Miami New Times Best Investigations of 2012: A Wrongly Charged Boxer, Corrupt Mayors and Bogus Pot Busts
One of the year's biggest convictions came when a jury found reggae legend Buju Banton guilty of trying to buy several kilos of cocaine from a government informant. But as staff writer Chris Sweeney reported, that informant was a snitch with an extensive criminal history and financial motives to see Buju sent to jail.
Every year, the Miami-Dade police trumpet a holiday effort called "Santa's Helper," where hundreds in black neighborhoods are charged with low-level drug crimes while police simultaneously hand out toys to kids. Staff writer Francisco Alvarado looked deeper and found the program to be a colossal waste of resources that resulted in almost no convictions -- but plenty of ill will in Miami's poorest neighborhoods.