Chicago Police Officer Convicted of Attempted Extortion for Steering Vehicle Tows from Accident Scenes to Driver
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 10, 2013|
CHICAGO—A Chicago Police officer was convicted today of obtaining two extortion payments totaling $3,200 from a cooperating tow truck driver in exchange for steering vehicle tows from accident scenes during an undercover investigation. The defendant, Deavalin Page, who was assigned to the South Chicago District at the time, was relieved of his police powers and assigned to desk duty following the payments that occurred in late 2007 and early 2008. Page was convicted on two counts of attempted extortion by a federal jury that deliberated a little more than two hours this morning after being presented with video recordings and other evidence of the payments during a trial that began Monday in U.S. District Court.
Page, 46, of Chicago, an officer since 1995, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of attempted extortion. He remains free on bond pending sentencing, which U.S. District Judge John Darrah scheduled for 1 p.m. on October 23.
Page was indicted last October as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Operation Tow Scam, a corruption probe of police officers who steered vehicle tows at accident scenes to favored tow drivers in exchange for extortion payments. Page is the eighth police officer to be convicted, along with four civilians—three of them tow truck drivers—and charges are pending against two additional police officers.
Evidence at the trial showed that Page obtained two payments from a cooperating tow truck driver, Brian Chandler, in exchange for steering him various tows. Chandler has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and bank larceny and is awaiting sentencing. The first payment, on November 28, 2007, was $2,000 in the bathroom of a coffee shop at 79th Street and Stoney Island. The second payment, on January 28, 2008, was $1,200 in the parking lot of a bank while Page was in his private vehicle. The latter payment, in part, was in exchange for towing three cars, at least one of which did not require towing, from an accident scene at 86th and Burnham involving a teenager who was driving her parents’ insured car.
The guilty verdict was announced today by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Donovan and Steven Grimes.