NewsBriefs BUTTONS

Forty-Four Ohio Police Officers Arrested For Protecting Cocaine Traffickers


February 1998

On January 21, Federal agents charged forty-four police officers and corrections officers with protecting cocaine traffickers in Cleveland and northern Ohio (Melanie Payne and Margaret Newkirk, "Cuyahoga Sting Nabs 44 Officers," Akron Beacon Journal, January 22, 1998, p. A1; Pam Belluck, "44 Officers Are Charged After Ohio Sting Operation," New York Times, January 22, 1998, p. A16; Kevin Johnson, "42 law officers arrested in sting," USA Today, January 22, 1998, p. 3A).

The arrests were the result of a more than two-year investigation into organized crime in Cleveland. Police officers and Sheriff's Department corrections officers acted as escorts and security guards for federal agents posing as cocaine traffickers. FBI director Louis Freeh said the case reflects a pattern of police corruption "that is of growing concern to law enforcement personnel throughout the country."

The investigation led to what is believed to be one of the largest and most wide-ranging police corruption cases in recent history. "It's the largest I'm aware of," said Tron Brekke, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Office of Public and Congressional Affairs in Washington, D.C. The arrests including 24 corrections officers, one former corrections officer, one sheriff's deputy, and 18 police officers from departments in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Ohio and Brooklyn, New York.

Cleveland, Ohio Police Department - Tel: (216) 623-5005, Fax: (216) 623-5584.

FBI - 935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20535-0001, Tel: (202) 324-3000.