MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Court documents filed late last month reveal Sweetwater Police detective Octavio Oliu has been charged with misconduct, organized scheme to defraud, racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.
He was originally relieved of duty back in 2013.
Now, fellow officer Sgt. Reny Garcia is in the same boat.
Though he hasn’t been officially charged, Sgt. Garcia was named in the same court filing.
“After reviewing the information provided me as of today, I’ve decided its in the best interest from a liability perspective to relieve Reny Garcia of duty,” said Sweetwater Police Chief Placido Diaz. “This is no indication of guilt at this time on his part. Everybody is innocent until proven guilty. But I felt at this time it was necessary to relieve him of duty based on the information provided to me.”
According to the documents, Garcia and Oliu were among a group of officers who knowingly engaged in a “scheme to defraud through a systematic and ongoing course of conduct by unlawfully towing vehicles using Southland Towing and/or unlawfully taking vehicles…license plates…(and) property.”
Also listed, former Sweetwater Officer William Garcia, who’s currently serving prison time for credit card theft, former police employee Richard Brenner, who was fired for “failing to meet probationary standards”, and former Sweetwater City Commissioner Catalino Rodriguez.
Victor Mesa is one of the victims named in the filing.
CBS4 first introduced you to Mesa three years ago, when he told us Sweetwater officers arrested him, then hit him in the face and head before stealing his white Dodge Ram.
“He said, ‘Okay, is this your truck?’ I said, ‘Yeah, this is my truck.’ He said, ‘Give me the keys I’m going to take it.’ I said, ‘Why are you going to take my truck?’ He said, ‘Because I like it’.”
Court documents allege Oliu also took $4,500 in cash, an Apple computer, an iPad, a television and a camera.
And that’s just from Mesa.
Several other alleged victims are also mentioned.
Police Chief Placido Diaz wasn’t in charge when investigators say these crimes took place, but he says he’s continually working to clean-up the department.
“I can assure the residents that we are bringing accountability, credibility and transparency to this department,” Chief Diaz said. “Anybody here that commits an act in violation with new department orders or the law will be held accountable. Period.”
Citing the ongoing Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation, Chief Diaz wouldn’t elaborate on the allegations.
Again, Sgt. Reny Garcia has not been charged in this case, but he has been relieved of duty with pay.