They served as young Miami-Dade police officers who patrol the county streets in police cars in their daily lives.
Only a single sting operation created by an undercover investigator was needed to defeat Buddy Cop, who had something for the blockbuster police action movie franchise “Bad Boys.”
Next week, Roderick Flowers and Keith Edwards will head to federal prison for a year and three months. When they leave, they both have to serve two years of house arrest and then face probation for another five years. As part of the probationary period, both were ordered by Judge Paul Huck of the US District Court to provide up to 1,000 hours of community service annually.
It may not seem like a lot of time behind the bar to plead guilty to protecting the load of cocaine from one end of the county to the other. However, their law enforcement career ended with the social media spoofing of bad boy actors Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, who played fictional Miami detectives in the film.
If you have a silver lining, this is: “He is very pleased with his decision because he gives him the opportunity to continue his life,” said David Waynestein, Floweres’ defense lawyer.
The same is true for Edwards.
Both Flowers, 31, and Edwards, 29, avoided a potential three- to five-year sentence because they accepted responsibility after being arrested while abusing public trust. Also, the load of cocaine, which is fake but looks real in sting operations, was relatively light and weighed between 0.5 and 2 kg. Each police officer was paid only $ 5,000 to provide cargo protection. The single illicit transaction was completely coordinated by the undercover investigator and his confidential sources.
Last November, both Miami-Dade police officers were arrested on suspicion of agreeing to act as escorts in a cocaine trafficking operation set up by agents of the Undercover Drug Enforcement Agency. He was also charged: According to court documents, a Miami money laundering suspect named Manuel Carlos Hernandez, who boasted of Flowers, was on his salary.
According to a criminal affidavit, the case was a Mexican cartel member who arranged an international money laundering transaction with Hernandez and brought two police officers to assist in the transportation of “white girls.” It was done with the help of a confidential source disguised as. Cocaine Package Words — From Homestead to Aventura.
According to the affidavit, sources told police officers who laughed and drove after the transport operation on September 16, 2020, “Welcome to the Sinaloa Cartel.”
Edwards’ leading defense lawyer, Frank Prieto, said in an undercover investigation that “this crime was caused by the federal government,” but “some terrible things reveal that they are doing something with drugs.” There was an audio tape. “
In April, Flowers and Edwards pleaded guilty to the plot of distributing and owning cocaine. They were sentenced to late August.
Hernandez pleaded guilty to the same drug charges, along with a number of money laundering plots, and sent him to jail for nearly four years. His companions Trevanti McLeod and Durojaiye Obafemi Monsuru Lawal were found guilty of conspiracy to launder money and sentenced to one year in prison.
Hana (31 years old) is from a law enforcement family. His sister is a Georgia police officer.His father Raleigh flower, Bal Harbor Police Chief and former Hialeah official.
Edwards is a former Army National Guard member and father of three.
On social media, both former Miami-Dade officers wore badges, thick gold jewels, and smoked cigars.
They also liked the “Bad Boys”. On Instagram, Flowers also used that name “Mike Loree” A character played by actor Will Smith. At Halloween, Edwards took a picture of two people dressed like fictional detectives: “We ride together. We die together. Bad Boys 4 Life.”
According to court records, the DEA agent and its primary source of confidential information focused on Hernandez, who ran Hernandez Investments in Davie. At its first meeting last year, sources demonstrated their position as cocaine brokers and money launderers affiliated with the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.
According to the affidavit, Mr. Hernandez boasts a large bank account with a large number of money laundering customers and plans to open a hairdresser and a car wash to wash dirty money. He also told confidential sources that he had connections with law enforcement officers who could help them.
In the summer of 2020, at a secretly audio and video recording conference, DEA’s confidential sources arranged a series of laundry transactions, including drug funding, with Hernandez, Laural, and MacLeod.
That August, DEA’s confidential sources asked Hernandez if one of his law enforcement sources could carry out the license plate of someone who appears to be borrowing money from him. DEA agents later learned that the police officer who executed the tag through the law enforcement database was Flowers.
According to the affidavit, Mr Hernandez later told confidential sources that a cousin of a police officer named Flowers was “paying his salary” and acting as “security of money laundering activities.”
DEA sources met Flowers at the Hernandez office on September 9th. Sources asked if he was really a policeman. “Yes, don’t I look like one?” Hana is said to have answered.
Sources finally offered to hire Flowers to protect the transport of cocaine from Homestead motels to Aventura’s location. Flowers even explained that both he and Edwards were SWAT-trained, enthusiastically explaining his security prowess.
According to DEA, the source paid Flowers a prepayment of $ 5,000. Edwards later met with sources in person and bragged about his military-honed safety training. He also called himself a “cop police officer,” the affidavit said.
“Edwards [confidential source] He knew that what CS did was illegal, but he knew it wasn’t his job, “said the affidavit. Sources then paid Edwards $ 5,000.
According to the DEA, the operation contract was successful on September 16, 2020, and Flowers and Edwards accompanied the separate car transport from the Homestead hotel to the Aventura hotel. Secret sources, along with undercover agents, transported fake cocaine in a single car while Flowers were driving in front of them and Edwards was driving behind them.
According to their lawyers, they were not in Miami-Dade police uniforms and were not driving police cars.
Miami Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to the story.