The former police chief and 2 of his officers in Biscayne Park, Florida are facing federal charges after allegedly framing a 16-year-old for unsolved burglaries. Prosecutors say the chief wanted a 100% burglary clearance score, so rather than actually solve the crimes, they pinned 4 unsolved burglaries on the teen.
Federal prosecutors said Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano and 2 officers lied about the arrests to impress the villages’s leaders, reported The Miami Herald.
The teen was arrested 5 years ago, Atesiano and patrol officers Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez were only indicted this week for conspiring to violate a juvenile’s civil rights by intentionally making a false arrest.
Atesiano, 53, told his officers to arrest the teen (referred to as T.D. in the indictment) in June 2013, “knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges,” prosecutors said.
The indictment says the officers collected evidence, then falsified narratives to suggest the teen broke into 4 different homes.
“The existence of this fictitious 100% clearance rate of reported burglaries was used by Atesiano to gain favor with elected officials and concerned citizens,” the indictment said.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office worked on the case for 5 years, until the statute of limitations was almost expired, before finally filing it.
Atesiano resigned in early 2014. Dayoub and Fernandez are also no longer with the department.
The Herald reported that about a month after Atesiano resigned, it was learned that Atesiano had borrowed thousands of dollars from an underling and promised to repay the money through a combination of taxpayer-funded overtime and off-duty work. The contract signed between Atesiano and Thomas Harrison was penned in handwriting with a royal blue magic marker on a single sheet of white paper. It’s bottom right corner had a drawn blue ribbon that said it was an “official seal.” Atesiano called it a joke, but All Village Manager Heidi Shafran said it was a betrayal of the village.
If convicted, each corrupt cop faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.