CITY OF MIAMI POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH CIVIL RIGHTS AND IDENTITY THEFT
Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Miguel Exposito, Chief, City of Miami Police Department, announced that Miami Police Officer Christian Alvarez-Vega, 37, was charged in a criminal complaint, unsealed today, with depriving an individual of his civil rights while acting under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, and possessing and using, without lawful authority, a means of identification of that same individual, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(7). If convicted of these charges, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of six (6) years in prison.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, in the early morning hours of January 11, 2010, Alvarez-Vega, a 12-year veteran police officer, responded in his official capacity to an incident where the victim had been the passenger in a car crash. After Alvarez-Vega transported the victim in his police car, he found the victim’s bank card. Later, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Alvarez-Vega contacted the victim, claiming that he needed the victim’s bank “PIN” number as part of his official police investigation. The victim provided the information to him. Later that morning, Alvarez-Vega, still in uniform and driving his marked police car, and without consent from the victim, went to a supermarket ATM and used that bank card to withdraw $460 from the victim’s bank account.
This afternoon, Alvarez-Vega appeared before Chief Magistrate Judge Stephen T. Brown for a bond hearing. He was released on a $150,000 personal surety bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April 29, 2010 for a preliminary hearing or arraignment.
Mr. Sloman commended the officers of the City of Miami Police Department Internal Affairs Section Anti-Corruption Unit and the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work on this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan R. Osborne.
A complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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.