Miami Police officer accused of extortion

Harold James arrested as part of FBI investigation

Published On: Jan 31 2013 05:03:23 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 01 2013 06:17:16 AM EST
MIAMI -

A City of Miami Police officer is charged with two counts of extortion in connection with a reported FBI investigation into a group of officers' involvement in a sports gambling operation in Liberty City.

Harold James was arrested Thursday. He's reportedly the second officer arrested as part of the investigation.

Court documents allege James "protected and facilitated purported illegal activity, that is, the cashing of fraudulent checks, in exchange for the receipt of a cash payment." He's is accused of receiving $800.

The officers were reportedly protecting a sports gambling operation. According to The Miami Herald, "Surveillance, in an unincorporated area of Liberty City, led to the spotting of a Miami officer who allegedly showed up regularly to protect the illicit business."

In Dec. 2012, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said little about the investigation. The FBI also issued a statement to Local 10, saying "The FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations."

If convicted, James faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

Another Miami Police officer, Luis Hernandez, was arrested Wednesday. He is charged with armed kidnapping and armed sexual battery by a law enforcement officer.