Former Police Officer Appears in Federal Court on Indictment for Deprivation of Civil Rights and Falsification of Records in a Federal Investigation
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.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney 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 by indictment 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 twenty years in prison, three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine.
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.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, including the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force, and FDLE, and thanked the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for its assistance in this matter. 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 contain accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.