Articles Posted in Drug Charges

A Police Officer that was arrested last weekend told a news reporter that he was innocent of the charges lodged against him and that the incident that led to his arrest was a set up as well as what he dubbed a case of “forbidden love”.

Hialeah Police Department 15-year veteran, Sergeant Tomas Muñoz, 41 was arrested last Saturday when he and an unidentified woman were discovered by police in a room of the Ernesto Motel on West Flagler Street. When the police searched the room they found crack cocaine rocks in plain sight on a night stand, as well as drug paraphernalia, including a crack pipe that was found under the mattress.

As the arrest took place, Muñoz seemed to be consoling the woman. He was heard saying “It’s ok Hilda. It’s ok. Things happen for a reason according to the police report.”
The woman was not charged during the course of the officer’s arrest according to Carl Zogby a spokesman for the Hialeah Police. He also said that she is cooperating in the progression of the investigation.

Muñoz was arrested with the support of the Miami Police according to authorities.

Police acted on anonymous information that tipped them off that Muñoz was seen purchasing the drugs on Friday night, in the vicinity of Miami International Airport, according to the arrest report. They reportedly spotted Muñoz driving a 2004 white Dodge Intrepid with a woman inside and followed him to the motel. They then knocked on the door of the room where they suspected Munoz to be and requested him to sign a consent form to allow them to search the room; which he did in fact sign
At the time of his arrest, Muñoz had already been suspended with pay from the force on a separate matter and was the target of an internal affairs investigation that began more than a few weeks before this current incident occurred.

Muñoz posted a $6,000 bond on Monday and told WFOR-CBS4 news reporters a tale of an apparent tawdry affair that triggered his current situation.

He told one of the reporters, “I met a girl, she happens to have a pimp, and we fell in love,” He went on to say “And he doesn’t let her be free. This came about because he set the whole thing up.”

When questioned on the telephone by CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Muñoz said “I’m saying this whole thing came about from that so let me give you his name, Darin James Febus.”

D’Oench then reached Febus, also by phone but before the reporter was able to question him, Febus hung up.

It was discovered that on February 8th of last year Febus and a woman; Miriam Scott Dailey were arrested at a house located at 2021 SW 37th Avenue and were charged with possession of cannabis and grand theft. Febus was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

When D’Oench tried to question Muñoz further he chose not to answer any more questions about the drug charges against him or any internal affairs investigation that he was part of before the motel arrest.

“I’m not answering any questions pertaining to the charges,” he told CBS4’s Summer Knowles. When Knowles asked him why not, he replied, “I don’t feel like it.”

Knowles also asked him if he thought that the charges against him would be dropped. He replied, “That’s up to them. I deal with everything as it comes. The present moment, right now, I’m dealing with this moment here and I’m good and I’m going to be good no matter what.” He went on to tell the reporter that he wasn’t upset.

Muñoz has been charged with one count of felony cocaine possession (non-trafficking amount), and one count of Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia according to the Police Department press release.

Muñoz, who has been with the Hialeah Police Department since 1998 had been reassigned to an administrative post from his regular duties since the internal affairs investigation began, and is recognized now to be in “at-home” status. He has also been suspended from all other police responsibilities according to Zogby.

His arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 28.

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Shane McKenney was branded a racketeer and principal of a prescription pill mill responsible for illegally obtaining thousands of pills from local pharmacies. Shane’s drug of choice is oxycodone and has been addicted to the narcotic for several years.

The guilty verdicts were returned by the jury that consisted of five women and one man at the beginning of their second day of deliberations. The jury convicted him of dozens of trafficking charges going back to 2007. He was also found guilty of lesser trafficking charges due to the actual weights of the pills in some of the cases. Out of the more than 100 trafficking charges he was only acquitted of an insignificant amount.

In 2008, McKenney, a resident of North Palm Beach was rounded up with more than a dozen others in connection with an oxycodone ring which surfaced at the end of an investigation of a home burglary in Palm Beach Gardens.

Prosecutor Christy Rogers called upon other persons arrested with McKenney to provide testimony against him including Michael Zimmerman who explained to the jury how McKenney attained phony prescriptions on the Internet and then handed them out to other members of the group to be filled by local pharmacies. Zimmerman was quick to suggest that the pharmacies did very little or nothing at all to verify the authenticity of the prescriptions. All the prescriptions were paid for with cash. McKenney’s attorney argued the same point before the court and pointed out that her client was an oxycodone addict who heavily used the drugs he was suspected of trafficking.

McKenney will be sentenced on Oct. 29 to a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. Still because of the conviction of racketeering McKenney could face a much longer term of imprisonment. At the discretion of Circuit Judge Richard Oftedal, the term can vary but family members commented that because he is an addict the case should not be compared to that of Chris and Jeff George who plea bargained a 25 year minimum mandatory sentence in a similar type of case. Chris George received 17 ½ years and his Brother Jeff’s penalty was capped at 20 years in prison.

After the verdict was read the defendant’s lawyer stated that she planned to file papers showing that her client should have been charged with fraudulently obtaining a prescription which is a third degree felony which carries a maximum five-year sentence as opposed to the minimum five years that he is now looking at.

It is important to note that narcotic addiction and dependence are medical illnesses that need the full attention of the health care community. McKenney’s mother told a deputy that Shane was a man whose pill addiction propelled him to get fake prescriptions for others to primarily feed his own habit.

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