A long time officer with the Fairview Township Police Department in Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged with corruption. The 17-year veteran is now facing a maximum of 30 years in federal prison if convicted. The charges include removing evidence that should have been seized and providing false information to the federal authorities. He is also accused of violating the federal Hobbs Act, which prohibits using force, intimidation or violence to interfere with interstate commerce.
The arrest was made following an investigation by the FBI, in conjunction with the Fairview Township Police Department and multiple other offices. The complaint alleges that the officer stole $2,000 from a search and seizure operation in an area residence. That operation led to the seizure of several pounds of marijuana, as well as nearly $14,000 in cash. The officer is also accused of discussing robberies of individuals who were stopped and charged with drug trafficking.
In addition, the investigation included a sting operation in which a federal agent posed as the driver of a suspicious vehicle. The authorities took steps to ensure that the vehicle would be stopped in the officer's presence. The officer is alleged to have arranged for that vehicle to be towed from the scene, and searched the vehicle against orders. He is accused of removing $3,000 in cash from that vehicle.
The 41-year-old police officer is now faced with the need to make a difficult series of decisions. He and his legal team will work together to determine the best course of action. In some cases, a vigorous defense of federal criminal charges is the best path. In other instances, working toward a plea agreement is the only viable option. It is too soon to make any assumptions about this Pennsylvania case, especially as the available information only encompasses one side of the story.
Source: wgal.com, "Veteran York County officer facing federal corruption charges", Dec. 19, 2015