- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say a former Florida police officer has admitted his role in a drug trafficking organization.

They say Ralph Mata bought six firearms for the organization and used his connections to smuggle those weapons through airport security checkpoints.

The 45-year-old Broward County resident is a former lieutenant with the Miami-Dade police who was known as “the Milk Man.” He pleaded guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting a narcotics conspiracy, conspiring to distribute cocaine and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.

Mata faces a potential life term when he’s sentenced July 14. He also will forfeit $75,405.

Prosecutors say Mata provided advice and counsel to drug traffickers on the means and methods they should use to import and distribute cocaine.

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