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FBI Arrests Miami Gang Officer After Internal Probe

FBI Arrests Miami Gang Officer After Internal Probe

The Miami Herald via YellowBrix

December 17, 2010

MIAMI – A Miami police officer involved in two fatal shootings over the summer was arrested on Thursday by the FBI on unrelated charges, officials said.

Officials confirmed that Officer Ricardo Martinez, a member of the department’s gang unit with the department for 11 years, was arrested by federal authorities.

Law enforcement sources said the arrest stemmed from allegations that Martinez was fencing stolen property, but said the activity occurred outside the scope of his law enforcement duties. ``It’s got nothing to do with his police work,’’ said Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar, who did not know what the charges were.

Special Agent Michael Leverock, an FBI spokesman, confirmed only that a Miami police officer was arrested after a joint investigation by the FBI and Miami police.

“All I can give out tonight is that we have an officer in custody,’’ said Leverock, who said he did not know the charges. He said the officer was arrested in Miami-Dade County and will have an initial appearance in federal court Friday.

A Miami police spokesman declined to elaborate on the arrest.

“The Miami Police Department was working cooperatively with federal authorities,‘’ Cmdr. Delrish Moss said. "We’re not going to release any more details at this point, but they will come soon.’’

Attorney Bill Matthewman, who represents Martinez in connection with the two shootings, said he had limited information about the arrest.

“He’s an excellent street cop,‘’ Matthewman said. "The two shootings were justified, and regarding this incident, I am investigating what the current situation is.’’

On Aug. 11, Martinez fatally shot 16-year-old Joeell Lee Johnson during a robbery sting in Overtown. Police said Johnson pointed a gun at an officer posing as a Chinese food deliveryman after a similar robbery a day earlier. Police have yet to provide details about the weapon.

The second shooting happened on Aug. 20, shortly after Martinez had been cleared to return to duty. He was working with a federal agent in Liberty City when they came upon Tarnorris Tyrell Gaye, 19, and another man.

Authorities say Gaye pulled a shotgun and pointed it at the truck Martinez and the federal agent were in. The other man pulled a handgun, authorities said. Martinez and the agent fired. Gaye was killed.

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