FDLE arrests local detective for sexual performance by a child

MIAMI, Fla. - Florida Department of Law Enforcement today arrested South Miami Police Department (SMPD) Detective Joe Mendez, 47, on eight counts of sexual performance by a child, and four counts of selling, giving or serving an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21. Mendez served as the coordinator for the South Miami Police Explorer Program.
In June 2014, SMPD requested FDLE investigate Mendez following a complaint of misconduct from a fellow SMPD advisor in the Explorer Program. The complaint triggered an internal affairs investigation into allegations that Detective Mendez participated in inappropriate interactions with multiple underage female cadets in the SMPD Explorer program and, that the interactions may have been sexual in nature.
Mendez was arrested without incident and taken to Broward County Jail where he was booked on $42,000 bond. This case will be prosecuted by the Office of State Attorney, 11th Judicial Circuit. 
Mendez coordinated the South Miami Police Explorer program from 2009-2014. Agents believe there may be additional victims.  If you have any information about Mendez or this case, please contact FDLE Miami Regional Operations Center at (800) 226-3023.
The Police Explorer Program is a National Program where young adults participate in community events and projects while learning about crime prevention and law enforcement services.
For further information contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Molly Best or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001