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Former ‘Officer of the Year’ Charged With Laundering Drug Money

May 26, 1994

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ An undercover narcotics detective once named ″Officer of the Year″ has been charged with helping launder more than $800,000 for Colombian cocaine dealers.

Javier Guzman was charged Wednesday with laundering money for smugglers he investigated while part of a federal task force. He also is accused of telling smugglers about investigations and revealing the identities of other undercover agents.

Deputy Police Chief John Cuesta said Guzman would be fired.

″The bottom line is there is no excuse for corruption,″ Cuesta said.

Guzman, 34, a nine-year veteran, was on a task force that included agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service.

His work with the unit earned him the ″Officer of the Year″ award in 1991.

Guzman was jailed pending a bond hearing Friday. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $2 million in fines if convicted.

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