After graduating, he was hired by the Hialeah Gardens PD in 2005. He was a good cop. After two years on patrol, he was promoted to detective. He made roughly $1,600 every two weeks. Perez continued riding his Harley and remained friends with Teran.

But the relationship grew awkward. Teran, who worked at a body shop and later as a tow truck driver, had a budding criminal career. Between 1998 and 2002, he was convicted five times for grand theft auto, burglary, and dealing in stolen property, according to court records.

Still, by all accounts Perez was a good cop until 2009. That's when his wife kicked him out after she learned he was seeing another woman, Agular remembers. The neighbor says he let Perez stay with him for a week until he found an apartment in Hialeah. In court, Perez said the split ruined him financially — he was giving half of every paycheck to his estranged wife to help support their daughter.

Teran later testified that one day Perez came by his house in South Miami sounding desperate. "He told me that he had no money and that he was fucked up," Teran said. "He told me he could help me with any drug business that I had, whether it was to protect me or escort me or whatever."

By then, the FBI had begun to dig into Teran's enterprise, which had moved beyond stealing cars. According to affidavits, the man now known as "El Negro" was the "primary supplier" for traffickers in Florida and New York, specializing in "Purple Haze," a potent brand of seedless marijuana. The feds started tapping both Teran's and Perez's phone calls after an informant recorded a meeting in which the pair discussed ripping off $300,000 from a buyer. The heist never happened because it was a ruse by the feds to see if Perez would go along with the plot.

Soon, Perez went beyond talking about crimes and officially crossed the line from cop to crook. His first job for Teran came on March 12, 2010, when he stole the ten pounds of weed from Zequiera. That rip-off was just the beginning.

On May 24, 2010, he stole 14 pounds of marijuana from another drug dealer after pulling over his white pickup truck on SW Eighth Street at 97th Avenue.

A month later, on June 18, he plotted to steal $28,000 from a drug dealer in a blue Hyundai who had just left Teran's house. But undercover cops working with the FBI pulled the dealer's car over first.

Then, on July 10, he acted as security for Teran while he transported 35 pounds of pot from Hialeah Gardens to South Miami. A couple of weeks later, on July 25, Perez and Teran were spotted staking out a warehouse on NW 71st Street at 35th Avenue where rival drug dealers had set up a grow house with 600 plants and 15 kilos of high-grade bud. Teran wanted Perez to scare off the growers, who were armed with semiautomatic pistols. Three days later, the feds and Miami-Dade police raided the warehouse, hoping to avoid a bloodbath if the plot went off.

By the next month, on August 27, the feds decided it was time to test Perez's loyalty. Would he choose to honor the badge or protect his criminal buddy? Two Miami-Dade police investigators showed Perez photos of Teran and his cohorts. They asked Perez if he could help them identify the men. The cop denied knowing any of them. Soon after, the feds traced a call from Perez's girlfriend to Teran's wife warning that the law was onto El Negro.

FBI agents had their answer. A few weeks later, on September 10, they dropped the hammer. To lay a trap, Hialeah Gardens Police Chief Van Toth told Perez he was recommending him for an FBI task force. Toth, who declined to comment for this story, told Perez to meet agents at FBI headquarters in North Miami. Perez agreed, and when the feds walked into the office, they slapped handcuffs on the fallen cop.

The same day, they charged him with eight counts of conspiracy to traffic marijuana. Agular and other neighbors were shocked. "He's just a wholesome guy," says Mirta DeCespedes, who lives nearby. Adds another neighbor, Raphael Burgos: "I know him as a serious, responsible person. He followed the letter of the law to a tee."

Perez went to trial this past February 26. Teran, along with three other co-conspirators, testified against him in exchange for reduced sentences. Zequiera, whose pot was stolen, also testified against Perez.

The cop pleaded not guilty. He claimed Teran never gave him a nickel and that he was pretending to be a dirty cop so he could bring a big case to the DEA.

"I wanted to do something that would take me out of Hialeah Gardens," Perez said. "Something that would get these people that really needed to be put in jail, and not the kids selling marijuana in the parks and on the corners." (Perez's attorney, Richard Houlihan, declined to comment for this story.)

Perez's first trial ended in a mistrial on February 23. The second time around, he wasn't so lucky. On May 14, after just one day of testimony, a new jury found Perez guilty on two counts of conspiracy to traffic marijuana. He's awaiting sentencing.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
Master Bradster
Master Bradster

Give Perez another chance now that COPS give us NONE!!!

Miami321973
Miami321973

"who cannot read English" It amazes me how more than half the Cubans who come to an English speaking country don't learn English. Every other immigrant who came to America in history learned English and became Americanized, not most Cubans. My best friend is Cuban and his family moved North because they are ashamed how people act in Miami.

BadDude
BadDude

so now he is in jail and lost everything including his wife and will never be a cop again.

Luis
Luis

this story is a big surprise.........

wadespade
wadespade

However she may justify it, JliciousB is still a whore for cheating on her boyfriend. What the hell does she have on her lip ???

michael wind
michael wind

they told me that you are a desk rider,and great as a parking meter maid,but i like you

Olga
Olga

You know I was speaking to someone the other day about the Russian Mob. They're all over Fisher Island. I feel like there are no good cops left in South Florida... I think even the FBI is aware and prolly some of them (FBI) are as crooked as these bum cops.

michael wind
michael wind

majority of local police in miami dade county are criminals,majority of fbi agents in south florida have no idea what is happening here,and yes when was the last time when they got anyone from russian mafia.

 
Loading...