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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 6, 2019

Former City of Miami Police Officers Sentenced to Prison After Having Been Convicted at Trial

Today, U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga sentenced former City of Miami Police officer Kelvin Harris to 27 and a half years in prison for his involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Codefendant James Archibald, also a former City of Miami Police officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the drug trafficking conspiracy.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement. 

Former City of Miami Police officers Kelvin Harris, James Archibald and Schonton Harris were charged for their involvement in the drug trafficking conspiracy (Case No. 18cr20939).  On June 28, 2019, Kelvin Harris, who had been on the police force for twenty-six years, and Archibald, who had been an officer for two years, were each convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 5 kilos of cocaine in 2018.  In addition, Kelvin Harris was convicted of three counts of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and three counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime.  Archibald was also convicted of one count of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. On January 24, 2019, Schonton Harris pled guilty to conspiring with other officers to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine from August through October 2018.  On April 17, 2019, Schonton Harris was sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison. 

According to the court record, including trial testimony, Officers Kelvin Harris and Schonton Harris, provided police protection on numerous occasions for what they believed were multiple-kilogram shipments of cocaine by escorting the transportation of such cocaine.  Officer Archibald facilitated the drug trafficking conspiracy on at least one occasion by assisting his codefendants in transporting 30 kilograms of what the defendants believed to be cocaine from a local marina to two local hotels.  Officers Kelvin Harris, Archibald and Schonton Harris received cash payments of $10,000, $6,500 and $17,000, respectively, for their involvement in the criminal enterprise.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, including the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force, in this matter.  She thanked the City of Miami Police Department for their assistance.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry C. Wallace, Jr. and Jessica Obenauf.

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.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated September 6, 2019