A city of Miami police officer has been arrested on charges of using his badge to stop drug-trafficking suspects and then steal narcotics and money from them, according to an FBI criminal complaint unsealed Friday.
Frenel Cenat, 40, is accused of wearing his uniform and using his police-issued vehicle during the alleged traffic stops, the complaint says.
Cenat, who has been on the city’s force since 2008 and worked in the evidence room, was arrested by U.S. Marshals deputies on Thursday. He made his first appearance in Fort Lauderdale federal court on Friday.
The criminal complaint, based on a sting operation involving an FBI confidential source who interacted with Cenat, charged the Miami police officer with using his official position to extort criminal suspects under the Hobbs Act, theft of government funds, and attempting to possess and distribute cocaine.
Cenat, who is being held at the Broward County Jail, did not have a defense attorney listed for him on the federal court docket. He is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Stamm, who handles corruption cases.
This story will be updated with additional information.