Local/State

Former Philadelphia officer pleads guilty to robbery plot; more arrests may follow

Monday, February 24, 2014

A veteran Philadelphia police officer has entered a guilty plea in a far-reaching corruption probe.

Former narcotics officer Jeffrey Walker pled guilty to robbery and weapons charges in federal court today. But he is just one crooked cop who may be among many rounded up in an ongoing federal investigation.

Walker is cooperating and naming names.

Walker's defense attorney Thomas Fitzpatrick explains, "These are dangerous people who've engaged in significant criminal activity for quite some time."

Fitzpatrick says he has been talking to the FBI and a grand jury, and it appears to be a far-reaching investigation.

Walker was tripped up by a drug dealer who was cooperating with the FBI. Walker approached the dealer with a plan to set up and rob another drug dealer.

They went to a bar on West Girard Avenue last May where Walker was videotaped planting cocaine in the other dealer's car.

When that man left the bar, Walker had him pulled over and arrested. He then went to the man's house on Florence Avenue and stole $15,000 cash and five pounds of marijuana.

Walker was arrested by the FBI as he left the house.

Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Wzorek says, "It's outrageous behavior. It's a front to the citizens of the city and to the other honest members of the Philadelphia Police Department."

Since he was arrested Walker has been cooperating with the FBI. That cooperation led to a search of the Schuylkill River for a safe that was never found.

Walker has also been naming others.

His lawyer says the investigation involves too many cops and civilians to count, and he says there's a lot of money involved.

"At the end of the day it's going to result in a significant amount of indictments, we believe, and significant police corruption being uncovered in the city," Fitzpatrick said.

This corruption investigation has been ongoing for some time, and there's no indication of when it might be wrapped up. So far Walker is the only one arrested, although the police have recently removed six other narcotics officers from active duty.

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philadelphia news, police, corruption, fbi, local/state
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