Opa-Locka police captain arrested

Officer accused of knowledge of Brinks holdup

Published On: Nov 17 2011 12:51:59 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 18 2011 11:51:10 AM EST
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. -

An Opa-Locka police captain arrested in connection with a South Florida drug operation Thursday morning is accused of having knowledge of the killing of a Brinks guard and doing nothing. 

The early-morning FBI raid was part of a yearlong investigation. Eight suspects were rounded up at sunrise, and each was indicted on allegations that they operated an organized drug trafficking ring that distributed cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone.

One of the suspects is Arthur Balom, 44, of Miramar, a captain with the Opa-Locka Police Department. FBI sources said he protected the ring and covered for the ringleader, whom investigators identified as Toriano Johnson, feeding him information to keep him out of prison.

Johnson was one of five suspects who were arrested last month, accused of organizing the holdup and eventual execution of the guard at a Bank of America on Miramar Parkway. 

Sources alleged that Balom knew information about that incident. Agents said that while Johnson was on the run, Balom knew where he was but said nothing, and that he was aware of the Brinks stickup before it happened and did nothing to stop it or turn in anyone involved after it happened. 

Agents served Opa-Locka Police Chief Cheryl Cason with a search warrant Thursday afternoon. It said investigators were "looking for evidence related to the crime of interference with Interstate Commerce by robbery," referring to the Brinks holdup, and "conspiracy with intent to distribute controlled substances." Additionally, it said investigators were looking for "information about a ballistic vest," which sources said may be traced to the Opa-Locka Police Department. 

Agents will be looking at records from Opa-Locka police computers related to watch orders, directives and daily activity reports. 

"I am a chief, a product of this community, and we will not tolerate any misconduct," Cason said. "We held our officers, held to a higher standard, and like I said, we service this community with great heart, pride and integrity." 

Balom has been with the Opa-Locka Police Department since 1999 after serving with the North Miami Beach Police Department for one year.