Veteran York County Police Officer Charged With Federal Corruption
HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg has indicted Tyson Baker, a 17 year veteran police officer with the Fairview Township Police Department, on charges related to the theft of drug proceeds and efforts to conceal those thefts.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment alleges that Baker, age 41, Etters, stole several thousand dollars of real and suspected drug proceeds in November and December of 2015. Baker then allegedly caused the preparation of false reports in connection with those two thefts to cover up his conduct and obstruct the investigation. Baker was indicted in two counts of the indictment with taking property to prevent its seizure, two counts of obstruction of justice, three counts pertaining to the filing false reports, and one count of theft of government property.
The indictment alleges that, in November, Baker orchestrated the theft of $2,000 in drug proceeds seized by the Fairview Township Police Department during the search of a residence that had resulted in the seizure of several pounds of marijuana and approximately $15,000. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recorded conversations between Baker and a cooperating individual (CI) regarding the theft. The indictment also alleges that Baker discussed with the CI stopping suspected drug traffickers driving through the township to steal their drug proceeds during traffic stops.
The indictment also alleges that on December 16, 2015 the FBI, with the full cooperation of the Fairview Township Police Department, arranged for a vehicle operated by an undercover FBI agent to be stopped. It is alleged that Baker had the vehicle towed from the scene. It is also alleged that, without first obtaining a search warrant and in spite of directions by the FBI not to search the vehicle, Baker searched the vehicle and stole $3,000 that was concealed in the vehicle that Baker believed were drug proceeds. The grand jury also found that false reports were prepared and filed in connection with both theft incidents.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Harrisburg Resident Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and the Fairview Township Police Department.
Prosecution of the case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years on the 4 counts dealing with obstruction and records tampering charges, 5 years on each of the two counts charging removal of property to prevent its seizure, 5 years on the false reports to federal authorities charge, and 10 years on the theft of government property charge. There is also a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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