OPA-LOCKA (CBSMiami – An Opa-Locka Police Captain, who has been under investigation for nearly a year has pled guilty to drug charges.
Arthur Balom, 44, of Miramar, will be sentenced December 17th for his participation in the distribution of cocaine, Ecstasy and Oxycodone, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to statements made in court during Thursday’s plea hearing, Balom was part of a drug trafficking organization operating out of an Opa-Locka apartment complex known as “The Back Blues.”
The organization was known as the “Back Blue Gang” which controlled everything from street sales to mid-level drug distribution.
According to in-court statements, while Balom was a Captain in the Opa-Locka Police Department, he aided and abetted in the distribution of drugs by re-routing Opa-Locka Police officers away from where the gang would be doing business. He would also tell the gang about police activity in the area and assist gang members when they came into contact with law enforcement.
In one instance discussed in court, FBI agents provided Balom with a notebook containing photographs of various suspects related to an armed robbery. The FBI agents asked Balom about a suspected co-conspirator. The day after speaking with FBI agents about the suspect, Balom met with that very suspect and showed him the notebook provided by the FBI.
In another instance, Balom provided ballistic vests to members of the drug organization.
Those vests, federal officials have previously stated, were used by the crew that carried out a Miramar Brinks truck robbery and murder in 2010.
Federal agents were able to trace the bullet proof vests back to the Opa-Locka Police Department through the serial number after one was left by the criminals near the scene of the Brinks guards’ murder.
Balom faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 40 years in prison.