Vital Frederick, a young Miami cop convicted of pocketing bribes, was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison on Thursday.
At trial in October, Frederick never disputed the undercover evidence revealing he accepted dirty money from two fellow police officers working with the FBI in a pair of sting operations.
But Frederick, 27, testified his colleagues threatened that unless he took the cash they would expose his “secret” — that he was gay and had a 10-year relationship with a boyfriend from high school.
Frederick's surprise defense did not convince a Miami federal jury, which found him guilty on four charges of extortion and three of stealing identification records for tax-refund scams.
Never miss a local story.
U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore found that Frederick perjured himself on the witness stand before sentencing him to 81 months.
Frederick’s case, defended by lawyer Stuart Adelstein, was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Robin Waugh and Michael Davis.
Frederick is one of a dozen Miami cops who were convicted, fired or resigned over the past year as a result of the crackdown on protection rackets and ID scams run out of the North District station in Liberty City.
The two officers who flipped on Frederick, Nathaniel Dauphin and Malinsky Bazile, have been convicted as well. Dauphin, who pleaded guilty, got a probationary sentence with no jail time; Bazile, found guilty at trial, is awaiting sentence in February.