Friday, January 30, 2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Four Former Puerto Rico Police Officers Sentenced for Running Criminal Organization Out of Police Department
All 16 Former Officers Charged Have Now Been Sentenced
Four additional former Puerto Rico police officers have been sentenced for using their law enforcement affiliation and equipment to commit robbery and extortion, and to sell illegal narcotics and manipulate court records.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico and Special Agent in Charge Carlos Cases of the FBI’s San Juan Division made the announcement.
Jose Sanchez-Santiago, Miguel Perez-Rivera and Carlos Laureano-Cruz were each sentenced to 63 months in prison. Luis Suarez-Sanchez was sentenced to 87 months in prison. All four defendants were former officers from the Police of Puerto Rico, and all four pleaded guilty in January 2014 to conspiracy to violate RICO.
The officers admitted to being members of a criminal organization that sought to enrich its members through a pattern of illegal conduct. Over the course of the conspiracy, the officers worked together to conduct traffic stops and enter homes or buildings used by suspected criminals to steal money, property and narcotics. The officers also planted evidence to make false arrests, and then extorted money in exchange for their victims’ release from custody. In exchange for bribe payments, the officers gave false testimony, manipulated court records and failed to appear in court when required so that cases would be dismissed. Additionally, the officers sold and distributed wholesale quantities of narcotics.
The officers frequently shared the proceeds they illegally obtained and used their power, authority and official positions as police officers to promote and protect their illegal activity. Among other things, the officers used their police firearms, badges, patrol cars, tools, uniforms and other equipment to commit the crimes, and concealed their illegal activity with fraudulently obtained court documents and falsified police paperwork to make it appear that they were engaged in legitimate police work.
The other 12 defendants charged in this case were sentenced in December 2014. All defendants were sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel R. Dominguez of the District of Puerto Rico.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Division and prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Brian K. Kidd, Emily Rae Woods and Menaka Kalaskar of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mariana E. Bauzá of the District of Puerto Rico.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Columbus, OH – Peter Tobin, United States Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, announced today that Thomas Gregory Thompson, and his assistant Alison Louise Antekeier were arrested by the United States Marshals Service, Southern District of Florida (Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force) on arrest warrants issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
On August 13, 2012, an arrest warrant was issued by United States District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. for Thompson’s arrest after he failed to appear at various hearings for an on-going civil case that has been pending since 2006. At that hearing, attorneys who did appear on Thompson’s behalf stated they were hired by Thompson’s assistant, Alison Antekeier. The Court then directed that Antekeier appear to explain Thompson’s absence. Then, on 11/07/2012, after having failed to appear as directed, a similar arrest warrant was issued for Antekeier. The U.S. Marshals Service investigation, as well as various court documents and hearings, led investigators to believe Thompson and Antekeier have been on the run together ever since.
The multi-year investigation spanned the globe but ended not that far from the last documented sighting of the couple in Vero Beach, Florida. The U.S. Marshals Service in Southern Ohio worked in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals in West Palm Beach, Florida to conduct an exhaustive investigation that culminated in the arrest of Thompson and Antekeier at a local hotel. The couple offered no resistance at the time of the arrest and readily admitted to being the targets of the extensive investigation.
Thompson and Antekeier are being held in a local correctional facility pending appearance in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. At a later point in time, the couple will be removed to the Southern District of Ohio for proceedings on their respective charges.
“The United States Marshals Service, in the Southern District of Ohio, along with the three Judicial Districts that comprise the state of Florida, as well as many others, worked tirelessly on this case. They utilized all available resources and were able to accomplish what many thought would be nearly impossible,” said U.S. Marshal Tobin. “Thompson was one of the most intelligent fugitives ever sought by the U.S. Marshals and he had vast financial resources at his disposal. This investigation and these arrests reflect great credit upon the Deputies of the U.S. Marshals Service and our agency as a whole,” concluded Tobin.