After four months spent investigating an alleged heroin dealer in Boca Raton, police may have arrested the wrong man — or arrested the right man with the wrong name.
Davansky Jasmin appeared in handcuffs before a judge Thursday morning to set bail for heroin trafficking charges — but the charges weren’t filed against him.
The man standing in front of a judge was Jasmin, but the man police thought was booked into Palm Beach County Jail was Roberson Maxi, Boca Raton police say.
When he was arrested Tuesday, Jasmin, 21, told police he was Roberson Maxi, which is his uncle’s name, police spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said.
Boonenberg said Davasnky was found with 28 grams of heroin in his possession when he was arrested Tuesday, but police are still investigating whether he was involved in other drug transactions documented in a police investigation launched in July.
The undercover investigation included multiple controlled drug transactions with a confidential informant, according to probable-cause affidavits.
But in the five police reports filed in the investigation, which began in July, Jasmin’s name is never mentioned. The reports do, however, describe the confidential informant identifying the man selling drugs as “Roberson Maxi.”
Jasmin is Maxi’s nephew, said Jasmin’s defense attorney John Weekes, who has represented Jasmin before.
“I went to the jail looking for Davansky. When I got to the jail, they said they’ve got no one by that name in the jail,” Weekes said. “I finally showed them a picture of him in the jail, and they said, ‘No, that’s Roberson Maxi.”
They listed “Davansky Jasmin” as an alias on the arrest reports after Jasmin was booked, Boonenberg said.
Jasmin was arrested, but court records show that Roberson Maxi, 25, is charged with two counts of heroin trafficking, one count of heroin sale, two counts of cocaine sale and one count of opium sale, court records reveal.
Maxi, a Pompano Beach resident, was made aware of the charges this morning by family, he said.
“Nobody from police contacted me. I had to go to Boca PD myself,” Maxi said. “They just told me that they’re going to pursue it and contact the arresting officer.”
Maxi, who has no felony arrests, but one misdemeanor arrest in Broward County in 2012, has two jobs that he worries are in jeopardy because the charges are under his name.
“It’s been on my mind all day,” Maxi said. “My whole livelihood is at stake because I have these felony charges on my record.”
Jasmin, who was arrested this year in Boca Raton on felony drug possession charges, was stopped by police Tuesday in a silver Mercedes, registered under Maxi’s name, and taken to Palm Beach County Jail.
“They scanned (Jasmin’s) fingerprints, and that’s when they found out about his identity,” Boonenberg said.
Despite his fingerprints identifying him as Davansky Jasmin, he was still booked into county jail under Maxi’s name, birthday and address, likely because the police reports listed Maxi’s information, Boonenberg said.
Boonenberg said that one charge will stand because Jasmin was found with 28.3 grams of heroin in his car when he was arrested.
The other five charges are being investigated, Boonenberg said, but as of Thursday afternoon, the charges were still filed under Maxi’s name.
Maxi co-signed a loan for Jasmin’s Mercedes, he said, explaining that the tag was in his name. Police say the Mercedes was used in five of the six controlled drug transactions.
Boonenberg said that it’s possible the arresting officers got confused because the two men look alike.
“There may be a resemblance between the two and we’re trying to figure that out. That’s why we’re investigating the charges,” she said.
The confidential informant identified Maxi to detectives by a Florida driver license photograph, the report states. Maxi says he wouldn’t be surprised if they confused the two of them.
“That’s definitely a possibility that they thought we just looked alike,” he said. Maxi also said he wouldn’t be surprised if his nephew used his identity.
The arrest reports reveal Boca Raton Police Department spent $3,500 in the controlled drug transactions.
Weekes expects any charges brought against Jasmin will be dropped.
“There’s no way to build a case against somebody based on sloppy police work,” he said. “The whole investigation was flawed.”
Jasmin remains in Palm Beach County Jail after Judge Caroline Sheppard set bail Thursday morning at $25,000.