2 Miami cops guilty in dealer shakedown

Sept. 9, 2010 at 5:11 PM

MIAMI, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Two former Miami-Dade County police detectives are guilty of committing felonies stemming from a drug-dealer shakedown that was bogus, a Florida jury decided.

Joe Losada and Daniel Fernandez were found guilty of stealing marked bills from a $970 stash planted at a fake crime scene that was really part of an undercover sting operation.

The detectives -- members of Miami-Dade's plainclothes Crime Suppression Team that targets drug dealers -- thought the money they took belonged to a dealer, prosecutors alleged.

But the dealer was also a police informant.

Losada, 37, was convicted of official misconduct, aggravated assault with a firearm, misdemeanor battery and criminal mischief. He faces at least three years in prison, The Miami Herald reported.

Fernandez, 58, was found guilty of burglary.

Both men were acquitted of false imprisonment and grand theft.

Defense attorneys Douglas Hartman and Richard Sharpstein argued during the two-week trial that their clients were set up and entrapped by overzealous internal-affairs investigators.

Before the trial began, Losada and Fernandez rejected a plea deal that would have absolved them of criminal charges in exchange for turning in their badges.

Their sentencing date has not been set.

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