Crooked Cop Helped Bookie Rob Gambler: Report

Detective and cousin ripped $130,000 off bettor

A Miami-Dade cop was busted after police say he worked with a bookie to rip off a gambler for tens of thousands of dollars.

Det. John Villar, 28, was arrested after he and his cousin, Fausto Villar, who's not a cop, pulled over the gambler in April in Det. Villar's unmarked police car, according to a CBS 4 report.

The gambler, Victor Duarte, had just visited his alleged bookie, Leonardo Lastre, who paid out $131,000 in cold hard cash to Duarte.

Duarte had won the money after placing bets through, according to CBS 4.

Shortly after Duarte left with his winnings, Lastre phoned Det. Villar, describing Duarte's vehicle and which way he was heading, police said.

A short time later, Duarte was pulled over on the Palmetto Expressway by Villar and his cousin. Det. Villar, wearing his badge around his neck, his gun holstered at his side, approached Duarte's car. His cousin sported a bullet-proof vest with the word "Police" on the front, as well as a taser.

Det. Villar demanded Duarte's license and cell phone and asked if there was anything suspicious in the car. Duarte told Villar about the cash, and Fausto Villar reached in the car and grabbed it.

When Duarte asked him why they were taking the cash, Det. Villar allegedly said it was for evidence.

Duarte became nervous and began shouting for help, and the Villars hopped in their car and left the scene.

Duarte gave chase in his car, eventually finding a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. The trooper caught up to Villar and his cousin, and as the trooper approached the car, Fausto Villar took off running with the bag of cash.

The trooper questioned Det. Villar, who allegedly told him that he'd pulled Duarte over for reckless driving, but decided to let him off with a warning.

After an investigation, Det. Villar and his cousin, as well as Lastre, were all arrested. All three face charges including armed robbery, armed burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Fausto Villar faces charges of impersonating a police officer and possession of a bulletproof vest while committing a crime.

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