MIAMI _ Thirteen Miami police officers have been charged in a sweeping federal conspiracy case after two members of the close-knit clique admitted they covered up dubious shootings by planting guns and concocting lies.
The indictments follow a 10-month federal grand jury investigation into four police shootings in 19 months that left three dead and two others wounded. In each case, police officers on the scene insisted the suspects were armed.
In each case, it was a lie, the indictments charge.
And in all but one case, Miami police investigators _ as well as state prosecutors _ found the shootings justified.
A fifth shooting involving some of the same officers remains under federal investigation.
"It's amazing," said U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis, who announced the indictments at a Friday morning news conference. "If I hadn't seen all the evidence we have in this case, I don't know that I would believe something like this could happen.
"The officers planted weapons. They lied about their roles in the shootings, they lied about what they saw, they falsified reports, they tampered with the crime scenes. They stole money, personal property and guns from people being arrested _ guns that were …