He was called the Milk Man and worked as a lieutenant with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit.
From June 2012 through November 2012, the Milk Man bought at least six firearms from a gun store in Florida. Those weapons were eventually provided to members of the Juan Arias drug trafficking organization.
Using his prior experience as a lieutenant assigned to Miami International Airport, as well as his law enforcement contacts at the airport, the Milk Man and others smuggled the six firearms through airport security checkpoints and onto a commercial airliner destined for the Dominican Republic.
Import and distribute cocaine
He also provided advice, guidance and counsel to Juan Arias regarding the methods the drug trafficking organization should use to import and distribute cocaine. He also transported narcotics proceeds for the organization.
In addition, the Milk Man engaged in monetary transactions in property derived from the sale of narcotics. On March 28, 2013, he traveled from Miami to New Jersey and received approximately $60,000 in narcotics proceeds from Juan Arias and others.
Using a portion of that $60,000, he made separate $10,000 cash deposits at two different banks in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Cash and gifts accepted
As payment for his assistance to the drug traffickers, the Milk Man accepted a total of approximately $100,000 in cash and gifts from the Juan Arias organization.
Ralph Mata, 45, of Broward County, Florida, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a narcotics conspiracy, conspiring to distribute cocaine and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity. The judge continued Mata’s release on bail pending sentencing.
Mata could face decades in prison plus fines totaling millions of dollars when he is sentenced in July 2015. As part of his plea, Mata agreed to forfeit the $75,405.17 seized on April 9, 2014.
This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.