Cops Raid Home Of Disgraced FL GOP Ex-Senator Over Alleged Role In Planting Of “Shill” Candidate In 2020

Miami’s ABC News reports:

A search warrant was executed Wednesday morning at the home of former Florida Sen. Frank Artiles as part of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office’s investigation into whether he illegally funded a planted candidate in the November election.

Sources say the warrant involves the search of his electronics, including his cell phone and computer, and the contents of a safe in Artiles’ Palmetto Bay house.

Investigators are looking for evidence of Artiles’ possible communication with Alex Rodriguez, a shill candidate in the District 37 Florida Senate race, and whether there is proof Artiles illegally paid for and paid off the sham candidate.

Law & Crime reports:

Rodriguez was one of at least three non-viable third-party candidates for Florida Senate who were all funded by the same unknown dark money donor(s) as part of a scheme first uncovered by Local News 10 in Nov. 2020 that appeared aimed at siphoning votes away from Democratic candidates. None of the shill candidates did any fundraising, campaigning, voter outreach, or anything that would help them get elected.

Rodriguez, who garnered more than 6,300 votes, had the same last name as Democratic incumbent Javier Rodriguez. Rodriguez lost to Republican challenger Ileana Garcia by a mere 32 votes. The Herald in Dec. 2020 reported that, on the evening of Nov. 3, Artiles was heard publicly bragging about how he was responsible for Rodriguez’s third-party run for office—telling a group of people over drinks: “That is me, that was all me.”

As I reported at the time, Artiles resigned from the Florida Senate in 2017 after he drunkenly called black lawmakers a racist slur. He was later accused of hiring a Playboy model who had no relevant qualifications to work as a political consultant. Watch the clips.