Federal Grand Jury Indicts Ten Current and Former Officers from Antioch and Pittsburg Police Departments
In a shocking turn of events, a federal grand jury has returned four separate indictments charging ten current and former officers from the Antioch and Pittsburg police departments. These indictments unsealed on August 17, 2023, reveal a range of charges, from excessive force to fraud, highlighting the alleged misconduct within these law enforcement agencies.
At a press conference held to announce the charges, United States Attorney Ramsey and FBI Special Agent in Charge Tripp addressed the public and media. U.S. Attorney Ramsey emphasized the importance of upholding the public’s trust in law enforcement, while Special Agent in Charge Tripp stated that the case is a top priority for the San Francisco Field Office.
The first indictment focuses on a college degree benefits fraud conspiracy involving six defendants. Officer Patrick James Berhan allegedly paid someone to complete his college courses for him, leading to a degree and financial benefits. Shockingly, other members of the police departments also paid for fraudulent coursework to receive similar advantages.
Moving onto the second indictment, Officers Daniel Harris and Devon Wenger face charges of conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids. Harris not only possessed the drugs but also attempted to possess more, while Wenger attempted to delete incriminating evidence.
The third indictment charges Timothy Allen Manly Williams with interference in a wiretap investigation and the illegal seizure and destruction of a telephone. Manly allegedly used his personal cellphone to make non-recorded calls to a target of the investigation. Furthermore, he seized and destroyed a witness’s cellphone, obstructing justice in the process.
Lastly, the fourth indictment alleges that three Antioch police officers conspired against rights and deprived individuals of their rights under the color of law. Shocking examples include an officer punching and releasing a police dog on a bicyclist, as well as threatening to kill a transient. Other incidents involve the use of a 40mm less lethal launcher causing multiple injuries. Additionally, defendants took pictures and collected spent munitions to memorialize acts of violence.
It is essential to remember that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If found guilty, these officers face a range of potential penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and restitution.
The Special Prosecutions Section and Oakland Branch of the United States Attorney’s Office are handling the prosecution, while the FBI and the Office of the District Attorney of Contra Costa County conducted the investigation.
This shocking case exposes a disheartening reality within the law enforcement agencies in Antioch and Pittsburg, highlighting the need for rigorous oversight and accountability to restore the public’s faith in the system. Hollywood Crap will continue to monitor and report on this developing story.
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