Seventeen Baltimore police officers are accused of receiving $300 for each vehicle they steered to a repair shop not authorized to tow vehicles from accident scenes, authorities said Wednesday.
The shop's two owners, also charged, allegedly paid officers to arrange for their company, rather than a city-authorized firm, to tow damaged vehicles to their shop, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore.
"The criminal complaint alleges that the officers were secretly working for a private auto repair business when they were supposed to be working for the police department and the citizens of Baltimore," said U.S. Attorney Rod J.
Rosenstein in a statement. "Police officers cross a bright line when they take payments from private citizens in connection with their official duties."
The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.FULL STORY