Police officer on leave for ties to gambling case
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A City of Miami Police officer has been placed on leave after being accused of having ties to a gambling operation under investigation by federal authorities.
Attorney Michael Filer represents Miami Police officer Lashunda Hodge. She has been placed on administrative leave, as an ongoing federal probe continues into an alleged gambling operation in Liberty City.
"It is my understanding that my officer was approached by the FBI referencing an investigation surrounding the possibility that off-duty officers were involved with an illegal book-making ring operating out of Liberty City," said Defense Attorney Michael Feiler. "Officer Hodge was approached. She did the right thing and came to me, and her reward was to be immediately relieved of duty."
The feds continue to investigate the alleged gambling operation. A barber shop closed last spring and the feds continue to look into whether Miami Police officers served as protection to the operation.
Back in March, several arrests were made in South Miami-Dade on gambling and bookmaking charges. According to published reports, the feds are looking into whether there was a connection to Liberty City.
According to the reports, the now closed barber shop was the target of a six-month investigation that also involved a barber shop in Florida City.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said, "My point is simple, as a matter of policy, I do not comment on any ongoing investigations whether they exist or not because, as you can understand, it could intervene," said Orosa. "If there is an investigation, and you guys put it out there, it can intervene whatever we are doing."
Miami's Mayor Tomas Regalado spoke out about the case. "I do know that this chief and this force is trying to clean up their act, so that's important," said Regalado. "The good thing about this is, you know, yeah, we have the headlines from cops that could be arrested, but at the end of the day, the majority wants this to happen. I've talked to many cops and said we have to get rid of these bad apples."
The fed, along with Miami Police, are extremely quiet about the ongoing probe.
Feiler said, "There was an off-duty detail that worked for one particular business in Liberty City. The strange thing about this case is that my client was called in two times to fill in for the detail, and it wasn't even her regular detail," he said. "She worked this particular detail a total of about six hours over a two-year period, and yet everyone else is walking around like nothing has happened, and she's the one that gets relieved of duty because she had the temerity to actually go and hire a lawyer."
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