Two Miami-Dade County police officers are currently facing charges after they allegedly conspired to protect a shipment of cocaine in exchange for cash.
Roderick Flowers and Keith Edwards Jr. were arrested last week and charged after being implicated in a months long investigation into a South Florida businessman who was reportedly involved in money laundering.
Authorities began investigating South Florida businessman Manuel Hernandez in May, and arranged for a DEA source to pose as a member of the Sinaola Cartel who needed financing for shipments of cocaine.
Hernandez was said to have met with the DEA source on several occasions and laundered more than $100,000 into the cocaine shipments.
In August, Hernandez then informed the source that he had police officers on his payroll.
In September, the source asked Hernandez if he could have the officers run a license plate number for him. According to the DEA, Hernandez had the identification back to the source within 10 minutes.
Investigators then went through their system and found that Flowers ran the check of the license plate.
The source then requested protection to move a shipment of cocaine between two spots in South Florida. That’s when Hernandez contacted Flowers and arranged for the source and Flowers to meet at his office. The source thanked Flowers for looking up the plate and asked if Flowers could provide protection for the shipment.
Flowers agreed and allegedly told the source that he had a friend who could help with the shipment as well.
The source then paid Flowers $5,000 upfront for his help. Five days after the meeting, Flowers arranged for the source to meet with Edwards. According to the report, Edwards was informed of the task and agreed to take part in it because he would only be providing protection and not be dealing with the drugs directly. The source then paid him $5,000.
On September 19th, the source and another undercover DEA met with Flowers and Edwards and drove to a hotel were they were allegedly picking up 10 kilograms of cocaine. Once the fake cocaine was in hand, the men then got in two separate cars and drove to another hotel to hand off the cocaine. Once at the next hotel, Edwards accompanied the source inside where the source handed over the suitcase to another DEA agent in front of him.
Once the exchange was completed, the source welcomed both Flowers and Edwards to the cartel in which they both replied with a laugh.
Both officers have since been charge with federal conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. Flowers appeared in court on Friday and was released on bond, while Edwards reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently being held in isolation.