Former South Florida cops sentenced to prison for gun dealing, tax evasion

A husband-and-wife pair of South Florida cops was sentenced to prison Thursday for illegally dealing in stolen guns and filing false tax returns

U.S. Judge Donald Middlebrooks sentenced ex-Golden Beach Officer Tammy Valdes to 3 1/2 years of federal prison. Her husband, former Hialeah Officer Rafael Valdes, got five years prison.

A federal jury convicted the Valdeses in October. Federal prosecutors said the husband and wife had a lucrative but illegal side business selling firearms at South Florida gun shows. The income went unreported to the IRS.

The couple’ defense was that they were fervent gun enthusiasts who didn’t realize their activities were illegal.

The sentence was considerably less than what they could have faced. The government sought to put away Rafael Valdes for 10 years, Tammy for 7 1/2.

The couple is considering an appeal of the guilty verdict. “Under the circumstances, the sentence was fair,” said their defense lawyer, Michael Feiler.

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category