March 31, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (954) 660-4500
Former Titusville Police Officer Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Participating In A Drug Deal
ORLANDO, Fla. - United States District Judge Paul G. Byron today sentenced Richard (46, Viera) to 10 years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for attempting to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine. A federal jury found him guilty on January 9, 2015.
According to evidence presented at trial, Irizarry joined the Titusville Police Department in 2010 as a sworn law enforcement officer. While on duty during the summer of 2013, he responded to an apartment complex and befriended a person, who, unbeknownst to Irizarry, was a DEA confidential informant. While at a New Year’s Eve party in 2013, Irizarry told the informant that he knew that the informant was a drug dealer, and that Irizarry wanted to get into the drug business with him to make money. The next day, the informant reported the conversation to DEA, which immediately initiated an investigation.
On several occasions, Irizarry met with or called the informant, who recorded all of their meetings and telephone conversations. Irizarry often used his official police vehicle to meet the informant after his shift was over. On January 13, 2014, Irizarry looked up a license plate in a confidential database for the informant and identified it as belonging to an undercover DEA car. On another occasion, while on duty and in uniform, Irizarry parked his patrol car 50 feet away from the informant and an undercover agent that Irizarry believed was also a drug dealer. After listening to his police radio, Irizarry used his cell phone to tell the informant that it was safe to do a deal. Following that call, the informant handed the undercover agent what Irizarry believed was a kilogram of cocaine. For protecting the drug deal, the informant paid Irizarry $500.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Orlando District Office. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.