Fort Lauderdale Cops Accused of Serious Crimes but on Leave with Pay
Serious crimes committed by police officers usually make headlines, but for some reason the immediate consequences do not seem to be as harsh as it could potentially be for citizens that commit the same crime. Two Fort Lauderdale officers have been accused of grand theft, kidnapping, and lying about the case. The grand theft committed could potentially be charged as a third-degree felony. The crime gets even more complicated as the money stolen should have been placed in evidence.
Fort Lauderdale Officers Accused of Crimes
According to WPTV News, at least two Fort Lauderdale police officers accused of stealing cash from pain clinic clients, kidnapping a man and lying about cases are expected to be criminally charged next week, sources say.
Detectives Billy Koepke and Brian Dodge, of the department’s Street Crimes Unit, have been under investigation for several months. The probe began with a hotel security video that contradicted the officers’ accounts of two arrests they made at a Red Roof Inn in Oakland Park, according to WPTV News.
The reports stated that investigators from a police corruption task force now believe that Koepke and Dodge went after drug buyers and sellers, claimed they found cocaine on one person who had none, and stole several thousand dollars in cash that should have been placed in evidence, according to WPTV News.
Koepke, 32, and Dodge, 30, have been “relieved from duty with pay” since April 18, police department officials said.
Grand theft is the intentional and unlawful taking of property valued at more than $300 dollars. Depending on the amount taken, the crime can be charged as anything from a third to a first-degree felony. Third-degree felony grand theft is charged when the value of the property taken is between $300 and $20,000. Penalties include up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
If you have been accused of grand theft, a criminal defense lawyer can usually negotiate with prosecutors and you may be able to walk away with just paying restitution. It is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately because he will need to investigate your case and build a suitable defense on your behalf. Grand theft, or any felony for that matter, will be on your criminal record permanently and could affect the rest of your life. Do not let that happen and consult a criminal defense lawyer before anything else.