A Nigerian living in Florida, Durojaiye Monsuru Obafemi Lawal, has been arrested by agents of US Drug Enforcement Agency, along with some policemen, in a sting operation against Sinaloa cartel.
According to court documents, Lawal described himself as “involved in money laundering and politically affiliated in Nigeria”.
Also arrested were two Miami Dade policemen Roderick Flowers and Keith Edwards, who are also celebrities on social media, wearing gold jewellery, smoking cigars, aping the Bad Boys, the Miami police action film franchise.
Federal authorities now said the two cops could go to jail together, according to a report by Miami Herald.
Flowers and Edwards are due to appear in federal court today, the day after authorities arrested the two on charges that they agreed to act as a muscle for an undercover agent-set up cocaine trafficking operation.
Also charged: A Miami money laundering suspect named Manuel Carlos Hernandez, who boasted Flowers was on his payroll, according to court records.
According to a criminal complaint, the case was brought with the help of a confidential source impersonating a Mexican cartel member, arranging the international money laundering agreement with Hernandez, and calling in the two police officers to help transport a shipment of “white girls” – code word – for cocaine packages Homestead to Aventura.
“Welcome to the Sinaloa Cartel,” the source told officials, who laughed and drove away after the September 16 transportation operation in Miami.
The complaint was lifted late Thursday evening.
Flowers and Edwards are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine. The cocaine was indeed a fake, and the entire operation was carefully coordinated by agents, according to court records.
The charges were the culmination of a six month investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Hernandez is charged with conspiracy and money laundering.
He is charged with another man, Trevanti McLeod, and Durojaiye Obafemi Monsuru Lawal, who, according to court documents, described himself as “involved in money laundering and politically affiliated in Nigeria”.
Flowers and Edwards were both members of the Miami-Dade Priority Response Team, a unit set up to respond to major incidents after the Parkland School massacre in 2018.
Flowers, 30, came from a law enforcement family. His sister is a police officer in Georgia. His father is Raleigh Flowers, the Bal Harbor police chief and a former high-ranking Hialeah officer.
Edwards is a former soldier and father of three children.
DEA agents and the confidential source first focused on Hernandez, who ran Hernandez Investments in Davie. As the months progressed, Hernandez bragged about the numerous clients he’d laundered money for, his fat bank account, and plans to open a barber shop and car wash to launder dirty money.
During the summer, the source arranged in secret audio and video recordings a series of laundering deals with Hernandez, Lawal and McLeod that involved drug money.
In July, Hernandez told the source that a Russian strip club owner was trying to launder dirty money, the complaint said. He later told the source that “he made some calls to law enforcement agencies” to investigate the Russians and learned that they were informants, the complaint said.
The following month the source asked if Hernandez’s secret cop source could keep a license plate for someone who allegedly owed him money.
DEA agents later learned that the police officer who ran the day through a law enforcement database was Flowers.
Hernandez later told the source that Flowers and an unnamed cop cousin were “on his payroll” acting as “collateral for money laundering activities,” the complaint said.
The source met Flowers in Hernandez’s office on September 9. The source asked if he was actually a police officer. “Yeah, I don’t look like that, do I?” Flowers supposedly answered.
The source eventually offered to rent flowers to protect a shipment of cocaine that was to be transported from a motel in Homestead to a location in Aventura.
Flowers eagerly explained his safety skills and even stated that he and Edwards both had SWAT training.
“Flowers showed with his hands that he was trained to shoot in the stomach and chest area,” said the complaint. “He stated that if it was a headshot, it would be from the ears near the forehead.”
The source paid Flowers $ 5,000 upfront, according to the DEA. Edwards later met the source in person and also boasted of his military-grade security training.
He also referred to himself as a “cop’s cop”, according to the complaint.
The operation contract took place smoothly on September 16. Flowers and Edwards accompanied the transport in separate cars from a hotel in Homestead to one in Aventura, according to DEA.
*Reported by Miami Herald