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3 Boston officers arrested on federal drug charges in Miami

Associated Press Writer

BOSTON- Three Boston police officers accused taking $35,000 in exchange for protecting a cocaine shipment were arrested in Miami on federal drug charges in an FBI sting operation, authorities said Friday.

Roberto Pulido, 41, describe by authorities as the ringleader, and fellow officers, Carlos Pizarro, 36, and Nelson Carrasquillo, 35, were arrested late Thursday in Miami.

All three were expected to face additional charges, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said.

"The alleged criminal activities of Pulido, Pizarro and Carrasquillo are truly appalling and are an affront to every decent law enforcement," Sullivan said.

The men were scheduled to make initial court appearances in Miami on Friday afternoon. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys who could comment. A message left at the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association was not immediately returned.

Sullivan said the investigation into Pulido started in November 2003 when authorities discovered he was buying and selling fraudulent retail store gift cards from stores including Home Depot and Best Buy.

In a court affidavit, authorities alleged that Pulido bought the fraudulent gift cards from an identity theft ring operating along the East Coast.

Pulido allegedly provided names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers to the group of more than 160 people, according to the affidavit. He is accused of getting the information by running the license plates of people he stopped or arrested.

Authorities allege that Pulido also participated in a wide range of criminal activities, with Pizarro and Carrasquillo taking part in some. The allegations include protecting drug shipments, identity theft, sponsoring illegal after-hours parties with prostitutes, money laundering and insurance fraud.

Sullivan said it could take a week to 10 days to return the men to Massachusetts.

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