Plea deal offered in voter fraud case

Deisy Cabrera offered 3 years probation

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI - Defense attorneys initially turned down a plea in the ongoing ballot fraud investigation against Deisy Cabrera.

The state made the offer at an arraignment hearing on Friday.

Defense attorney Eric Castillo said he would talk over the offer with his client. Prosecutors agreed to three years probation if Cabrera agreed to talk with them about who had her collecting ballots.

"There is no taking a plea offer right now. It's too premature," he said.

Cabrera, 56, is charged with three counts related to absentee ballot fraud. She is accused of filling and mailing out 31 absentee ballots.

Prosecutors said undercover video captured Cabrera walking into a post office to drop off the ballots. Investigators said she would go to nursing homes and public housing and manipulate the elderly and sick into voting for a particular candidate or fill out their ballots for them.

Cabrera was linked to Mayor Carlos Gimenez's re-election campaign; however, Mayor Gimenez has repeatedly denied ever hiring her to work for him. A dozen campaign staffers have signed affidavits supporting him.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa plans on introducing a resolution next week asking the State of Florida to adopt laws that require voters to give a reason for voting absentee.

"Because that's the only way you can eradicate the problems that you have with absentee ballots," said Sosa. "That is the only way. Only the people who really need it will use it... We have to create something that we protect the process the right way."

The state has left the deal on the table should Cabrera decide to take it.

Trial is scheduled for October 22nd.

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