Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that law enforcement officers are given the responsibility to enforce the law and to arrest those who don’t abide by it; they are not expected to engage in the illegal activity that they’re specifically supposed to inhibit.
As this article from CBS news describes, Miami-Dade Police Lt. Ralph Mata, was just recently arrested for and charged with the crime of “aiding and abetting” a cocaine ring.
Members of police departments, such as Officer Mata, due to the nature of their jobs, often come in close contact with individuals engaged in illegal activity for profit: individuals who deal drugs, for example. Some police officers, as we know, take advantage of the access their job provides them to criminal activity, and begin to take matters into their own hands, violating the very rules they are paid to uphold.
Society often paints a black and white picture of police officers and arrested individuals, in which the former consistently represent justice and the latter represent that which threatens said justice. That image is misleading and, as our criminal defense lawyers know, patently false. While it is certainly true that not all police officers conspire to distribute cocaine, it is also true that many people who are arrested are innocent of the crime they are being accused of having committed. The lines that subjectively define “good” and “bad” are often blurred, and in no instances more poignantly than those in which someone like Ralph Mata is arrested and charged with heinous crimes.
It appears as if Mata used his position as a police officer to assist him in helping a ring of cocaine dealers.; in other words, this wasn’t an instance of a police officer who happened to also be involved with drug dealers. According to the complaint in this case, Mata had planned to have a member of a rival drug gang assasinated; he planned to provide $150,000 per targer to the two prospective assassins, who would be dressed in police attire, so that they could pull over the targets of the assasination. Additionally, Mata helped cocaine dealers transport the drug. Furthermore, Mata used inside knowledge to find out about the seizure of roughly $420,000 worth of cocaine in New Jersey.
For all of the help that he provided to the cocaine dealers, Mata was rewarded with tens of thousands of dollars and plenty of gifts worth just as much.
Revelations like these undermine the justice system and fuel the skepticism of the public with regard to the integrity of police. Members of law enforcement agencies and departments are paid salaries made possible due by taxpayer money. Ralph Mata took the taxpayer money and, instead of doing his job and protecting and serving the taxpayers, he further endangered them by engaging in cocaine trafficking.
If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).
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