Los Miami Gang's Property-Flipping, Steroid-Using Leader Faces Jury Verdict Today
Chances are good that Alvaro Lopez Tardon will be found guilty of money laundering today or tomorrow. If he is, there probably won't be anyone in the federal court room to shed a tear: Tardon's associates have all turned on him, including his wife.
Photo by Michael E. Miller Alvaro Lopez Tardon allegedly laundered drug money by buying and selling Bugattis like this one.
Here at Riptide, however, we will mourn the end to one of the most Miami stories ever. Somehow, Tardon's short life managed to touch on every shady aspect of this city, from steroids to plastic surgery, Santeria to straw-buying SoBe penthouses, drug smuggling to dealing exotic cars.
In other words, Tardon was the Tony Montana of our times.
See also: Los Miami gang nabbed in huge drug bust
Riptide< revealed the incredible circumstances around Tardon's arrest three years ago. On July 14, 2011, police in Spain and South Beach launched stunning, simultaneous raids.
In Madrid, cops broke down the door to Artemio Lopez Tardon's palatial estate, arresting the one-eyed drug don before finding 19 million euros hidden under the floorboards.
In Miami, police raided a Santeria-filled penthouse at South Point's swanky Continuum condo building, where they arrested Artemio's younger brother, Alvaro, on charges of money laundering.
Prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic have accused the brothers of using real estate and luxury cars to launder drug proceeds. They allegedly shipped Colombian cocaine to Europe, funneling money back to Miami in wire transfers or, even less discretely, by buying Bugattis in Spain and then reselling them here in South Florida.
The brothers were literally rolling in cash. Alvaro allegedly used drug money and a coterie of accomplices to buy pricey condos around downtown and South Beach.