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Police Commander Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Of Bribery, Extortion

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- High-ranking Philadelphia police officer Daniel Castro, who was arrested last week after a federal indictment was unsealed, has pleaded not guilty to extortion and bribery charges.

Defense lawyer William Brennan left the courthouse with his client, 47-year old suspended inspector Castro, promising a vigorous legal fight.

"The ink's not dry on the indictment and people are holding press conferences saying 'he's guilty, he's a disgrace,'" Brennan said.

Brennan was obviously referencing Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who informed his commanders of the arrest in a citywide conference call on Friday, and then was part of a news conference later.

Brennan says Castro has had 'an unblemished record' in the department for the last 25 years, adding the allegations center 'snippets of conversations' on a failed real estate deal.

"This indictment alleges activities that Dan Castro, according to the government, did in his private life, not related to inspector Castro's activities," Brennan said.

While federal prosecutors wanted Castro to remain under house arrest, a magistrate judge ruled he was neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community, and he released Castro on bail, pending trial.

Reported By: Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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