FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
For Information Contact:
Former MPD Officer Sentenced to Jail Term
For Attempted Receiving Stolen Property
– He Was On Duty And In Uniform When He Purchased Goods Believed To Be Stolen -
WASHINGTON - Silvestre Bonilla, a former Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer, was sentenced today to a jail term totaling 90 days on a charge of attempted receiving stolen property, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., MPD Chief Cathy L. Lanier, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Bonilla, 31, pled guilty on December 13, 2011, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of attempted receiving stolen property. He was sentenced by the Honorable Bruce S. Mencher. The judge sentenced Bonilla to a 180-day jail sentence, and suspended all but 90 days on the condition that he complete a year of unsupervised probation.
Bonilla, a seven-year veteran of MPD, resigned this week from the department. He had been assigned to the Fourth Police District.
According to the government’s factual proffer, Bonilla was arrested after an undercover investigation. On January 11, 2011, a cooperating witness, having learned of Bonilla’s interest in buying certain stolen electronics, located Bonilla at 14th Street and Spring Road NW. The cooperating witness told Bonilla that he was selling stolen Apple products. Bonilla stated that he was interested, and asked the cooperating witness to call him when the witness received the property. Bonilla also provided the cooperating witness with his cell phone number.
Between January 12, 2011, and March 1, 2011, on seven occasions, the cooperating witness sold Bonilla electronics that were purported to be stolen. They included three iPhones, two iPads, four iPod touches, and five iPod nanos, a camera and a 32-inch television.
Bonilla was arrested on March 8, 2011, and his home in Maryland was searched pursuant to a warrant. One of the iPod nanos purchased by Bonilla from the witness was recovered there.
In addition, Bonilla sold at least two of the items that he had purchased from the cooperating witness.
Two other MPD officers, Guillermo Ortiz and Dioni Fernandez, who were arrested on the same date as Bonilla, previously have been convicted of attempted receiving stolen property. Fernandez is awaiting sentencing. Ortiz was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and placed on two years of supervised probation with the condition that he complete 200 hours of community service. Ortiz has resigned from the department.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Chief Lanier and Assistant Director
McJunkin commended the work of MPD’s Internal Affairs and Narcotics Special Investigation
Divisions and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which investigated the case. They also
thanked the FBI’s Spanish Language Services for its assistance.
In addition, U.S. Attorney Machen, Chief Lanier, and Assistant Director McJunkin commended the efforts of the staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Tasha Harris, Legal Assistants Jared Forney and Krishawn Graham, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Chris Dobbie, Ellen Chubin Epstein and John Crabb for their work prosecuting the corruption investigation.