Six Detroit Police Department Officers Charged with Extortion [Video]

DETROIT, MI – Six Detroit Police Department Officers are facing serious Federal charges concerning extortion and bribes.

Two current Detroit Police Department Officers and four retired Detroit Police Department Officers have been charged with extortion for accepting bribes from owners of automobile collision shops in exchange for referring stolen and abandoned vehicles recovered in the City of Detroit to their shops, acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch announced.

Lemisch was joined in the announcement by David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Patricia Armstrong, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Detroit Division and Chief James Craig, Detroit Police Department.

Two current Detroit Police Department Officers were indicted by a federal grand jury and four retired Detroit Police Officers have pleaded guilty to committing extortion while they were Officers with the Detroit Police Department. All six officers were actively employed with the Detroit Police Department at the time of the alleged offenses.

The six officers charged are:

    • Deonne Dotson, 45-years-old, Indicted on 6 counts of Extortion. Currently Employed as a DPD Officer
    • Charles Wills, 52-years-old, Indicted on 4 counts of Extortion. Currently Employed as a DPD Officer
    • James Robertson, 45-years-old, Pleaded guilty to an Information charging 2 counts of Extortion. Retired DPD Officer
    • Jamil Martin, 46-years-old, Pleaded Guilty to an Information charging 1 count of Extortion. Retired DPD Officer
    • Martin Tutt, 29-years-old, Pleaded guilty to an Information charging 2 counts of Extortion. Retired DPD Officer
    • Anthony Careathers, 52-years-old, Pleaded Guilty to an Information charging 1 count of Extortion. Retired DPD Officer

All of the Officers were charged with engaging in extortion for using their official positions as Police Officers to refer cars to certain collision shops in exchange for cash payments.

“The vast majority of Detroit Police Officers are courageous, dedicated, superb public servants,” said Lemisch. “The charged defendants should have put the people of Detroit first, rather than lining their own pockets.”

“The actions of these six officers illustrate a pattern of misconduct and an abuse of authority, which is in contrast to the vast majority of law enforcement professionals at the Detroit Police Department who serve each day with distinction and integrity,” said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI.

“These defendants have allegedly engaged in criminal acts of public corruption that can erode the confidence that people have in government. The trust placed on these individuals required them to obey laws and conduct themselves in an ethical manner,” said Patricia Armstrong, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge, Detroit Division.

“Certainly, we appreciate the relationship between the Detroit Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While these allegations are troubling, we are relieved that this is bringing closure to a long standing issue that has plagued this department,” said Chief Craig.

Officer Dotson will be arraigned in in federal court on December 19, 2017 at 1p.m. The arraignment date for Officer Wills is to be determined.

Each of the extortion charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

Regarding Officers Dotson and Wills: an indictment is only a charging document and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Regarding retired Officers Robertson, Martin, Tutt, and Carethers, sentencing dates for these retired Officers, who have already pleaded guilty, will be in 2018, before the Honorable Robert H. Cleland.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Detroit Police Department and the following agencies from the FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force: Michigan State Police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility, Investigative Operation Division.

The FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force is comprised of personnel from the Detroit Division of the FBI; Michigan State Police; Michigan Department of Attorney General; Detroit Police Department; U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility, Investigative Operations Division; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah Resnick Cohen and Craig A. Weier.