BRADENTON, Fla. – A former Bradenton police officer is now being investigated by the FBI for some of his actions on duty.
During a news conference Thursday morning, Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan said a long-term internal affairs investigation into former Sergeant Leonel Marines revealed he was using his status as a police officer to meet women.
Chief Bevan said the investigation revealed numerous administrative violations, including sex on duty.
Chief Bevan said she then ordered an investigation that found discrepancies in “several hundred” database queries of women. Marines was placed on administrative leave but later resigned.
“It goes without saying this is not what our officers should be doing,” Bevan said during her news conference. “Had Marines not resigned, he would have been fired.”
The chief said nearly 150 women were interviewed during the internal affairs investigation. She says a majority of the women were Hispanic. A “small subset” of the women confirmed they had negative and inappropriate contact with Marines while he was presenting himself as a Bradenton police officer.
“This is truly a disturbing situation for me as chief,” Bevan said. “Over the past couple of weeks, I have personally met with most of the women to help them regain their trust in the Bradenton Police Department and to ensure them that Marines’ actions are not a representation of those who so proudly wear this uniform and badge. And also simply to tell them I’m sorry.”
The Bradenton Police Department’s internal affairs investigation is now closed, but Chief Bevan said this is still a “very active and open criminal investigation” that is being handled by the FBI.
Anyone who has more information or women who may have had inappropriate contact with Marines is asked to contact the FBI office in Tampa.
“I realize that it puts the Bradenton Police Department in a bad light, but it’s worth it to know that I took somebody who shouldn’t be on the street off of it,” she added.
We collected the above information from 2 local news sources. You can link to those full stories here: