Miami Cop Who Helped Drug Dealers Gets 3 1/2 Years in Prison

A former City of Miami police officer who acted as a lookout to help drug traffickers was sentenced to three and a half years in prison Friday.

Jose Maldonado, a 7-year veteran who patrolled the Wynwood area, surrendered his law enforcement certificate as part of a plea deal. He will also serve three years of probation and get credit for time served.

"He didn't understand at the time that that was inappropriate and now he understands it," defense attorney Carlos Pelayo Gonzalez said.

Maldonado had been charged with two counts each of armed cocaine trafficking, receiving compensation for unlawful behavior, official misconduct by a public servant and using a communication device unlawfully.

Prosecutors said Maldonado went to a McDonald's parking lot on two different dates to act as a lookout for a drug dealer. The officer allegedly arrived to each meeting in his marked City of Miami Police patrol car. He was dressed in full uniform and armed with his standard issue Glock handgun, according to an arrest affidavit.

Maldonado allegedly made $1,900 for the two transactions. The dealer he was working for turned out to be a police informant.

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