Miami (May 18, 2015) As a result of a joint Miami-Dade Police and Miami-Dade State Attorney`s Office investigations, 16 year veteran Miami-Dade Police Sergeant Emil Van Lugo was arrested on Friday May 15, 2015. He is charged with:
- 1 count Organized Fraud $20,000 or less (3rd Degree Felony)
- 5 counts Petit Theft (2nd Degree Misdemeanor)
This investigation arose from concerns that Sergeant Lugo was improperly using his Miami-Dade County access during the period from January 2015 through March 2015. Not only was Sergeant Lugo fueling his vehicle at a fuel station rarely used by police officers (the 7900 SW 107 Avenue site was primarily utilized by the Solid Waste Department) but the computer records tracing the amounts of fuel consumed appeared to exceed the miles driven. County gas access is intended to fuel county vehicles, in this case Sergeant Lugo`s official marked police vehicle.
The investigation involved video surveillance of both the county refueling station favored by Sergeant Lugo and at his home. Surveillance showed gas cans, filled at the county refueling station being used to refuel a private vehicle at his residence. The bond for this offense was set at $10,000.
It is a shame that a veteran police officer would go out of his way to steal from Miami-Dade County just to save a few dollars on gasoline, commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. A police officer, who would sell his good name and his integrity just to put gas into his wife`s car, tarnishes the reputation of every good officer on the force. I applaud the actions of the Miami-Dade Police Department to investigate and correct this theft problem.
Integrity is the foundation of the Miami-Dade Police Department, and it is imperative that we maintain the community`s trust, stated Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson. Anytime one of our officers tarnishes the badge we will hold them accountable to the law, in order to not jeopardize that trust.
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