Former Miami Cop Pleads Guilty to Protecting Drug Dealers in Wynwood

Hidden cameras were filming as Miami Police Officer Jose Maldonado-Dick, a seven-year veteran assigned to Wynwood, rolled into a McDonald's parking lot and calmly watched as a drug deal went down. A few days later, he did it again — in between the deals, he had offered the dealer tips on how to better run the transaction. For the dealer's protection, the cop got $1,900. 

But Maldonado-Dick didn't know that one of the dealers was an informant and that fellow cops were watching the whole exchange. Maldonado-Dick has now pleaded guilty to his role in the 2014 drug deals and will spend three and half years in state prison.

Following his prison term, the ex-cop will spend the next three years on probation, according to a note in his court file. The plea agreement means two charges of armed cocaine trafficking, which are punishable by life in prison, will be reduced to charges of attempted cocaine trafficking, a second-degree felony.

A formal sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 1.
In 2014, a confidential informant tipped off police that the 37-year-old was involved in organizing a drug transaction. The informant then conducted two separate, recorded deals with Maldonado-Dick at a McDonald’s on the outskirts of Wynwood.

In the two instances, the dealers made exchanges of three and seven kilograms of cocaine while Maldonado-Dick parked nearby in his patrol car, armed with his agency-issued Glock. 
In a bond hearing in late 2014, prosecutor Warren Eth blasted the officer and called him a danger to the city.

"He was sworn to protect the community. He kicked that to the curb," Eth said. "When wearing a badge and gun that society gives him and says, 'Protect our laws, protect our community,' he then wears it and commits life felonies."

Maldonado-Dick has been in jail without bond since his October 30, 2014 arrest and will be credited for time served, said his attorney, Carlos P. Gonzalez, who declined further comment.

As for his job, Maldonado-Dick was fired in February 2015. 
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Jessica Lipscomb is the former news editor of Miami New Times.