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Feds Charge Miami-Dade Lt. with Aiding Cocaine Traffickers

April 10, 2014  | 

An internal affairs officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department was arrested this morning in Miami Gardens, Fla., and charged with aiding a narcotics trafficking organization—distributing cocaine from the Dominican Republic in New Jersey and elsewhere—by orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot; providing firearms and sensitive law enforcement information; and facilitating the transport of drug proceeds, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ralph Mata, 45, a/k/a “the Milk Man,” of Broward County—a lieutenant with the Miami-Dade Police Department, Internal Affairs—is charged by federal criminal complaint with one count each of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to distribute cocaine; conspiring to distribute cocaine; and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity—specifically, drug proceeds.

According to the complaint:

After rival drug dealers threatened to kill members of the drug trafficking organization, or DTO, with which Mata conspired, Mata and members of the DTO discussed a murder plot. Mata stated that his contacts—assassins—would wear uniforms and badges to make it appear as though the two targets of the plot were being pulled over by law enforcement before shooting them. Mata arranged to pay two assassins $150,000 per target. Ultimately, the DTO decided not to move forward with the murder plot, but Mata still received a payment for setting up the meetings.

Mata purchased several firearms to provide protection and security to the DTO members located in the Dominican Republic, which he transported on two separate trips from Miami to the Dominican Republic between October 5, 2012 and January 17, 2013. A number of these firearms have been recovered by law enforcement.

Mata also helped to transport narcotics proceeds for the DTO in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash and a Rolex watch valued at approximately $10,000.

Mata also used sources of information available to him as a law enforcement officer to find out information about the seizure of $419,000 in narcotics proceeds from a Bergen County, New Jersey residence, which members of the DTO suspected had been stolen by another member but were in fact seized by law enforcement.

The narcotics charges each carry a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The transaction involving drug proceeds charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Garret Mountain Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; the DEA’s Paterson Post of Duty under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, under the Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, New York, under the direction of James T. Hayes Jr. He also thanked the Miami FBI, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Miami-Area Corruption Task Force for their assistance with the arrest. The investigation is ongoing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Toscano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division, José Almonte of the Criminal Division, and Barbara Ward and Marion Percell, Chief of the office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

TERRY F. ZECH VAPD (RET) @ 4/10/2014 5:24 PM

It always gives us a black eye when one of our own does this. He obviously was a greedy person and wanted the cash instead of knowing that he was taking bad guys off the street that were poisoning the people of this USA. Bury him under the jail.

KevCopAz @ 4/10/2014 7:07 PM

IF this is proven then this would be my reaction: What a P.O.S. He is such a slime, those weapons could have been used to kill brother or sister officers let alone civilians!. He is a LT??? They don't make enough $??? what a greedy bastard. I hope he enters gen pop in DOC and becomes bubba's GF and doesn't make it a month. I feel sorry for his family but no tears shed for him, dirty POS. Did I read it correctly he was in I.A? If thats true he was a back stabbing POS to begin with and probably fired officers for a lot of simple minded BS yet he is doing criminal acts like this. I have never had much respect for IA cops UNLESS they are investigating real criminal cops like this one, otherwise they for the most part are R.E.M.F.s, non cops who couldn't cut it as real cops so they become blood suckers. I don't mean you REAL criminal investigating IA cops, God be with you we need you to weed these types out of the profession.

Ima Leprechaun @ 4/13/2014 3:00 PM

This isn't news this is just normal operations for Metro-Dade.

Troop @ 4/14/2014 12:56 AM

Internal affairs Lieutenant! How many guys in his own department did he jam up for BS knowing full well he himself was a common scumbag criminal.
Rot in solitary.

S.S. @ 4/16/2014 11:13 AM

If he did this he never was one of us. P.O.S. LET HIM ROT!

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