A Miami-Dade Police Officer has been arrested after a grand jury indicted him on charges he gave confidential information to illegal pot growers and was given $1,500 in exchange for keeping mum on the criminal operation.
Officer Roderick Silva, 45, was arrested Thursday. Silva formerly served as a detective assigned to the MDPD Narcotics Bureau, but according to The Miami Herald, he had been suspended with pay since June 2009.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, the conspiracy charge alleged that Silva aided and abetted the Santiesteban family who were illegally growing hydroponic marijuana in several homes they owned, rented, or controlled in southwest Miami-Dade County.
The indictment said Silva would give the family confidential Miami-Dade Police Department information about when narcotics detectives were investigating the family and when they might have their grow houses searched or plants seized.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Silva provided advice to the Santiesteban family and their friends about how to obstruct the investigations and how to remove the grow houses of the plants ahead of any planned raid.
According to the indictment, Silva received $1,500 cash on Jan. 5, 2011, to maintain his silence about the criminal operation.
“The community’s trust is vital to us and make no mistake, the Miami-Dade Police Department remains committed in seeking out, identifying, and ridding itself of individuals who violate that trust," Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said in a statement. "This violation of trust tarnishes the badge of every hard-working officer who risks his/her life daily to protect this community.”
Silva faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison on the charges, if convicted.