Detective Facing Drug Charges

Detective Facing Drug Charges
Posted by FoM on November 09, 2000 at 14:35:59 PT
By Arnold Markowitz
Source: Miami Herald
On Halloween in Hialeah, a group of police and federal agents played trick-or-treat on a house where the prize was an indoor farm of more than 40 marijuana plants.A week later, on Tuesday, one of the raiders was put in a federal jail. Narcotics Detective Abraham Herrera, a Miami-Dade County policeman since 1986, has been accused of warning the alleged farm boss to stay away from the place the day of the raid.
That was Alberto Soler, 36. He and Herrera, 37, were arrested Tuesday morning. Wednesday afternoon they appeared in federal court with Orlando Gascon and Lazaro Frenes, both arrested Wednesday. All four are charged with conspiracy to possess marijuana and cocaine with the intent to distribute them.Narcotics agents listened to more than 80 of Soler's phone calls, including the tip-off from Herrera, says a 19-page criminal complaint made public Wednesday.``My client adamantly states he's innocent,'' said defense lawyer Michael Band, after going to court with Herrera. ``The government theory is based upon conversations which, depending on whose spin you put on it, says one thing but can very easily say something dramatically different.''The conversations between Soler and Herrera were described by Sgt. Daniel Borrego, a detective in Miami-Dade's internal affairs bureau. He also holds a special deputy's badge in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.The investigator quoted Herrera as asking, in one phone call to Soler on Sept. 29: ``Are they growing good, my friends? Are they going to be big boys?'' POT PLANTS:The complaint claimed Herrera was asking about the marijuana plants. They were growing in a house at 230 E. 62nd St., Hialeah, where the DEA was planning a raid on Oct. 31, Halloween. The house is owned by Frenes. He tended the farm inside it for Soler, the complaint said.Police and federal agents heard about Herrera's connection to Soler in June, when a confidential source told them Herrera was helping Soler and Gascon by providing confidential police information. On Sept. 27, agents got court approval to listen to Soler's phone calls.According to the complaint, more than 80 calls concerned Soler's trafficking in cocaine, and some of those conversations were with Herrera.More evidence of connections between detective and suspect came on Oct. 11 when agents followed Gascon around. They stopped him and found five ounces of cocaine in a pickup truck he was driving. He mentioned the name of a police friend, Abraham Herrera. They let him go.SUSPECT INVITED:Before the Halloween marijuana raid, the DEA invited a squad of county narcotics detectives to participate. It was Herrera's squad. That was not odd. Herrera had worked with federal agents before, and even has commendations for helping DEA and U.S. Customs Service, his lawyer said.In a briefing before the Hialeah raid, agents told the county detectives about the search warrant and the house. They showed them a picture of Frenes, whom they expected to find there.Then, the complaint said, Herrera called Soler and warned him not to go anywhere, especially not with Herrera's Ford Bronco, which Soler had been driving for two weeks.The raid was made early that afternoon, before typical Halloween activities got started. Soon afterward, Herrera told Soler that Lazaro had been arrested at the Hialeah house. According to the complaint, Herrera also warned Soler ``to get the papers out of the Fifth Street house.'' Soler uses an address at 4741 NW Fifth St.SURVEILLANCE:That night, surveillance detectives watched children in costume going door to door. Some adults were among them, including Soler and Herrera who were walking and talking together.Was Herrera rewarded for tipping off his friend? The complaint doesn't say, and a federal source said it isn't certain that he was paid.The document mentioned that Herrera wore a Rolex watch and drove a new BMW and didn't want his wife to know where the money came from, but it doesn't claim those were his rewards for protecting Soler.Indeed, the lead investigator wrote in the complaint, it's possible that the car was paid for by a police informant who won a lot of money in the Florida Lottery.Note: Narcotics Detective Abraham Herrera is accused of warning the alleged boss of a pot farm about a looming raid. By Arnold MarkowitzE-Mail: amarkowitz Source: Miami Herald (FL)Author: Arnold MarkowitzPublished: Thursday, November 9, 2000Copyright: 2000 The Miami HeraldAddress: One Herald Plaza, Miami FL 33132-1693Fax: (305) 376-8950Contact: heralded herald.comWebsite: Police Archives:
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on November 09, 2000 at 17:12:25 PT
Perfect Example
Sometimes an army sacrifices it own, without any regard for the soldier. War hurts all people, including its own ranks.
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