Five current San Francisco police officers and a former cop were handed federal indictments Thursday on a slew of charges in two different cases alleging they stole money, dealt drugs and extorted the people they were directed to serve and protect – all behind the protection of the badge.
All five current veteran cops were suspended without pay after the indictment came down following a three-year investigation sparked by a public defender, who released surveillance videos from seedy South San Francisco hotels that show the cops allegedly conducting illegal searches.
CBS SAN FRANCISCO
Five San Francisco cops and one former officer were indicted Thursday for illegal searches, drug dealing and other crimes. This is not only a betrayal of the public’s trust,’ Police Chief Greg Suhr said, ‘but also a betrayal of all the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department who work hard every day to do what they can to keep San Francisco safe.’
“Our department is shaken,” Police Chief Greg Suhr said during an emotional press conference Thursday. “This is as serious as an issue as I can recall in my time in the department.”
Sgt. Ian Furminger, 47, Officer Edmond Robles, 46, and former officer Reynaldo Vargas, 45, are accused of stealing items and drug dealing.
SFPUBLICDEFENDER VIA YOUTUBE
The surveillance footage, released by a prominent San Francisco public defender, allegedly shows the officers illegally searching apartments – and even stealing some items.
Vargas allegedly stole a $500 Apple gift card from one victim and used it to buy an iPhone.
The officers also seized pot during an arrest, then gave the drug to two informants to sell and give the profits to the cops, authorities say.
SFPUBLICDEFENDER VIA YOUTUBE
An officer covers a surveillance camera while officers allegedly conduct an illegal search at the Henry Hotel in San Francisco in 2010.
Each faces drug charges that carry up to 20 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine, as well as a civil rights conspiracy charge, which carries another possible 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The other three cops, Officers Arshad Razzak, 41, Richard Yick, 37, and Raul Eric Elias, age not known, allegedly entered rooms at low-rent hotels and illegally searched them without warrants or consent.
Those crimes were allegedly caught on surveillance video. In at least one video, an officer is seen covering a camera as officers enter a room.
“This is not only a betrayal of the public’s trust,” Suhr said, “but also a betrayal of all the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department who work hard every day to do what they can to keep San Francisco safe.”
With News Wire Services
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/san-francisco-cops-charged-extortion-theft-drugs-article-1.1704629#ixzz2udqR4Tze
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