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Former Philadelphia Police Officer Sentenced For Extortion Scheme

By Robin Culverwell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A former Philadelphia police officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing drugs and money while he was in uniform.

Thirty-eight- year-old Christopher Saravello was a 6th District officer when he stole money and drugs to feed his drug habit.

During sentencing on Wednesday, Saravello said he'd been addicted to oxycontin before joining the police department in 2007, but never sought help.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlene Fisk says in 2011 and 2012, Saravello worked with three drug dealers to get at the drugs and money.

"When they had a drug deal scheduled to go, they notified Saravello, who would arrive while the drug deal was happening," Fisk says. "(He) took the drugs, took the money, and didn't make any arrests, and then left the scene."

Fisk says Saravello did this more than a dozen times, pleading guilty to six separate counts of extortion and conspiracy earlier this year.

She says the case is tragic because "it makes the job of every other law enforcement officer that much harder."

The three dealers Saravello conspired with also pleaded guilty and have all been sentenced.

In addition to his eight year prison term, Saravello has been sentenced to three years of supervised release.


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