VIDEO: Philly Narcotics Officers Face 26 Counts of Shaking Down Drug Dealers
Philadelphia officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman and John Speiser were arrested yesterday as the U.S. Attorney's Office unveiled a 26-count indictment against the former members of the Philadelphia Police Department's Narcotics Field Unit.
Zane David Memeger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said the disgraced cops allegedly stole $500,000 worth of cash, personal belongings and drugs from suspected drug dealers between February 2006 and November 2012 - and then forged police records to cover their tracks.
When the rogue officers couldn't easily find the goods they were looking for, they allegedly resorted to tactics that would've made hardened criminals nod in approval: kidnapping, extortion and playing a "game" that awarded points for the types of physical injuries they could inflict on a suspect, Philly.com reports.
The indictment detailed 22 instances of the cops breaking the law, including a February 2010 incident in which Liciardello, Reynolds, Betts and Spicer allegedly sledgehammered their way into a North Philly man's apartment. Spicer knocked out some of the man's teeth and dangled him from his third-story balcony, until he confessed to having some money hidden in his apartment, according to the indictment.
All but Norman pleaded not guilty; Norman can enter his plea during his scheduled arraignment Monday afternoon.