News and Press Releases


Former Sweetwater Police Detective Sentenced for Role in Credit Card Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the sentencing of William Garcia, 39, of Miami, a former Sweetwater Police Department detective, for his role in a credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft scheme.

On April 21, 2014, a jury in federal court found Garcia guilty of twelve counts of the fifteen count indictment. Specifically, the defendant was found guilty of: conspiring to produce, use, or traffic in one or more counterfeit access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; use of a counterfeit access device, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(1); and ten counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). United States District Judge Federico A. Moreno sentenced Garcia to a term of 112 months imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Garcia was also ordered to pay approximately $13,000.00 in restitution.

During trial, the United States presented evidence documenting Garcia’s improper friendship with a former confidential source. The confidential source, a convicted felon, would provide Garcia and another former South Miami Detective, Richard Munoz, with counterfeit credit cards. During the trial, the source, Munoz, and others testified about Garcia’s possession and use of those cards during shopping trips to the Dolphin and Florida City shopping malls in late 2010 and early 2011. During a meeting recorded by an FBI source, Garcia was recorded providing his own personal credit card for use in stealing account numbers and manufacturing counterfeit cards.

After the source started cooperating in June 2011, Garcia was caught on videotape bringing eight counterfeit credit cards to the confidential sources’ residence. During that and other recorded meetings, Garcia explained that he had taken the counterfeit cards from work and that he would share them with the confidential source. During the next two weeks, Garcia was again caught on tape discussing his use of the cards at restaurants, movies, and the Dolphin Mall. Garcia’s presence during the transactions was further documented through use of phone records, placing Garcia’s cellular telephone in the area of each transaction at the time it occurred.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “William Garcia violated his oath as a police officer and misused his position to victimize the civilians he was sworn to protect. Mr. Garcia’s participation in these crimes betrayed not only the public trust, but also his fellow officers’ daily sacrifices as they work tirelessly to protect this community. Today’s sentence sends a strong message that we expect and deserve more from our public servants. I congratulate the hard work of the FBI that led to this successful prosecution.”

"The FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force was assembled to ensure public officials are brought to justice if they betray the community’s trust,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “In this case, the Task Force along with the assistance of the Sweetwater Police Department worked diligently to ensure justice was served.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the outstanding investigative efforts of the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Lacosta and Sarah Schall.

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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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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