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.
The penalties for possession of crack cocaine can be severe. The average sentence for possession of less than 25 grams is over 5 years of incarceration. If you or someone you know is facing charges of this sort or any of the other charges mentioned in the above article, call Mr. Cohen’s office at 954-928-0059. Mr. Cohen’s experience as well as his previous work as a Federal Prosecutor can assist you by delivering the best possible outcome of the charges alleged by the prosecution.
Mr. Cohen’s practice has recently expanded and he is now a partner in the prestigious law firm of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP. Through this partnership, Mr. Cohen can now lead your defense in the New York Metropolitan area in addition to the Broward, Dade, or Palm Beach County areas as well as all other jurisdictions throughout the state of Florida
Mr. Cohen is a board certified criminal trial lawyer rated AV by Martindale Hubbel (pre-eminent) and a “Super Lawyer” recognized as being in the top 5% of his specialized field (criminal trial law) among Florida lawyers. He is considered a specialist by the Florida Bar in his field. Mr. Cohen has tried scores of cases over his 35 year career and is a member of the Florida and New York Bars. He practices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami, among other counties. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Second Circuit.
Mr. Cohen is also listed in the 2013 edition of “Best Lawyers in America“.