Narcotics police officers in Sunrise, Fla. have raked in over $1.2 million in overtime pay, collectively, since 2010, according to a new report.
The police in the tiny town have seized about $5.8 million in drug money, which pays for their overtime, guns, radios, protective gear, computers, training and other expenses.
According to the Sun Sentinel, police in Sunrise have paid more than $800,000 to one informant alone, over the past five years, to lure out-of-state buyers into what is called a "reverse sting."
Instead of having an undercover cop buy drugs from a dealer, the Sunrise police entice people to buy drugs from them (video below).
Buyers have come to Sunrise from all over the U.S. and Canada.
They think they're getting a great deal on cocaine, but instead lose large amounts of cash and cars via drug forfeiture laws.
However, after the Sun Sentinel reported on the reverse stings, they stopped. Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan slammed the Sun Sentinel for supposedly compromising undercover police work.
However, Mayor Ryan would not address the huge overtime payments the police earned, which included one sergeant making more than $240,000 in overtime in three-and-a-half years.
"They can take their cars, jewelry," Sun Sentinel reporter Megan O’Matz told ABC News. "One fella told us a cop said, 'Hey, I like the sunglasses you're wearing,' and snatched them, so there is a real profit motive for the police."
Miami attorney Alan Ross added, "It's a huge business. It's a multimillion dollar business. It's been going on for years. It's been a daily event in the city of Sunrise."
Since 2009, Sunrise has arrested at least 190 people on cocaine charges, but only seven of those people actually lived in Sunrise.
“Sunrise is extraordinary in the amount of cases they produce,” Fort Lauderdale defense attorney Martin Roth told the Sun Sentinel. “That might be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view.”
Source: Sun Sentinel and ABC News