A Florida City cop is accused of lying about a toilet and a brick of cocaine.
Prosecutors on Friday accused Corporal Ken Armenteros of falsifying police reports that suggested that a suspected drug dealer flushed cocaine down a toilet during a mysterious encounter in September 2016.
Armenteros, a former police department spokesman, surrendered Friday afternoon to face two counts of official misconduct.
The arrest comes more than a year after Armenteros, off-duty and riding around on his motorcycle while wearing a leather jacket, called for emergency backup at a home in the 800 block of Northwest Fifth Court in the small South Miami-Dade town.
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According to his version of events, Armenteros was flagged down by Christopher Lewis, who offered him cocaine, which he had back at his home. The officer claimed he accompanied Lewis back to the home, then tried to arrest him when Lewis offered a baggie of cocaine.
Armenteros also claimed that he was able to see inside the home and view a “large paper package resembling a brick.” It was while Armenteros, his gun drawn, tried to call for backup that he claimed the drug dealer attacked him, trying to steal his gun.
As the two tussled, Lewis ran off back in to the house, grabbed a butcher knife and appeared to grab the paper bag of suspected cocaine, according to police reports.
Officers eventually entered the home and arrested Lewis on charges of battery on a law-enforcement officer and tampering with evidence, but no drugs were ever found inside the home.
The arrest and incident reports, purportedly written by an officer named Manuel Neyra, suggested that Lewis had flushed the cocaine down the toilet — and the bathroom had flooded.
But other cops on the scene told the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that the bathroom never flooded — and one officer had in fact turned off the water valve.
Neyra admitted to agents that he did not write the reports, but instead allowed Armenteros — his supervisor — to author the accounts. The criminal charges against Lewis were eventually dropped.
“A police officer’s credibility is one of his most valuable law enforcement tools,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “The filing of any false document undermines that officer’s ability to testify in court.”