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FBI Stings Net 8 Miami Officials In Drug and Extortion Schemes

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Two undercover FBI sting operations have resulted in charges against eight Miami area officials including a cop, two firefighters and several code compliance officers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami said the first case involved charges against a lead code compliance officer and four other code officers and two firefighters. They face extortion charges.

The probe began after the lead compliance officer tried soliciting a bribe from a South Beach night club in exchange for not enforcing a large fine for a code violation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The owner notified the FBI, which then had an agent pose as a manager .

The agent and the owner then made payoffs to various officials totaling about $25,000 over a seventh period.

In the second case, one of the firefighters involved in the other case, along with Daniel L. Mack, a Miami-Dade police officer, were busted in an FBI sting, similar ones of which have been played out around the country over the years including in Detroit where the feds convicted then-Mayor Coleman A. Young’s common law brother-in-law.

Using Bryant’s car and Mack’s police cruiser, they transported what turned out to be large amounts of dummy cocaine that had been provided by undercover FBI agents. For two transactions, an undercover agent made $25k in cash pay-offs to the defendants.

“When government officials misuse their offices and abuse their power to line their own pockets and satisfy their greed, they erode the public’s trust in good and efficient government,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said in a statement. “It is incumbent upon all of us to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for corruption, at any level of government. I encourage victims to come forward, report shakedowns of this kind, and help us shine a light on backroom corruption.”

The case was investigated by the FBI Miami-Area Public Corruption Task Force, assisted by the Miami-Dade Police Department Professional Compliance Bureau and United States Customs Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared E. Dwyer and Robin W. Waugh.


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