MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Miami-Dade Police Officer accused of aiding and abetting a group of people who were illegally growing marijuana faced a judge Friday afternoon.
Roderick Silva, 45, was mostly silent during his five minute federal court bond hearing.
He was allowed to post a $50,000 corporate surety bond using his South Miami home as collateral. He was also ordered to surrender his passport and refrain from possessing a firearm.
As he left the courthouse with his wife under his arm Silva said, “I’m innocent.”
His attorney Nathan Diamond did not speak to reporters outside. But inside the court room he told the judge he was hired on as a temporary counsel for his client, who is charged with aiding and abetting a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and extortion.
Silva used to serve as a detective in the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau.
According to his indictment, Silva would allegedly provide the Santiesteban 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 received $1,500 cash from the family 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 a statement Thursday, Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said, “This violation of trust tarnishes the badge of every hard-working officer who risks his/her life daily to protect this community.”
A police department spokesperson confirmed Friday that Silva has been on paid leave since 2009. The spokesman said the department is moving forward to terminate Silva now that he’s been indicted.
When asked by CBS 4 Producer Jasmine Kripalani whether he thought he’d been wrongly accused, Silva responded, “Definitely”.
Silva’s next hearing date is set for August 8th at 10:00 a.m.
If convicted, he faces between 10 years to life in prison on the conspiracy charge, and up to 20 years locked up if found guilty of extortion.
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