Opa-Locka Police Captain Sentenced As Part of Drug Trafficking Organization
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, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), J.D. Patterson, Acting Director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), and Addy M. Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announce that Arthur Balom, 44, of Miramar, a Captain with the City of Opa-Locka Police Department, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard to 87 months imprisonment for his participation in the distribution of cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone in Opa-Locka in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.
According to statements made in court during the change of plea and at the sentencing hearing, and those contained in court filings, 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 and in the pleadings, 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 ballistic vests to members of the drug organization.
Mr. Ferrer commended the FBI, ATF, the MDPD, and FDLE for their efforts in the investigation of this case. This case was 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.