A sixth New Jersey police officer pleaded guilty Monday after an FBI investigation led to corruption charges against him and six other cops.
Paterson Police Officer Eudy Ramos pleaded guilty to stealing money from people during illegal traffic stops after other cops named him as part of their conspiracy, according to a news release from the New Jersey district attorney’s office.
Ramos admitted conspiring with other officers, using unreasonable and excessive force and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced in the release.
Ramos was arrested in April 2018 and indicted last March after the FBI corruption probe into the Paterson Police Department began in late 2016.
Ramos, who was suspended with pay, was terminated Monday as a result of his guilty plea, officials told NewJersey.com.
Ramos, along with other Paterson cops, including Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres and Frank Toledo stopped and searched vehicles without justification and stole cash and other items from the occupants, according to court documents. Pent is now the only officer who is fighting the charges brought in the probe. Two other former Paterson officers, Ruben McAusland and Roger Then, are already serving federal sentences after pleading guilty this year to charges ranging from beating a suicidal patient in a hospital emergency room bed and, in McAusland’s case, selling drugs from his police car.
In one incident, Ramos and Pent stopped and searched a vehicle Feb. 1, 2017 and stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle, authorities said in the news release.
The officers split the money between them and omitted the “theft” from the incident report, according to the district attorney’s office.
Ramos also practiced a tactic he called “brake-checking”, according to North Jersey, the tactic included “slamming the brakes of his patrol vehicle with a handcuffed suspect in the back seat, forcing the passenger’s head to crash into the divider.”
In video of an instance of “brake-checking” in September 2016, Ramos asked the suspect, “What happened, man? You gotta put your seat belt on.”
Nine other incidents of excessive force or theft involving Ramos are listed in the release.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.
The conspiracy and deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and the charge of falsifying records carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to the release. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000.