Lieutenant David Hansberry, 34, and Officer Bryan Watson, 46, each were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, multiple counts of interference with commerce by robbery and extortion, possession with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and drug trafficking crime.
A third defendant, Kevlin Brown, 45, was charged with one count of interference with commerce by robbery and extortion.
According to the US Attorney, they officers would make traffic stops fake arrests, then steal drugs, money, and personal property from their victims. The US Attorney says they did all this while wearing their uniforms and driving Detroit Police vehicles.
The indictment also claims that Hansberry and Watson did not log evidence money and drugs seized. Instead, they split the cash and arranged to sell the drugs and share proceeds.
US Attorney Barbara McQuade announced the indictment Wednesday morning along with Chief James E. Craig of the Detroit Police Department and others. McQuade credited Craig with helping find the officers.
"Officers who violate the law cannot be tolerated because effective law enforcement requires public trust," McQuade said. "We applaud Chief Craig's commitment to root out any officers who tarnish the badge."
Hansberry and Watson at one time were both assigned to the now-disbanded Narcotics Section of the Detroit Police Department. They have been on suspension since October 2014.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig released this statement following the news of the indictments:
"The vast majority of the men and women of the Detroit Police Department are honest and hard-working, but these charges show a betrayal of their oath and their fellow officers. We are committed to the highest standards of integrity, and we will remove any officers who do not live up to those high standards."