A suspended Miami-Dade Police Department detective pleaded guilty Tuesday after authorities say he stole expensive jewelry and watches as DEA agents executed a search warrant back in May.
Det. Karel Rosario pleaded guilty to the charge of dealing in stolen property before Judge Teresa Pooler.
Officials said the theft happened on May 20, as agents executed the search warrant at the home of Yulia Martinez, who was taken into federal custody and later bonded out of jail.
When she returned home, Martinez discovered several items were missing, including a Cartier watch containing a custom diamond bezel worth $20,000, a gold bracelet with diamonds, Cartier-style "Nail" bracelet, Rolex Daytona watch, a Bulgari ring, Bulgari bracelet, a David Yurman bracelet and several expensive bottles of perfume, authorities said.
Within days, Rosario met with a jeweler to sell the items. The jeweler wasn't interested, but posted photos of the items on WhatsApp to see if other jewelers might be interested.
Another jeweler recognized the goods as items he'd sold to Martinez' husband. That jeweler then contacted the State Attorney's Office and Miami-Dade Police launched an investigation which ultimately led them to Rosario.
According to the State Attorney's Office, the unique nature of the jewelry played a key role in the investigation and ultimately, Rosario's arrest.
"Every police department depends on the integrity and professionalism of its officers," said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a statement. "Detective Rosario sold out his integrity the minute he picked up that jewelry. He has let down the good people of Miami-Dade County and every professional police officer who risks death each day to uphold our laws."
Rosario could face up to 15 years in state prison. The judge will decided his sentence on Jan. 22.
It is unknown whether he has an attorney.