Former Detroit Police Officer Convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs
A former Detroit Police Office was convicted today by a federal jury in Detroit on the charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced today.
Joining Schneider in the announcement were Acting Special Agent in Charge Rainer S. Drolshagen of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Detroit Division, and Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division.
The four-day trial was conducted before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox. The jury deliberated approximately one day before convicting Christopher Staton, 52.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Staton, a former officer with the Detroit Police Department, was part of a drug trafficking organization and conspired with Meltwaine Dukes and Sedrick Jackson, both known drug dealers, to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances, including cocaine and fentanyl. Staton used his position as a police officer to assist the drug trafficking organization by running license plates and providing other sensitive law enforcement information. For instance, after a law enforcement officer stopped one of the organization’s drug couriers who was trying to deliver almost one kilogram of fentanyl, Staton provided advice to Dukes about how to handle the situation, and also agreed to find out if the courier was actually arrested. On another occasion, Staton, at the request of Dukes, conducted a staged traffic stop of Jackson, who was transporting drugs or drug proceeds, in order to fool their drug supplier to think that police had taken the drugs / money. Staton was in a police vehicle and armed with a firearm at the time of the stop. Staton was paid $20,000 in cash for performing the staged traffic stop and fake arrest. In addition to using his position as a police officer to assist Dukes and Jackson in running the drug business, Staton was also a drug customer—purchasing drugs from Dukes for re-sale.
“Although the vast majority of police officers in Michigan are fully dedicated to protecting the public, sometimes there is an infrequent example of an officer driven by corruption and greed,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “Here, instead of protecting and serving the public, Staton acted at the behest of the drug dealers peddling fentanyl. Nonetheless, former Officer Staton’s actions, while egregious, do not overshadow the outstanding work of so many other great police officers.”
“Christopher Staton turned his back on his oath to serve and protect the citizens of Detroit. He used his position to make it easier for drug traffickers to push controlled substances into our community and now faces justice for his greed,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Martin. “I applaud our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Eastern Michigan for their efforts in this investigation.”
“This former officer took illegal advantage of his law enforcement position,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Drolshagen said. “His conviction is a reminder that the laws apply evenly to every Michigan resident, including those who carry badges to uphold them. I extend thanks to our partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Detroit Police Department’s Office of Internal Affairs for their collaboration in removing this individual from his position of authority.”
The case was investigated by the by the FBI Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force, in collaboration with the Detroit Police Department’s Office of Internal Affairs and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Cares and Mitra Jafary-Hariri.