Police officer guilty of robbing dealers

Jan. 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The former head of the Miami police crime suppression unit faces a possible 20 years in federal prison following Friday's conviction for robbing drug dealers.

A jury convicted Sgt. Raul Iglesias, 40, of eight charges and acquitted him of a civil rights violation involving a baggie of cocaine allegedly planted on a dealer, The Miami Herald reported.

Iglesias had been a police officer for 18 years when he was suspended in 2010. From January to May 2010, he headed the crime suppression unit, which targeted street-level drug dealers.

Jurors found him guilty of robbing one dealer of both money and drugs. He was also convicted of lying about $800 that vanished after FBI investigators left $3,000 in a box in a sting operation.

The witnesses against Iglesias included detectives who had worked with him. Iglesias's lawyer accused them of lying.

"What reason do these guys have to lie? None," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Berger said in his summation. "Which person has the only reason to lie? That's the defendant. And that's because his liberty, his job and his livelihood are at stake."

Iglesias was allowed to remain free on bail pending sentencing on March 28.

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