A veteran Miami-Dade Police officer was arrested after authorities said he illegally obtained prescription pills over a three-year period.
Mark Rodriguez, 41, was arrested Monday and faces 43 counts of withholding information to obtain a controlled substance and one count of organized scheme to defraud. Rodriguez remains in jail and is being held on $136,000 bond, according to online arrest records.
In bond court Tuesday, Pedro E. Dijols, an attorney for and neighbor of Rodriguez, said his client was not a drug trafficker or a money launderer, nor has he ever been arrested.
“There is absolutely no evidence of Mr. Rodriguez selling these pills, giving these pills away, trading pills for money, making any profit from these pills,” Dijols said.
He continued to tell the judge that Rodriguez, who has been with the Miami-Dade Police Department for the last 20 years, had eight surgeries in the past five years, therefore having a “legitimate reason for receiving these medications.”
Dijols, who vouched for Rodriguez's character, explained that Rodriguez is living paycheck to paycheck and is the sole provider for his wife and two kids.
“[Officers] have put [the charges] all together, and instead of charging them in one charge or a couple of charges, they decided to punish him and embarrass him,” Dijols said.
Rodriguez was arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office after a six-month-long investigation involving three different agencies.