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Press Release

Philadelphia Police Sergeant Charged With Bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – A federal indictment was unsealed yesterday charging Philadelphia Police Sergeant Brian Smith with two counts of bribery and two counts of making material false statements to the FBI, announced Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, the defendant accepted weekly bribe payments over the course of approximately 11 months in return for providing confidential law enforcement information on accident locations to certain tow truck drivers, in violation of the Police Department’s rotational tow policy. The policy was instituted in 2008 as a public safety and consumer protection measure, following a series of highly-publicized violent encounters between tow truck operators competing for highly lucrative towing work.

The charges of bribery concerning agencies receiving federal funds carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the charges of making false statements carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle L. Morgan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department Internal Affairs Division.

Updated August 24, 2017

Public Corruption