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Report: Marco Rubio used influence to issue real estate license for convicted drug dealing brother-in-law

December 31, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Report: Marco Rubio used influence to issue real estate license for convicted drug dealing brother-in-law

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According to the Washington Post, Florida Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Marco Rubio reportedly used his elected position to influence state regulators to issue a real estate license for his brother-in-law, who was convicted of drug trafficking during the height of the Cocaine Cowboys in Miami.

In 2002, Rubio used his status as majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives to recommend a real estate license to Orlando Cicilia despite his conviction for drug trafficking,

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Rubio advocated in a letter to the Florida Division of Real Estate for “licensure without reservation” using his official statehouse stationery.

However, in the letter, Rubio didn’t disclose that Cicilia, who was married to his older sister Barbara, was his brother-in-law.

Cicilia, 58, was accused of being a “front man” for Cuban-American Mario Tabraue, a drug lord known for keeping exotic animals on the grounds of his lavish mansion, at the height of the Cocaine Cowboys era in Miami.

Rubio’s brother-in-law was convicted of distributing $15 million worth of cocaine in 1989 and was given a lengthy prison sentence.

Tabraue was found guilty after his 1989 trial, which included witness testimony he tried to dismember the body of a federal informant with a machete.

The Post reported obtained the letter through the Florida Public Records Act, which shows Rubio wrote the endorsement letter two years after Cecilia was released from prison.

The GOP presidential candidate reportedly stated to the regulators in 2002 that he had known Cicilia “for over 25 years.” However, he stopped short on revealing the extent of the relationship or the fact that the convicted former drug trafficker lived at the time in the same West Miami residence as Rubio’s parents, The Post reported.

Rubio, 44, has refused to answer questions about Cicilia.

Also, the Florida Senator has not revealed whether he or his family received financial assistance from Cicilia either before or after his conviction.

Although the feds seized the home of the former drug dealer, the cash was not recovered, according to The Post.

The Rubio presidential campaign denies the candidate did any wrong doing.

“It was not unusual at all for Marco to recommend Floridians for any number of professional positions. He felt it would have been highly inappropriate and could have been viewed as exerting undue influence if he had stated that Orlando was relative,” Rubio spokesman and advisor Todd Harris told the Daily News late Wednesday.

He added Cicilia “did make huge mistakes 30 years ago, but he has served his time, and has paid his debt to society.”

Harris said Rubio believed it would be “highly inappropriate, and could be perceived as exerting undue pressure if his letter stated that Orlando was related.”

At least one watchdog group said the conflict of interest should have been disclosed.

“It’s wrong to use your public office for personal or private gain,” Danielle Brian, executive director at the Project on Government Oversight, told the newspaper.

Rubio mentioned Cicilia’s legal troubles in his 2012 memoir “An American Son” but did not delve into the scope of the drug enterprise.

He recalled looking after Cicilia’s dogs as a teenager to earn money to buy tickets for Miami Dolphins football games.

Rubio’s spokesman Todd Harris has said the politician was only 16 years old when Cicilia was arrested and that the incident was a private family matter.

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