Crime

South Florida cop sold police-issued semi-automatic weapons to pawnshop, police say

Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city. Abstract blurry image. Photo by Getty Images This is a stock image downloaded from Getty Images. It is a Royalty Free image.
Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city. Abstract blurry image. Photo by Getty Images This is a stock image downloaded from Getty Images. It is a Royalty Free image. Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Hallandale Beach Police officer turned himself in Friday after an internal investigation found that he sold police-grade semiautomatic weapons to a pawnshop.

Chief of Police Sonia Quinones announced in a video posted on Facebook that the department had fired officer Yan Kleyman and that he would face a charge of dealing in stolen property.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald states that Kleyman conducted 15 separate pawn transactions with department-issued equipment between March 2017 and August 2018. Among the equipment sold was a semiautomatic rifle, semiautomatic pistol and a red-dot laser aim attachment. A routine equipment audit uncovered the missing weapons, and a subsequent investigation was launched to determine what happened.

Charges were then recommended to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Kleyman could not be found on the Broward County Sheriff’s Office online inmate database as of Friday afternoon, and it is unclear whether a judge has issued a bond in his case.

“This type of behavior will never be tolerated,” Quinones said. “Mr. Kleyman’s alleged actions are not reflective of the dedicated men and women of this agency.”

Kleyman was hired by the department in 2011 after being fired from Fort Lauderdale Police in 2009 following a gun-pointing incident involving a fellow officer. Kleyman’s attorney, Richard Cooper, said in a statement to the Miami Herald that his client suffers from a gambling addiction but would take “responsibility for what he did.”

Cooper said Kleyman submitted his resignation this week and was not immediately fired following the internal investigation.

“Chief Quinones would like for the public to think that my client’s alleged actions were unknown to the Department when his gambling addiction was well known by the top brass at Hallandale PD for years,” Cooper said. “Kleyman’s superiors knew about his mental health condition, condoned his addiction, and went as far as to deduct his gambling debts from his paychecks to repay his creditor fellow officers.”

Martin Vassolo is a general assignment reporter on the Miami Herald’s metro desk. He was a member of the Herald’s reporting team covering the 2018 midterm elections and Florida’s recount. Previously, he worked as a political reporting intern with the Herald and as editor-in-chief of the University of Florida’s student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator.


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