Published 6:39 PM EDT Oct 17, 2018
Two former police officers who admitted to framing a black teenager were sentenced Tuesday by a Miami federal judge. Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez, previously of Florida's Biscayne Park Police Department, will each serve a year in federal prison, court records show.
The ex-officers admitted to falsely arresting a 16-year-old for four unsolved burglaries in order to pad the department's "fictitious 100-percent clearance rate" for such crimes, according to statements from the Justice Department. They pleaded guilty in August.
Raimundo Atesiano, the department's then-chief, encouraged the false arrests, according to the Justice Department statements. He pleaded guilty last month to conspiring with officers to make such arrests.
Atesiano and Dayoub said they knew previously of the teenager, identified as "T.D.," when the then-chief instructed his arrest on June 13, 2013. Fernandez fabricated a narrative tying T.D. to the four burglaries in the Miami-area community, falsely claiming an investigation revealed the teenager burglarized the unoccupied residences.Dayoub signed the affidavits.
The next month, Atesiano touted the department's perfect record for solving burglaries at a city council meeting, per the Justice Department. The charges against T.D. were eventually dropped.
Tuesday's sentencing shocked the courtroom, the Miami Herald reported, as prosecutors agreed with defense attorneys that Dayoub and Fernandez should not serve prison time.
Family members of the former officers wept in disbelief after Judge K. Michael Moore issued the maximum sentence, according to the newspaper.
“It would have been a slap on the wrist, and it would have sent entirely the wrong message — particularly to the minority community,” Moore said.
“To think that they can come into court and get a slap on the wrist is insulting to the men and women in law enforcement.”
Atesiano faces up to 10 years in prison. Another officer, Guillermo Ravelo, will be sentenced Thursday on a similar conspiracy count.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner