A police officer from South Florida was recently charged in a federal drug crime case. In addition to federal drug crime charges relating to cocaine distribution, he has also been accused of organizing an assassination for a drug ring. According to federal prosecutors, the man was paid in money and gifts, including a Rolex watch.
The police officer has been under the employment of the Miami-Dade Police Department for approximately 24 years. Previously, he worked with a K-9 unit at the Miami airport. More recently, however, he has been employed as a police department internal affairs officer. Part of his job involves the investigation of corrupt police activity.
Federal prosecutors claim that the man goes by the secret nickname of The Milk Man. Among his more serious allegations is the assertion that he was integral in the planning of two assassinations. Although the assassinations never happened, the plan involved paying two killers, who were to dress as police and shoot rival drug ring members. This Florida police officer has been accused of numerous other crimes, including helping to purchase firearms and smuggling firearms to the Dominican Republic.
If this man is found guilty of the federal drug crime charges and other conspiracy allegations, he could face a lifetime jail sentence. Still, he may be able to improve his situation dramatically by employing various legal defense strategies. Typically, those accused of crimes will try to cast doubt upon the prosecution’s interpretation facts being presented against them. If successful in such a strategy, the accused may be able to get some or all of the charges dropped. Other strategies, such as plea bargaining, may also be employed to reduce the severity of punishments in the event of conviction.
Source: CNN, “Miami cop Ralph Mata accused of helping drug traffickers“, Catherine E. Shoichet, April 9, 2014