Another member of a police force has admitted to stealing money during illegal traffic stops and shakedowns and then falsifying reports.
Paterson Officer Frank Toledo faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report.
Toledo is the seventh officer charged in New Jersey’s third-largest city in a federal probe that has uncovered a litany of crimes including illegal searches, drug dealing, thefts from drug suspects and assaults.
In a statement, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh called it “yet another frustrating and sad day for Paterson,” said he is pursuing an independent audit of the police department and is including money for body-worn cameras in this year’s capital budget.
Authorities allege Toledo, 30, and other officers assaulted people and later bragged about the assaults, illegally stopped individuals and vehicles in Paterson, and stole money from those they stopped. The officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops represented legitimate law enforcement encounters.
Toledo allegedly texted to another officer that “everything we do is illegal.”
Toledo is the third officer to plead guilty to being part of the shakedowns, and charges are pending against two others. Two Paterson officers have pleaded guilty to other crimes including an assault on a hospital patient, and stealing drugs from a crime scene and selling them.