Former City of Miami Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes
A former uniformed police officer with the City of Miami Police Department pled guilty today to accepting bribes.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Rodolfo Llanes, Chief, City of Miami Police Department (MPD) made the announcement.
Julio Ruiz pled guilty to violating three counts of the Hobbs Act, that is, affecting commerce by extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a).
According to the court record, including documents in support of the Ruiz’s guilty plea, the defendant accepted bribes from an FBI confidential source on three occasions between April 26 and June 12, 2013. In exchange for $1,800 cash and a cellular telephone, Ruiz misused his official position to provide the confidential source access to, and information regarding, traffic accidents located within the City of Miami Police Department. Ruiz also inaccurately reported the disposition of the towed vehicles in the resulting City of Miami police reports.
Julio Ruiz’s sentencing is scheduled to take place on December 22, 2015, before U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. Each of the three counts to which the defendant has pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years. The Court may order any sentence of imprisonment awarded under one count to be served concurrently or consecutively to a sentence imposed on a different count.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the City of Miami Police Department Internal Affairs Division. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Lacosta.