A Miami-Dade Police detective who pleaded guilty after being accused of stealing jewelry and watches during a DEA search warrant was sentenced to 366 days behind bars Wednesday.
Det. Karel Rosario pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 to the charge of dealing in stolen property. He had been facing 15 years in state prison if convicted.
"Today in court, it was apparent that former police detective Karel Rosario had forgotten that to uphold the law, one must always obey the law. He admitted to dealing in stolen property. His actions transformed him from a respected officer to nothing more than a common criminal," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "Hopefully, his upcoming time in prison will help him see the error of his actions."
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.