Convicted on six counts of extortion, a former Detroit police officer was recently sentenced to 80 months in federal prison for accepting more than $6,000 in bribes from collision shop owners. Five other Detroit police officers have pleaded guilty to similar charges.
In December 2017, two current Detroit police officers and four former Detroit cops were charged with extortion for taking cash bribes from collision shop owners in exchange for referring stolen and abandoned cars to them. Retired Detroit police officers James Robertson, Jamil Martin, Martin Tutt, and Anthony Careathers immediately pleaded guilty to extortion charges, while then-current officers Deonne Dotson and Charles Wills were indicted on six and four counts respectively of extortion.
Wills later pled guilty to two counts of extortion related to the bribery scheme. In June 2018, he was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison.
On November 8, 2019, Dotson was convicted by a federal jury in Detroit on six charges of extortion. According to court records, Dotson created false police reports in exchange for money from the owners and operators of the same collision shops, while the vehicle owners had no idea that Dotson was receiving bribes in exchange for body shop referrals.
On Tuesday, Dotson was sentenced to 80 months in federal prison after pocketing more than $6,000 in cash bribes. Dotson’s former colleagues, who instead pleaded guilty to similar charges, received between 12 months and 26 months in federal prison.
“The overwhelming majority of Detroit Police Officers are honest, hard-working, and superb public servants,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin in a recent press release. “Dotson’s conviction and 80 months’ sentence shows that no one is above the law, and when police officers commit crimes and violate their oath to protect and serve the public, they will be held accountable.”
“Mr. Dotson abused his authority as a law enforcement officer by engaging in conduct designed to benefit him personally. His actions are in stark contrast to the professionalism and integrity shown by the Detroit Police Department on a daily basis,” stated Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division.
“The successful resolution of this case highlights the importance of interagency cooperation. What began as a mail fraud investigation into illicit insurance claims developed into a public corruption case resulting in the conviction of six police officers for extortion – all because of the joint investigative effort. I fully commend all agencies involved for the hard work and countless hours put forth to bring these corrupt officers to justice,” declared Juan Vargas, Acting U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge.