Opa-Locka Police Captain Charged with Drug Offenses Pleads Guilty
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Hugo Barrera, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Naim Erched, Acting Director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), and Addy M. Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announce Arthur Balom, 44, of Miramar, a Captain with the City of Opa-Locka Police Department, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard for his participation in the distribution of cocaine, Ecstacy and Oxycodone in Opa Locka. Sentencing is scheduled for December 17, 2012. Balom faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
According to statements made in court during yesterday’s plea hearing, Balom was part of a drug trafficking organization operating out of an Opa-Locka apartment complex known as “The Back Blues.” More specifically, according to in-court statements, while Balom was a Captain in the Opa-Locka Police Department (OLPD), Balom aided and abetted in the distribution of drugs by the organization by: (1) providing the organization with information related to police activity in the area; (2) directing officers to leave the area; and (3) assisting members of the organization when they came into contact with law enforcement.
In one instance discussed in court, FBI agents provided Balom with a notebook containing photographs of various suspects related to an armed robbery. The FBI agents asked Balom about a suspected co-conspirator. The day after speaking with FBI agents about the suspect, Balom met with that very suspect and showed him the notebook provided by the FBI. In another instance, Balom provided at ballistic vests to members of the drug organization.
Mr. Ferrer commended the FBI, the Miami Area Corruption Task Force, ATF, the MDPD, and FDLE for their efforts in the investigation of this case. Mr. Ferrer also thanked Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office for their assistance and cooperation in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gilfarb.
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.