The jury acquitted Iglesias of only one count: conspiring to violate the civil rights of a suspect upon whom he was accused of planting a small baggie of cocaine in a downtown Miami parking lot.
The jury’s reasonable doubt on that one count apparently came down to a lack of proof. Detectives testified that a colleague of Iglesias’s showed up at the scene to give him the drugs, but admitted they did not actually see the alleged hand-off to the sergeant. Iglesias said the colleague, Ricardo Martinez, did not show up at all on that day in January 2010, accusing the detectives of lying.
The indictment stemmed from what federal prosecutors Ricardo Del Toro and Michael Berger described as four separate incidents of misconduct between January and May 2010, when Iglesias led the CSU, which targets street-level drug sales.
Iglesias was convicted of stealing drugs and money from a suspected Allapattah dope dealer in May 2010, and of lying to investigators about a box of money left in an abandoned car as part of an FBI sting. Agents placed $3,000 in the box, but $800 went missing after Iglesias handled the money.
One member of Iglesias’ CSU team, former detective Roberto Asanza, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge from the Allapattah rip-off, testified that his boss said it was OK to pay confidential informants with drugs. Asanza also testified Iglesias saw him give a small baggie of cocaine to an informant while all three of them were sitting in Asanza’s truck.
During closing arguments Wednesday, the jury heard prosecutors depict Iglesias as a dirty cop and his defense attorney portray him as a clean officer.
The trial pitted Iglesias against four detectives in his former squad, characterized as “heroes” by the prosecution for testifying against him but as “liars” by the defense.
“We had four eyewitnesses, police officers who stood up to corruption, who stood up to what was wrong,” Del Toro told the jury during closing arguments.
“What reason do these guys have to lie? None,” added fellow prosecutor Berger. “Which person has the only reason to lie? That’s the defendant. And that’s because his liberty, his job and his livelihood are at stake.”