Former police officer pleads guilty to federal criminal charge of conspiracy in Miami

A former Miami Beach police officer has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge in Miami after being accused of extortion and robbery, the Miami Herald reported.

The federal criminal charge accused the former officer of threatening and robbing Russian nationals who lived in his apartment building. He resigned in December after 13 years on the force. He admitted in court that he impersonated a police officer in March when he threatened a victim and took personal property, including a passport and computer. An accomplice also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to extort and rob the Russian.

Conspiracy is one of the most common types of federal charges, and alleges only that a defendant planned to break a law at some point in the future. Conspiracy is a charge often used in connection with computer crimes, mail fraud and other federal charges.

The single charge was part of a plea agreement and differs dramatically from the original criminal complaints filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges the pair demanded $100,000 from the Russian as part of a ransom plot after kidnapping and threatening to torture him. They initially faced federal charges of conspiracy to take a hostage for ransom, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison.