The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Gunmen in Florida Hijacking/Shootout Were Cousins and Career Criminals

Posted on | December 8, 2019 | Comments Off on Gunmen in Florida Hijacking/Shootout Were Cousins and Career Criminals


Thursday afternoon, a rush-hour traffic jam in Broward County, Florida, brought an end to a high-speed pursuit of two gunmen who had attempted to rob a jewelry store in Coral Gables and then hijacked a UPS truck in an incredibly stupid escape attempt. In a shootout with police in Miramar, both criminals were killed, along with a bystander and the kidnapped UPS driver. We now know the names of the robbers:

The FBI has identified the two armed robbers who were killed Thursday after police say they ripped off a jewelry store, stole a UPS truck and kidnapped the driver, then led police a pursuit through two counties which led to a deadly shootout.
They are Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, both of Miami-Dade County, according to the FBI.
CBS4 News spoke to Alexander’s brother, Corey Smith who said about his brother, “Make better choices in life. Your decisions affect more than just you.”
Smith says Alexander had three children.
The men, who are cousins, both have criminal histories.
Court records show Alexander was sentenced to probation for a 1996 robbery and 1997 burglary. Five arrests in the 2000’s resulted in no convictions before he served a lengthy stretch in prison for a 2008 armed robbery conviction in southwest Florida, gaining his release in 2017.
Florida Department of Corrections records show Hill served time in prison twice: in the 1990s on burglary and robbery convictions and more recently for five burglary-related convictions.
Naomi Hill, the aunt of both suspects, said Alexander was “a good boy — he had changed his life around.” She said he was married with three children and working for a garbage-collection company. . . .
April Wyche, the sister of Ronnie Hill, said he was the father of two young children, one with special needs, and was working as a driver for a cabinetry company. She said she has no idea why he would have committed the robbery, saying he could have turned to her or their mother for help if needed. . . .
Alexander, Hill, UPS driver Frank Ordonez, and innocent driver Richard Cutshaw, were all killed in the shootout which took place in a busy intersection in Miramar.

What did I tell you Friday?

[Y]ou know doggone well that this was not their first time at the rodeo. You don’t begin your criminal career by robbing a jewelry store. No, these guys had almost certainly been perpetrating since they were teenagers, and when we finally learn their identities, we’ll discover that they had extensive criminal records and yet, for some reason, were not in prison. This is predictable, to anyone who pays attention to news about crime, and yet somehow our criminal justice system hasn’t figured out that it’s a bad idea to turn these animals loose.

Exactly as I said, these guys have criminal records dating back more than 20 years, and both had gotten out of prison less than two years ago:

Lamar Alexander went to prison for nearly a decade for robbing a jewelry store in Lee County. Ronnie Hill spent most of his adult life locked up for a string of burglaries and holding a postal clerk hostage during a robbery in Miami.
Both walked out of state prison in 2017, only to engineer one final heist that left two innocent people dead and cost them their own lives. . . .
“I didn’t know he was living like that,” said Alexander’s brother, Corey Smith, a well-known football coach at Miami Senior High School. “In life, you gotta make better decisions. We weren’t raised like that. I love my brother, but he’s been making bad decisions his whole life.”
The FBI, which is leading the investigation, is examining whether the two men were connected to prior robberies in South Florida, according to one law-enforcement source. . . .
Alexander and Hill had long histories of arrests, smaller crimes that foreshadowed Thursday’s jewelry heist and hostage-taking.
Records show that Alexander’s first arrests for burglary and robbery in Miami-Dade happened in 1996, when he was in his early 20s. He was entered into a boot camp program. But he eventually flunked out of his probation when he was arrested again for a burglary — a judge sentenced him to 364 days in the county jail.
Alexander, who sports tattoos of clowns on both forearms and has three children, racked up another minor conviction for trespassing in 2000. Eight years later, he was arrested on an allegation he punched his pregnant wife in Overtown. She filed for a restraining order, which was eventually dismissed. The criminal charge was later dropped.
That was the same year that Alexander was one of four men arrested in Lee County for robbing a Mayors Jewelers in Fort Myers. He admitted he’d rented a car in Miami to serve as a getaway driver.
Alexander was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. He walked out of prison in September 2017. A Lee County judge lifted his probation a few months later after Alexander, in a court motion, wrote he was “ready to move forward with my life as a citizen.”
Hill had a similar history of arrests.
He picked up his first adult arrest, for burglary with a battery, in Miami-Dade in December 1993. He was only 15 years old. Court records don’t show if he served any prison time, but he was convicted and sentenced as a “youthful offender.”
When he was 20 years old, authorities said, Hill was arrested after he and another man robbed a female postal clerk in Liberty City. Inspectors said the men handcuffed the woman as she arrived to work, forcing her to open safes and cash drawers.
Federal authorities indicted Hill in 1998. He went to trial, lost and was sentenced to 151 months in prison. He walked free from prison in 2010. He could not stay out of trouble.
Over the next couple of years, he was arrested on a slew of minor charges, including loitering and dealing in stolen property. He was finally sent to Florida prison for a series of car burglaries in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, between 2014 and 2016.
He got out in February 2017 — and within months was arrested again.
Police said he and another man broke into a car outside the Robert is Here fruit stand in South Miami-Dade. The State Attorney’s Office, however, did not press charges because the victims failed to cooperate, according to state records.

Well, they’re dead now, which is the only way to stop the criminal careers of such characters. As long as they’re breathing and not behind bars, habitual offenders will continue committing criminal violence.



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