- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - A former Miami-Dade County police detective has become the 21st person sent to prison in the federal takedown of a major marijuana trafficking organization.

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced 46-year-old Roderick Silva to three years behind bars following his guilty plea.

Under a plea agreement, Silva admitted tipping off members of the Santiesteban gang about impending police raids, how to avoid police and locations of rival gang marijuana grow houses in exchange for cash.

Most members of the gang are serving lengthy prison sentences. The Miami Herald (https://hrld.us/1Lqn0Sm) reports that ringleader Derrick Santiesteban was sentenced to life behind bars.

Authorities say the organization distributed marijuana from Miami-area hydroponic grow houses throughout the East Coast. Its members were arrested beginning in 2012.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, https://www.herald.com

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