Liciardello Indictment

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Indictment of six Philly cops on corruption charges

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  • IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : DATE FILED:

    v. : CRIMINAL NO. 14-

    THOMAS LICIARDELLO : VIOLATIONS: BRIAN REYNOLDS 18 U.S.C. 1962(d)(RICO MICHAEL SPICER : conspiracy -- 1 count) PERRY BETTS 18 U.S.C. 241 (conspiracy to deprive of LINWOOD NORMAN : civil rights -- 1 count) JOHN SPEISER 18 U.S.C. 242 (deprivation of civil : rights -- 2 counts) 18 U.S.C. 1951(a), (b)(1) (robbery which : interferes with interstate commerce -- 4 counts) : 18 U.S.C. 1951(a), (b)(2) (extortion which

    interferes with interstate commerce -- 1 count)

    : 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1) (carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence : -- 4 counts) 21 U.S.C. 841 (possession with intent to : distribute over 500 grams of cocaine -- 1 count) : 18 U.S.C. 1519 (falsification of records in a federal investigation -- 12 counts) : 18 U.S.C. 2(aiding and abetting) Notice of Forfeiture

    INDICTMENT

    COUNT ONE THE GRAND JURY CHARGES THAT:

    At all times material to this indictment: 1. The Narcotics Field UnitSouth (NFU-South) was one of several narcotics field

    units (NFUs) of the Narcotics Bureau of the Philadelphia Police Department (the Department).

    The Narcotic Field Units (NFUs), including NFU-South, were created by the Department to

    support its overall drug enforcement mission, that is, to identify, disrupt, deter and apprehend

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    persons and organizations involved in drug trafficking, drug-related violence, and illegal vice

    activity throughout Philadelphia. According to the mission, the Narcotics Field Units were

    designed to focus primarily on illegal narcotic sales and related drug activities that occurred inside

    residences or other buildings located throughout the City of Philadelphia. The Department

    intended the units to use various techniques, including undercover operations and the execution of

    search warrants, to develop evidence of drug activity taking place inside buildings. The

    Department initially formed NFU-South to concentrate on illegal drug activity occurring in the

    south police divisions of the city, but eventually allowed NFU-South to operate city-wide.

    2. Defendant Thomas Liciardello was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia.

    He started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1995, and was assigned to the Narcotics

    Field Unit (NFU) from September 25, 2000 until December 4, 2012.

    3. Defendant Brian Reynolds was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia. He

    started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1993, and was assigned to the NFU from March

    29, 1999 until December 11, 2012.

    4. Defendant Michael Spicer was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia. He

    started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1995, and was assigned to the NFU from April

    4, 2000 until December 10, 2012.

    5. Defendant Perry Betts was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia. He

    started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1995, and was assigned to the NFU from

    November 15, 1999 until December 11, 2012.

    6. Defendant Linwood Norman was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia. He

    started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1989, and was assigned to the NFU from

    January 22, 2004 until November 21, 2013.

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    7. Defendant John Speiser was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia. He

    started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1994, and was assigned to the NFU from

    September 7, 2007 until December 11, 2012.

    8. Jeffrey Walker, known to the grand jury and charged elsewhere, was employed as a

    police officer in Philadelphia. He started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1989, and

    was assigned to the NFU from March 1999 until May 22, 2013.

    The Enterprise 9. At all times relevant to this indictment, defendants

    THOMAS LICIARDELLO, BRIAN REYNOLDS, MICHAEL SPICER,

    PERRY BETTS, LINWOOD NORMAN, and

    JOHN SPEISER

    and others known and unknown to the grand jury, were members and associates of a criminal

    organization whose members and associates engaged in criminal acts principally out of the

    Philadelphia Police Departments Narcotics Field Unit South (NFU- South). The criminal

    organization, including its leadership, membership and associates, constituted an enterprise as

    defined in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1961(4), namely, a group of individuals associated in

    fact. The enterprise constituted an ongoing organization whose members and associates functioned

    as a continuing unit for a common purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise. The

    enterprise was engaged in, and its activities affected, interstate and foreign commerce.

    Purposes of the Enterprise

    10. The purposes of the enterprise included, but were not limited to, the

    following:

    a. Generating money for the members and associates of the enterprise

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    through the commission of various criminal acts including robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and drug

    dealing.

    b. Concealing the activities of the members and associates of the

    enterprise from law enforcement scrutiny.

    The Racketeering Conspiracy

    11. From in or about February 2006, to on or about November 7, 2012, in

    Philadelphia, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, defendants

    THOMAS LICIARDELLO, BRIAN REYNOLDS, MICHAEL SPICER,

    PERRY BETTS, LINWOOD NORMAN, and

    JOHN SPEISER

    and Jeffrey Walker, and other persons known and unknown to the grand jury, being persons

    employed by and associated with the enterprise, which was engaged in, and the activities of which

    affected, interstate and foreign commerce, knowingly and intentionally combined, conspired,

    confederated, and agreed together and with other co-conspirators known and unknown to the grand

    jury, to violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(c), that is, to conduct and participate,

    directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise, through a pattern of

    racketeering activity, as defined in Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961(1) and 1961(5).

    Pattern of Racketeering Activity

    12. The pattern of racketeering activity through which the defendants and their

    co-conspirators agreed to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of the Enterprise,

    consisted of:

    a. multiple acts indictable under Title 18, United States Code, Section

    1951 (relating to interference with commerce, robbery, or extortion);

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    b. multiple acts involving:

    1. Robbery, chargeable under Title 18, Pennsylvania

    Consolidated Statutes Annotated, Sections 3701 (State Robbery), 903 (Conspiracy), and

    901(Attempt);

    2. Kidnapping, chargeable under Title 18, Pennsylvania

    Consolidated Statutes Annotated, Sections 2901 (State Kidnapping), 903 (Conspiracy), and 901

    (Attempt); and

    3. Extortion, chargeable under Title 18, Pennsylvania

    Consolidated Statutes Annotated, Sections 3923 (State Extortion), 903 (Conspiracy), and 901

    (Attempt)

    4. Buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled

    substance, chargeable under Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846.

    13. It was part of the conspiracy that each defendant agreed that a conspirator

    would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity in the conduct of the affairs of the Enterprise.

    Manner and Means of the Defendants

    14. The manner and means by which the defendants and their conspirators agreed

    to conduct the affairs of the enterprise included the following, among others:

    a. using and abusing their positions as police officers to stop vehicles

    driven or occupied by persons suspected of drug trafficking and robbing those persons of money,

    drugs, and personal property;

    b. using and abusing their positions as police officers to enter premises

    used or occupied by persons suspected of drug trafficking and robbing those persons and others and

    extorting money and personal property from those persons and others;

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    c. using force or threatened force to extract information from suspected

    drug traffickers and their associates about the location of money;

    d. sharing money, drugs, and personal property illegally obtained from

    persons suspected of drug trafficking and from their premises;

    e. transporting persons suspected of drug trafficking to a police district

    cellblock and keeping them there overnight, against their will, without being processed for arrest;

    f. transporting a person suspected of drug trafficking activity to a hotel

    and keeping him there, against his will, for days without being processed for arrest;

    g. distributing stolen narcotics and sharing the proceeds; h. using and falsifying Philadelphia Police Department paperwork,

    including but not limited to, 75-49 reports and property receipts, to protect the operation of the

    conspiracy and conceal its criminal purposes.

    OVERT ACTS

    In furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy and to affect the objects of the

    conspiracy, the defendants committed the following overt acts, among others, in the Eastern District

    of Pennsylvania:

    Episode #1

    1. On or about February 28, 2006, members of the enterprise and their