Officer Admits Role in Pot Conspiracy

He was an officer assigned to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s narcotics bureau when he started working with people who were illegally growing hydroponic marijuana in several homes that they owned, rented, or otherwise controlled in the southwest area of Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The people included members of the Santiesteban family and their friends and associates. Santiesteban family members and some friends and associates were convicted in 2013 for their participation in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 1.000 marijuana plants.

The co-conspirators were sentenced to significant prison sentences for their participation in the narcotics conspiracy.

The officer aided and abetted the family and their cohorts in their marijuana growing activities by giving them confidential information about when they were being investigated by Miami-Dade narcotics detectives and when they might have their marijuana grow houses searched and their marijuana plants seized.

He also provided advice to the Santiestebans and their cohorts about how to avoid, frustrate and obstruct police investigations.

Roderick Silva, 45, pleaded guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Silva is scheduled to be sentenced in July 2015. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and up to 40 years on the aiding and abetting a conspiracy charge.

 Corrections Officers Plead in Civil Rights Case

Three corrections officers have pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the civil rights of an inmate at the Northwest Florida Reception Center, a state prison in Chipley, Florida.

The trio admitted to physically assaulting an inmate at the facility in August 2014, without justification and causing the inmate bodily injury.

To conceal the defendants’ actions, one of them falsified reports of the incident by falsely stating that the assault was in response to the inmate spitting on another officer.

William F. Finch, 35, of Wauseau, Florida, and Dalton E. Riley, 24, of Bethlehem, Florida, will be sentenced in July 2015 in Panama City, Florida. Co-defendant, Robert L. Miller, 48, of Lynn Haven, Florida, will be sentenced in June 2015.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Florida Department of Corrections, Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle E. Littleton.

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