San Francisco police officers indicted by federal grand jury

Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday charges five San Francisco police officers and a former officer with extortion, drug dealing and theft.

Three of the defendants -- officers Arshad Razzak, 41, Richard Yick, 36, and Raul Eric Elias, 44 -- allegedly conspired to threaten and intimidate residents of single-room occupancy hotel rooms by entering the rooms without legal justification, using a master key.

The other three -- Sgt. Ian Furminger, 47, officer Edmond Robles, 46, and former officer Reynaldo Vargas, 45, of Palm Desert -- are accused of engaging in "multiple criminal conspiracies" -- including dealing marijuana, taking money and other items belonging to suspects, and stealing money, drugs and other valuable items that had been seized -- the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"I don't know that it gets any worse than this, other than an officer-involved serious injury or death, when the public trust is betrayed by a sitting San Francisco or any police officer," Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters. "This is not only a betrayal of the public's trust, but also a betrayal of all the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department who work hard every day to do what they can to keep San Francisco safe."

Attorneys for the five current officers, who have been suspended without pay, were not immediately available for comment, the newspaper said.

The indictments stem from an investigation started after city public defender Jeff Adachi released surveillance videos in 2011 he said showed misconduct by officers. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, citing a conflict of interest, turned the case over to federal authorities.

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