The FBI has targeted several police officers for their alleged involvement in illegal bookmaking activities. More specifically, several police officers from the City of Miami are accused of providing protection for an illegal bookmaking ring operating out of Liberty City. The illegal gambling operation was under investigation for the past year and has been shut down according to local and federal authorities. One police officer has been suspended from duty, but the feds anticipate approximately six arrests in the upcoming days or weeks. Once the officers are arrested, it would be in their best interests to retain Miami criminal attorneys that have experience in defending public corruption cases both in state and federal court.
The investigation allegedly revealed that the officers involved were working off-duty details at a commercial establishment at the heart of the bookmaking operation. The FBI is simultaneously investigating other Miami-Dade law enforcement officers who are alleged to be involved in complex schemes to defraud including identity theft and thefts tax refunds. The latest investigation of City of Miami police officers is the most recent in a long list. Over the years, many City of Miami police officers have been relieved of duty and also on some occasions charged both in criminal federal and state courts. While very few officers across the county are corrupt or involved in criminal enterprises, allegations of this nature certainly violate the public trust. As a Miami criminal lawyer, reports of this nature certainly support allegations made by clients who routinely complain of police misconduct.
While all police departments across the country have their issues, the City of Miami Police Department is always making headlines. Whether the allegations are fair or unfair, the public confidence is certainly impacted anytime misconduct is reported in the media. In the past, officers from the Miami Police Department have been accused of being involved in drug trafficking, drug-ripoffs, robberies and illegal shootings. While all of the allegations have not been substantiated, police officers have been convicted of these types crimes and have been sentenced to jail and prison sentences both in state and federal court. The United States Justice Department is also investigating the City of Miami Police Department for police shootings that took the lives of seven men in 2010 and 2011. It is apparent that the Miami Police is not the only department under scrutiny. Unrelated FBI investigations are targeting officers in other departments for identity theft and tax refund fraud. There are allegations that police officers are stealing social security numbers and dates of birth and filing fraudulent tax returns.
It is certainly a shame when allegations of this nature come to light. While most police officers follow the law and the policies set forth by their departments, others are just as guilty of committing crimes as some of the defendants they arrest. At a minimum, bad officers can taint the reputation of an entire police department. Sometimes these illegal actions work to the benefit of clients. Officers being investigated, relieved of duty or even arrested will irreparably damage a prosecutor's case to the point that cases are often dismissed both in county and circuit court for officer misconduct..
Investigating Cops in Bookmaking Case, Miami Herald.com, December 11, 2012.