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Florida has been the epicenter of the strange and newsworthy for much of 2015, and this year looks to be no different. A recent in-depth report uncovered a dastardly scheme involving two police departments that laundered millions for a series of international drug cartels.

The Miami-Herald published an investigative report the Bal Harbour Police Department and the Glades County Sherriff’s Office, remarking that federal investigators had been looking into the scheme. The departments hatched the plan to launder the cartels money in a bid to bust up their operations while skimming a bit off the top. In all, the departments laundered $55.6 million and made millions for themselves before all was said and done.

Raw Story writes:

The Bal Harbour PD and the Glades County Sheriff’s Office set up a giant money laundering scheme with the purported goal of busting drug cartels and stemming the surge of drug dealing going on in the area. But it all fell apart when federal investigators and the Miami-Herald found strange things going on.

The two-year operation, which took in more than $55 million from criminal groups, resulted in zero arrests but netted $2.4 million for the police posing as money launderers. Members of the 12-person task force traveled far and wide to carry out their deals, from Los Angeles to New York to Puerto Rico.

Along the way, the small-town cops got a taste of luxury as they used the money for first-class flights, luxury hotels, Mac computers and submachine guns. Meanwhile, the Bal Harbour PD and Glades County Sheriffs were buying all sorts of fancy new equipment.

Besides these “official” uses of the money, confidential records obtained by the Miami-Herald show that officers withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars with no record of where the money went.

The Miami-Herald‘s report is a lengthy but fascinating read. You can find that report by following this link.

Photo: Screen Cap/Miami-Herald

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