Miami-Dade police detective accused of stealing from drivers during traffic stops

William Kostopoulos, 47, indicted on federal charges Thursday

DORAL, Fla. – A Miami-Dade police detective was indicted Thursday on charges of using his law enforcement authority to violate motorists' civil rights.

According to the indictment, William Kostopoulos, 47, made three traffic stops so he could steal the drivers' money and other property.

The indictment also charges Kostopoulos with making misleading statements to prevent authorities from finding out about the alleged crimes.

Miami-Dade police Sgt. John Barrow said Kostopoulos, a 17-year veteran, is on paid leave.

"To effectively carry out our sworn duty to protect the physical safety and the constitutionally granted rights of our residents, law enforcement officers need the trust and confidence of the community," Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said in a statement. "Officers who violate the tenets of this profession negatively impact this necessary bond between the public and the police and make the jobs of the honorable and professional officers more difficult."

The case is being investigated by the FBI with the help of the Homestead Police Department.

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.