In another law enforcement oopsy this week, Buffalo police officer, Jorge I. Melendez, seems to have chosen an odd industry to moonlight in. Seems Melendez chose to grow some marijuana. The four-year veteran of the Buffalo Police Department presented an admission as a part of his plea deal that will most likely have him swiftly shipped off to prison for at least five years.
“How does a police officer get involved in something like this?”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio asked Melendez on Tuesday.
Melendez replied that it took extremely bad judgment, to which the judge agreed. Prosecution claims that Melendez oversaw a grow operation that included over 1,000 plants and that he often stopped by the operation in full uniform, while on the job. Such a flagrant abuse of power isn’t as rare as we’d all like to think, but there is more than just the illegal grow to the story. Prosecution also claims that another suspect, Jason Elardo, who is alleged to be Melendez’s partner, handled the grow’s day-to-day ops and also paid Melendez for the warehouse. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to testify in his own defense, he committed suicide last year.
Read more about his crime and punishment and watch the news reel here.