Miami-Dade Cops Beat Perjury Charges
Trio acquitted in ex-con's gun possession arrest
MIAMI - JULY 17: A member of the Miami-Dade police Mortgage Fraud Task Force wears a shirt with their emblem during Operation: "Life is Good" July 17, 2008 in Miami, Florida.The operation included the arrest of 15 people suspected of being involved with mortgage fraud. The individuals were arrested for activity that included, but not limited to racketeering, conspiracy to racketeer, use of personal identification information, grand theft, and money laundering. Some statistics show that Florida ranks first in the nation for mortgage fraud and second in the number of foreclosures. The task force is comprise of various agencies including the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, Florida Attorney General's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State of Florida Department of Financial Services, FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office, Office of the Treasury and others. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Updated at 1:15 PM EST on Thursday, Jun 17, 2010
Three Miami-Dade cops charged with lying in federal court in the case against a gun-toting ex-con were acquitted of the charges by a jury Thursday.
Patrolmen Al Dodge and Jorge Gonzalez and supervisor Waell Farraj were cleared after having been charged in February with perjury and obstruction of justice after the arrest of Pedro L. Marte.
"A triumph for truth, justice and the American way," Farraj's attorney, Richard Sharpstein, told the Miami Herald after the verdict. "Our clients are grateful for a true verdict by a great and dedicated jury."
The trouble for the law enforcement trio began when they pulled Marte over last July, and found a gun in his car.
The officers testified that they had seen him run a red light, which led to him getting pulled over, but prosecutors argued that they pulled him over after getting a tip that he had a gun hidden in his car.
Prosecutors said Dodge, Gonzalez and Farraj didn't disclose that they'd received the informant's tip.
Marte, who has been convicted for cocaine trafficking twice, beat the rap after his lawyer argued that he hadn't been read his Miranda rights. Marte ended up testifying against the cops, but not after getting another arrest on gun charges.
Gonzalez had been facing a maximum of 30 years behind bars, Farraj 25 years and Dodge 20 years.