6 Philadelphia narcotics officers arrested

July 30, 2014


PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Six Philadelphia narcotics officers have been arrested on corruption charges.

The 26 count federal indictment alleges that the officers abused their positions to rob and extort suspected drug dealers and falsified police reports to cover up their alleged activity.

At a press conference Wednesday morning Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, "I have been a police officer for more than 40 years and this is one of the worst cases of corruption that I have ever heard."

The indictment identifies the officers as Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, John Speiser and Linwood Norman.


United States Attorney Zane Memeger says between February of 2006 and November of 2012 the officers engaged in a racketeering conspiracy that included robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and drug dealing.

The U.S. Attorney alleges that the officers would routinely stop the vehicles and enter and search the properties of suspected drug dealers, using threats and physical violence to steal property, cash and drugs in the process.

This large-scale bust stems from last year's arrest of Philadelphia Narcotics officer Jeffrey Walker. Prosecutors say he started cooperating with the government right away.

In February Walker pleaded guilty to robbery and using a gun during a violent crime, stealing $15,000 in cash and drugs from a suspected drug dealer.

Walker flipped on the officers charged in the indictment.

The probe has been known for month, and Commissioner Ramsey pulled four of the officers off of street duty.

"Words just don't describe the degree in which this has brought discredit upon not only these individual officers, but their families, the police department, the entire city, and the profession of policing," Ramsey said.

The indictment outlines 22 separate incidents, the result of which allegedly netted the officers more than $500,000 in cash, drugs and property.

Memeger provided several examples of the alleged acts committed by the officers.

On October 16, 2007 Thomas Liciardello and Brian Reynolds, along with Jeffrey Walker, allegedly stopped a vehicle and seized $30,000 from a man identified in the indictment as R.K..

The indictment says the officers divided the money among themselves, then took R.K. to the 5th police district where they illegally kept him in a cell without processing him for arrest.

While R.K. was being held, the officers allegedly went to his residence, without a warrant, and confiscated a safe containing $80,000, which they then stole and split.

On November 26, 2007 Linwood Norman allegedly lifted a person, identified as N.C., off his feet and leaned N.C. over an 18-story balcony railing while Liciardello, Betts, Spicer and Norman stole $8,000 in cash and property.

On February 7, 2008 Liciardello and some of the other officers allegedly broke into a residence, and Liciardello allegedly threatened to shoot the resident, identified as J.L., in an effort to steal $16,000.

The indictment says that on September 6, 2009 Norman and Walker allegedly stole several kilograms of cocaine, which they then distributed.

On February 24, 2010 Michael Spicer allegedly punched victim J.K. in the mouth, then dangled J.K. off a balcony 35 feet off the ground while Liciardello, Reynolds, and Betts stole approximately $79,000 and a Calvin Klein suit.

On June 23, 2011 Thomas Liciardello allegedly kicked a man, identified as W.L., in the mouth, breaking his teeth, while others alleged struck him in the groin and hit him in the back of the head with a steel bar. This was done in an effort to allegedly steal $34,000.

The indictment lays out a long list of criminal conduct by the officers, including RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to deprive individuals of their civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, Hobbs Act robbery, extortion, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, falsifying records, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.   

York County police officer arrested on child porn charges

February 23, 2017 By Chris Eckstine


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Child pornography charges have been filed against a York County police officer, according to documents from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Following an investigation, agents with the attorney general’s office met with Chad Richard Howell early Thursday morning as he was getting off duty at the West Manchester Township Police Department.

Documents state Howell confirmed usernames he used for profiles on Pinterest, which were linked to child pornography activity. One of the usernames, “howellycpd” was a nod to the York City Police Department, Howell’s former employer, he told agents.

The social media site alerted the attorney general’s office that Howell’s accounts were used to upload explicit images of minors. They were uploaded in October and November of last year.

Documents also state images of child pornography were uploaded by one of Howell’s usernames in 2013.

Howell consented to have his phone and personal laptop searched while still at the police station, according to documents. When asked whether images of child pornography would be found on either his computers or his cell phone, Howell replied, “I would like to say ‘no,’ but I really don’t know.”

An agent with the attorney general’s office stated he discovered about 50 images of apparent child pornography, which was only a sampling of images on Howell’s cell phone.

Agents also executed a search warrant at Howell’s residence on Wargo Lane in Dillsburg to locate electronic devices.

Howell, 36, was charged with 50 felony counts of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility. He was taken to York County Prison following arraignment and was unable to post $25,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 24 at District Judge Keith Albright’s office.

ABC27 called the West Manchester Township Police Department to inquire about Howell’s current employment status but has not yet heard back.  

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Veteran York County Police Officer Arrested on Federal Corruption Charges

December 18, 2015


The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a 17 year veteran police officer with the Fairview Township Police Department was arrested today by federal authorities on corruption charges.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Officer Tyson Baker, age 41, Etters, was charged in a criminal complaint with violations of federal law relating to his conduct as a police officer.

In the complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Baker with stealing money from drug traffickers who had been arrested, the subject of police traffic stops, or both. The specific federal statute is the Hobbs Act, which prohibits interfering with interstate commerce by force, violence or intimidation. Baker was also charged with removing evidence that was subject to seizure and providing false information to federal authorities.

The complaint also charges that, in November, Baker orchestrated the theft of $2,000 in drug proceeds seized by the Fairview Township Police Department during a search of a residence that had resulted in the seizure of several pounds of marijuana and approximately $14,000. The FBI recorded conversations with Baker allegedly regarding the theft. The criminal complaint also alleges that Baker discussed robbing drug traffickers of drug proceeds during traffic stops.

According to the complaint, on December 16, 2015 the FBI, with the full cooperation of the Fairview Township Police Department, arranged for a vehicle operated by an undercover FBI agent to be stopped. It is alleged that Baker had the vehicle towed from the scene and, without a warrant and in spite of directions not to search the vehicle, allegedly searched the vehicle and stole $3,000 concealed in the vehicle.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Harrisburg Resident Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and the Fairview Township Police Department.   

Should We Trust Police Officers?
Are police officers allowed to lie to you? Yes the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to the American people. Police officers are trained at lying, twisting words and being manipulative. Police officers and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. So don’t try to “out smart” a police officer and don’t try being a “smooth talker” because you will lose! If you can keep your mouth shut, you just might come out ahead more than you expected. Related article: 
46,000+ American citizens are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit