Current, former Sweetwater police officers arrested on fraud, racketeering charges

A Sweetwater police sergeant and a former Sweetwater detective were arrested Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Sgt. Reny Armando Garcia, 46, and former Detective William Garcia, 42, are charged with organized scheme to defraud, racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Garcia is currently incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Pennington, Virginia.

According to an FDLE news release, interviews with numerous victims and witnesses supported evidence of an ongoing pattern of criminal activity by members of the Sweetwater Police Department that spanned several years and affected dozens of victims.

Detectives said members of the police department, including Reny Garcia and William Garcia, "engaged in a protracted pattern of racketeering activity that included battery, theft, fraud, burglary and other violent crimes against civilians, often specifically targeting foreign-born victims with limited knowledge of the English language and the U.S. legal system."

The news release said that the suspects targeted those victims in order to exploit their vulnerabilities, as well as to conceal the officers' illegal activities from outside authorities.

The FDLE said the arrests are part of a larger investigation "based on decades of corruption, cultivated from the top down," at both the Sweetwater Police Department and city of Sweetwater.

Detectives have found no evidence of wrongdoing by the current Sweetwater police administration. Authorities said the current police chief has fully cooperated in the investigation.

The Miami-Dade Police Department and the FBI assisted in the investigation.

Reny Garcia is behind held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. William Garcia is expected to be extradited to Miami.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution in Miami.

Meanwhile,  Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez has called for  Reny  Garcia to be fired. 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.