Hialeah Police officer accused of corruption

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Hialeah Police officer has been arrested on charges of corruption and identity fraud.

Officer Raul Castellon, 38, faces several charges including aggravated identity fraud and affecting commerce by extortion under color of official right.

After a federal investigation, Castellon was placed on leave in October 2016 and was then arrested Friday.

Castellon is accused of accessing Florida’s drivers license database, taking screen shots of the information of multiple individuals and sending them to co-defendant Neilin Gonzalez Diaz in exchange for gifts.

According to prosecutors, Castellon did this 25 times between June and October 2016.

Hialeah Police have not said much about the investigation, but the department told 7News that Castellon has been disciplined several times since he joined the force, back in 2006.

During his career, records show that he has 13 written reprimands for violating rules, four suspensions without pay, five traffic crashes and five internal investigations.

After the fifth investigation, Castellon was fired in 2012 because, the chief said, at the time that he “disobeyed Hialeah Police rules with regard to both the use and operation of his police cruiser, as well as other reasonable directives and traffic laws.”

The chief also added that “his actions reflect poorly on the department and discredit him as a police officer.”

Thanks to help from the Florida Police Benevolent Association, Castellon was able to get his job back in April 2014. In July 2016, the department got word that the FBI investigating.

That’s when Castellon was placed on leave in October, before he was arrested Friday at the Hialeah Police headquarters.

Castellon faced a federal judge on Monday.

The department said that several agencies were involved in this investigation.

If convicted, Castellon could face 20 years in prison.

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