JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "A betrayal like that is too much to take," Florida Fraternal of Police President Jim Preston told Action News' Lynnsey Gardner in his first TV interview.
Preston says members of the police union are still in shock, still trying to understand how two of its local leaders wound up on the wrong side of the law. "None of our members are above the law. And if they violate that trust, if they betray their brotherhood, we separate ourselves from them immediately."
Right now, local FOP President Nelson Cuba and Vice President Robbie Freitas are two of 57 suspects arrested in the Allied Veterans of the World scandal that's rocked the state.
Both are accused of lining their pockets with money meant for charity. Money made it what investigators call illegal gambling centers posing as Internet cafes.
Preston says union members never suspected Cuba and Freitas could be involved. There were no red flags.
"All of our members are law enforcement officers or retired officers. And this is totally out of character. These are two people that I don't know," he said.
Preston has since named new leadership to the local FOP chapter. He says they'll move forward with pension and contract negotiations, while Cuba and Freitas move forward through the justice system. "There were our, two individuals that were our friends," said Preston. "And suddenly, they're on wrong side of the law, if you will. And we just feel disappointed and betrayed."
Nelson Cuba bonded out of jail last week. Robbie Freitas bonded out of jail at 3 p.m. today.
To hear the complete interview with Preston, don't miss Action News Sunday. It airs at 8:30 a.m. on CBS47, and 10:30 a.m. on FOX30.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office now says all 57 suspects have been arrested. They are asking the public for more information.
You can leave a tip by calling the Gambling Task Force Hotline at 1-855-411-0760.