Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Former Camden Police Officer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Civil Rights Violations

CAMDEN, NJ—Former Camden Police Officer Antonio Figueroa, 36, of Camden, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for conspiring with fellow police officers to deprive others of their civil rights and for two specific instances of violating those rights, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Figueroa was convicted following a three-and-a-half-week trial before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler. The evidence at trial showed that Figueroa conspired with then-Camden Police Officers Kevin Parry, 31, of Brooklawn, New Jersey; Jason Stetser, 34, of Waterford Township, New Jersey; and Dan Morris, 49, of Moorestown, New Jersey, to deprive individuals of their due process rights and their right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Judge Kugler imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

“This sentence sends the right message to those in law enforcement who would engage in illegal conduct: corrupt police officers undermine the dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line every day and betray the public trust,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “The punishment for that betrayal must be swift and strong.”

According to documents filed in this case and evidence at trial:

The jury found that Figueroa’s illegal conduct included unlawful searches of residences in the Winslow Court apartment complex and the arrest of an individual based on materially false information. Figueroa also authored reports containing materially false and misleading facts and statements to conceal the unlawful acts committed by the conspirators in connection with each of these incidents.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Figueroa to two years of supervised release and ordered a restitution hearing to be held later.

Parry, Stetser, and Morris each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive others of civil rights on March 19, June 29, and August 26, 2010, respectively. All three await sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Resident Agency in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos; investigators and prosecutors of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk; deputy attorney generals from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa; and the Camden Police Department, under the direction of Chief John S. Thomson, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

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