MIAMI -- A South Florida police detective teamed up with the head of a drug trafficking ring and plotted to loot a rival drug ring's warehouse for marijuana and cash, according to federal court records.
At a hearing in Miami federal court Friday, authorities said they listened to cell phone calls between Lawrence Perez, a detective with Hialeah Gardens Police, and alleged drug trafficking operator, Carlos Santurtun Teran, in July. Authorities said the arrests were the result of an extensive wiretap investigation.
Perez planned to arrive at the targeted warehouse to "scare off" and "tie up" the occupants so his cohorts could safely enter the warehouse and make off with the loot.
Days before the planned invasion, Teran warned Perez that their targets at the warehouse were "armed." Perez was not deterred and replied, "that good, that's fine," according to a statement from the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office.
Authorities raided the warehouse on July 28 and seized more than 600 marijuana plants and several loaded firearms.
Perez and Teran were charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute over 100 marijuana plants. Two others were also charged in the bust.
Perez's attorney, Robert Pelier, said narcotics investigations are "highly sensitive and frequently involve the development of information and other intelligence from most unsavory characters."
Perez "acted aggressively, diligently and bravely, yet never outside the boundaries of the law," he told The Associated Press.
Perez, who faces up to 40 years if convicted, was released on $50,000 bond. He is expected to be arraigned Monday. Teran is being detained after a judge said he posed a flight risk.
E-mails and a telephone messages left for Hialeah Gardens Police were not immediately returned Saturday.
By KELLI KENNEDY
Associated Press Writer
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Feds: Fla. detective plotted to rob drug warehouse