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6 Narcotics Officers Stole Half a Million Dollars From Suspects: Feds

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Federal agents arrested six Philadelphia Police officers on charges ranging from kidnapping to robbery. The arrests are already having an affect on hundreds of other narcotics cases. NBC10's George Spencer spoke to the head of the police union Wednesday night.

    Federal agents arrested six Philadelphia Police narcotics officers as part of an ongoing corruption probe and accused the group of swiping more than half a million dollars' worth of money, drugs and other items over a period of years.

    “Unfortunately, a very small percentage of police officers continue to toss their oath aside and act like the very criminals they have sworn to bring to justice,” said U.S Attorney Zane David Memeger.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed the 26-count indictment Wednesday of the two-year joint investigation between the police department, FBI and U.S. Attorney's office. The officers, who have served anywhere from five to 13 years in the narcotics unit, face allegations of multiple acts of robbery, extortion, kidnapping and drug dealing from February 2006 to November 2012.

    The officers under arrest are Perry Betts, 46; Thomas Liciardello, 38; Linwood Norman, 46; Brian Reynolds, 43; John Speiser, 42; and Michael Spicer, 46. The officers were taken into custody without incident early Wednesday morning. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that each officer will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

    Inpact of Narcotics Officer Corruption Case

    [PHI] Inpact of Narcotics Officer Corruption Case
    NBC10's Rosemary Connors breaks down how the corruption within the Philadelphia Police Narcotics Division will impact the City and police department going forward.

    "Conduct like this is simply unacceptable, cannot be tolerated and is inexcusable," said Ramsey who noted the shame these allegations bring the officers and entire department.

    Prosecutors say that the defendants would routinely rob the occupants of suspected dealers' cars or homes.

    Corruption Scandal: Six Philadelphia Police Officers Facing Multiple Charges

    [PHI] Corruption Scandal: Six Philadelphia Police Officers Facing Multiple Charges
    Robbery, kidnapping, and drug dealing are just a few on the long list of charges six officers are being held in custody for.

    "The defendants used their positions of authority to target suspected drug dealers for purposes of stealing cash, personal property and drugs," said Memeger.

    The indictment details about 22 separate incidents where the officers broke the law.  In total, prosecutors estimate the officers took more than $500,000 worth of cash, drugs and goods including fancy watches.

    Philly Narcotics Officers Busted for Alleged Corruption

    [PHI] Philly Narcotics Officers Busted for Alleged Corruption
    NBC10's Monique Braxton reports from the U.S. Attorney's office with the latest on the information released by authorities on six Philadelphia officers under arrest.

    Some of the incidents outlined in the indictment includes one where Liciardello, Reynolds and Walker allegedly took $30,000 from an illegally detained suspect then took another $80,000 from the suspect’s home; an incident where Norman allegedly held a man over an 18-story balcony; an incident where Spicer allegedly dangled a man off a 35th-floor balcony in an attempt to swipe $79,000 and a designer suit; and an incident where Norman and Walker allegedly stole and distributed multi-kilogram quantity of cocaine.

    Other incidents weren't as violent.

    Philly Police Commissioner Upset With Police Corruption

    [PHI] Philly Police Commissioner Upset With Police Corruption
    Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey addressed the two-year corruption investigation into narcotics officers on the force and the impact it has on the city.

    "They literally filed false police reports," Memeger said.

    The allegations include declaring they collected less money than they would report.

    U.S. District Attorney Speaks on Philly Police Corruption

    [PHI] U.S. District Attorney Speaks on Philly Police Corruption
    U.S. District Attorney Zane David Memeger addressed the two-year corruption investigation into members of the Philadelphia Police Department narcotics unit.

    Ramsey said that the officers tarnished their badges and that the badge numbers will be destroyed.

    "I have been a police officer for more than 40 years and this is one of the worst cases of corruption that I have ever heard," Ramsey said.

    Sources say agents were led to the officers after they nabbed former narcotics unit veteran Jeffrey Walker in a sting last May.

    In that sting, authorities said Walker, while in uniform, planted cocaine in an alleged drug dealer's car, pulled over the man and stole his house keys. He then went to the man's home and stole $15,000, officials said.

    Following that investigation, Walker was arrested and six other narcotics officers were pulled from the street. They were eventually moved into different roles in the department as the investigation continued.

    Walker pleaded guilty to federal robbery charges and weapons offenses in February.

    Memeger wouldn't divulge how much Walker helped in the investigation against his fellow former officers.

    The probe has resulted in the overturning of more than 80 drug convictions and the dismissal of hundreds of open cases.

    Ramsey said in no way are all narcotic officers dirty but he said the investigation continues into other alleged acts of corruption.

    "It was a malignancy that's there and if you don't cut it out it won't go away on its own," said Ramsey.

    The indicted officers, who have all pleaded not guilty, will each pay for their own defense.