Police Abuse

Miami Cop Accused of Murder-for-Hire Plot, Working for Drug Traffickers, Released on $500,000 Bail

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what's the mata?
Shirley Henderson/via CBS

Miami-Dade internal affairs Detective Ralph Mata, who has been accused in a federal complaint of arranging a murder-for-hire and trafficking guns on behalf of a drug dealing organization in New Jersey, was released on $500,000 bond today. According to Reuters, he will have to wear a tracking bracelet. A federal judge in Miami made the decision. Mata agreed to be extradited to New Jersey, where the federal investigation took place. The charges against Mata include conspiracy to distribute cocaine and engaging in monetary transactions from specified unlawful activity (the murder-for-hire plot).

The complaint against Mata did not identify the drug-dealing group he is accused of having assisted, but the organization is alleged to be trafficking narcotics from locations in Latin America for distribution "in New Jersey and elsewhere." CNN reported on some of the details of the complaint against Mata, including the murder-for-hire plot:

In one instance, the complaint alleges, Mata arranged to pay two assassins to kill rival drug dealers.

The killers would pose as cops, pulling over their targets before shooting them, according to the complaint.

"Ultimately, the (organization) decided not to move forward with the murder plot, but Mata still received a payment for setting up the meetings," federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The complaint also alleges that Mata used his police badge to purchase weapons for drug traffickers.

Mata, according to the complaint, then used contacts at the airport to transport the weapons in his carry-on luggage on trips from Miami to the Dominican Republic.

Mata worked at the Miami-Dade Police Department for 22 years, including with the K-9 unit and an anti-gang task force. He spent the last four years with internal affairs. If he's found guilty of the charges against him, he could face up to life in prison.

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  1. That picture – obviously the guy is not human. Or the artist is really shitty.

    1. You’d think he’d be smarter about not getting caught with that enormous fucking cranium.

    2. Bok and Payne are courtroom sketchers in their spare time.

      A man’s gotta pay the rent….

    3. He does look an awful lot like Exeter from This Island Earth, or more popularly MST3K’s version of This Island Earth.

      Bonus points because it starts Rex Reason.

      1. stars*

      2. Yes! That’s where I’ve seen that particular flavor of alien butt-headedness. Now what size skull-dome do you wear?

        1. “I’m not an alien!”

          1. “Hey, the floors look great.”

          2. “Hey, we’re in the tubes back here!”

    4. My first thought was that he was part Cardassian.

      1. dude, if you’re referring to the mutants, that’s spelled “Kardashian”

  2. Mata, according to the complaint, then used contacts at the airport to transport the weapons in his carry-on luggage on trips from Miami to the Dominican Republic.

    Wait, how did he get them past our dedicated *federal* Transportation Security (its right in the name) Agents?

    1. Professional Courtesy is a helluva drug.

  3. To me one of the most under reported stories of the last 20 years was the Whitey Bulger FBI story. Basically, the FBI went into partnership with Bulger. Bulger got to run wild and the FBI got to prosecute Bulger’s rivals and get convictions and promotions.

    No way was that an isolated instance. There is just too much of an overlap in interests between gangsters and the cops for it not to happen a lot. The mistake this guy made was not calling the gang that he worked for “informants”.

    1. I even half of American Hustle was semi-legit, our biggest crooks run the justice system.

    2. Of course not. The incentives for detectives are utterly perverse, as they need to put up numbers and make convictions. It sure as fuck isn’t justice. If that means cutting deals with criminals that allow them to keep on doing what they’re doing as long as they rat out some people for the detectives to collar and pump their numbers up, they’ll do it.

    3. There’s a great documentary on this out this year called Whitey: The United States of America vs. James Bulger that goes over a lot of this stuff

      1. Thanks. I will check that out.

  4. The killers would pose as cops, pulling over their targets before shooting them, according to the complaint.

    And this is common enough now that I’d think they could get these guys on the force and let them go legit. Amirite?

  5. What kind of bail is customary for this sort of crime?

    1. Given the connections this guy probably has to flee the country, no bail I’d assume?

      1. RTFA’d it:

        “was released on $500,000 bond today. According to Reuters, he will have to wear a tracking bracelet.”

        Probably hard to skip the country with a tracking bracelet on you.

        1. He’s got connections with corrupt police and drug traffickers, and you think a tracking bracelet is going to be an impediment?

  6. The killers would pose as cops, pulling over their targets before shooting them, according to the complaint.

    Why go through all that trouble? Wouldn’t it be easier to just ask some of his fellow heroes?

  7. So he watched The Departed and thought, “Now that’s a hell of an idea!”

    1. That movie was loosely based upon Whitey Bulger.

      1. It’s also a remake of a Hong Kong film called Infernal Affairs – which I can recommend.

  8. It’s obvious that Detective Mata only had to engage in such unfortunate misbehavior because he was overworked and underpaid.

    1. And is obviously in need of more training.

  9. Cops can get in trouble for dealing drugs?

    I guess they had better stick with murder, since they can’t be punished for that.

  10. That guy has the forehead lobes of the aliens from the first pilot of Star Trek, if the artist is to be believed.

  11. He spent the last four years with internal affairs.

    So do they have a special internal affairs department to investigate allegedly dirty internal affairs police?

    1. All internal affairs police are dirty.

      Of course, you could remove the words “internal affairs” and still have a factual sentence.

  12. The accused’s full name is Ralph Frente de la Cartelera Mata?

  13. OT: I just got a call from a nice lady from ‘MERICA for MORALITY or some name like that. She wanted me to take a survey. Hey I’ve got a couple of minutes free so why not. 1st question: “Do you think that parents, or grandparents of children under 15 should be able to control what they see on TV?”. My answer was, “Well, we have V chips on our (click) TV’s so…Hello? Hello?”. Guess I won’t get the rest of the survey.

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