A former police chief in Florida and two officers were charged Monday with framing a teenager with four burglaries in order to boost the department’s arrest statistics, federal officials said.
Former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano and former officers, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, were charged with “conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law and deprivation of the 16-year-old’s civil rights.” They could face up to 11 years in prison, if convicted.
In 2013, when Atesiano was the chief, the department had a 100 percent clearance rate of reported burglaries, but it was “fictitious” the Miami Herald reported.
“The existence of this fictitious 100% clearance rate of reported burglaries was used by Atesiano to gain favor with elected officials and concerned citizens,” an indictment stated.
Atesiano, 53, was accused of urging officers to arrest the 16-year-old, who was only identified as T.D., in June 2013 “knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges,” prosecutors said.
Dayoub and Fernandez took evidence from four burglaries that occurred in April and May 2013, which were not solved, and made up false narratives to insinuate the teen committed the robberies, officials said. A month after the teen was arrested, Atesiano said the department had a 100 percent clearance rate of reported burglaries.
The former chief surrendered himself to federal authorities on Monday and his arraignment was scheduled for June 25. He was released on a $50,000 bond. Dayoub and Fernandez were slated to make their first appearances in federal court later in the month.
Atesiano resigned in 2014 and a month later an investigation was launched to see if he used public funds to pay back a personal loan. Investigators shut down the probe after discovering “insufficient evidence that the loan was ever given,” the Washington Post reported.