(WASHINGTON) — Sixteen current and former Puerto Rico police officers were indicted for allegedly participating in a crime organization run out of the department, authorities announced Wednesday.
The cops were charged with using their affiliation with law enforcement to make money through robbery, extortion, manipulating court records, and selling drugs.
“The criminal action today dismantles an entire network of officers who, we allege, used their badges and their guns not to uphold the law, but to break it,” said David O’Neil, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s criminal division.
The accused allegedly received payoffs from drug dealers that they should have arrested, and planted evidence, among other actions. Two men were sergeants with the Police of Puerto Rico, while the rest were officers.
Some used traffic stops to steal thousands of dollars in drug money, while others are said to have illegally entered apartments to take cash.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Division.
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