Federal Grand Jury Indicts Dallas Police Department Vice Detective
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 15, 2013|
DALLAS—A detective who worked in the Dallas Police Department’s (DPD) Vice Unit, Jose Luis Bedoy, 39, of Dallas, was arrested this morning by special agents with the FBI on federal felony charges of obstruction of official proceedings and obstruction of the due administration of justice, as outlined in an indictment that was returned earlier this week by a federal grand jury in Dallas and was just unsealed. Bedoy made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Horan this afternoon and was released on conditions. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, the indictment charges Bedoy with three counts of obstruction of an official proceeding and one count of obstruction of due administration of justice.
According to the indictment, from November 28, 2007 through July 2013, Bedoy was assigned to the DPD’s Vice Unit. In early 2009, after a DPD Vice raid on an adult entertainment establishment, Bedoy met a female prostitute who worked at the establishment. Later, when she tried to reclaim property DPD seized during the raid, Bedoy assisted her.
Bedoy later contacted her and expressed an interest in seeing her and wanting a massage from her. They began communicating on a weekly basis, and Bedoy began giving her advice on the adult entertainment establishments at which she could work. Bedoy later met her for a massage, and during the massage, he explained how to screen her clients to avoid being arrested. Bedoy and the female began an intimate relationship.
From 2008 until 2013, while they were engaged in a sexual relationship, Bedoy provided law enforcement-sensitive information to her about DPD Vice Unit prostitution raids and other enforcement actions. In January 2013, Bedoy met her at her residence and showed her a DPD investigative case file targeting Wet, an adult entertainment establishment, which he had brought with him. Two days later, Wet was raided, and after the raid, Bedoy arranged to meet her at her residence.
In early 2013, according to the indictment, the Coppell Police Department began an investigation of Studio Serene, an adult entertainment establishment, and enlisted the help of the DPD Vice Unit in its investigation. In March 2013, Bedoy advised the female that Studio Serene was being targeted and advised her against working there. Bedoy told her that the information was only for her benefit, but she relayed the information to Studio Serene’s owner. Based on that information, Studio Serene closed for a number of days.
After it reopened, on April 25, 2013, the Coppell Police Department and the DPD Vice Unit raided Studio Serene. While law enforcement conducted interviews of individuals working at Studio Serene, members of the Coppell Police Department were informed that a DPD Vice Unit detective, named “Jose,” had “tipped off” the business weeks earlier about the pending raid. The phone number provided for Jose matched Bedoy’s contact information on his DPD personnel file. Based on the information received by the Coppell Police Department, an FBI and federal grand jury investigation of Bedoy were initiated.
According to the indictment, on multiple occasions in June 2013, Bedoy instructed the female on how to avoid being arrested while using Backpage.com for prostitution. He advised her to not only change her phone number every two weeks but also advised her of the best days and times to work and the best days and times to avoid. On June 25, 2013, Bedoy contacted her to ensure that she was not working Backpage.com during that week because DPD Vice was “working Backpage” that week. In fact, that same day, DPD Vice Unit and the FBI conducted a joint operation that was designed to deter prostitution by directing enforcement efforts at Internet-based prostitution. Bedoy was listed on the DPD Vice Unit roster of operation participants. On July 11, 2013, the FBI advised Bedoy and other DPD Vice Unit detectives that a federal grand jury investigation had been initiated and that the FBI was attempting to locate this female, as well as another woman, based on information that they were receiving law enforcement-sensitive information from a police officer.
The indictment alleges that on
- July 8, 2013, Bedoy told the female, a witness in the investigation, to leave Dallas and move somewhere else and to never give her real name if pulled over in a traffic stop by law enforcement
- July 11, 2013, Bedoy instructed the female to not let anyone into her apartment to talk to her, including FBI agents
- July 14, 2013, Bedoy told the female to get rid of her cell phone so that there would not be a connection between them
- July 23, 2013, Bedoy falsely told FBI agents that he never gave sensitive law enforcement information to this female
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each count of obstruction of an official proceeding carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and the obstruction of due administration of justice count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Each count of conviction also carries a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the DPD’s Public Integrity Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Errin Martin and Mindy Sauter are prosecuting.