Saturday, May 03, 2014

Corruption: US - Intelligence Specialist at Southern Command Charged with Accepting Bribes and Helping Steal Purported Drug Proceeds

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
Southern District of Florida

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the filing of a two-count information charging Jose Emmanuel Torres, 37, of Cooper City, in count one, with federal bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§201(b)(2)(A) and (B); and, in count two, with exceeding authorized access to a government computer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§1030(a)(2)(B) and (c)(2)(B)(i) and (ii) and 18 U.S.C. §2.

Jose Emmanuel Torres, who was previously arrested in February 3, 2014, was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Valle in Fort Lauderdale. The criminal information has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum.

According to the information, from approximately January 2012 through December 13, 2013, Torres was assigned to the Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). As part of his official duties with the DIA, Torres worked with agents from Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) collecting intelligence regarding persons who were allegedly involved in terrorism and drug trafficking. During the course of his duties with DIA, Torres interviewed a cooperating individual (CI) who was attempting to gain legal residence status in the United States and had provided Torres and other agents of the United States with information regarding persons involved in drug trafficking and terrorism. Torres told the CI that he had used his influence to have the CI arrested on immigration charges. In or about September 2013, Torres asked the CI for $10,000. The CI understood that, if he did not give Torres the money, Torres could use his influence to have the CI arrested again. Torres continued to ask for the $10,000 and promised that the CI would not go back to jail even if he [Torres] had to put his “neck on the line.” In November 2013 the CI paid Torres $6,000 in order for Torres to use his influence to assist the CI with the CI’s immigration proceedings.

Torres also caused another person to access a government computer and to obtain information from the NADDIS database operated by the DEA in order to commit a theft of $500,000 of drug proceeds.

If convicted, Torres faces a statutory maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or three times the money received.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer would also like to thank the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Secret Service for their assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.

An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.