Iglesias told the detectives he found the drugs in the back pocket of Rafael Hernandez’s jeans — though neither detective saw Iglesias search the suspect.
Diaz challenged the detectives’ stories and suggested that Iglesias simply found evidence that Detective Hernandez had overlooked. The lawyer questioned how thorough Hernandez was in his search, noting that, in a case in 2004, the detective had failed to find drugs on a suspect who was later found to be carrying them.
And in an interview with Internal Affairs detectives and an FBI agent in May 2010, Diaz told the jury, Detective Hernandez described his search of the suspect as merely a “pat down” — a less intrusive type of search that does not include searching the contents of a suspect’s pockets.
Valdes and Hernandez also said they once saw a bag of what appeared to be crack cocaine in a military-style bag that Iglesias owned. They said the bag was not marked as evidence or part of a police-issued “sting kit” used when officers pretend to be drug dealers in reverse stings. But Diaz argued that the bag may have contained “sham” drugs or household items that merely looked like drugs.
If the detectives thought Iglesias was carrying illegal drugs or planting evidence, Diaz asked, then why didn’t the officers complain to their superiors, or even arrest Iglesias?
By the time they saw the suspected drugs in Iglesias’ bag, Hernandez said, he believed the sergeant was already the target of an Internal Affairs probe. Hernandez said he was among a half-dozen detectives on Iglesias’ team who had collaborated on an anonymous letter complaining about Iglesias to Internal Affairs.
“I was under the impression he was already under investigation,” Hernandez said.