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Posted on: September 24, 2019

Keys judge hands fraudster five-year prison term

This is Ronald Cordero

KEY WEST, September 24, 2019 – A Hialeah man has been sentenced to five years in Florida State Prison after failing to live within the terms of his probation for fraud.

Ronald Cordero, 27, was sentenced on September 19 by Monroe County Judge Mark Wilson after admitting to violating probation. He was also given a concurrent term of five years for battery on a person in a detention center. Assistant State Attorney Christina Cory represented the state.

Cordero, who was uncooperative and disrespectful in court, was arrested on November 29, 2018, after Key West police were called to a liquor store on Duval Street about the suspicious use of an American Express Platinum credit card. The store owner told officers that the previous day, two men had bought two bottles of Johnny Walker Black scotch for $103.18 and three packs of cigarettes for $25.81.

Before the purchase, the clerk told the men it would be cheaper to buy one larger bottle of scotch but they declined. The clerk found that odd since “everyone wants to save money.” He also told police the suspect who presented the card “did not look like someone that would have” an American Express Platinum card.

The two men returned to the store the next day and tried purchasing a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue using the same credit card, and the owner became suspicious again, including because he “thought he recognized the name” on the card as someone other than the two men. So this time he ran a computer check on the card and asked the suspect for identification. Cordero could not produce an ID, the card came back as declined and the two men left the store. The owner then called police, who reviewed the store’s security video and recognized Cordero from a previous case as the man who presented the credit card.

Cordero was found a short time later at Mallory Square and arrested. He had with him the American Express card, which bore someone else’s name. Contacted by police, the rightful owner said Cordero did not have permission to use the card and wanted to pursue charges.

On April 11 this year, Cordero pleaded no contest to fraudulent use of a credit card and fraudulent use of someone else’s personal information. Judge Wilson gave him 36 months of probation on both counts.

Cordero later violated that probation by, among other things, failing a test for illegal drugs (marijuana), failing to report to his probation officer and moving from his residence without permission.

The battery on the jail inmate happened on January 3, 2019, while Cordero was in jail on the credit-card charges. The victim told detention deputies at the Stock Island Detention Center Cordero punched him in the face after they had a brief conversation and security video confirmed it.

In 2015, Cordero pleaded no contest to a 2014 robbery in Monroe County and received a year in jail.

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