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Hialeah cop accused of gun charges quits force

A Hialeah cop accused of transporting gun parts stolen from his own department has retired, according to the chief.

Chief Sergio Velazquez said Tuesday that he told Rafael Valdes he was starting the process to have Valdes fired. That’s when the officer filed his retirement paperwork, according to the chief

“Effective today, he’s no longer an employee of the city,” Velazquez said. “I respect his decision, and for the majority of the time that he was with the department he had a good service record.”

Valdes and his wife, Tammy, a former cop herself, were indicted in December 2012 on charges of dealing more than 500 guns without a license, according to a grand jury. Rafael Valdes was suspended of his police duties and put on desk duty, until a new indictment came out July 31.

The feds added new charges against the Valdeses, accusing the couple of filing false tax returns. The new indictment also charges Rafael Valdes with transporting gun parts he knew were stolen from the Hialeah Police Department.

Velazquez said the parts, from a fully-automatic machine gun, were supposed to be destroyed.

“Our records showed them as being destroyed. They ended their service life,” Velazquez said. “Apparently the federal investigation revealed that some of those parts appeared back on the market.”