Miami-Dade police officer, Miami Beach firefighter, sentenced in drug running scheme

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I’ve been a Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer now for many years, and though I had thought I’d seen it all, I’m increasingly shocked by what’s happening all around us here in South Florida. I doubt that many of you would disagree with me that drug traffickers are particularly loathsome, especially when you discover that they are also police officer. Thank God that most law enforcement officers and firefighters are nothing like these guys who were just sentenced to 21 years and 15 years in prison. Check this out:

Posted on Wed, Dec. 19, 2012

Miami-Dade police officer, Miami Beach firefighter, sentenced in drug running scheme

By David Smiley

The Miami Herald

A Miami-Dade police officer and a former Miami Beach firefighter convicted of running fake cocaine shipments for undercover FBI agents were sent to prison Wednesday.

Officer Daniel L. Mack received a 15-year sentence, and firefighter Henry L. Bryant was sentenced to 22 years. Bryant was fired from his job after his conviction.

The men were convicted in October of conspiring to possess and distribute kilos of cocaine and using a firearm to protect the shipments. A third defendant who rode with Bryant on cocaine runs, Octavius McLendon, was also convicted and sentenced Wednesday to 20 years and eight months.

The trio was indicted earlier this year following a months-long extortion probe that rocked Miami Beach City Hall.

The investigation began in June of last year when a code compliance administrator began extorting the owner of Club Dolce on South Beach.

The owner complained to the FBI, which made him a paid informant, gave him money to pay bribes and sent an undercover agent in to pose as the club manager. According to court records, agents recorded five code officers as well as Bryant and a second fire inspector accepting bribes in exchange for favorable inspections and lenient treatment.

Last December, prosecutors said Bryant agreed to use his connections with police officers to transport what he believed was cocaine from the club to Aventura.

Twice, Bryant picked up wrapped bundles of “sham” cocaine — nine kilos in the first instance and 10 kilos in the second — and drove to a drop-off spot. On one occasion he was escorted by Mack, who met agents while in uniform and driving his Miami-Dade police cruiser.

Bryant has also pleaded guilty to an extortion charge in a second case but has not yet been sentenced. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors agreed not to object to a request that his sentence run concurrent with the sentence issued Wednesday.

A Miami-Dade police spokesman could not immediately say whether Mack, who was suspended from his job, has been fired.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robin W. Waugh and Jared E. Dwyer.

Miami Herald staff writer Jay Weaver contributed to this report.

© 2012 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.


About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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