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Cop accused on planting cocaine on arrestee

A Paterson, New Jersey, police officer accustomed to charging others with crimes is now facing criminal charges. Prosecutors accuse him of conspiring with others to make an arrest which involved planting both cocaine and prescription medication on an arrestee to frame him for charges which would net him significant prison time. The victim allegedly framed was suspected by the conspirators of working with federal authorities. The officer, if convicted of the charges lodged against him, could be sentenced to as much as 11 years of imprisonment. The specific federal criminal charges include depriving someone of their civil rights while acting under color of law, and conspiracy with others to violate protected civil rights.

The officer, age 33 and an eight year veteran of the police department, purportedly conspired to make the false arrest with four people, one of whom turned out to be a confidential FBI informant. Several other conspirators, prosecutors say, accused the FBI informant and the eventual victim of the false arrest of working for federal authorities. The FBI informant, acting to protect his cover, denied working for the federal government, and a scheme was allegedly hatched to plant drugs, specifically marijuana, on the victim, and have him arrested. The police officer, according to the charges, agreed to make the arrest.

The officer himself, however, suggested planting cocaine and prescription medication in the hopes that this would net the victim a lengthier prison sentence. When the arrest was made by the officer, he charged the victim with multiple drug offenses, including possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, unlawful possession of prescription medication, and possession of a controlled substance within a proscribed distance from both a library and a school.

Source: New Jersey Star-Ledger "Paterson police officer charged with conspiring to plant drugs with man," Tomas Dinges, Sept. 18, 2012

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