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Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Charges In Police Corruption Case

More charges for Castro in police corruption case
February 3, 2011

More charges have been filed against the former captain of Philadelphia's 24th Pollice District. Carlo Daniel Castro faces 120 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines. A superseding indictment issued today by the U.S. Attorney's office charges Castro with offenses related to his initial corruption charges. Originally charged with hiring a debt collector to use force and violence, Castro now is accused of assisting two other defendants in their debt collections. The collector turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

**********************************************BACKGROUND STORY:

Police Inspector Charged With Extortion
Sources: FBI Took Inspector Into Custody Friday

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Federal prosecutors announced charges Friday against a Philadelphia police inspector, Carlo Daniel Castro, saying he has been involved in an extortion and bribery scheme. "Danny" Castro works in the traffic division and is known as a rising star in the department. He was there when officers arrested the last of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski's three killers, Eric Floyd. Sources told Fox 29 News the FBI took Castro into custody Friday morning. According to the indictment, Castro invested $90,000 in real estate and when it failed to yield any financial result, he allegedly sought help from a witness cooperating with the FBI to get money back. The document says Castro wanted $150,000 back, instructed the "collector" to use threats of violence and violence, and he was willing to pay a 10 percent fee.

According to a U.S. Attorney's Office news release, "Castro specifically instructed the (cooperating witness) to deal directly with the collector as Castro's representative, and not to disclose his position within the Philadelphia Police Department, telling the CW 'I can't get myself in trouble. I want to be Police Commissioner.'" Prosecutors allege that Castro ultimately accepted three payments totaling more than $21,000, all of which the cooperating witness told them was money "collected" from the former business partner by way of threatening violence or actually using violence. Authorities said Castro, during a subsequent meeting with FBI agents, made several material false statements concerning his efforts to collect the debt. The indictment further alleges that, as part of a bribery scheme, Castro accepted a free 42-inch LCD television from the witness and, in return, conducted a check of a license plate on someone who owed the witness money in law enforcement databases. Castro had a court appearance scheduled for Friday afternoon, but it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney. U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said in the news release, "Police officers committing crimes have a corrosive impact on our system of justice. Along with our law enforcement partners -- in this case, the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Deaprtment -- we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute police corruption." If convicted, Castro faces a maximum possible sentence of 80 years imprisonment, a $2 million fine, three years of supervised release, and an $800 special assessment, authorities said. The announcement, made Friday, is the latest in an embarrassing string of in-house arrests in recent months. Other cases have included two officers who allegedly robbed a supposed drug dealer of 20 pounds of marijuana and $3,000 cash, and a longtime officer who allegedly stole $825 from a bar where an officer was slain four years ago.

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