Camden Police Officer Convicted of Civil Rights Violations
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 09, 2011|
CAMDEN, NJ—A federal jury convicted Camden police officer Antonio Figueroa, 35, of Camden, today for conspiring with fellow police officers to deprive others of their civil rights and with two specific instances of violating those rights, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Robert Bayard, 34, of Pennsauken, N.J., also charged in connection with the conspiracy, was acquitted of the charges against him.
Figueroa was convicted following three days of deliberation at the conclusion of a three-and-a-half week trial before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler. The evidence at trial showed that Figueroa conspired with now-former Camden police officers Kevin Parry, 31, of Brooklawn, N.J., Jason Stetser, 33, of Waterford Township, N.J., and Dan Morris, 48, of Moorestown, N.J., to deprive individuals of their due process rights and their right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The jury found that Figueroa’s illegal conduct included unlawful searches of residences in the Winslow Court apartment complex and the arrest of an individual based on materially false information. Figueroa also authored reports containing materially false and misleading facts and statements to conceal the unlawful acts committed by the conspirators in connection with each of these incidents.
“Corrupt police officers undermine the dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line every day and betray the trust the public is entitled to have in those that serve it,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “We will not hesitate to pursue allegations of this kind of conduct in the future.”
Figueroa faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy count and a year in prison and $100,000 fine on each of the substantive civil rights counts. Sentencing is currently scheduled for March 16, 2012.
Parry, Stetser, and Morris each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive others of civil rights on March 19, June 29, and Aug. 26, 2010, respectively. All three await sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Resident Agency in Cherry Hill, N.J., under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos; investigators and prosecutors of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk; deputy attorney generals from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Paula T. Dow; and the Camden Police Department, under the direction of Chief John S. Thomson, with developing the investigation.
The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Antonio Figueroa: Ralph Jacobs Esq., Haddonfield, N.J.
Robert Bayard: Robert Agre Esq., Haddonfield