On November 29, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that Abimael Arroyo-Cruz from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, and Josue Becerril-Ramos from Carolina, Puerto Rico, were charged with accepting bribe payments of $50,0000 and attempting to extort the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Both of the men were charged for one count of federal programs bribery, one count of conspiring to commit extortion, and one count of attempting extortion. The indictment was returned in the District of Puerto Rico.
The indictment stated that Arroyo and Becerril arrested eight people on August 2, 2012 for possessing marijuana and unregistered firearms. One of the defendants offered to pay the police officers $50,000 to dismiss the case, and the officers spoke with the defendant over the telephone multiple times starting on September 11, 2012.
After agreeing to the bribes, Arroyo and Becerril developed a plan to misidentify a co-defendant in the court in order to have the case dismissed. Arroyo was eventually asked under oath to identify the defendant, and his deliberately misidentified the co-defendant during the hearing. Arroyo later admitted that he attempted to deceive the commonwealth in order to have the case dismissed.
Arroyo and Becerril planned to collect the bribes in two different installments. The first installment worth $35,000 was dropped off to the officers, but the individuals that dropped off the money were working with federal agents.
Both of the police officers remain innocent until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by San Juan Field Office of the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Henwood with the District of Puerto Rico and Trial Attorneys Menaka Kalaskar and Marquest J. Meeks with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.
Source: Department of Justice