FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Two Fort Lauderdale Police officers went before a judge Friday accused of betraying the badge by allegedly stealing cash and drugs from pain clinic customers.
Detectives Brian Dodge and Billy Koepke turned themselves into the Broward County Jail Thursday night.
They’re charged with multiple counts including racketeering, kidnapping, extortion, perjury, grand theft, making threats, and false arrest. Both men appeared in bond court Friday morning.
The two officers are eligible for pre-trial release and will be under house arrest with GPS monitors once they make bond. The judge also ordered both men to give up their passports and have no contact with each other or potential witnesses in the case.
The men were charged following a joint investigation with the FBI, State Attorney’s Office and Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
“Unfortunately, these two police officers have broken the law and betrayed the oath of their office,” said William Maddalena of the FBI. “They will be held accountable for their actions, losing not only their jobs but their reputations.”
Dodge and Koepke, both members of a Street Crimes Unit formerly known as the Raiders, have been under investigation for months for being involved in an “ongoing pattern of criminal conduct” that focused on stealing money and pills from patrons of pain clinics,” according to a statement released by the State Attorney’s Office.
According to documents filed with the Broward County Clerk of the Courts, both officers would conduct traffic stops with or without probable cause and often out of their jurisdiction in order to search occupants for money and pills, the documents state.
Once the victim was arrested, whether lawfully or not, Dodge and Koepke would keep some of the money and pills and put the rest into evidence to conceal their unlawful activity, according to the documents.
Carter Hillstrom, an attorney for one of the victims, described what police rput in their report when they arrested his client.
“Each officer went to each side of the car. Each independently saw each of the people inside the car throw crack on the ground,” Hillstrom said. “That gave them permission to search the car, they found the drugs and arrested my client for possession of cocaine.”
But, when video of the arrest is played, “it’s almost a shot for shot contradiction from what was written and what’s on here,” Hillstrom said.
Both officers have been on paid suspension from their jobs since April 18, police officials said.
Two other officers, Matthew Moceri and Michael Florenco, have been suspended in the same investigation but have not been criminally charged.
Fort Lauderdale Police chief Frank Adderley said that he is disappointed, but hopes the public realizes this isn’t a pattern in his department.
“It’s not a clear reflection of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the people who come here every day and do their job and do it honestly and treat people with respect every day,” Chief Adderley said.