Scranton Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Federal Program Fraud In Connection With Overtime Patrol Shifts At Scranton Area Housing Complexes
HARRISBURG – Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Russell W. Cunningham of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s Washington Field Office announce that a federal jury convicted a veteran detective for the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Police Department, who was also a task force officer with the FBI and a member of the Cumberland County Drug Task Force, today of bribery, drug distribution, and making false statements.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Christopher Collare, 53, of Blythewood, South Carolina, used his official position to obtain sex from two women in exchange for agreeing to take actions in prosecutions. Specifically, in 2015, Collare agreed to accept sex in exchange for not appearing at an evidentiary hearing so that a criminal charge would be dismissed. In 2018, Collare agreed to accept sexual favors in exchange for taking steps to help reduce a potential sentence. Collare distributed heroin in 2016. He also lied in November 2015 on a federal form he completed during the process of becoming an FBI task force officer, and he made multiple false statements in an interview with federal agents in May 2018.
Collare was convicted of federal program bribery, bribery by a federal official, distribution of heroin, and six counts of false statements. Collare was taken into custody following the verdict. His sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for federal program bribery, 15 years in prison for bribery by a federal official, 20 years in prison for distribution of heroin, and five years in prison for false statements. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
“The defendant victimized numerous vulnerable women and in the course of doing so, betrayed the trust placed in him by the public and multiple law enforcement agencies, said Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler. “His actions not only violated federal law, but also had a negative impact on cases he investigated. Today’s verdict reflects our office’s commitment to ensuring that those who abuse their official positions for their own benefit are held accountable. I want to thank all the prosecutors and law enforcement agents who worked tirelessly to make sure justice was served in this case.”
"Christopher Collare's actions were antithetical to the oath he swore to serve and protect," said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. "He’s tarnished the badge he wore and failed his colleagues and the community he served. We in law enforcement must be held to the highest of ethical standards, and those falling short, like Collare, need to be booted from the ranks and held accountable. The public needs to know we mean it when we say that no one is above the law."
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigated the case. Trial Attorney James I. Pearce of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carlo D. Marchioli and Phillip J. Caraballo are prosecuting the case.