- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - Three suburban narcotics detectives falsified affidavits and police reports to steal thousands of dollars seized from suspected drug dealers, federal authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in a scheme that prosecutors say compromised legitimate criminal cases.

FBI agents arrested Torris Moore, 42, of South Euclid, on Thursday morning. She was the sergeant in charge of the East Cleveland Police Department’s street crimes unit. Two detectives who worked for Moore, 33-year-old Antonio Malone and 38-year-old Eric Jones, both of Cleveland, were charged in what’s called an information, which is typically filed when a defendant has agreed to cooperate with authorities.

All three are charged with conspiracy. Moore also is charged with theft from programs that receive federal funds and with making false statements to law enforcement authorities. She pleaded not guilty at a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland and posted bond. Malone and Jones will receive summons to appear in court.

The three officers resigned after learning they were being investigated by the FBI.

Moore’s indictment details some of the thefts the detectives are accused of committing between 2012 and June 2014. In September 2012, the indictment says, the three submitted a false affidavit based on information from a nonexistent informer to obtain a search warrant for a drug house. Detectives found $20,000 inside the home but turned in just over $11,000.

An attorney for Jones said Thursday that his client had a one-time “lapse in judgment” and gave his share of the money to his church.

“He was a good cop who resisted overtures from his fellow officers as long as he could,” attorney Jim Jenkins said.

Attorneys for Moore and Malone couldn’t immediately be reached on Thursday for comment.

The indictment also details a drug search where about $100,000 was found but only $74,000 was handed over.

Steven Dettelbach, the U.S. attorney for northern Ohio, said at a news conference that the detectives had betrayed the public trust.

“They did not protect and serve, rather they pillaged and plundered,” he said.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said his office is reviewing cases in which the detectives were involved. McGinty wouldn’t specify how many or provide details but said there are number of cases his office has had to dismiss.

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