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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — The trial of two suspended Fort Lauderdale cops accused of official misconduct and falsifying records began Wednesday
The men were charged following a joint investigation with the FBI, State Attorney’s Office and Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
According to documents filed with the Broward County Clerk of the Courts, both officers would conduct traffic stops with or without probable cause and often out of their jurisdiction in order to search occupants for money and pills, the documents state.
Once the victim was arrested, whether lawfully or not, Dodge and Koepke would keep some of the money and pills and put the rest into evidence to conceal their unlawful activity, according to the documents.
However, most of the serious charges were dropped because witnesses turned out to be unreliable.
Now, prosecutors feel confident they can prove the officers were involved from the arrests of two men in Oakland Park back in 2010 – which is what they’re being tried on.
Prosecutors have the surveillance tape from the hotel which shows Koepke and Dodge converging on a vehicle with two other officers.
In their arrest report, Koepke and Dodge say two men dropped crack cocaine on the floor. One of those men, Dieudson Nore testified he was in the hotel when the takedown happened.
Nore is seen on the video inside the hotel at the time cops appear.
But the police report contradicts everything seen on the tape.
Eventually Nore is seen being taken outside and made to wait on the ground.
He says police kept asking him to lead them to other drug dealers.
Defense attorneys say the two detectives were part of a street crimes unit and back then were dealing with the pill mill epidemic in Broward County.
Dealers would go from pain clinic to clinic and buy huge quantities of pills and sell them on the street
Dodge and Koepke claim in the chaos mistakes were made.
“Sometimes even with the best of intentions mistakes happen,” said Dodge’s attorney, Mike Dutko.
If convicted, Dodge faces a maximum 12 years in prison while Koepke faces a maximum seven years.
Prosecutors finished their case Wednesday. The defense starts Thursday.