A former Detroit police officer is headed to prison for two years and two months after pleading guilty to extortion.
Charles Wills, 53, admitted to accepting bribes from an auto collision shop in exchange for arranging stolen and abandoned vehicles recovered in the Detroit to that shop.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office hasn’t released the name of the shop that participated in the scheme.
“Wills accepted cash payments from the owner/operator of a Detroit collision shop in exchange for referring abandoned vehicles to that shop for repairs,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Wills also accepted cash from other collision shops, wrote false police reports, and introduced another officer to the scheme of accepting cash in exchange for referring vehicles to collision shops.”
Wills is the fifth of six officers charged with similar crimes resulting from a federal investigation to be sentenced.
A sixth defendant, Deonne Dotson, is awaiting trial.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in December that allegations of extortion and bribery involving abandoned vehicles extend back as many as 12 years, but there was not enough evidence to substantiate many of the claims.
The department was conducting its own internal investigation that involved two additional, unnamed officers not criminally charged in the case, according to the police chief’s statements in December.
“This issue has plagued this department in varying degrees for probably 10 to 12 years,” Craig said. ” … I believe this may be it, finally.”