Miami-Dade cop gets 30 days in theft case

(MIAMI HERALD)   For stealing marijuana and cash from a motorist during a traffic stop, former Miami-Dade police officer Jesus Rodolfo Hernandez must spend 30 days in jail and give up his law-enforcement credentials.

Hernandez, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. He was arrested in April after a sting orchestrated by detectives from his own department.

He pulled over a confidential informant at Northwest 173rd Street and 47th Avenue, arresting the man for a traffic violation and stealing $575 in cash and the drugs from his pocket, police said.

The disgraced cop pleaded guilty to grand theft, possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence. He will also spend two years on probation and must pay back the nearly $25,000 it cost to investigate and prosecute the case.

“Removing a crooked cop from our streets always provides a tremendous sense of relief and vindication for the prosecutors and police who thoroughly work the case,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “However, the betrayal of the officer’s department and of the people of this community can never be overlooked nor easily forgiven.”

Hernandez, hired in 2005, had a short tenure marked by questionable decisions.

In February 2008, he shot and gravely wounded west Miami-Dade electronics store owner Jose Rodriguez during a burglary call to the business.

Rodriguez has since filed a negligence suit against the county, saying Hernandez wrongfully shot him. A trial is pending.

“The county had the officer under investigation and they didn’t do anything to protect the public from him,” said Ervin A. Gonzalez, Rodriguez’s attorney. “Bottom line: He shouldn’t have been on the street.”

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