A Miami Police officer was arrested for assisting drug traffickers, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
Officer Jose Maldonado-Dick, a 7-year veteran who patrolled the Wynwood area, was 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, according to an affidavit.
Maldonado-Dick allegedly used his uniform, gun and badge to protect drug dealers and make sure they were safe to conduct their transactions on the streets.
"Jose Maldonado has tarnished his badge," Chief of Police Manuel Orosa said in a statement. "I will move as swiftly as the process allows to terminate the employment of Mr. Maldonado."
According to the arrest affidavit, a confidential police informant called Maldonado-Dick to arrange two illegal drug transactions involving large amounts of cocaine. The informant told Maldonado he needed protection during the transactions, according to prosecutors.
Maldonado met with the informant several times and oversaw the two drug transactions conducted by the informant and an undercover officer, according to the affidavit. For one of the transactions, Maldonado-Dick suggested they use the McDonald's parking lot near his patrol area, the affidavit said. 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, the affidavit said.
"These acts are a breach of trust," said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. "[It] deeply impacts, it hurts, every honest police officer."
At a Wednesday press conference, prosecutors presented photos that allegedly show Maldonado-Dick conducting the illegal transactions.
Maldonado-Dick allegedly made $1,900 for the two transactions. Because he was allegedly involved in an illegal drug deal while holding a firearm, prosecutors say Maldonado-Dick faces life in prison.
"Our good police officers are doing what they have to to clean our ranks of whatever corruption we may have in our police department," Orosa said.
The Fraternal Order of Police released a statement that read in part:
"Our community rightfully demands that we uphold the law as well as resist the temptation of abusing our position as law enforcement officers. If the charges are true against Officer Maldonado, we support that he is held accountable for his actions."
Maldonado-Dick is being held without bond. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
No further details were immediately available.
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