News and Press Releases

POLICE OFFICER AND OTHERS INDICTED AND ARRESTED IN CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE MARIJUANA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, and James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, today announced the indictment of defendants Lawrence Perez, a Detective with the Hialeah Gardens Police Department, Carlos Santurtun Teran, and arrest of co-conspirator Reinaldo “Rey” Perez.

Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment charge that between July 25 and 28, 2010, the defendants conspired to possess with the intent to distribute over 100 marijuana plants, and during that same time, attempted to possess with intent to distribute over 100 marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.

According to statements made in court during today’s pre-trial detention hearing, this case is the result of an extensive wiretap investigation of a drug trafficking organization allegedly led by defendant Carlos Santurtun Teran. According to the charges and statements made in court, Detective Perez conspired with defendant Teran, and other named and unnamed co-conspirators, to conduct an invasion of a warehouse operated by a rival drug organization, and to rob this rival drug group of their marijuana plants and cash.

More specifically, the facts alleged by the government, on the basis of intercepted cellular phone recordings between defendant Carlos Santurtun Teran and Detective Perez, show that on July 28, 2010, Detective Perez was planning to arrive at the targeted warehouse and “scare off” and “tie up” the occupants, in order to allow his co-conspirators to safely enter the warehouse and steal marijuana plants and cash stashed inside the warehouse. Days before this planned warehouse invasion, after defendant Carlos Santurtun Teran warned Detective Perez that the occupants of the warehouse were “armed,” Detective Perez was not deterred and replied, “that good, that’s fine.”

Based on this information, a search warrant was executed on the early morning of July 28, 2010, which resulted in the seizure of more than 600 marijuana plants and several loaded firearms.

Detective Perez has been released on a $50,000 corporate surety bond and will be arraigned on Monday, September 20, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. before the duty U.S. Magistrate Judge. Defendant Carlos Teran has been ordered detained pending trial on the basis of risk of flight. Co-conspirator Rey Perez was arrested on the evening of September 16, 2010 and has been charged by criminal complaint. He will make his initial appearance today before the duty U.S. Magistrate Judge.

If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum of forty (40) years and a $250,000 fine.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and its Task Force partners. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin and Karen Gilbert.

An indictment and compliant are only accusations and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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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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