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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Corrupt Cop Sentenced For Illegal Search

U.S. Attorney's Office

San Juan

Press Release

Francisco Martínez-Mercado was sentenced to 87 months in prison and
three years of supervised release for conspiracy to deprive a person of ci-
vil rights, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attor-
ney for the District of Puerto Rico. Defendant was found guilty to the
charge on February 26, 2016.

The evidence presented at trial showed beyond a reasonable doubt that
the defendant, a sworn police officer and federal task force officer plan-
ned and executed a violation of civil rights by conducting an illegal sea-
rch and seizure of an apartment where he knew there were drugs and mo-
ney. The defendant came up with a plan, sought out the necessary perso-
nnel, including two other corrupt police officers and a marked patrol car.
Witnesses testified that they were hired by the defendant to sit in a mar-
ked patrol car outside of a condominium in Isla Verde while two thugs
broke into said apartment.

During the course of the trial, the government presented overwhelming
evidence that showed that the defendant used his knowledge and contacts
 as a police officer in order to plan and execute the illegal search and sei-
zure object of the indictment. Had the defendant not been a police officer,
he certainly would not have had access to other corrupt officers who in
turn had access to the patrol car and radio that were used on his behalf.

“The evidence showed that defendant used his law enforcement knowl-
edge to do the opposite of what he was supposed to do with the trust that
was placed in him,” said Rosa E. Rodíguez-Vélez. “The defendant abu-
sed his position of trust and used his contacts in the police to commit the

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Teresa
Zapata-Valladares y Mariana Bauzá.

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