Miami Police Officer Charged with Helping Caribbean Drug Ring

Photo Credit: Andy Rain / EPA

Photo Credit: Andy Rain / EPA

A high-ranking police officer was due to appear in a federal court in Miami on Wednesday to face allegations that he led a double life as a fixer for a violent Caribbean drugs gang.

Ralph Mata, a lieutenant in the internal affairs division of the Miami-Dade police department, smoothed the passage for large quantities of cocaine to be smuggled into the US from the Dominican Republic in pallets of bananas, according to the indictment against him.

Mata, nicknamed the Milk Man by FBI investigators, provided weapons and sensitive law enforcement information to his paymasters, the complaint alleges, and received a $10,000 Rolex watch and many thousands more dollars in cash for regularly transporting drugs proceeds to and from the Caribbean.

He also came up with a plot to murder a rival gang’s leaders using hired assassins dressed in police uniforms, it is claimed, although the plan was never carried out.

Mata was due to appear before federal magistrate judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes on Wednesday afternoon to hear felony charges of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiring to distribute cocaine and engaging in transactions derived from specified unlawful activity.

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