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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 8, 2019

Detroit Police Department Officer Convicted of Extortion

Detroit Police Department Officer, Deonne Dotson, was convicted today by a federal jury in Detroit on six charges of extortion announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Joining Schneider in the announcement were Steven D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Patricia Armstrong, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Detroit Division and Chief James Craig, Detroit Police Department.

The 8-day trial was conducted before United States District Robert H. Cleland. Officer Dotson, age 47, will be sentenced on March 19, 2020 at 1;30 p.m.  Each of the extortion charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Officer Dotson accepted bribes from owners and operators of automobile collision shops in exchange for referring stolen and abandoned vehicles recovered in the City of Detroit to their shops.  The evidence also showed that Officer Dotson created false police reports in exchange for money from the owners and operators of the same collision shops.  Owners of the vehicles were unaware that Officer Dotson was being paid by the collision shops when they agreed to have their cars fixed by the collision shops.

Five other Detroit Police Officers pleaded guilty to committing similar criminal activity while they were Officers with the Detroit Police Department.  All six officers were actively employed with the Detroit Police Department at the time of the offenses.

The other five officers are:  Charles Wills, James Robertson, Jamil Martin, Martin Tutt, and Anthony Careathers.

All of the Officers were charged with engaging in extortion for using their official positions as Police Officers to refer cars to certain collision shops in exchange for cash payments.   

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Detroit Police Department and the following agencies from the FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force: Michigan State Police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility, Investigative Operation Division.  

The FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force is comprised of personnel from the Detroit Division of the FBI; Michigan State Police; Michigan Department of Attorney General; Detroit Police Department; U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility, Investigative Operations Division; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General.

 The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah Resnick Cohen and Craig A. Weier

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated January 13, 2020