MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Miami-Dade Police Officer is under arrest, accused of aiding and abetting a group of people who were illegally growing marijuana in various southwest Miami-Dade homes.
Roderick Silva, 45 used to serve as a detective in the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau.
Now, he is facing charges of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and extortion.
The indictment against Silva alleges the group who controlled the houses are members of the Santiesteban family along with their friends and associates.
The Santiesteban family members and a number of their friends and associates were convicted for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 1,000 marijuana plants after they pled guilty to the charge in 2013. They are currently serving prison time.
According to the indictment, Silva would allegedly provide the family, along with their friends and associates, confidential information indicating when detectives were investigating them, when they might have their marijuana grow houses searched, and their plants seized. He also allegedly told them about suspected grow houses operated by other growers so they could rob those grow houses of their marijuana plants.
Silva is also accused of advising them on how to avoid deflect, frustrate, and obstruct investigations.
In regards to the extortion charge, Silva allegedly obtained money from the Santiesteban family members. According to the indictment, he allegedly received $1,500 cash on January 5, 2011 for “maintaining his silence and not disclosing to any law enforcement authorities all that he knew about the illegal, criminal activities of the Santiesteban family members.”
In his Aboutme.com profile, Silva describes himself as “a devoted follower of Christ” and “a happily married father of two awesome kids.”
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer released a statement on the indictment saying, “We are especially saddened when a public servant misuses his position of trust to engage in criminal conduct. Mr. Silva’s criminal conduct not only undermined the trust of this community, but also undermined the trust of the officers who served by his side. Today’s indictment sends a message to all public officials who commit crime that they are not above the law and that they will be brought to justice.”
Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson added, “The community’s trust is vital to us and make no mistake, the Miami-Dade Police Department remains committed in seeking out, identifying, and ridding itself of individuals who violate that trust. This violation of trust tarnishes the badge of every hard-working officer who risks his/her life daily to protect this community. We appreciate the partnership and support of our federal partners during this sensitive investigation.”
If convicted, Officer Silva could face a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison up to life in prison on the aiding and abetting a conspiracy charge and up to 20 years in prison on the extortion charge.
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