Jailhouse Snitch Caught Trying to Frame Defendant With Episode of "El Capo"

A lying jailhouse snitch got caught at his game in a Miami murder trial this week.

The snitch, Andres Garcia Florez, is serving 30 years for cocaine distribution. He thought he'd shave some time off by testifying against Clifford Friend, who is being tried for the 1994 murder of Friend's wife. (Prosecutors deny they had promised him a reduction, he testified he was hoping for one.)

Florez told the jury the two had watched an episode of El Capo 3 together. In the episode (Episodio 7, you can watch here), a high-level Russian drug dealer figures out his girlfriend is working for a rival group trying to take him down. He lures her onto a boat, ties her up with rope, attaches an anchor to the rope and throws her overboard. Flores claimed while the episode was airing, Friend told him that's what he did with his wife (whose body has never been found.) [More....]

“He told me, ‘Wow it reminds me of what I did. It’s like déjà vu,’” Garcia Florez said, recalling Friend saying: “It’s funny, I just saw myself on TV ... that’s how it’s done.”

Unbeknownst to prosecutors, the defense had obtained Friends's telephone call records from the jail. Friend was on the phone the whole time the show aired, and could not have watched it with Florez. Prosecutors, obviously stung, took a day to investigate, and returned to court asking that Florez' testimony be stricken. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler told them:

“State, seriously, you put on a jailhouse snitch and didn’t further check his credibility,” Pooler told prosecutors.

The jury was told Florez had fabricated his testimony and to disregard it. The state then rested. Closing arguments are today.

The state contends Friend killed his wife over a custody issue and got his friend Alan Gold to help dump the body from his boat. Gold was arrested earlier but refused to cooperate until recently. He received immunity from prosecution for his testimony.

I wonder if Florez saw the next episode (episodio 8) in which Kiara, the faux-girlfriend thrown overboard, rescues herself, makes her way back to El Capo's gang, which then kidnaps her Russian faux-boyfriend Azimov, and leaves Kiara alone with him so she can torture him (she slices his face with a sharp hairpin object, among other things, but doesn't kill him.) El Capo leaves him tied up for weeks, making him beg for water and food until he gives up the information that will help El Capo in his new mission to take down the cartels. El Capo and Kiara also fall in love and have a tumultuous relationship for the remainder of the season (as El Capo is determined to return to his wife.)

While you don't need dialogue to figure out the boat scene, it's interesting that Flores says he was teaching Friend English. El Capo 3, which aired on Mundo Fox from March to June, has no subtitles or close-captioning. (As I've mentioned many times, MundoFox is exempt from FCC rules on close-captioning because the network is less than 2 years old.)

Florez, the snitch, also said “It was common for us to watch it,” Garcia told jurors. “Everybody watched it in Colombia.” While El Capo 1 and 2 aired in Colombia, El Capo 3 had not yet aired in Colombia when it finished its U.S. run.

In any event, if you can understand even a bit of Spanish, I highly recommend all three seasons of El Capo, but El Capo 3 is my favorite. Here are some screengrabs of the overboard episode and Kiara getting back at Azimov.

It will be interesting to see what the jury does with the case, given the lying snitch, lack of a body and the age of the case. The child of the Friends, who is now 25, has attended court every day.

< "El Chino Antrax" Extradited to San Diego | Report on Mass Killing of Sunni Prisoners in Iraq >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Thats what happens when the story gets (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 12:44:16 PM EST
    too elaborate, with too many easily checked details. Any viewer of Inspector Morse could tell you that!

    Your recaps make me want to watch El Capo. Maybe it would help brush up my Spanish.