A former Florida Highway Patrol trooper has been arrested for allegedly helping a Miami Beach dentist cover up a 2015 hit-and-run crash that left a man seriously injured, authorities said Tuesday.
The former trooper, 35-year-old David Casillas, has been charged with organized scheme to defraud, making a false insurance claim, official misconduct and unlawful use of a 2-way communication device, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said.
The dentist, 51-year-old Jesus Enrique Del Valle, is charged with grand theft, leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury, organized scheme to defraud, making a false insurance claim and unlawful use of a 2-way communication device.
Casillas was booked into the Miami-Dade jail Tuesday and was being held on $40,000 bond, records showed. Del Valle's bond was $100,000. Attorney information wasn't available.
"In an effort to avoid prosecution for leaving the scene of an accident injury, it is alleged that a dentist, a former police officer and a body shop owner all committed a variety of serious crimes," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "This community has seen too many tragedies where injured people suffer on the side of our roads. This must stop."
Authorities said Del Valle was involved in a June 30, 2015 crash near West 62nd Street and Alton Road that left a landscaper seriously injured. The landscaper, Yoel Montero, was struck by a Range Rover that allegedly fled the scene.
Del Valle brought the Range Rover to an auto repair shop owned by his girlfriend's cousin, Ariel Perera, for repair work. To get insurance to cover the work, Del Valle contacted his friend, Casillas, who provided a false accident report that said there had been a collision with a palm tree far from Miami Beach and dated the accident a week before the actual crash, officials said.
Perera also allegedly submitted inflated invoices for payment from the insurance company and included charges for replacement parts that were never replaced. He's been charged with grand theft, making a false insurance claim and organized scheme to defraud.
Casillas was dismissed from the FHP last month, officials said.
"Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing one of our Troopers was arrested as a result of this investigation. The Florida Highway Patrol does not tolerate any conduct that discredits the integrity of the Division. Members will maintain a level of moral conduct in their personal and business affairs, which is in keeping with the highest standards of the law enforcement profession," FHP Lt. Yosdany Veloz said in a statement. "This is not representative of the Florida Highway Patrol, and we can assure the community that any violation of integrity and public trust will be dealt with swiftly, and appropriately."