Three Florida police officers were sentenced to prison this week for intentionally making false arrests for burglary, according to the Department of Justice.
Former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano worked with three former officers, Guillermo Ravelo, Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez to falsely arrest several victims to keep their burglary clearance rate at 100%, according to the Department of Justice. One of the victims was a teenager.
Throughout Atesiano’s tenure as the Biscayne Park police chief, he encouraged officers to falsely arrest individuals with no evidence or probable cause to cover for all reported burglaries, according to the DOJ.
“These three police officers from Biscayne Park disgraced themselves and damaged the public’s trust in law enforcement,” Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami Robert F. Lasky said in a statement.
Following directions from Atesiano, Ravelo falsely arrested a victim known as “C.D.” in January 2013, and another victim identified as “E.B.” in February 2014, on burglary charges without any legal standing, according to the Department of Justice.
Ravelo was sentenced Thursday to 27 months in prison. Family members and friends at Ravelo’s sentencing described him as a devoted father who was active in church, the Miami Herald reported.
In an unrelated incident, Ravelo responded to a traffic stop in April 2013. During the stop he arrested and used unreasonable force by punching the handcuffed driver, according to court filings.
Under similar direction from Atesiano, Dayoub and Fernandez falsely arrested a teen referred to as “T.D.” in June 2013.
Dayoub and Fernandez were each sentenced to 12 months in prison earlier this week for their part in falsely arresting 16-year-old “T.D.” for four unsolved burglaries, per the DOJ. The officers cooperated with the government and directly implicated Atesiano.
“This absolute abuse of power by all three officers violated every aspect of the oath Ravelo, Dayoub, and Fernandez took the day they became police officers,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said.
Atesiano pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 27.