Two South Florida Police Officers Charged with Federal Drug Trafficking Crime
MIAMI - Miami-Dade County Police Officers Roderick Michael Flowers, 30, and Keith Maurice Edwards Jr., 28, were arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. It also charges Manuel Carlos Hernandez, 23, with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Hernandez, Durojaiye Obafemi Monsuru Lawal, 24, and Trevanti McLeod, 23, all from South Florida, have been charged with money laundering crimes.
According to allegations in the criminal complaint affidavit, on September 16, 2020, Officers Flowers and Edwards provided protection for the transport of what they believed to be 10 kilograms of cocaine connected to a Mexican drug cartel from its pick-up point in Homestead, Florida to its drop-off point in Aventura, Florida. Officers Flowers and Edwards, each in his own car, escorted a third vehicle containing the purported cocaine: Flowers drove immediately in front of the loaded vehicle and Edwards drove immediately behind it on the Palmetto, 836, and I-95 highways. The affidavit alleges that the officers also escorted the purported cocaine and its handlers on foot, as they went into and out of buildings to pick up and drop off the load. In exchange for the protection service, Flowers and Edwards each made $5,000 in cash, according to the complaint. Unknown to Flowers and Edwards at the time, the cocaine was fake and the Mexican cartel dealers were actually law enforcement confidential sources and undercover agents.
In addition, the complaint affidavit describes Hernandez’s alleged money laundering operation, including transactions during which Hernandez and his associates, Lawal and McLeod, laundered $200,000 in purported drug proceeds. According to the complaint, prior to the protection job on September 16, Officer Flowers had been on Hernandez’s payroll and had improperly used his position as an officer to obtain information for Hernandez. The affidavit accuses Hernandez of investing in the load that Flowers and Edwards protected on September 16, believing that it was real cocaine connected to a Mexican cartel.
This case was investigated by the DEA Miami Field Division (FD), with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Miami Field Office, the DEA Detroit FD, and the Miami Dade Police Department Internal Affairs. It is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.