top of page

After more than eleven years of active duty service in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate, I returned home to Central Florida in 2023 to resume civilian life and strengthen my roots in my long missed community. To marry my best friend and to dive all in to support her goals. To start a family with the woman I deeply admire. 

My devotion to service continues to fuel my passion to fight for my community and comrades-in-arms.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, to a Madeiran mother and Mozambiquan father, I grew up in Liberia, West Africa, until evacuated to the United States with my older sister because of what became one of the longest and most devastating civil wars in African history.

After graduating from Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach, where many life lessons learned at home were fortunately reinforced by dedicated teachers and team sports, I became the first college graduate in my family when I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in 2006. My passion for justice and devotion to the United States Constitution led me to study law at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, where I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2010. 

While earning my Juris Doctorate, I earned Book Awards (Highest Grade) in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Advanced Appellate Advocacy, and Legal Writing. I served as Lead Articles Editor for the Barry Law Review and, while competing in the then-highest number of moot court competitions in school history, led the Moot Court Board as Chief Justice. All while publishing my first of several scholarly articles in criminal, military, and constitutional law.

Through all of this practical experience (to include internships and externships in criminal prosecution and clerkships esteemed state and federal judges) , I graduated in the top 3% of my class--of over 250 students.

Just prior to graduating from law school, I answered my nation's call and accepted a presidential commission to serve in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps. Valuing my potential, the United States Air Force approved a rare two year deferral to allow me to accept an offer to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles E. "Chip" Erdmann on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the supreme court of the military justice system.

During my time in uniform, I served as a general counsel, prosecutor, trial defense counsel, and appellate defense counsel. In addition to nearly two hundred litigated and negotiated resolutions as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, as a young prosecutor, I was one of the first active-duty Air Force judge advocates to attend the Project SAFE Childhood seminar, taught by the Department of Justice at the National Advocacy Center. This course is normally only provided to federal prosecutors who specialize in serious offenses such as possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and a multitude of other offenses involving children commonly referred to child exploitation offenses.. I have relied on this training throughout my assignments representing Airmen, and I bring this training and experience to your case. 

In my appellate assignment, I represented Airmen before the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Force, and the Supreme Court of the United States. I represented over 100 clients and earned them relief at every level of the military justice appellate system.

This litigation and appellate experience led me to be personally selected to represent Mr. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the still alleged mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001, in his multi-defendant capital military commission, held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

My experience developed the skills necessary to understand how a criminal case goes from investigation all the way to final appeal. I have spent more than a decade developing a reputation for frankness, being able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a criminal investigation and prosecution, negotiating a positive outcome when possible, and defending you at trial if necessary.

Though I hung up my boots when honorably discharged, I cannot surrender my duty to the community that welcomed me as a boy, and my brothers and sisters still at arms.  


I am proud to represent you in an effort to bring about the best possible result in your case; to the end of the line if needed. 

Caruco Photo 2.webp



Barry University

Dwayne O. Andreas

School of Law

Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude

- Top 3% of class of over 250 students


- Book Awards (Highest Grade):

Advanced Appellate Advocacy, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Legal Research & Writing I & II

- Moot Court Honors Board:

Most Valuable Advocate (2008-2009, 2009-2010)

Best Advocate, 2008 Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition

Best Advocate, 2008 Barry University First-Year Moot Court Competition


- Moot Court Honors Board

Chief Justice (2009-2010)

ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Navy JAG Corps National Moot Court Competition

New York City Bar National Moot Court Competition

Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition

- Barry Law Review

Lead Articles Editor (2009-2010)

Associate Editor (2008-2009)


University of Central Florida

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science



Caruço Law, PLLC


- Comprehensive, Aggressive Criminal and Military Justice Defense Representation in All Phases of Litigation and Appeal

- Florida, Federal, & Military Practice

- General Counsel to Small Businesses


Hanlon Law, P.A.

Associate Attorney

- Criminal Defense Trial Practice Throughout Florida and Federal Court


Boyd & Jenerette, P.A.

Senior Associate

- General civil litigation and appellate practice, with a focus on insurance defense.

- Represented business and commercial clients before all Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, all federal district courts in Florida, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

- Ghostwrote motions, responses, and other pleadings for outside trial counsel.

- Drafted motion argument outlines and attended depositions, hearings, and trials to advise outside counsel to properly preserve issues for potential appeal.   


United States Air Force

Judge Advocate

- Represented Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks) in the military commissions, a capital case; oversaw high volume motions practice; central role in developing mitigation investigation.

- Represented 50+ clients before the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

- Perform legal review of Freedom of Information Act administrative appeals on behalf of the General Counsel to the Secretary of the Air Force.

- Advised clients on all administrative investigations conducted within the National Capital Region, to include senior military and Senior Executive Service personnel.

- Represented 1160+ Airmen facing administrative discipline through court-martial; traveled across Eastern Circuit for multiple cases involving complex or extensive pre-trial litigation.

- Lead or supervisory counsel on myriad cases involving both classified and unclassified matters at every stage in the trial process concerning offenses including: rape and sexual assault, mishandling of classified materials, extortion, child exploitation, child pornography, fraud, drug abuse and distribution, and larceny.

- Developed expertise in digital forensic investigations; guided creation of Air Force-wide operations plan to conduct undercover proactive child exploitation investigations and prosecution.

- Prosecuted 150+ civilian offenses committed on military property as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.


The Honorable Charles E. "Chip" Erdmann

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Law Clerk

- Prepared bench memorandums

- Collaborated on and drafted judicial opinions

- Advised on disposition of motions



Florida Attorney General

Office of Statewide Prosecution


- Represented the state of Florida in criminal law proceedings

- Researched and drafted legal memoranda and filings


The Honorable

John Antoon II

United States District Court

Middle District of Florida


- Researched and drafted memoranda, and assisted - - Assisted in drafting orders

- Edited citations

- Observed court proceedings.


The Honorable

Bob LeBlanc

Ninth Judicial Circuit


- Researched issues in criminal law

- Observed court proceedings


In Order to Form a More Perfect Court: A Quantitative Measure of the Military’s Highest Court’s Success as a Court of Last Resort, 41 Vt. L. Rev. 71 (2016)


Treating Members of the Military at Least as Well as Inmates and Students: Determining When Military Necessity Requires Infringing Upon Constitutional Rights in Cases Before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 46 U. Mem. L. Rev. 61 (2015)


In the Trenches of Florida’s War on Gangs: A Framework for Prosecuting Florida’s Anti-Gang Sentence Enhancement, 14 Barry Law Review 97 (2010)


Schraufnagel, Scot and Rodrigo Caruco. 2006. “An Individual-Level Analysis of Incivility in the Post-Reform Congress.” Atlanta, GA: Southern Political Science Association. January 5-8, 2006.

Significant Military Awards & Decorations

Meritorious Service Medal

Air and Space Commendation Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Joint Meritorious Unit Award (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)

Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award

National Defense Service Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air and Space Longevity Service Award (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)

Professional Associations

National College of DUI Defense (2023-Present)

Orange County Bar Association (2023-Present)

Community Involvement

Assistant Coach, Orlando Gold Volleyball Club

Bar Admissions

Florida, 2010

Supreme Court of the United States, 2017

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 2012

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2023

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2023

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2023

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2023

Get in Touch

O: (407) 900-5238

M: (386-748-4439

  • Military Justice Blog
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
bottom of page