MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The office of the Miami-Dade State Attorney has charged two Hialeah police officers with official misconduct and falsifying public records.
Officers Armando Perez and Ernesto Arias-Martinez allegedly wrote false tickets and submitted those tickets as evidence of traffic violations.READ MORE: Miami Dade College Hosts Wake For Congresswoman Carrie Meek
Investigators say the victims of the alleged false tickets received multiple traffic citations without ever having knowledge of having committed a traffic violation.
“Honesty and integrity must always be central values of every effective police agency,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “When police officers create false traffic tickets, as we are alleging happened here, they damage the reputation of their own department and the reputations of every police officer working to serve our Miami-Dade community. In the case of Hialeah Officers Perez and Arias-Martinez, we are alleging that their actions were not errors or mistakes, but crimes. The Hialeah Police Department deserves credit for working diligently to uncover and correct the actions of these two officers.”
Investigators say one victim “officially” received 18 citations on February 13, 2020, and then received 6 others the following day, all allegedly without his knowledge or without his ever having received a tangible citation.READ MORE: FBI Releases Suspect Pictures Of Not One, But Two Separate Bank Robberies
The victim recalled being stopped by Hialeah motorcycle officers, being asked for his vehicle’s documents, and then being told he would receive a citation in the mail. No actual traffic citation allegedly ever appeared.
Officials say an audit was conducted of the officers’ activities from January 1, 2020, to June 8, 2020 and during the audit, eight additional alleged victims were discovered with similar patterns of citation activity being indicated.
The State Attorney’s Office says in some cases, false names were allegedly used in writing the “official” citations combined with actual information taken from the targeted vehicle drivers.
Armando Perez is a five-year veteran with the department and Ernesto Arias-Martinez has been with the force for almost four years.MORE NEWS: 'We Are Not Entertaining Any Such Idea': M-DCPS Does Not Support Idea Of Building UM Football Stadium On Site Of Gables High
CBS4 has learned both officers would be terminated from the department.