Thursday, September 27, 2012

Former East St. Louis Police Officer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

A former East St. Louis police officer, Ramon T. Carpenter, 40, pled guilty to two federal charges of making false statements to federal law enforcement officers during their investigation of a civil rights complaint, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Carpenter was fired from the East St. Louis Police Department on July 10, 2012, and was indicted by the federal grand jury on July 17, 2012, following a complaint that he received oral sex from an intoxicated female driver whom he then released with no charges filed, despite the fact that she was also uninsured and driving without a driver’s license.

“The power to arrest is the power to deprive someone of their liberty. Used properly and professionally, such power is valid. However, the conduct described in the indictment deprived this victim of more than her liberty—it also deprived her of her dignity. This prosecution is a strong reminder to those in law enforcement that police officers are sworn to protect citizens, not prey upon them,” noted United States Attorney Wigginton.

The indictment alleged that in the early morning hours of May 8, 2012, that the driver was driving near the intersection of Louisiana Blvd. and 25th Street in East St. Louis, Illinois, when she encountered two on-duty East St. Louis Police officers. The driver was intoxicated and driving with open liquor at the time. The driver believed that she would be arrested by the officers for driving with no license, no insurance, and for driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The female alleged that she was driven to a secluded area in Jones Park in East St. Louis, where she felt that she had to perform oral sex on the officer to avoid going to jail. The charges state that when Carpenter was interviewed by federal agents that he falsely denied being present in Jones Park during his shift and that he also falsely denied receiving oral sex.

The crime of making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years’ supervised release upon release from prison. However, the United States Sentencing Guidelines must be applied to the case and considered by the court during sentencing. Carpenter will be sentenced in U.S. District Court on January 3, 2012.

The investigation was conducted through the Metro East Public Corruption Task Force by agents from the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.

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