Former HPD Officer Convicted on Charges of Public Corruption
|Nov. 15, 2011|
HOUSTON - Former Houston Police officer Leslie Aikens has been convicted by a federal jury on charges of corruption, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The verdict was returned just over an our ago following two days of trial and less than two hours of deliberation.
Aikens, 46, of Houston, was charged with aiding and abetting possession of a controlled substance by providing an escort for narcotics through the Houston area in his official HPD vehicle. Aikens, a 19-year veteran of the Houston Police Department (HPD), was also charged with extortion under color of official right or a Hobbs Act violation for accepting a $2,000 bribe to provide the protection for the vehicle he believed to be transporting seven kilograms of cocaine. The indictment was returned June 22, 2011.
During trial, the majority of testimony came from the FBI agent who explained that during the course of the undercover operation, Aikens escorted a load of seven kilograms of cocaine. The following day, he received the $2000 bribe payment for his services. The jury also viewed a video as well as audio tapes which detailed the transaction. The defense, however, attempted to convince the jury that Aikens had no knowledge of the cocaine. The jury, in considering the arguments of the defense and the government’s evidence and testimony, found Aikens guilty on all counts with which he was charged.
Previously released on bond, Aikens was remanded into custody following the return of the verdicts. Aikens faces a minimum 10-year-term of imprisonment up to life, a maximum $10 million fine and a minimum five-year-term of supervised release for the drug offense as well as 20 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine for the Hobbs Act conviction at his sentencing which is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2012, at 3:00 p.m.
The operation was conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the Texas Rangers, HPD and several other agencies.
Assistant United States Attorneys John Jocher and Jim McAlister prosecuted the case.