US: Puerto Rico Police Run a 'Criminal Organization'

Sixteen current and former officers indicted
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2014 3:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Justice Department today indicted 16 current and former Puerto Rican police officers, accusing them of running a "criminal organization" out of the police department. Prosecutors are accusing the officers of using their positions "to make money through robbery, extortion, manipulating court records, and selling illegal narcotics," according to CNN. At least three drug division officers from different parts of Puerto Rico were among those arrested, Reuters reports.

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It's the latest mark against a department renowned for its corruption. A 2011 Justice Department report called it "broken," accusing officers of excessive force, discrimination, and more. A year earlier, 89 police were arrested in a massive drug sting. Last year, Puerto Rico and the US government struck a deal aimed at cleaning up the outfit. (Read more Puerto Rico stories.)

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