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MDPD Lieutenant Arrested On Federal Narcotics Charges

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Law enforcement officials arrested an internal affairs officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department in Miami Gardens Tuesday morning, according to the Department of Justice.

Ralph Mata, 45, of Broward County is charged with  aiding and abetting a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiring to distribute cocaine, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity specifically, drug proceeds.

According to the criminal complaint,  Mata, also known as “the Milk Man,” allegedly conspired with a drug trafficking organization.

After rival drug dealers threatened to kill members of the group, Mata allegedly discussed a murder plot with the group, according to the complaint.

He allegedly stated that his contacts, identified as assassins in the complaint, would wear uniforms and badges to make it appear that the two targets of the murder plot were being pulled over by law enforcement before shooting them.

Mata allegedly arranged to pay two assassins  $150,000 per target.

The drug trafficking group ended up deciding not to proceed with the murder plot , but Mata allegedly still received payment for setting up the meetings.

According to the complaint, Mata also allegedly bought several firearms to provide protection to the drug traffickers located in the Dominican Republic. The complaint says he allegedly transported the firearms on two trips from Miami to the Dominican Republic on October 2012 and January 2013.  Law enforcement recovered several of the firearms.

Mata allegedly helped transport narcotics proceeds for the drug organization in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash plus a Rolex watch valued at $10,000, according to the complaint.

He also allegedly used information available to him as a law enforcement officer to find out information about the seizure of $419,000 in narcotics proceeds from a New Jersey residence which were seized by law enforcement.

Miami-Dade’s Police Director declined to comment Tuesday. The Department plans to release a statement Wednesday.

No one answered the door at Mata’s Pembroke Pines home Tuesday evening.

Neighbors describe him as a family man who would often play outside with his two young sons.

“He’s a nice guy. I would never suspect him to do that. He has two kids,” neighbor Joel Acosta said. “It’s mind-blowing that he would be involved in that.”

The complaint said Mata has been employed with the Miami-Dade police department since November 1992. He was responsible for helping identify and dismantle two major drug gangs in the City of Miami Gardens, the complaint states.

Mata is scheduled to appear in front of a federal judge on Wednesday. If convicted, Mata could face life in prison.

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