PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two Philadelphia police officers are under arrest for allegedly stealing drugs and cash from an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer.
The two arrested officers are identified as Sean Alivera, 31, (top right) and Christopher Luciano, 23 (bottom right).
“We will prosecute them for the disgraceful thugs and scum that they are,” District Attorney Seth Williams said.
They were taken into custody at the 25th District headquarters and charged with robbery, conspiracy, kidnapping and other offenses. Alivera is a 10-year veteran of the force; Luciano is a three-year veteran. Both have been suspended and are being fired.
“These were officers that were in full uniform, on-duty at the time they did it. There is nothing worse than that,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.
Investigators say the pair stole 20 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of $24,000, and about $3,000 in cash from the undercover state agent who was taking part in the sting. The cash was recovered, but the drugs were not. The investigation is ongoing.
Both officers were arraigned on Tuesday afternoon and bail was set at $1 million each.
The arrests follow the recent formation of a new unit in Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit. The unit was formed following other recent drug corruption arrests in the department, including one in which two officers were charged with stealing drugs from dealers in order to resell them back to another dealer.
At a Tuesday morning press conference following the arrests, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said things may appear to get worse before they get better as he tries to clean house in the 6,600-member department. At least five Philadelphia officers have been accused or convicted in the past year of trying to rob drug dealers (see related story).
A sixth officer is charged with stealing $825 from a tavern where a colleague was slain (see related story).
Reported by Walt Hunter (CBS 3) and Tony Hanson (KYW Newsradio)