An 11th Circuit panel on Monday unanimously rejected two former Miami police officers’ challenge to their drug-trafficking convictions.
Former officers James Archibald and Kelvin Harris were caught as part of an undercover FBI sting operation designed to root out dirty cops in the Miami Police Department.
Despite proof that the officers actively participated in a fake drug-running conspiracy – even going so far as to activate their police lights to help an agent posing as a drug courier navigate heavy traffic – Archibald and Harris claimed that the evidence was insufficient to convict them.
The Atlanta-based appeals court was unpersuaded.
Writing on behalf of the panel Monday, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus found that the evidence against the men was “ample.”
Along with a third officer, Archibald and Harris participated in three separate operations to protect FBI agents who they believed were drug dealers delivering cocaine to Miami hotels. Harris received a $10,000 cash payment for his efforts and Archibald received $6,500.
Both men were charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Harris was also convicted of possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug-trafficking crime.
After a 10-day trial in June 2019, Harris was sentenced to 27 ½ years in prison. Archibald was sentenced to 10 years.