Whenever a police officer is caught doing something illegal, the most common excuse we hear for their behavior, is that there are always a few bad apples. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the whole basket is rotten.
That’s what the Florida village of Bal Harbour recently discovered. The local police department, in conjunction with the Glades County Sheriff’s Department, ran a money laundering sting operation for two years. However, this “sting” quickly turned into a real illegal operation. The tiny Bal Harbour Police Department had officers conducting deals all over the US, and sending money across the world. Over $2.4 million was added to their coffers, and no arrests were ever made.
Officially, the money was used to buy new equipment, in addition to first class flights, computers, luxury hotel rooms, and firearms. Unofficially, hundreds of thousands of dollars were withdrawn from the operation, with no record of where they were spent. About $20 million was funneled through businesses in the Miami area to launder the money for drug groups, and the police never notified federal authorities about their operation.
Their criminal activities were likely spurred by budget cuts. According to the chief of law enforcement in Glades County “We had to find a revenue stream. It allowed us to have resources we wouldn’t normally have.” Their operation finally fell apart after the police were investigated by federal authorities, and the Miami Herald newspaper. Currently, several federal probes against the Bal Harbour Police Department are still ongoing.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.