DETROIT - A federal criminal complaint was unsealed today charging a former Detroit Police Department detective with bribery Acting United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin announced. The charges were brought against Michael Pacteles, 44, of Southgate, who resigned from the Detroit Police Department (DPD) in 2020 and who is currently an officer with the Hamtramck Police Department.
Mohsin was joined in the announcement by Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Detroit Police Chief James E. White.
According to the criminal complaint, while working as a detective with DPD, Pacteles accepted bribes, including a vehicle and $3,200 in cash, from a towing company operator. In return, Pacteles agreed to provide “favors” for the towing company operator. For instance, instead of properly recovering stolen vehicles from the towing company operator’s possession, Pacteles removed them from the DPD database that showed they were stolen. Pacteles also agreed to provide the towing company operator with information about vehicles from the Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network (or LEIN), a restricted law enforcement database.
The bribery charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
This is the fifth defendant charged as part of the government’s investigation known as “Operation Northern Hook.” Northern Hook is an investigation of corruption within the government and the Police Department of the City of Detroit relating to the towing industry and other matters.
Acting United States Attorney Mohsin said, “The vast majority of police officers are hardworking dedicated public servants. Our office is committed to prosecuting those officers who cast a stain on these officers and who betray the public trust by accepting bribes. Today’s criminal complaint shows our office’s commitment to that goal.”
“The citizens of Detroit deserve a city government that is free of bribes and corruption. These individuals erode the public’s trust in government and in the men and women who serve the city with integrity,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “The FBI will continue to prioritize the investigation of government employees who break the law. We encourage the public to report instances of public corruption to the FBI at MichiganCorruption@fbi.gov.”
Chief White said, “I am disappointed with these allegations but fully supportive of this investigation. I would like to emphasize, that the alleged actions of one former officer does not represent the vast majority of the exceptional men and women of the Detroit Police Department who go above and beyond the call of duty for our community each and every day. We will continue to fully cooperate with our federal partners to ensure that Detroit Police Department employees involved with alleged corruption and misconduct are held accountable for their actions. The Detroit Police Department takes pride in our transparency and aspire to achieve high standards of service and accountability and recognize that these alleged actions fall far short of those goals."
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Cares.
A criminal complaint is only a charging document and is not evidence of guilt.