Prosecutors: Miami-Dade Police officer stole county gas

MIAMI (WSVN) - State prosecutors on Thursday made their case against a Miami-Dade Police officer who, they said, stole county-owned gasoline for his personal use.

Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Emil Lugo stands accused of stealing the gas from a county filling station in West Kendall. Investigators said they have surveillance video showing the law enforcer at the filling site, alternating between filling up his cruiser and a red gas can.

Prosecutors said they also have video footage showing Lugo handling the container and filling up a BMW sedan registered to his wife.

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On Thursday, jurors heard testimony from Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Jacqueline Harrison, who investigated Lugo. “We investigate ongoing, long-term criminal conspiracy cases involving Miami-Dade Police Department employees,” she said.

Harrison testified that Lugo, a 16-year-veteran with the force, would go to the filling site on the weekends. In late February of 2015, she testified, she began surveilling the officer’s West Kendall home. “What’s significant is that he used the same gas that he used in the BMW, into the police car,” she said.

Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Jacqueline Harrison
Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Jacqueline Harrison

Lugo’s attorneys argue that he did not steal gasoline, and he used the gas cans to top off his own, county-issued patrol car. In addition, they argue, their client did not use stolen gas to fill up his wife’s BMW. They said the state has no proof the gas in the cans used to fill up the BMW came from the county filling site.

According to reports, Lugo is accused of stealing $277.25 in county gas.

Lugo has been charged with a third-degree felony. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.

His trial resumes on Friday.

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