Crime

No jail for former Opa-locka police chief in dog-abuse case

Former Opa-locka Police Chief Ronald Wilson, right, pictured here at City Hall in 2002.
Former Opa-locka Police Chief Ronald Wilson, right, pictured here at City Hall in 2002. Miami Herald

Opa-locka’s former police chief won’t serve any jail time for starving and mistreating his former dogs.

Ronald Wilson, who retired from the department in 2002, last week accepted five years of probation and won’t be allowed to have any pets. He’ll also have to pay hefty fines. He was judged guilty of animal abuse, although it won’t show as a conviction on his criminal history.

“It was time to put this behind him,” said his defense lawyer, Sky Smith.

The animals survived and were nursed back to health at a local rescue center.

In 2000, Wilson was named police chief of the Northwest Miami-Dade city that was plagued with corruption, mismanagement and drug-and-gang violence. During his tenure, the department was in such disarray that state authorities recommended Miami-Dade County assume control of the force.

He left the city in 2002 after the election of Mayor Myra Taylor, who still holds the position but is under scrutiny amid a wide-reaching federal corruption probe that has already netted the arrests of several city officials.

Wilson went on to work as a state insurance-fraud investigator before retiring.

Last year, a neighbor called authorities to report he could see the two suffering dogs through a hole in fence of Wilson’s home.

The dogs were found with their bodies severely emaciated, skin cracked and bleeding, most of their teeth missing, their eyes oozing. A medical exam found Lady and Thug had “no discernible body fat” and were missing all of their incisor teeth. The rest were fractured.

Thug had two bullets lodged in his body, although it was unclear how he came to be shot, and he had suffered broken bones.

  Comments