A Miami police officer has been arrested for allegedly taking drugs from a bust and then using them to pay off informants, a criminal complaint alleged.
Roberto Asanza, 31, is charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after FBI agents found 10 bags of cocaine and two bags of marijuana in his patrol car, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Asanza was released on bond Thursday. He faces 20 years in prison if convicted. his attroney could not be reached.
Miami police have suspended the narcotics cop without pay pending an investigation.
Asanza, a six-year veteran who works on the Crime Supression Unit that targets street drug sales, attained the drugs during a drug bust on May 5, 2010, prosecutors said.
Instead of turning the drugs into evidence, Asanza is accused of holding on to the cocaine to distribute for his own gains.
An informant, who helped Asanza on the May 5 bust, told the FBI the cop tried to pay in cocaine and offered cocaine to the informant on at least three occasions, a criminal complaint read.
Asanza allegedly admitted to agents that he paid the informant with "one or two bags of cocaine," but did so because he was trying to build a rapport with the informant, the complaint read.
Agents raided Asanza's Miami police car May 25, 2010 and found the missing drugs along with two bags of heroin from another drug bust.