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4 Fla. officers accused of mob ties

Associated Press Writer

Four veteran police officers were accused in federal court of taking thousands of dollars to protect what they thought were mob shipments of drugs, stolen art and jewelry.

Three of the officers made initial court appearances Friday and were ordered released on bond. The fourth was in the process of turning himself in and would likely appear next week, federal prosecutors said.

All serve in Hollywood, just south of Fort Lauderdale.

An FBI affidavit filed in federal court accused the four of taking thousands of dollars to protect a group they thought was a criminal organization based out of New York. The "criminal organization" was made up of undercover FBI agents conducting a two-year corruption sting.

The four officers were charged with conspiracy. They have not entered pleas, and the case will go before a grand jury.

Lawyers for the three who appeared in court - Detective Kevin Companion, 41; Sgt. Jeffry Courtney, 51; and Officer Stephen Harrison, 46 - declined comment on the charges but described their clients as devoted police officers and family men.

The fourth accused officer is Detective Thomas Simcox, 50.


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