Two Miami-Dade Police officers who compared themselves to the buddy cops in the “Bad Boys” film franchise have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, accused of acting as protection for an undercover drug trafficking operation, according to a criminal complaint.
Officers Roderick Flowers and Keith Edwards are among five people facing federal charges following a six-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to the Miami Herald, which first reported the arrests, Flowers and Edwards had both been members of Miami-Dade’s Priority Response Team, which responds to major police incidents. Miami-Dade Police said they’re not commenting on the arrests because it’s a federal case.
On social media accounts, Flowers and Edwards are seen posing as the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence characters from the hit “Bad Boys” movies, set in Miami.
The criminal complaint said the investigation began in May when a confidential source posing as a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel began meeting with an alleged South Florida money launderer named Manuel Carlos Hernandez.
The source, who said they were a cocaine trafficker and money launderer, began arranging money laundering deals with Hernandez, who operated out of a business in Davie, the complaint said.
At one point, Hernandez told the source he had a contact in the Miami-Dade Police Department who would help him get information, the complaint said.
In August, the source asked Hernandez if his law enforcement contact could identify a license plate belonging to a person who owed the source money. The plate info was provided by Hernandez to the source, and a review of records showed Flowers had run the plate info, the complaint said.
The source told Hernandez they wanted to use officers for security to protect money that was moving from one location to another, the complaint said. Hernandez asked the source if the officers should be in uniform or work on their day off, and the source told him they should be in uniform, the complaint said.
Hernandez said the source should offer $20,000 to the cops “because the cops would be armed, such that they could kill and get away with anything,” the complaint said.
in September, Flowers was introduced to the source, who asked Flowers if he was a cop, the complaint said.
“Yea, I don’t look like one, right?” Flowers responded, according to the complaint.
Flowers agreed to transport a load of cocaine for the source, and said he had a guy he could bring who was also a cop, the complaint said.
The source later met with Hernandez, Flowers and Edwards, who Flowers said was his partner, the complaint said. Edwards also agreed to offer protection for the source but said he didn’t want to know what the source did, that his only job was protection, the report said.
“Edwards wanted to clarify to the [source] that he and Flowers were not hitmen, and if the deal went bad he would protect the [source] and not the product,” the complaint said. “He further stated that he had been involved in a shooting, and protecting people is his bread and butter.”
On Sept. 16, Flowers and Edwards met with the source, who said they were helping to transport a shipment of cocaine from Homestead to Aventura, the complaint said. In exchange, the cops were paid $5,000 each in advance, the complaint said.
When the phony cocaine transport was finished, the source told Flowers and Edwards “welcome to the Sinaloa Cartel,” the complaint said. The two officers laughed, got in their cars and left, the complaint said.
Flowers, Edwards and Hernandez are facing charges including conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Hernandez and two other suspects are facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.
Flowers, Edwards and the other suspects made their first appearances in federal court on Friday. Attorney information wasn’t available.