In Miami federal court, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was indicted on cocaine trafficking charges. The indictment also alleges that he sold information about law enforcement activities to a well-known drug cartel. Richard Padilla Cramer was employed by the federal government for 30 years as an immigration agent. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal complaint against Cramer for allegedly negotiating cocaine shipments from Panama to Spain.
The case is just a prime example of how state, local and federal authorities get tangled up in the drug trade. There is the recent occurrence of a Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer involved in a Miami cocaine trafficking ring. Why do law enforcement officers succumb to becoming involved in the drug and narcotics trade? Is it out of greed or necessity? As a Miami criminal lawyer, I have seen examples of both. Some law enforcement officers who have been indicted or arrested on cocaine or marijuana trafficking charges claim to have made a mistake and wanted to live a more lavish lifestyle. Other law enforcement officers became involved in similar criminal enterprises for economic reasons; such as insufficient income or economic difficulties.
Cramer became involved in the cocaine trafficking case when he was working in Guadalajara, Mexico. The allegation suggests that Cramer invested between $15,000 and $20,000 into one shipment of 660 pounds of cocaine. Cramer left Nogales, Mexico in 2004 when he retired from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Cramer moved to Green Valley, California and was employed by the Santa Cruz County Detention Center as a correctional officer.
Several former fellow employees were surprised by the situation. Cramer was well-known and respected law enforcement veteran. Cramer's employment records were indicative of a 30 year veteran of federal law enforcement. It is unclear what defenses will be set forth by his Miami criminal attorney in representing Cramer.
Ex-lawman from Nogales is Arraigned in Drug Case, Nogales International, September 8, 2009.