The Wire Season 2 Actually Occurred Here in South Florida

Categories: Crime

omar-the-wire1.jpg
The Wire is widely considered one of the greatest television series of all time. David Simon's bleak depiction of Baltimore corruption was based upon his years as a crime reporter in that city.

So it's no surprise that a recent court case provides a near word-for-word, real-life re-enactment of the show's second season.

What is strange, however, is that elaborate cocaine-in-shipping-container conspiracy occurred not in Baltimore but here in South Florida.

If you're one of the three people in the U.S. who haven't yet watched The Wire, get over yourself. Harvard teaches an entire course on the series. The least you can do is rent the box set.

But just in case you're a Wire virgin (wirgin?), here's a quick explainer (spoiler alert!). The show is basically about drug dealing and corruption. Season 1 focuses on the street-level, as cops try to trace drug dealers back to their bosses.

Season 2, however, is about wholesale. It examines how massive shipments of cocaine, hookers, and other contraband make their way into Baltimore hidden inside containers brought to the port by cargo ships. Polish cousins Nick and Ziggy Subotka both work at the port and use their inside knowledge of the place to work their way up in the international drug trade.

Last week, federal judge K. Michael Moore sentenced two Miami men to prison for almost the exact same scheme.

Moore sentenced David Rodriguez, 47, of Miami, and Rogny Jerez Lopez, 35, of Hialeah, to 235 months and 87 months, respectively, for conspiring to ship hundreds of kilos of coke into the country.

containers.jpg
wikimedia commons
According to court records, Jerez and another man, Carlos Hernandez Roque, worked for King Ocean Services, a shipping container company based out of Miami but also active at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Hernandez was a mechanic for large, refrigerated containers nicknamed "reefers."

As a toplift operator, Jerez was in charge of moving containers around the port. Rodriguez, who ran a drug cartel here in Miami, would give Jerez and Hernandez the serial number of certain containers that had been smuggled onto particular cargo ships in other countries.

Jerez would find the special reefers and either place them on trucks to be taken directly out of the port and to a drug warehouse to be unloaded (as in The Wire), or he would move container to a remote part of the port where he or Hernandez would pry open a small compartment and remove the 15-30 kilos of cocaine. From there, the coke would be split up and sold on the street by Rodriguez's criminal network.

Jerez made $2,500 per kilo unloaded (to be split with other dock workers who assisted him). That meant he made up $75,000 per shipment.

One of the drug warehouses was right next to Miami-Dade College's North Campus in Hialeah.

cocainebust.jpg
Also as in The Wire, the group used code words to hide their activity from cops. Rodriguez or one of his henchmen might tell a port employee that one of their containers was "by 12th avenue'' (for Dock 12) and that "there were 12 girls inside," meaning 12 kilos of coke.

Eventually, however, Miami's own version of Jimmy McNulty caught on to the operation, intercepting drug shipments, replacing them with sham cocaine, and busting those involved.

As the capo, Rodriguez received 235 months in prison. Jerez was sentenced to 87.

Send your tips to the author, or follow him on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Danny Cespedes
Danny Cespedes

Greatest show of all time. The Wire > Breaking Bad.

clayton44
clayton44

This sort of thing has been going on at the Port of Miami for years and is probably still going on.  The Port and the Miami International Airport are two of the most corrupt places in the entire State of Florida.

Clark_Gables
Clark_Gables

The Sopranos also added true crime and commentary into the script...makes for good trivia

Clark_Gables
Clark_Gables

The Sopranos mixed true crime, events and commentary into their script also -

FatHand
FatHand

Saying there are 12 girls inside a shipping container has got to be the worst code ever for drugs. 

Palangana
Palangana topcommenter

Cocaine should not have to be hidden away, but should be imported legally and out in the open.  The alteration of consciousness is an inalienable human right.  


Sign the medical cocaine petition and in November, vote yes on Medical Cocaine in Florida.  And in 2016, we shall vote for full legalization!

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Auto

Loading...