- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - A former Miami-Dade County police detective is facing a minimum of five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to providing protection for a violent marijuana operation.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola is scheduled to sentence 45-year-old Roderick Silva in July. The conspiracy aiding and abetting conviction carries a maximum 40-year sentence.

Silva is the 21st defendant convicted in the long-running investigation involving Miami’s notorious Santiesteban family.

Investigators say the clan operated 20 indoor marijuana grow houses that produced millions of dollars in drug distribution profits. Silva admitted in court that he was paid for giving them tips about police operations and locations of rival grow houses that could be targeted for armed robberies.

The operation was disrupted by investigators in 2012 following the slaying of another marijuana grow-house operator.

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