A former Hialeah police officer was sentenced Tuesday to five years in federal prison and his partner in identity theft received a six-years, nine-month sentence.
In May, Raul Castellon pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated identity fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act fraud. Neilin Gonzalez-Diaz did the same, although to two counts of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices.
During his 10 years with the Hialeah Police Department, Castellon crashed five police cars was was suspended four times before he was put on paid leave last October. That’s when he was sidelined by the criminal investigation into the activities with Neilin Gonzalez-Diaz, 32, who was working on two years’ probation after being convicted of fraudulent use of personal identification.
Castellon added to his career misconduct list by helping Gonzalez-Diaz. From June 1, 2016, to Oct. 19, Castellon used his cop access to the Florida Driver and Vehicle database to get Gonzalez-Diaz information necessary for identity theft, such as Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers and birth dates.
Once she swiped identities, Gonzalez-Diaz used them to get credit cards with which she bought items at retail prices. Then, she would sell them to others at what Castellon estimated as a 30 to 50 percent discount.
And what was the quid pro quo for Castellon? “Clothes, shoes, Apple Mac Book, Apple iPad,” he admitted to investigators.
Castellon’s corruption was worth $40,000 to $95,000, according to court records.