| Crime |

Two Miami Cops Sentenced to Decades in Prison for "Protecting" Drug Dealers

Former Miami Police Officers Schonton Harris, Kelvin Harris, and James Archibald
Former Miami Police Officers Schonton Harris, Kelvin Harris, and James Archibald
City of Miami Police Department
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Kelvin Harris, James Archibald, and Schonton Harris sure know how much a Miami Police Department uniform costs. In monetary terms: $1,500, which is the price an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer paid to buy one from the group during a federal sting.

That uniform will also, in part, cost them decades of their lives. A federal judge today sentenced two of the three former MPD officers — James Archibald and Kelvin Harris — to a staggering 10 and 27.5 years in prison, respectively. Schonton Harris, no relation to Kelvin, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars earlier this year.

The FBI unsealed a massive case against the trio in December. The feds alleged that, for a nominal fee, the three cops were apparently happy to look the other way when cocaine traffickers rolled into town to sell product. Some of the officers did more than simply let the drugs pass into Miami: Schonton Harris, for instance, was reportedly caught on tape saying she nearly shot someone who got too close to one of her partner's drug deals.

"I take the damn seat belt off and I was sitting with my gun in my lap, and when the motherf***er started walking, I pulled that shit up," she said, per a Miami Herald story from earlier this year. "I let the window down a little bit, and I set [the gun] just like this. I was gonna pop that motherf***er."

Schonton Harris, age 53, was reportedly the ringleader, who recruited the other two officers into the scheme. She was initially charged with one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and three counts of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine, though some of those charges were dropped as part of the plea deal she cut with federal prosecutors earlier this year. Harris said in court the racket lasted from August to October 2018.

Archibald and Kelvin Harris, meanwhile, had significantly different careers within the police department before turning to crime. Archibald, sentenced to ten years today for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, had been a cop for only about two years. Kelvin Harris, meanwhile, had been with MPD for the past 26 years and will now spend 27 years behind bars. A jury this year found him guilty of one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine and three counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug-trafficking crime.

The trio allegedly received $33,500 as part of the scheme, which, apparently, was not enough to pay for lawyers savvy enough to ensure their clients' acquittal.

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