Marco Rubio on Drugs
I was stunned by the news. Like my parents, I had never suspected Orlando was involved in a criminal enterprise. His arrest and subsequent trial and imprisonment distressed the entire family, but [my sister] Barbara and my parents bore the brunt of the hardships it caused. Even decades later, my sister and mother would be forced to relive the shame of the ordeal.
The alleged leaders were a father-son team, Mario and Guillermo Tabraue. Deep in the stories about the big bust almost as if it were an afterthought, was a list of 4 men who had been arrested. One of these men was Orlando Cicilia. He was married to Marco's older sister, Barbara. The indictment paints Cicilia as a kind of a middle-man, making a huge number of trips in 1985 & 1986 to deliver cocaine.
The drug bust would remain an unexamined episode in the Rubio family's story until a news report by the Univision network aired in 2011. The senator, who speaks so frequently about his family, had not mentioned it publicly, nor had his political rivals publicly used it against him. Marco was only 16 at the time of the arrest, and there has never been an accusation that he was involved in his brother-in-law's criminal activity
The prosecution stepped down in June 1988 and was replaced by Dexter Lehtinen, who was married to the Havana-born Republican politician Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Dexter was a Democrat when they met, but switched to the Republican Party shortly before they married. Ros-Lehtinen would win an election the next year, becoming the 1st Hispanic woman elected to Congress. Later, she became the most senior Republican women in the US House of Representatives.
Cicilia received the 2nd longest sentence--35 years. It appears his sentence was later reduced to 20 or 25 years. The government seized his house after saying it could not find $15 million that he'd earned in the drug trade.
The tragedy of Sept. 11 has revealed that gangs are also a threat to our domestic security. The deep infiltration of gangs in our society is extremely attractive to terrorist organizations.
Florida should increase funding for additional law enforcement resources to combat gang activities. Florida should pattern its gang elimination program after the successful Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) program. GREAT is a curriculum-based program aimed at teaching students skills to help them avoid gangs, violence, and drugs.
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