PHOENIX, Ill. (CBS) -- Two south suburban police officers have been indicted on federal conspiracy charges, accused of robbing drivers of cash and drugs during traffic stops, and squeezing them for bribes in exchange for avoiding criminal charges or having their vehicles impounded.
Phoenix police sergeant Jarrett Snowden of Lansing, and officer Antoine "Bell" Larry of Bolingbrook, each face charges of bribery conspiracy, extortion, and attempted extortion, in an indictment in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
According to the charges, starting in 2020, the two officers conspired to abuse their powers as officers to steal cash and drugs from people they had pulled over during traffic stops.
When they would find illegal guns, drugs, or other contraband during traffic stops, they would demand cash payments "in exchange for reducing, dropping, or declining to press charges" and allowing the owners to avoid having their cars towed off, according to the indictment.
In some cases, they would arrange for someone they had pulled over to meet them at a gas station to pay a cash bribe. They also enlisted the aid of a "bagman" to collect bribe money on their behalf.
After stealing drugs from people they had pulled over, the officers would sell it to a drug dealer and split the proceeds 50/50.
Investigators said the officers also falsified police reports so as not to show the cash or property that they took from drivers.
The conspiracy charge in this case is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, while extortion and attempted extortion are each punishable by up to 20 years.
Court dates for the two officers have yet to be set.
Phoenix Police Chief Roy Wells said both officers have been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of their criminal case.
"To avoid compromising the integrity of the federal government's investigation and the trial, we will offer no further comment," Wells said in a statement.
We also reached out to the mayor of Phoenix for comment. As of late Tuesday, there had been no response.
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