federal judge

Miami Police Officers Arrested on Drug Charges Make First Court Appearance

Pretrial detention for one officer, $200,000 bond for two others

Three City of Miami police officers who are facing federal narcotics charges following an undercover investigation made their first appearances in court Wednesday.

Officers Schonton Harris, Kelvin Harris and James Archibald are facing charges including conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

At Wednesday's hearing, a federal judge ordered pretrial detention for Schonton Harris, while Kelvin Harris and Archibald received bond amounts of $200,000 each. They also must surrender their passports and firearms, and Kelvin Harris was ordered to stay on home confinement if released on bond.

"He, like everyone else, even though he’s a police officer, maintains his innocence and has a presumption of innocence and he intends to prove that innocence," said Jonathan Schwartz, attorney for Kelvin Harris.

Authorities said the officers participated in a scheme to protect people that they believed were money launderers and drug traffickers in exchange for cash, giving them protection and transportation.

Schonton Harris also used and dealt drugs and was able to rig the drug testing system so she would be able to give a clear sample if she was asked by the department, officials said. She also sold a City of Miami Police uniform and badge to an undercover agent for $1,500, believing the uniform would be used by a hitman to kill someone for a drug trafficker, authorities said.

In exchange for providing police protection, Schonton Harris received $17,000, Kelvin Harris received $10,000, and Archibald received $6,500, officials said.

All three officers have been relieved of duty. Schonton Harris has been with the department since January of 1999. Kelvin Harris has been with the department since January 1992. Archibald was hired in April 2016.

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