A sergeant with the Miami Springs Police Department was arrested by the FBI on federal charges of corruption.
The 16-year police veteran who began his career with the force in 1999 as a public service aide was the subject of an investigation involving a confidential informant. The United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida, announced that he was arrested for "attempting to affect commerce by extortion under color of official right."
The federal complaint alleges that the confidential source informed the sergeant in September last year that he was involved with drug trafficking. Rather than arresting him, the policeman reportedly offered to aid him in his illegal activities.
His assistance allegedly included supply of the supposed drug trafficker with undercover police locations and names of officers with the Miami-Dade force. The complaint also accuses him of running the name of another drug supplier through the law enforcement database at the informant’s request.
During December of 2014, the police sergeant reportedly agreed to escort a supposed drug deal involving 10 kilos of cocaine. The complaint details how the cop picked a spot for the exchange in Miami Springs where it would be safe to exchange the coke for a quarter million dollars. He then purportedly used his police vehicle to drive to a package shipping center, and, still wearing his police uniform, reportedly arranged for the cash to be shipped to New York.
For his cooperation, the 33-year-old cop allegedly pocketed $3,500.
The Miami Springs Police Chief issued a press release stating that after his arrest, the policeman "has now been relieved of duty without pay pending the results of the criminal case."
City payroll records indicate that the accused earned $117,772.20 in benefits and salary in 2014. A conviction could result in two decades in federal prison.
Anyone facing federal drug charges should work closely with their criminal defense attorney to craft the best possible defense strategy to present to the court.
Source: Miami Herald, "FBI arrests Miami Springs police sergeant on federal corruption charge over alleged drug deal," Theo Karantsalis, May. 26, 2015