FORT LAUDERDALE – Two members of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s elite "NW Raiders" crime-fighting unit have been arrested on numerous counts of corruption. They surrendered Thursday night.
Detectives Brian Dodge and Billy Koepke are charged with multiple counts; including kidnapping, extortion, theft, making threats, and false arrest.
They are being held in the Broward Main Jail pending bail and will be placed on house arrest.
Dogde and Koepke, along with Fort Lauderdale detective Matthew Moceri and their sergeant, Michael Florenco, were under investigation by the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the FBI over a suspicious drug arrest. Its details were first reported in a June 15 South Florida Times article.
The officers are accused of robbing drug dealers of cash and contraband and kidnapping them at gunpoint to participate in drug operations.
Both Dodge and Koepke are accused of committing the following crimes:
Racketeering, kidnapping, extortion, five counts of false imprisonment, five counts of grand theft and two counts of falsifying records. In addition, Dodge was charged with forgery and perjury.
Broward Circuit Judge Martin J. Bidwell signed the arrest warrants Thursday afternoon.
Prosecutors decided not to bring charges against Florenco and Moceri, but it has not been explained why. Sources say that even though they will not face criminal charges, they will be terminated from their jobs.
All four officers were placed on paid administrative leave on April 18 after the department was informed of the investigation.
The investigation initially centered on the Aug. 24 arrest of Junior Jerome, 25, of Oakland Park and Dieudson Nore, 22, of Lauderdale Lakes. They were charged with cocaine possession and delivery. The alleged informant, it turned out, is reported to have been an unwilling participant who was forced to take part in the operation.
Out of safety considerations, South Florida Times is not identifying the informant.
The arranged drug deal was scheduled to take place at the Red Roof Inn, 4800 N. Powerline Road, Oakland Park. According to the police report, the Northwest Raiders received a tip from the person identified as the informant that Jerome and Nore would deliver crack cocaine at the hotel.
“As we approached, I responded to the driver’s side and Det. Dodge to the passenger side. I then observed Junior drop from his right hand an open M&M container to the floor on the driver’s side and several pieces of the suspected crack cocaine came out,” said the police report compiled by Koepke and Dodge.
Video from the hotel’s surveillance cameras confirmed those accounts were fabricated. Charges were dropped against the two men and the investigation of the officer began. The arrests are the first for the FBI's anti-public corruption task force that is quietly operating in Broward County.
**Picture above are Officers Brian Dodge, left, and Billy Koepke, right.
***Below are the victims Junior Jerome, left, and Dieudson Nore, right.