernandez, 27, and Jorge Valdes, 30, are facing multiple charges, including robbery with a firearm, kidnapping, home invasion robbery, grand theft and impersonating a police officer.
Police said the suspects posed as policed officers Thursday morning and forced Lazaro Espinosa, 49, into his home on West 62nd Street, beating him up and robbing him.
Espinosa's 16-year-old daughter was hiding inside a bathroom and called 911.
Caller: "There's two robbers inside my house. They have guns. Please, please, please."
Dispatcher: "Are you there with the officer?"
Caller: "No! I don't know where my dad is."
LISTEN: Full 911 call
Police said Valdez and Fernandez ditched their police gear as they ran away, leaving behind a trail of cash too. And it didn't take long to figure out what they were after.
Police said they bagged up 146 pounds of marijuana and hauled it away, along with the homeowner, Espinosa, who went from being a victim to a narcotics suspect.
Police said the investigation turned out to be a family affair, as Fernandez is also Espinosa's son-in-law. Family members were in court Friday but let their attorney do the talking.
"The family is devastated, there's no winners here," said attorney Art Taquechel. "The alleged victim got arrested too, so it's a unique case."
Espinosa bonded out of jail before having to face a judge. Under the Nebia clause, Espinosa would have had to prove that his money came from legitimate means if he hadn't bonded out before appearing in court.
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