MIAMI - A Miami police officer has been arrested and charged with cocaine possession after he was caught snorting the drug at a nightclub late last year, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Officer Adrian Santos was off duty and out of uniform at the time of the alleged incident in November at E11even Miami.
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"Every police officer who has taken an oath to enforce the law also has a duty to respect and follow the law," Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "There are no exceptions. Today's charges come after a vigorous criminal investigation undertaken by the Miami Police Department and the state attorney's office aimed at ensuring the integrity of our law enforcement community."
Authorities said witnesses saw Santos inhaling cocaine that he had in a plastic bag on the evening of Nov. 17 and into the early morning the next day.
Prosecutors said the nightclub's surveillance video confirmed his actions.
Santos, who has been with the Miami Police Department for more than two years, was escorted out of the club by security and turned over to police who were working at the club.
Chief Rodolfo Llanes said Santos tested positive for cocaine.
John Cunill, a member of Santos' legal team, suggested that the allegations were connected to Santos' recent lawsuit against the city.
"The arrest warrant was obtained by the city's police Internal Affairs unit on the evening prior to Officer Santos' labor dispute hearing," Cunill said. "Notably, the arrest warrant was obtained almost a month after Officer Santos sued the city of Miami."
Santos "believes he will be fully vindicated of this charge," Cunill said.
A warrant was later issued for Santos' arrest and he turned himself in to authorities Monday night, police said.
He later posted a $5,000 bond.
Llanes said Santos was suspended with pay pending termination.
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