Two Detroit Police Officers Plead Guilty in Federal Corruption Probe
DETROIT (AP) -- Two of the 18 current and former city police officers facing federal charges of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of suspects pleaded guilty Tuesday in the case and agreed to cooperate with the government by testifying.
Troy Bradley, 36, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to deprive individuals of constitutional rights, while Nicole Rich, 25, of St. Clair Shores, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting the deprivation of rights, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.
The pair acknowledged writing false police reports to justify arrests. Bradley had been charged with conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights and aiding and abetting the deprivation of rights. Rich had been charged with conspiracy against rights, aiding and abetting and lying to investigators.
Messages seeking comment were left with attorneys for Bradley and Rich.
Under a deal with prosecutors, Bradley agreed to accept six months in prison, resign from the police force and appear in a videotape in an FBI-sponsored program to teach law enforcement personnel to stay honest, the Detroit Free Press reported on its Web site. Rich accepted a year in prison and resignation.
But if they provide substantial assistance, the government agreed to recommend probation.
Conspiring to deprive individuals of constitutional rights carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while aiding and abetting carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine. A sentencing date hasn't been set.
The other officers are scheduled to face trial starting Feb. 9.
Bradley, Rich and 15 other officers were indicted in June after the government uncovered what it described as a conspiracy that involved stealing money and drugs from suspects during illegal searches. A superseding indictment in October added dozens of additional charges and accused an 18th officer.
Another officer earlier agreed to testify in the case. Hubert Brown pleaded guilty in November to depriving an individual of constitutional rights. The charge was related to the superseding indictment in the corruption investigation, but Brown wasn't named in the October indictment.
The indictment stems from an investigation by the police department's internal affairs unit, the FBI and the Justice Department into complaints from the public and prisoners about incidents from April 2000 to June 2003. The agencies said they uncovered evidence of unlawful arrests, false police reports, excessive force and planting of evidence.
Wayne County Circuit judges already have overturned the convictions of two men based on interviews with indicted officers.
The indicted officers still with the department have been suspended without pay.