Officer Orestes Santiago Verdura, a six-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department is charged with two counts of dealing in stolen property, one count of conspiracy to commit organized scheme to defraud and one count of organized scheme to defraud.
Verdura set up the sale of two stolen pickup trucks delivered by Ariel Sanchez, 38. Payment was allegedly made in official Miami-Dade County funds to Verdura, who took the money while on duty.
Documents stated that part of Sanchez’s role was to drop off two stolen F-250 trucks and Verdura received the payment for them because he helped sell them. The F-250 trucks were reported stolen in Palm Beach County, Local 10 News reports.
Prosecutors said Verdura sold both trucks for $10,000 each to a confidential informant. Both vehicles were dropped off at Home Depot stores.
Verdura's arrest is the culmination of an investigation conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Professional Compliance Bureau and the Public Corruption Division of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle issued a statement that read:
“Officer Verdura betrayed everything and everyone he pledged to honor when he began engaging in his alleged criminal activities. I am proud of the swift action taken by the Miami-Dade Police Department to end Verdura’s fraudulent activities and bring him and his associate to justice.”
Verdura is currently suspended from the force.