Pacific Grove Policeman Sentenced for Federal Extortion (CA Penal Code 518)

A former police officer associated with the Pacific Grove Police Department has been sentenced to over 2 years in federal prison and been fined upwards of $15,000 for his part in extortion, fraud (CA Penal Code 518), possession of stolen guns, and the abuse of his position as an officer of the law.  Although it sounds like a scene right out of a gangster movie full of ‘dirty’ cops, the true story is a bit more complicated.

It seems that the former law enforcement official first asked a woman who was a stalking victim to hire him to investigate the case on his own, taking upwards of $10,000 for the work, which prosecutors claim he never followed through with.  Then, in a separate matter, while a police academy instructor at Monterey Peninsula College, he brokered an arrangement between the police department and the school by which the school would donate certain firearms to the department.  As it turns out, he did not realize that it was against the rules, not only to organize such a donation, but also to accept the guns at all.

At trial, prosecutors argued that the guns never made it to the Pacific Grove Police Department, but were, instead, sold for profit by the former officer.  The charges against him included:  keeping an individual from reporting an important crime (the stalking victim), being an accessory after the fact in a theft and/or burglary, and being an accomplice in the burglary of a business.  He also admitted to federal charges of extortion, wire fraud, and to possessing stolen firearms.  Pursuant to the various and myriad violations of the law he was convicted of, he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison (for the most recent charges), which he will serve concurrently with the sentence the state has already handed down, and has been ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution and $5,000 in fines.