U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke sentenced former Miami-Dade Police Detective William Kostopoulos, 49, today to 36 months in prison. Kostopoulos was convicted in February 2017 for using his law enforcement authority to violate the civil rights of two motorists as well as obstructing justice.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to evidence presented during the two-week trial, in 2013, Kostopoulos stopped two separate motorists, both undocumented migrant workers, in order to steal their money, in violation of their rights under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be free from unreasonable seizures of their property. Kostopoulos subsequently obstructed justice by making misleading statements in order to prevent the communication of information about his crimes to federal law enforcement officers.
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Homestead Police Department and the Miami-Dade Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward N. Stamm and Tonya R. Long of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.