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Vacationing FL Cop Murdered In Tragic Scene

Vacationing FL Cop Murdered In Tragic Scene

The Miami Herald via YellowBrix

May 13, 2011

PONCE, Puerto Rico — Juan Leonardo Aviles Otero, a Miami-Dade police officer, former soldier, narcotics detective and father of newborn twin girls, died Thursday on the side of a road in a remote part of southern Puerto Rico.

Aviles, 34, was found

shot to death at 3:10 a.m. in the passenger seat of the 2009 Toyota Corolla he had rented while on a Mother’s Day visit to see his mom to try and convince her to move to Miami. His 21-year-old sister, Jazmin Plaza Otero, a single mom in a yellow tank top and shorts, was found on the driver’s side, face-down in the dirt.

Like her brother, she was shot in the face, chest and arms, according to news reports.

Lt. Angel Feliciano of the Ponce homicide unit said three envelopes with a white powdery substance were found in Aviles’ pocket. Another envelope, empty, was on the floor of the car; police have sent it to a lab for analysis.

“The contents had already been consumed,” Feliciano told reporters.

The brother and sister had been having drinks at Las Copitas, a rural dive sports bar in Villalba, near a mountain called Cerro Maravilla, some 55 miles south of the capital. The mountain is better known for the decades-long scandal that erupted there from a 1978 police ambush of two independence activists.

Police on Thursday were trying to determine whether Aviles was ambushed as well, or if he and his sister were already parked on the side of the road.

“This [killing] arose from a discussion they had had earlier at the place of business,” Police Superintendent Jose Figueroa Sancha told reporters. He hinted that there had been an earlier bar fight.


This screen grab from shows the scene where a Miami-Dade police officer was killed in Puerto Rico early Thursday morning.

“This goes to what we’ve been talking about the tolerance, or lack of tolerance, in these types of discussions, in these types of establishments.”

The bar remained closed most of the afternoon. When it reopened, nobody there wished to discuss the officer’s murder.

After a stint in the narcotics division of the Bayamon Police region in Puerto Rico, officer Aviles joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in late 2006 and was assigned first to Palmetto Bay and later to the Midwest District around Doral. He married fellow police officer Vanessa Marie Alvarez last year.

Having recently given birth to twin daughters, she was not on the trip with him.

One supervisor who worked with Aviles in the Midwest district described him as “a hard-working officer.”

“He was ambitious,” said a Miami-Dade supervisor who said he said he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. “He was very strict about following the rules, dotting his i’s, crossing his t’s. I doubt you’ll find anyone who had a knock about how he performed his job.”

Miami-Dade Police dispatched an investigator to Puerto Rico, and issued only a two-sentence announcement of the officer’s killing.

In Puerto Rico, relatives told El Nuevo Dia newspaper that Aviles’ slain sister recently broke off with a boyfriend who she lived with in Ponce, who had threatened her by telephone. Family members wonder whether Aviles was mistaken for a new boyfriend, since he was not well known in the neighborhood.

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  • Stmaarten2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in peace officer.

  • Different_mourning_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Well this is an easy one to figure out... Boyfriend kills ex-girlfriend and who he THINKS is her boyfriend... Then plants narcotics to make it LOOK like a drug related crime instead of a 'crime of passion.' (liberal slang for justifying murder) I mean hell, that's what I do with my sister, go to a bar and snort coke.... YEAH!!!

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in peace Officer Juan Leonardo Aviles Otero, Godspeed Sir
    The truth will come out and Justice will prevale for you and yours...

  • Decepticons_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Que descanses en paz mi hermano y que Dios te bendiga y a tu famila.

  • Facebook_-2145634490_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Until they know for sure they should of never casted any doubt on this mans honor I will wait for facts before judgment thank you and may god bless your family and especially the little ones

  • Xoxosmile_max50


    over 3 years ago


    God Bless you sir and your family. Thank you for the service and rest in peace!

  • Nintendo_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Maythis officer and all who knew and loved him find peace. Thank you for your service, sir.

  • Quickley-b240_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago



  • Policememorial---a_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in peace Officer Aviles, may God welcome you home with open arms and may He comfort the loved ones you have left behind.

    Bump Vinojas, also I wouldn't put it past the killers to plant stuff on Aviles in an attempt to discredit him for whatever reason. Until the lab work and blood work comes back its not dope and he wasn't using...

  • Eagle-3_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Brother. May God comfort your family and fellow officers during this most trying time. We shall also pray that justice is served and the truth prevails.

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Sir . Again showing how cheep life is to some people .

  • Img_3794ma26750579-0005_max50


    over 3 years ago


    May the truth surface and may you both rest in peace.
    The number of murders down there is shocking.

  • M_47410fdb0048b0ac6cdb0d27962cc918_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP.I am so sorry for the families left behind...I am learning more and more how siblings can affect an officer's career and life. I am sorry for all of this...

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP, Brother!

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