Eduardo Mesa, a 16-year veteran Broward Sheriff's Office deputy, was arrested on Tuesday by BSO Public Corruption Unit following a seven-month investigation.
Mesa, 40, is accused of stealing from a victim who had been hit and killed by a train. The deputy had responded to the scene to investigate the accident.
According to BSO, Mesa had taken several of the dead victim's personal belongings, including prescription drugs and painkillers.
According to an arrest affidavit, on January 7, Mesa responded to a call of a pedestrian who had been struck by a train in the 200 block of Dixie Highway in Pompono Beach.
During the investigation of the accident, Mesa allegedly took from the victim a suitcase, ID, clothes, and several prescriptions -- including hydrocodone and Klonopin.
A week after the accident, a BSO homicide detective noticed that hydrocodone and Klonopin were not listed on Mesa's initial report.
The homicide detective remembered specifically spotting a bottle of hyrdocodone labeled with the victim's name at the scene of the accident.
Mesa claimed he threw away the victim's belongings but admitted to not having thrown away the drugs.
BSO's public corruption detectives obtained a search warrant for Mesa's patrol car and found a bottle labeled with the train accident victim's name filled with hydrocodone. The search also uncovered 26 Alpazolam pills. The Klonopin, however, was never found.
According to BSO, investigators measured the hydrocodone at 19 grams, which, by Florida law, amounts to trafficking weight. And since Mesa was armed when he took the drugs from the scene, that amounts to an armed trafficking charge.
On Tuesday, Mesa reported to BSO's Department of Professional Standards and was taken into custody without incident. He now faces one count each of armed trafficking in hydrocodone, possession of Alprazolam, grand theft of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence, and official misconduct/falsifying public or court records.
Mesa has been with BSO since 1998. He is suspended without pay and is being held without bond at BSO's Main Jail.