Deputy arrested on drug charges

Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations detectives arrested a deputy Saturday night after he purchased drugs from an undercover operative while on duty.

Acting on information developed in an investigation, detectives arranged for a cooperating defendant (CD) to meet with Miranda at 6:30 p.m. at the Winn Dixie shopping center on Big Pine Key. Miranda was on duty, and in a marked patrol car at the time of the meeting. A special agent from Homeland Security was assisting in the investigation.

During the meeting, the CD handed over 10 fake Oxycodone pills; Miranda agreed to pay him for the pills on Monday.

Shortly after the transaction took place, Detective Sgt. Al Ramirez met with Miranda, searching his patrol car. Inside, he found 9 and one quarter of the fake pills, and a further 12 Hydromorphone pills in the glove compartment. A pipe was found in his pants pocket with marijuana residue in it.

Deputy Miranda admitted to ingesting part of one of the pills right after the transaction took place. He also admitted to taking the Hydromorphone pills from his aunt’s residence without her permission.

Deputy Miranda was charged with conspiracy to purchase narcotics, possession of synthetic narcotics, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.

An internal investigation into his actions is pending. Miranda is currently suspended from his employment with the Sheriff’s Office without pay.

Miranda is 30 years old. He was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in October of 2008 and has been working as a road patrol deputy in the Lower Keys district.

“The integrity, honesty and professionalism of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is crucial to our ability to perform the job of law enforcement. I will not tolerate any behavior that compromises these values,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

“I am proud of the detectives who investigated this case. They did the right thing under difficult circumstances,” Sheriff Ramsay said.

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