PoliceOne Staff Report
(MIAMI) -- A Miami patrol officer who works the graveyard shift and a friend who is a mortgage broker remain in custody after being charged with stealing $22,000 in October from an undercover agent who they thought was a drug dealer and planning a new robbery this month in which they hoped to collect $60,000 and three kilograms of cocaine, also from persons they believed to be drug dealers.
The Oct. 6 sting in which the cash was stolen and the Nov. 17 in which the defendants were stopped before the theft could be carried out were developed to catch Officer Webert Celestin, 33, who has been on the force for xx years and under investigation since March, Miami Police spokesman Jorge Pino told the Miami Herald.
Celestin and Evan Lee Colin, 32, were arrested Nov. 18th. The case was announced publicly for the first time on Monday when reporters asked department public affairs officers about rumors that a Miami officer had been arrested, according to the Herald.
Celestin and Colin were charged with grand theft and conspiracy to commit armed robbery and drug trafficking. Celestin also was charged with official misconduct. All are state charges.
Both defendants made initial appearance the next day in bond hearings. Since the offenses were not bondable both remain in custody in a Miami-Dade County facility, Pino told PoliceOne.com.
Celestin worked 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., in Little Haiti, and allegedly committed the crimes using his patrol car and uniform while off duty, Pino told the Herald.
Several agencies helped developed the case, including city detectives, DEA special agents, Florida state investigators and narcotics task force members, the newspaper reported.
In the theft Celestin allegedly stopped an undercover agent's car, robbed the agent of $22,000 and gave approximately $7,000 to Colin. No arrests followed the theft, the police spokesman said.
Celestin was told that a cocaine transaction would take place Nov. 17 at a Miami address in which tree kilos of cocaine and $60,000 were supposed to change hands, authorities said. Celestin and Colin were arrested before that theft could be carried out.