US authorities indict 9 present, former California police officers in graft case

US authorities indict 9 present, former California police officers in graft case

Probe found evidence of officers' alleged involvement in fraud to get pay raise, falsifying reports to hide instances of using excessive force, civil rights violations

By Aynur Seyma Asan

SAN FRANCISCO (AA) - Nine present and former police officers from Northern California were indicted on Thursday as part of a federal probe into corruption, US authorities said.

The investigation found evidence of the police officers' alleged involvement in civil rights violations and fraud in an effort to get a pay raise while they also falsified reports to hide instances of using excessive force.

Ismail J. Ramsey, the US attorney for the Northern District of California, filed four indictments. They include wire fraud, scheming against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids.

Robert Tripp, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office, said that the investigation lasted for two years, and some of the suspects located in California, Texas, and Hawaii were arrested on Wednesday.

According to the indictment, only three of the accused individuals are serving in police the department and are not on active duty, while the rest of the police officers had previously been terminated from their positions as part of the investigation.

Morteza Amiri, Eric Allen Rombough, Patrick Berhan, Samantha Peterson, Brauli Rodriguez Jalapa, and Ernesto Juan Mejia-Orozco entered pleas of not guilty to a range of charges.

Most of them were released after posting property bonds as a condition for their release.

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