Former Miami-Dade cop sentenced to 366 days in prison for stealing from crime scene

Karel Rosario pleaded guilty last year to stealing jewelry while searching home

MIAMI – A former Miami-Dade police officer who pleaded guilty last year to stealing jewelry from a home while helping the DEA execute a search warrant was sentenced Wednesday to 366 days in prison.

Karel Rosario was emotional as he addressed the court before he was sentenced.

"I am admitting I made a mistake, OK, and that is the first mistake that I made as a police officer," Rosario said.

Rosario was arrested last June after detectives discovered that he tried to sell some of the stolen jewelry to a jeweler at the Seybold Jewelry Building in downtown Miami.

According to the state attorney's office, Rosario stole a Cartier watch containing a custom diamond bezel, a gold bracelet with diamonds, a Cartier-style "Nail" bracelet, a Rolex Daytona watch, a Bulgari ring, a Bulgari bracelet, a David Yurman bracelet and several expensive bottles of perfume from the home of Yulia Martinez.

Martinez was arrested May 20, along with four others, for her alleged involvement in a crime ring that earned about $6.5 million while dealing pharmaceutical drugs in Miami-Dade County.

Police said the suspects were buying drugs from patients and reselling them to manufacturers.

After bonding out of jail, Martinez told authorities that she realized the items were missing from her home, and no receipts were left at the residence specifying items that were seized, as is proper police protocol.

According to a state attorney's office report, surveillance video showed Rosario meeting with a jeweler, identified as Joel Hernandez, at the Seybold Jewelry Building in downtown Miami on May 27, and trying to sell him the Cartier watch and bracelet.

Hernandez told Rosario he wasn't interested, but would post photos of the watch on the social media site, WhatsApp so that other jewelers could respond if interested.

The jeweler told authorities that he was contacted by another jeweler, identified as Joel Vigo, who claimed that the watch was purchased from him by Martinez's husband.

"You took something that we as a community gave you -- our trust -- and you violated that," Judge Teresa Pooler told Rosario.

Rosario pleaded guilty to dealing in stolen property on Dec. 1.

"Today in court, it was apparent that former police detective Karel Rosario had forgotten that to uphold the law, one must always obey the law," Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "He admitted to dealing in stolen property. His actions transformed him from a respected officer to nothing more than a common criminal. Hopefully, his upcoming time in prison will help him see the error of his actions."

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