What's the real story behind brash-talking Miami cop who pleaded guilty?
If Geovani Nunez had kept his mouth shut, would he have ever been approached by an FBI-paid stool, who offered him $500 to use his police database to track down an address of someone he claimed owed him money?
Or was Nunez already accepting the bribes when he spouted his mouth against his own department over an arrest he did not agree with, even going as far as granting an interview to Rebecca Wakefield of the Miami Sunpost?
It all started last year when Nunez, who spent his off-duty hours working security detail at Club Space in downtown Miami, was ordered by another officer to pat down Club Space owner Louis Puig and the club’s general manager Markus Westreicher over an alleged noise violation in downtown Miami.
Nunez said in the interview with Wakefield that he could not understand why these men were being patted down because there were no noise complaints nor did police use a noise meter.
According to Wakefield’s column, Nunez said:
“I’m watching this, everyone on the scene were all dazed and confused as to what they were going to charge them with,” Nunez recalled. “The [law enforcement statute] book is open in the trunk of Officer Simmons’ car and they are scanning page by page. That right there told me they didn’t know what they’re doing.”
Nunez said that after the men were arrested, Miami Police Lt. Bernard Johnson walked up to him and said:
“Your loyalty lies with the city of Miami. I don’t care if you disagree with the arrest. It’s a good arrest.”
Nunez, who had already been reprimanded by the department for questioning the arrest at the time he was being interviewed by Wakefield, told her he was unafraid to go on the record.
“I’m tired of the silence,” he replied. “They can stick that blue line up their ass.”
The charges against Puig and Westreicher were dropped in part because of Nunez’ comments in Wakefield’s story.
At this point of the story, it appears that Nunez may be a little stubborn and outspoken but also hints that perhaps, just perhaps, he might be an honest cop (talk about wishful thinking). After all, it is not too often when an officer shatters the Blue Code of Silence to speak out against an unjust arrest.
Naturally, this was the time when Nunez began making more enemies than friends within the police department.
So I’m curious if Nunez was set up for a fall by his fellow officers. Not that it makes him anymore innocent. Even he admits he is guilty. And so does his partner, whom he convinced to join him in the scandal. Besides, it appears there is plenty of evidence against the two cops.
But does the FBI randomly send stools to Miami police officers to see if they accept bribes if there has not been any evidence of foul play beforehand?
If Nunez had been suspected of accepting bribes before the Feds stepped in, then why isn’t that mentioned in the Miami Herald’s article?
From The Miami Herald:
It was at Space where Nuñez also met the FBI’s ”cooperating witness,” a man who worked in the trucking business. He paid Nuñez $500 so the officer would use his police database to obtain a home address for someone who supposedly owed the man money.
The FBI witness escalated the stakes.
Soon Nuñez was using his patrol car to safely ”escort” what he believed were truckloads of stolen TVs, iPhones and even cocaine, according to court documents.
Nuñez even claimed he protected one shipment by bantering with a Florida Department of Transportation cop who had followed a truck supposedly full of stolen computers.
Many of the meetings and transactions were audio and videotaped, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Nuñez later enlisted Hernandez, a Miami detective who ”wanted to be extra careful because he works in robbery, meaning he understands how theft investigations work, and that he wanted to be paid through Nuñez,” court documents say.
Three times, Nuñez paid Hernandez by handing him a police manual stuffed with cash. The two cops also discussed possible drug rip-offs with the secret FBI witness.
So yes, Nunez deserves to go to jail. But my questions are:
Would the FBI “cooperating witness” ever have approached Nunez and made him an offer had Nunez not pissed off his superiors?
Or was this investigation opened much earlier than when Nunez opened his mouth and pissed off his superiors?
Or was it Nunez’s outspoken words, telling his superiors in an article that they can “stick that blue line up their ass”, that prompted a deeper investigation against him, only to learn he was a dirty cop?
The Miami Herald does not say exactly when the probe began; It only says where:
The Miami probe began at Space, the downtown nightclub where Nuñez worked off-duty security.
So there is obviosly more to this story than has been reported. Let’s hope it finally gets reported.