Marco Rubio (R) is running a “Family Dream” campaign and a strong fourth among Republican presidential candidates. Rubio launched one of the most successful and rapidly growing political careers in Florida.
When he was a teenager, he found out his brother-in-law Orlando Cicila, married to his sister Barbara, was an active, big-time cocaine dealer, according the Washington Post.
Cicila was the number two man, the front man, in the Tabraue drug ring. He handled Tabraue’s inventory and sometimes stored it in his home, coordinated shipments, and collected money.
Rubio’s brother-in-law went to trial charged as a central figure in one of the biggest drug cases of Miami’s ‘baroque cocaine-cowboys era:”
“It was a very large operation. Planes from Colombia were coming into the Bahamas and the Keys, landing at small airports, dropping drugs into the Everglades.”
Rubio was born in the U.S. and, as a small child, he found Cuban-born Cicilia and his father assembling a bicycle for his Christmas present. Rubio, now 44, wrote in his memoir:
“You would have thought I’d walked in on two burglars.”
The Cicilia and Rubio families are closely knit personally and emotionally, and that has led to financial and political dealings, unfortunately.
Cicilia and Barbara currently live in Rubio’s childhood home with Rubio’s mother and shares ownership with her.
Rubio-affiliated PACs and his campaigns, including his presidential operation, have paid more than $130,000 to his nephews over the past decade, primarily to Cicilia’s son’s video and consulting companies
The Washington Post asked if Cicilia helped Rubio or his family financially, and did Rubio help attain an early prison release? Rubio spokesman Todd Harris responded by email, and the Washington Post speaks to that communication:
“Rubio did not help Cicilia win early release. Harris did not address the financial support question.”
Rubio has said his first job was building animal cages for Cicilia meant for the Tabraue kingpin’s exotic animal business. Then Rubio worked for Cicilia washing Samoyed dogs in the very house that would soon be under surveillance by federal agents.
Sam Rabin, prosecutor in charge of a drug-homicide task force said:
“There were shootings at intersections. There were shootings in swimming pools. There were bodies everywhere. It was the Wild West.”
Cicilia received 35 years, and the jury found him responsible for $15 million in drug sales. The money has never been found.