TIME

Philadelphia Narcotics Cops Charged With Stealing Drugs, Money

Philadelphia Police Corruption Probe
Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, and from bottom left to right, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman and John Speiser were arrested on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The six narcotics officers are charged with multiple indictments including racketeering conspiracy, extortion, robbery, kidnapping and drug dealing. Philadelphia Police Department—Associated Press

As part of an ongoing federal corruption probe, six officers are facing a total of 26 indictments for offenses that include drug dealing, kidnapping and robbery.

FBI Agents on Wednesday arrested six Philadelphia cops as part of a federal corruption probe. The officers, former and current members of the Narcotics Field Unit, are facing a total of 26 indictments for offenses that include drug dealing, kidnapping and robbery.

Officers John Speiser, Thomas Liciardello, Michael Spicer, Brian Reynolds, Perry Betts, and Linwood Norman stand accused of stealing over half a million dollars worth of property, drugs, and cash, from February 2006 to November 2012. Officer Liciardello is also charged with falsifying records.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in a press conference on Wednesday that in over 40 years as a police officer “this is one of the worst cases of corruption I’ve ever heard,” CBS Philly reported.

Sources told prosecutors that the officers allegedly used force to steal money and drugs, even holding one victim over the edge of an 18th-floor balcony, CBS Philly reported.

The arrests this week will reopen several civil rights lawsuits from suspects who claimed they were arrested under false charges.

All six of the indicted officers have plead not guilty and will be held in prison without bail, prosecutors say. Five of the officers could face life sentences if found guilty, while Officer Speiser could serve a maximum of 40 years, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

 

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