By ROSHAN NEBHRAJANI, rnebhrajani@MiamiHerald.com
Ulises Rodriguez, 35, was arrested and charged last Thursday with 17 counts of transmitting harmful material to a minor.
On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade Fire Department said Rodriguez had been relieved of duty. He was hired in 2005.
The circumstances surrounding the teen’s death are unclear. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the cause of death, but homicide detectives are investigating, said Miami-Dade police spokesman Det. Javier Baez.
After police began probing the teen’s death, they found several sexually explicit text messages and photographic materials from Rodriguez on the victim’s cell phone. On May 1, Rodriguez sent the teen four pictures exposing his penis.
The photos were followed with several sexually explicit text messages where Rodriguez expressed a desire to engage in a sexual relationship with a young boy, “like 15 or 16,” according to the police report.
According to the messages, it appears that Rodriguez and the boy had sexual contact prior to the initial text message.
The sexually charged messages resumed approximately four weeks later, on May 24th. It is unclear if the firefighter remained in contact with the young boy during that time. The messages then resumed in more frequent intervals — as much as twice a day, others within a week of each other.
The last message logged on the arrest affidavit occurred on June 22, just two days before police found the teen dead.
Rodriguez was taken to the Dade County Jail and was released on Monday on his own recognizance.