A Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested after he was caught buying fake Oxycodone pills in an undercover operation Saturday night, authorities said.
Deputy Jaime Miranda, 30, is facing charges of conspiracy to purchase narcotics, possession of synthetic narcotics, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia, the MCSO said.
He was booked into jail and it is unknown whether he has an attorney.
According to the MCSO, Miranda was on duty and in his marked patrol car at the Winn Dixie shopping center on Big Pine Key when the transaction took place.
Detectives had arranged for an undercover operative to meet Miranda and sell him the 10 fake pills. Miranda accepted the pills and agreed to pay the operative on Monday, the MCSO said.
After the transaction took place, a detective searched Miranda's patrol car and found nine and one quarter of the fake pills, as well as 12 Hydromorphone pills in the glove compartment, the MCSO said.
The detective also found a pipe with marijuana residue in it inside Miranda's pocket, authorities said.
Miranda admitted to taking part of one of the fake pills just after the transaction, and admitted to taking the Hydromorphone pills from his aunt's home without her permission, authorities said.
Miranda, who was hired by the Sheriff's Office in 2008 and has been working as a road patrol deputy in the Lower Keys district, has been suspended without pay.
"The integrity, honesty and professionalism of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is crucial to our ability to perform the job of law enforcement. I will not tolerate any behavior that compromises these values," Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement. "I am proud of the detectives who investigated this case. They did the right thing under difficult circumstances."
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