Reporter “Doc Justice” uncovered a trail of records, apparently catching a Florida cop involved in housing fraud.
James Eric McDonough, who has a PhD in inorganic chemistry but also works as a civil rights journalist for PINAC, met with detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department in mid-January to talk about his discoveries.
Since then, none of his emails or phone calls have been returned by the police department.
But that might because he uncovered information that shows Monroe County sheriff’s deputy Luis Gomez and his wife, Maria L. Quintera Campos, have been collecting money from the Miami-Dade Housing Authority for a decade now.
According to Doc Justice, as of October 2016, chances are the couple has defrauded the county out of more than $105,000 by lying on forms to obtain Section 8 housing funding.
And they still receive about $1,200 a month, according to records, which can be seen here.
That would make the total approximately $130,000.
According to billing records, the couple started receiving assistance in 2007, the year he began working as a deputy for Monroe County, according to his deposition where he also admitted to having worked as an “alligator wrestler.”
Maria L. Quintera-Campos claims to be unemployed and making $130 a month while living alone with her daughter.
But her daughter’s surname is Gomez.
Maria L. Quintera Campos also claimed she was making $250 a week before she was let go, according to another document.
Billing records show her full name linked to 20308 SW 324th Street, which is where “Doc Justice’s” saga with his local law enforcement began when he butted heads with Homestead police officer Alejandro Murguido outside of his home.
McDonough asked Murguido, who had a documented history of bad driving on the job, to slow down near where his kids often play.
That disagreement, which can be heard below, resulted in Murguido, who was off-duty at the time, chasing McDonough down, arresting him and later making false statements to charge him with crimes.
Gomez, an off-duty deputy and neighbor who lives across the street, also chased McDonough and made false statements leading to McDonough’s arrest.
The original incident occurred in October 29, 2012. One year later, McDonough called the Homestead Police Department where Murguido works and left a message with Internal Affairs.
Then, on February 15, 2013, Murguido, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, along with deputy Gomez, who was also off-duty during the original disagreement, filed a criminal complaint against him alleging felony stalking and felony corruption for threatening a civil servant.
Those charges were reduced by the state attorney to simple misdemeanor stalking and two counts of trespass, which were all eventually dismissed.
That’s what led McDonough to investigating Gomez, although he’s careful how he frames it.
“I say ‘and/or’ because I am only 98% sure Gomez is complicit and I don’t willfully commit defamation per se, like Gomez does. Maybe only his wife is defrauding Miami-Dade.”
In a deposition, which can be heard above, McDonough’s attorney for a lawsuit asks Gomez who he lives with.
“Mari,” he replies, making an apparent Freudian slip.
Gomez quickly changes his answer to his family, saying his wife and kids, plural.
“Isabel,” he says, correcting himself.
Further records obtained through FOIA requests show Gomez has a son who also lives at 20308 SW 324th St.
Gomez also testified regarding the 2012 incident, saying his address was 20307 SW 324th St., which is the house across the street from Murguido. Gomez now lives right beside Murguido at 20308 SW 324th St., shown in the below photo.
But Records show Maria claimed to also have lived at that address in 2012.
McDonough says he would have never investigated Gomez at all had he not attempted to lie in order to obtain criminal charges. But when he did, things began to seem “fishy.”
“While investigating Gomez and where he lives things seemed fishy, so I filed a records request with the Housing Authority, for the records of a Maria Quintero who lived at his address,” McDonough said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
“The records came back showing she was a single mother living alone with her daughter, who had the same last name as Gomez. Quintero claimed she only received $130/month from her sister, and no one else lived with them,” he said
“Funny since the house she lives in cost approximately $2,000/month and Section 8 only gives them $1,200 rent assistance. But we know Gomez lives there and covers the difference.”
McDonough said he met with Miami-Dade police detectives after they came to his house to interview him for a criminal investigation into Gomez.
“Afterwards, I emailed the lead detective my evidence.”
“This only happened because I had sent my complaint to several agencies (MDPD, HUD, Miami-Dade Housing Authority, etc.) and HUD asked MDPD to investigate,” he said.
Several emails to the police department since the initial interview have not been returned.
So far, no charges have been filed against Gomez.