MIAMI (AP) — A South Florida police lieutenant charged in a New Jersey cocaine conspiracy is seeking release on bail before his trial.
A hearing is set Monday for Miami-Dade Police Lt. Ralph Mata.
The FBI says Mata provided protection, sensitive law enforcement information and security for a drug trafficking organization that smuggled cocaine into the U.S. They allegedly used shipments of bananas and other produce from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.
Authorities also say Mata planned a hit on a rival gang, although that never took place.
Attorney Bruce Fleisher says he will vigorously defend Mata against the charges, which carry a possible life prison sentence.
Mata has been with the Miami-Dade Police Department since 1992. Most recently he was assigned to the internal affairs unit that investigates police wrongdoing.
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