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Miami Beach inspectors, county cop charged in nightclub shake-down, drug-trafficking schemes

Local and federal authorities Wednesday arrested seven Miami Beach employees accused of shaking down a South Beach nightclub, and also arrested a Miami-Dade police officer accused of trafficking what he believed were kilograms of cocaine.

Federal agents said the officer was recruited by a Miami Beach firefighter also charged in the alleged nightclub extortion scheme.

“I’m horrified,” Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower told The Miami Herald.

Five code enforcement officers — including the city’s lead inspector — and two firefighters have been charged with conspiracy to commit extortion. [...]

“When government officials misuse their offices and abuse their power to line their own pockets and satisfy their greed, they erode the public’s trust in good and efficient government,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said during a press conference announcing the arrests. More from David Smiley here.