By Mike Clary
Copyright 2014 Sun Sentinel (MCT)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer complaining of money and marriage woes may have thought his troubles were over when he pulled into a Dania Beach parking lot to pick up a duffel bag stuffed with $235,000 in cash.
But that meeting Friday outside Bass Pro Shops now looks like the start of Jose Emmanuel Torres’ problems.
The 37-year-old gunnery sergeant and Iraq war veteran from Cooper City faces charges of federal bribery, exceeding authorized access to a government computer and extortion after he was arrested during the dramatic conclusion to a sting operation two years in the making.
While Torres thought he had enlisted an immigrant seeking residency to help him rip off drug money from Colombian smugglers, he was actually being monitored by federal agents, according to the FBI.
“We take allegations like this very seriously,” said Marine Corps South spokesman Maj. Mike Alvarez, who worked with Torres at U.S. Southern Command in Doral. “Obviously, allegations like this are not within the values of the Marine Corps.”