Miami Mayoral Candidate Charged With Impersonating a Sheriff’s Deputy
A non-partisan man running to unseat Miami, Florida’s incumbent Republican Mayor Francis Suarez in November’s upcoming election was charged on Friday for impersonating a sheriff’s deputy in Key Largo last spring.
Francisco Pichel, a 59-year-old private investigator, was the subject of an arrest warrant that was issued last week for the bizarre May 30th occurrence and turned himself in. He was released after posting a $5,000 bail.
“Incidents such as these always concern me as the safety of citizens continues to be my number one priority,” said Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “I want to thank the staff who worked on this case as well as our partners with Miami-Dade Police Department for their help.”
According to a statement by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department:
A resident and a friend noticed a white BMW parked for a long time in front of the residence. The two men approached the vehicle. The driver and sole occupant was later identified as Pichel.
When the men asked the driver what he was up to, the driver displayed a gold law enforcement badge, stated that he was a ‘Monroe County Police Officer,’ and that he was working on a case. Pichel also stated, ‘Don’t worry, I’m Monroe County,’ and that he was waiting for another law enforcement officer to relieve him.
The two men went back inside and the BMW left at approximately the same time. The men then contacted a neighbor who stated a man matching that description approached him in the rear of his home while he was working on his boat. The neighbor thought it was strange someone who walk onto another’s property that way. The neighbor stated the man, later identified as Pichel, asked him if he knew a contractor named Freddie. The neighbor stated he did not and Pichel left.
Security footage reviewed by Detective Ian Barnett confirmed the three men’s version of events.