Feds Probe Bal Harbour Police Department Over Seized MillionsBal Harbour’s police force has gone after drug gangs operating far outside the village’s borders, confiscating millions — and alarming the feds.
BY MICHAEL SALLAH AND DANIEL CHANG
Nov. 05, 2012
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For Bal Harbour police, it was a whirlwind: cops jetting to Las Vegas, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles — with the goal of seizing millions from criminals.
Two flew on first-class flights while two others went business class to California, where they stayed in the wine country of Temecula Valley.
In just one month, the village’s police helped reel in $3 million — and by the end of the year, they took more dollars from drug dealers than any police force in Florida.
While small police departments rarely venture beyond their borders, Bal Harbour’s force has become a massive cash generator, infiltrating drug organizations across the country with no connection to the coastal village.
Armed with a team of snitches and undercover cops, the vice unit makes few arrests, but seizes a fortune in cash every year.
Now, the special unit is under federal investigation for its handling of millions in seized dollars, including hundreds of thousands paid to snitches, questionable expenses and missing financial records.