Former Police Officer Indicted for Deprivation of Civil Rights and Falsification of Records
A former police officer with the Village of Biscayne Park had his initial appearance today on an indictment in Miami for deprivation of civil rights under color of law against two individuals on separate occasions and for falsifying records in a federal investigation. Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney, Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Troy Walker, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), made the announcement.
Guillermo Ravelo, 37, of Miami, Florida, is charged with depriving persons of their civil rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242 (Counts 1 and 3), and falsifying records in a federal investigation, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519 (Counts 2 and 4). If convicted of all charges, Ravelo faces a statutory maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on April 7, 2013, officer Ravelo responded to a request for assistance from another Biscayne Park police officer who had conducted a traffic stop. During the arrest of the driver, officer Ravelo struck the driver with his fist. In a separate incident, on June 14, 2013, while still employed as a police officer with the Biscayne Park Police Department, officer Ravelo responded to a call concerning an ongoing vehicle burglary in Biscayne Park and struck the suspect with a blunt object. Both assaults resulted in bodily injury, and on both occasions officer Ravelo falsified the police reports by misstating the circumstances of the arrests and by omitting that he struck both of the victims.
The investigation was led by the FBI, including the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force, FDLE, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry C. Wallace, Jr., Department of Justice Trial Attorney Donald W. Tunnage, and Assistant State Attorney Trent Reichling.
An indictment merely contains accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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 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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.