Six narcotics officers in Philadelphia have been arrested and charged with robbing drug dealers of over $500,000 in cash. The news comes after the U.S. Attorney’s Office unsealed a 26-count indictment stemming from a two-year investigation. The probe involved the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department.
“The conduct is really egregious,” said U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger, Reuters reported Wednesday. The officers are even believed to have occasionally kidnapped drug dealers. The news service reported that in one instance a man was held over an 18th story balcony in an attempt to extract a computer password.
Perry Betts, 46; Thomas Liciardello, 38; Linwood Norman, 46; Brian Reynolds, 43; John Speiser, 46; and Michael Spicer, 46, will face numerous charges, including robbery, racketeering, civil rights violations and falsifying records, Reuters reported.
Mr. Speiser faces up to 40 years in prison. The five other officers face life sentences, Reuters reported.
The District Attorney’s Office will review all cases the men worked on because post-conviction relief may be warranted, the news service reported.
“I’ve been a police officer for over 40 years, and this is one of the worst cases of corruption I’ve ever heard. These officers don’t represent the majority of this department,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Wednesday, a local CBS affiliate reported.