Former City of Miami Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Criminal Contempt Charge
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Manuel Orosa, Chief, City of Miami Police Department (MPD), announce that former City of Miami Police Sergeant Raul Iglesias, 41, Miami, pled guilty to one count of criminal contempt for violating a United States District Court protective order in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 401(3).
In 2010, the FBI and City of Miami Police Department Internal Affairs Unit initiated an investigation of Iglesias after receiving an anonymous letter that indicated Iglesias was stealing money and drugs from his arrests. At the time, Iglesias was assigned to the Crime Suppression Unit (CSU), which targeted neighborhoods plagued with narcotics trafficking and violent crime. It was later discovered that CSU detectives in Iglesias’ unit wrote the anonymous letter.
On July 19, 2012, a federal grand jury returned a nine-count indictment against Iglesias, charging him with conspiracy, violation of civil rights, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, obstruction of justice, and making false statements. As part of the discovery in that case, the government turned over to the defense a number of consensual recordings made by cooperating CSU detectives with Iglesias. In order to protect the cooperating CSU detectives and other witnesses from intimidation and harassment, the government moved for a protective order to prevent the dissemination of the discovery materials outside of the defense team which was later granted by the court.
Following trial, a federal jury found Iglesias guilty on eight of the nine counts in the indictment. Iglesias was later sentenced to 48 months in prison and was ordered to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prison on April 26, 2013, to commence serving his sentence. However, on April 24, 2013, less than two days before he was required to surrender to begin serving his sentence, Iglesias posted protected audio recordings of the undercover conversations made by cooperating CSU detectives on YouTube and LEOAFFAIRS, an Internet message board that catered to law enforcement. Both the YouTube and LEOAFFAIRS postings were titled “Miami Mice” and were posted by Iglesias using the screen name “Chivas Regal.” After the protected undercover recordings became public, various unknown individuals using fictitious screen names posted threatening or derogatory comments against the cooperating CSU detectives on the LEOAFFAIRS message board. The CSU detectives also found derogatory notes on their vehicles and in their mail boxes at work, and officers stopped responding to their calls to provide backup.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 5, 2014, at 10:30 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. At sentencing, Iglesias faces life in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, MPD, and the Miami Area Corruption Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Selmore.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.