A Miami man who broke into the Coconut Grove home of a federal judge on Friday, stealing two handguns before he was arrested, thanks to an eagle-eyed neighbor who jotted down the intruder’s license plate, authorities say.
Investigators say Edward J. Rolle, 31, who had a long rap sheet for selling drugs, broke into to the home of U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton and her husband, Richard Scruggs, a prominent Miami-Dade prosecutor.
Neither was home at the time.
Rolle – who was released from jail on Monday after prosecutors decided not pursue drug charges against him – left the home Friday morning just before Scruggs returned.
Investigators say Scruggs called police when he noticed a back window open. Officers immediately fanned out looking for a suspect.
A quick-thinking neighbor gave police the license plate of a vehicle in Scruggs’ driveway. Detectives quickly arrested Rolle at his Miami home.
The case was investigated by Miami burglary detectives, the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Rolle is being charged with several gun crimes, according to federal agents.
Scruggs, a former federal prosecutor in South Florida and Washington, is a state prosecutor targeting violent gang members.
For most of his 10-year career with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Scruggs worked prosecuting public corruption cases.
Simonton was in the news earlier this month as she presided over the initial court appearances of the mayors of Miami Lakes and Sweetwater, who were arrested on corruption charges.
On Friday, Scruggs said of Miami Police, “I want to thank them for their quick response and doing a really great job.”