DEC 03 (PHILADELPHIA) – A federal jury, yesterday, found 52-year old Rafael Cordero, a 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police force, guilty of interfering with the federal drug investigation of the Christian Serrano/Edwin Medina Drug Trafficking Organizations ("DTOs"). Cordero provided sensitive law enforcement information about drug investigations to his half-brother, David Garcia, a member of the Serrano/Medina DTOs. Cordero told his half-brother about a surveillance camera put up by the DEA to monitor activities occurring at a garage, located at 538 East Indiana Street in Philadelphia, used by the Medina DTO. When the FBI and DEA executed search warrants at several locations associated with the Serrano/Medina DTOs, including the garage, Cordero, after being informed about the searches by his half-brother and without having any official reason to do so, went to the search location on East Indiana Street and began looking in the windows of the garage. When confronted by law enforcement and brought inside the location, Cordero misrepresented his reason for being at the location and offered to assist with the search. At no time did Cordero provide his name to law enforcement.
Immediately after leaving the search location, Cordero placed a call to David Garcia and shared with him, among other things, how many law enforcement officers were conducting the search and what areas of the garage they were searching. Garcia removed a DVR tape that law enforcement had inadvertently failed to seize during the search and viewed it to see if Cordero was recorded at the garage at the time of the search, which he was. At no time did Cordero inform law enforcement that David Garcia had possession of the video tape.
When questioned by federal agents, Cordero denied giving information to Garcia regarding the surveillance camera, denied knowing of anyone associated with the Indiana Street garage, denied having spoken to David Garcia about the search at the garage, and denied passing on information regarding cooperating witnesses to Garcia, all of which were false statements.
Cordero faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Philadelphia Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maureen McCartney and Kevin Brenner.