A former police officer with the Village of Biscayne Park pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to conspiracy to deprive a person of his civil rights and deprivation of civil rights under color of law.
Guillermo Ravelo, 37, of Miami, Florida, was charged by a superseding information with depriving a person of his civil rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242 (Count 1); and conspiracy to deprive a person of his civil rights, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 241 (Count 2). For each count, Ravelo faces a statutory maximum sentence of ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4 before U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga in Miami.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney; Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office; and Troy Walker, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, made the announcement.
According to the allegations contained in the information, on Jan. 23, 2013 and Feb. 26, 2014, at the direction of a Biscayne Park Police Department Supervisor, Ravelo falsely arrested a victim identified as “C.D.” and another victim identified as “E.B.” C.D. was charged with two residential burglaries, and E.B. was charged with five vehicle burglaries; despite the supervisor and Ravelo knowing that no evidence existed linking either of the victims to these crimes. In a separate incident, on April 7, 2013, Ravelo responded to a request for assistance from another Biscayne Park police officer who had conducted a traffic stop. During the arrest of the driver, Ravelo assaulted the driver by striking him with his fists while the victim was handcuffed and caused bodily injury.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, including the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force, and FDLE, and assisted by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry C. Wallace, Jr., Department of Justice Trial Attorney Donald W. Tunnage, and Assistant State Attorney Trent Reichling.