A Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy violated department policy while trying to set up a drug sting, an Internal Affairs investigation concluded.
In April, Juan Torres, a road patrol deputy with two years on the force, saw a Snapchat video from a woman he knew in Miami advertising marijuana. He contacted her, and she put him in touch with a supplier about delivering to Charlotte County, the investigation report stated.
Torres took the information to his supervisor with the idea of setting up a drug sting, he told investigators. His supervisor said they needed to build a strong case before taking it to the Narcotics Unit.
Torres took this to mean he should get back in touch with the subjects, which he did, and they arranged prices and a location for the sale.
Torres and his supervisor brought the information to a narcotics detective, who believed Torres may have violated department policy, the report stated.
Department policy requires any information about possible drug activity be submitted to the Intelligence Unit, which will then forward it to the appropriate unit.
Torres reportedly asked the detective in a text if he was “in trouble.” The detective reviewed Torres’ texts with the subjects and noticed “flags” indicating not all of the information had been submitted to his command.
“Deputy Torres said he has communicated with Narcotics Unit personnel in the past regarding local cases,” the report stated, “but the reason he did not this time was because it was out of county and he did not know where to send it.”
Admitting his error was made with “good intentions,” Torres told investigators he “has a passion for taking drugs off the street, and he was trained by deputies at CCSO who had the same passion,” the investigation report stated.
The investigation determined a charge of violation of official procedures was sustained. Sheriff Bill Prummell admonished Torres in a letter and ordered him to undergo retraining in department policies.
The drug deal never happened.
Torres could not be reached for comment, and the CCSO does not communicate with The Daily Sun.