Two D.C. police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a large cocaine seizure this week at Miami International Airport, authorities said yesterday.
Federal agents temporarily detained and questioned the two officers at the airport Monday after seizing about 90 pounds of cocaine that was inside a piece of luggage, law enforcement sources said.
The men, identified by D.C. police officials as Officer Thomas K. Stephenson, 51, a 20-year member of the force, and Lt. Wayne Stevenson, 48, a 22-year member, were released after being questioned. No criminal charges were filed.
D.C. police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile confirmed that the officers were on administrative leave with pay, but he said he could not give further details about the incident.
The officers had just landed at the airport on a flight from the South American country of Guyana when the drugs were seized, other law enforcement sources said.
Stephenson, who works as an undercover detective in the 7th District, said yesterday that he had done nothing wrong.
"Isn't it possible they got the wrong person, that they made the wrong move?" he said in a brief telephone interview. "They got the wrong person."
Stephenson declined to comment further and said he would have his attorney call to answer questions. The attorney did not call.
Stevenson, who works as a supervisor of detectives in the 6th District, could not be reached for comment and did not return a phone message left at his home.
The purpose of the officers' trip to Guyana was unclear. The two are involved in a business that trains Guyana police officers, according to a statement posted in March on the Guyana Government Information Agency Web site.
Zachary Mann, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami, declined to comment.