As experienced Michigan criminal defense attorneys, we realize that civilians aren’t the only ones who commit criminal offenses – members of the police force can make mistakes as well. Such was the case recently when it was found that two Michigan State Police officers along with an accomplice were accused of seizing money and property during drug busts, then using the stolen goods for their own use and for profit.
The officers charged with coordinating the scheme include a 43-year-old from Grosse Ile and a 49-year-old from Monroe County. Allegedly, the two police lieutenants were working with a 43-year-old Monroe County man who was not a police officer. Upon issue of the charges, the officers were suspended from duty without pay.
The investigation into the scheme had been ongoing for approximately 16 months before it was wrapped up. As head of the Monroe Narcotics Investigations office, it appeared that the 49-year-old officer had accumulated property during the duration of the scheme which included flat-screen televisions, electronic equipment, cell phones, motor vehicles, furniture and other high-ticket goods.
During the criminal investigation a substantial amount of evidence was accumulated according to prosecutors, who claim that the 43-year-old accomplice allegedly attended police auctions and acted as a straw buyer. Proceeds from the auctions were split with the police officers.
Reports did not mention the reason that the two officers were suspected of criminal activity prior to the beginning of the investigation.
Embezzlement is considered a white collar crime; these types of offenses usually involve analyzing a substantial amount of forensic evidence which may include receipts, computer records, phone records and video surveillance. Police procedure must be followed in the gathering of any information or evidence in these types of cases. When it is not, evidence may not be admissible in court.
Even law enforcement officers make mistakes they may later regret, and prison is not a pleasant place for anyone convicted of a crime, particularly police. Contact a talented Michigan criminal defense lawyer if you have been accused of or charged with any crime, no matter how minor or serious you believe it to be.