On Friday, four Highland Park Police Officers were arraigned on drug trafficking, bribery and firearms charges.
Charged were Anthony Bynum, 29, Price Montgomery, 38, and Craig Clayton, 55, all of Highland Park, and Shawn Williams, 33, of Detroit.
The case started when two of the officers began taking bribes from a criminal defendant, according to federal officials.
“Our community deserves to be served and protected by police officers who perform their jobs with integrity,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said. “Police officers who take bribes and participate in criminal activities will be discovered and prosecuted.”
Federal Judge Laurie J. Michelson set bond for each at $10,000. The four will be back in court on February 15.
According to the FBI, Bynum and Montgomery arrested a man in August for carrying a firearm, beat him and stole jewelry and $1,700 from him.
Allegedly the arrested man, while in the hospital, offered to pay the officers to dismiss the charges against him. The officers agreed and were captured on videotape taking payments totaling $10,000 in cash from the man, who had become a confidential informant for the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Montgomery and Bynum later agreed to transport and deliver 2 kilos of cocaine for the informant, who they thought was a drug trafficker, authorities say.
Federal authorities allege that on Nov. 15, the two officers protected and delivered what they thought was 2 kilos of cocaine from Oakland Mall in Troy to a location in Taylor. The feds say each was paid $1,500 for their role.
The two then recruited Williams and Clayton to help deliver a second, larger shipment Wednesday. They delivered 4 kilos of what they thought was cocaine, again from Oakland Mall, according to authorities. Bynum and Montgomery were again paid $1,500 each, while Williams and Clayton each got $1,000. The officers were all carrying their weapons at the time.
They each face up to 40 years in prison for conspiring to deliver cocaine and up to 10 years on the bribery charges. They also face a five-year sentence for carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.
“The illegal actions of these officers do not represent or reflect the ethical standards and values consistent with the Highland Park Police Department,” Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney said. “We remain committed to providing our citizens with first-class public safety and ensuring our officers display integrity at all times.”