Crime

Felons tried to bully Cafe Versailles managers by posing as federal agents, cops say

Alberto Nunez Horta and Ismael Diaz were arrested Friday night at Cafe Versailles on numerous charges including impersonating a federal officer.
Alberto Nunez Horta and Ismael Diaz were arrested Friday night at Cafe Versailles on numerous charges including impersonating a federal officer. Miami-Dade Corrections

A pair of felons told Cafe Versailles managers they were federal agents — first so they could bring in a dog and in subsequent days so they could continue their boorish behavior at the Southwest Eighth Street landmark.

Then, one of the suspects, who has a conspiracy to commit first-degree murder conviction in his past, told an officer, “When I get out, I’m going to find you and kill you.”

That’s according to the arrest reports for Ismael Diaz of Coral Gables and Alberto Nunez Horta of Sparta, North Carolina, formerly of Pembroke Pines, Miami and the Florida Department of Corrections. Each went home within a few hours of booking early Saturday.

Diaz, 51, posted $23,000 bond after being hit with charges of impersonating a federal officer, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct.

Nunez Horta, 48, posted $24,000 bond on the same charges plus threatening a law enforcement officer.

Nunez Horta has a violent past. He did a year and a month for armed robbery in 1987, then spent Nov. 22, 1999, through Feb. 25, 2005, in state prison for racketeering and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Alberto Nunez from Corrections.jpg
Alberto Nunez Horta before one of his Florida prison stays Florida Dept. of Corrections

A racketeering charge was added to his his 1996 St. Lucie County conviction for conducting an illegal lottery. That was after a 1994 assault and battery conviction in Miami-Dade.

Not exactly the backgrounds of federal agents, the occupation their arrest reports say they claimed in Cafe Versailles Wednesday night after Diaz brought in his Belgian Malinois (“a world-class worker who forges an unbreakable bond with his human partner,” says the American Kennel Club).

When a Versailles manager told them the dog wasn’t allowed, the pair said they were FBI agents and that the dog must stay with them.

“Diaz pulled a black item from his pocket and showed the manager what he believed were credentials,” the arrest reports say.

Allowed to stay with their pooch, the reports say managers watched the two bounce among tables, talking to other customers and showing them things on their tablets and cellphones. This continued Thursday night and Friday night until a manager asked them, “Who are you? Is there something I should know about you guys asking questions?”

The arrest reports say the two answered, “You don’t have to know who we are. We are conducting an investigation. You want to know who I am? Call the FBI. The CIA.”

Three witnesses told police that between dropping expletive bombs, Diaz and Nunez Horta “said, among other things, that they were federal agents and they could put everyone there in jail.”

Such echoes of a police state earned them a request to leave. A manager called 911, as did Diaz. When the officer arrived, Diaz claimed to be a “national security agent” working for the CIA. Diaz did this over Nunez Horta’s objections that he didn’t owe anybody an explanation for who he is.

Restaurant surveillance video, the report said, showed Diaz and Nunez Horta increasing in belligerence until the latter tried to choke a Miami police detective, then punched him in tandem with Diaz. Eventually, the two were arrested.

The report said Diaz insisted he was a federal agent and police “would have to contact national security and Homeland Security if we wanted to know more about him, who he works for and what he does.”

Diaz also identified himself as a five-star general and a CIA agent. Nunez Horta said he was a Homeland Security agent.

No mention was made in either report of either man being inebriated or high.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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