It’s Friday, January 21st - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A Miami woman is facing charges after authorities said the four Broward County massage parlors she ran were fronts for prostitution.
Maricela Ramirez, 47, was arrested in Miami-Dade Thursday and faces charges including deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, money laundering and the use of a two-way device to facilitate a felony, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said. The investigation into Ramirez began in 2019 when Hollywood Police detectives began investigating prostitution allegations at a business called Luna Azul Spa. BSO’s human trafficking detectives and special agents with Homeland Security Investigations also began investigating the case and discovered that Ramirez was using female employees to solicit sex for money at Luna Azul and three other parlors: Tan Spa in Hollywood, Innovative Spa in Pompano Beach, and G-Spa in Pembroke Park.
No. 2 - A Sunrise Police sergeant who was already part of an internal affairs investigation after he was caught on body camera putting his hand on a fellow officer's throat is now under criminal investigation, officials said Thursday.
Sgt. Christopher Pullease was placed on administrative leave with pay Wednesday after criminal allegations were uncovered during the internal affairs investigation into the throat incident, Sunrise Police officials said. The department didn't release any other details about the criminal investigation, but said they're working with the Broward State Attorney's Office. Pullease had already been relieved of supervisory responsibilities and was the subject of the internal affairs investigation following the Nov. 19 incident involving the other officer.
No. 3 - A Miami Police officer is receiving praise after a body camera video showed her de-escalating a tense situation with a fellow officer.
The incident involving Officers Kassandra Mercado and Jason Vasquez happened in 2020 but the footage was only just released. Police had stopped a man and taken him into custody when Vasquez responded to a call from assistance from other officers. As Vasquez arrived at the scene, the man, who was claiming he too was a law enforcement officer, became upset that he was being taken into custody. Suddenly, things were escalated between the man's friends and Vasquez, who was wearing a body camera. Click here to see the video in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 4 - The city of Miami has revoked the permits of five of its seven electric scooter operators that participate in the city’s pilot program, telling them to cease operations, NBC 6 has learned Thursday.
“We can confirm that the City sent letters to five electric scooter operators — Bird, Bolt, Lime, Lyft and Wheels – on January 18th and 19th, revoking their operating permits for the City’s Motorized Scooter Pilot Program,” Josh Heferman, the assistant director of communications for the city, wrote in a statement. Helbiz and Spin are now the only remaining options for e-scooter riders in the city of Miami. This is the second time in less than three months that there’s been a significant pause in e-scooter operations in Miami.
No. 5 - Teachers see a bright red flag in HB1055. The bill moving through Florida’s House of Representatives would allow school districts to require cameras in classrooms.
Teachers would have to wear microphones, with the stated goal of the bill, according to its sponsors, would be to obtain video evidence in case of an incident of bullying or fighting inside a classroom. However, teachers regard the bill as a Trojan horse, a tool to spy on them. Click here for more on why they feel that way in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.
No. 6 - Meat Loaf, the heavyweight rock superstar loved by millions for his “Bat Out of Hell” album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as “Paradise by the Dashboard Light," “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)," has died.
The singer born Marvin Lee Aday died Thursday, according to a family statement provided by his longtime agent Michael Greene. No cause or other details were given, but Aday had numerous health scares over the years. “Bat Out of a Hell,” his mega-selling collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren, came out in 1977 and made him one of the most recognizable performers in rock.
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