Paulo Morales, 48, of Miami, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum to 33 months in prison along with one year supervised release, the Justice Department announced. In July, Morales , a former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.
During the plea proceedings, Morales admitted that on various dates in January 2011, while working as an officer with CBP at the Miami International Airport, he groped the breasts of three separate women without their consent and while they were in the custody of CBP.
“This officer abandoned his commitment to legitimate law enforcement and used his power to abuse women in his custody,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to holding officers who engage in such conduct accountable.”
“ My office and the Department of Justice are fully committed to protecting the civil rights of our citizens from all types of abuses,” said Wifredo A. Ferrar, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “In this case, the harm to the victims and the general public cut deep because it came at the very hands of someone who was sworn to serve and protect the public, and instead breached that trust. ”
This case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility and CBP Internal Affairs and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William White of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Henry Leventis of the Civil Rights Division.