BY JAY WEAVER, JWEAVER@MIAMIHERALD.COM
Vital Frederick, a young Miami cop, never disputed the undercover evidence revealing he accepted dirty money from two fellow police officers working with the FBI in a pair of sting operations.
But Frederick, who stood trial on extortion and other charges, testified his colleagues threatened that unless he took the cash they would expose his “secret” — that he was gay and had a 10-year relationship with a boyfriend from high school.
Frederick’s partner, unknown to his family members sitting in the federal courtroom, also took the witness stand to defend the police officer.
But Frederick’s surprise defense did not convince a Miami federal jury Friday. After a morning of deliberations, the 11 jurors unanimously found him guilty on four charges of extortion and three offenses of stealing identification records for tax-refund scams. Frederick, 27, now will face up to 22 years in prison at his sentencing in mid-December.