Agents found 16 pounds of marijuana at her home. She told them the operation with strictly her husband’s.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office corrections deputy has resigned after she and her husband were hit with drug convictions, according to reports.
Marquita Perez, 35, resigned Feb. 18, according to an internal-affairs report signed off on July 27. Hired in April 2014, she worked at the satellite jail in Belle Glade, PBSO said.
In July 2017, narcotics agents found more than 16 pounds of marijuana at the couple’s South Bay home, according to the internal-affairs report, a PBSO incident report and court records.
As the agents read Perez her Miranda rights against self-incrimination, she cut them off, saying, “I know my rights. I am a deputy,” according to the internal-affairs report.
Later, the report said, Bobby Perez abruptly told investigators, “This is gonna really mess up her job.”
Reports said both Bobby and Marquita Perez insisted the marijuana operation was strictly his and that she knew nothing about it.
But the agent reported he found a freeze-bag sealer, and found no sealed foods in the freezer. He also found rooms full of suitcases and bags of marijuana. He said the odor in the couple’s laundry room alone was so strong he “found it hard to believe” that Marquita Perez was unaware of the presence of the drugs.
In January 2018, Marquita Perez was charged with possession of marijuana in excess of 20 grams and possession of property used for trafficking drugs. Authorities said tests had found her DNA on packaging for the marijuana and on other items, among them the freeze-bag sealer and some of the sealed bags.
PBSO placed Marquita Perez on administrative leave after the raid and then on leave without pay after her arrest.
In June 2018, Bobby Perez, then 31, was sentenced to a year at the Palm Beach County Jail, followed by four years of probation.
He had pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to sell and unlawful possession of property used in the trafficking, sale or manufacturing of a controlled substance. Records show he left jail in March 2019.
And on Feb. 14 of this year, court records show, Marquita Perez pleaded “best interests” to two lesser misdemeanor charges of paraphernalia possession. Prosecutors opted not to pursue a third charge. Perez was sentenced to the two days she had been in jail in January 2018.
“That plea was against the advice of counsel,” West Palm Beach attorney Kevin Anderson, who represented Marquita Perez in the criminal trial but not the internal-affairs investigation, said Tuesday.
“I thought we had a very strong defense. But I understood the objective,” he said.
He said Marquita Perez decided being a deputy living in the same household as a felon “created a conflict with her that she resolved,” when she resigned four days after her court hearing.
Following her departure, the report said, Perez refused to talk to internal-affairs investigators.
Since then, Anderson said, she’s “moved on with her life,” switching full time to the cosmetology business she’d operated while a deputy. She also is a partner in a daycare center in Belle Glade, Anderson said.
Jail records show no photos for Marquita or Bobby Perez, because of public records exemptions for law enforcement officers and their relatives.
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