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Philadelphia Police Commander Facing Charges Of Bribery, Extortion

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(Credit / Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio)

(Credit / Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Federal officials announced the indictment of a high ranking police commander on criminal charges following an investigation into an alleged bribery and extortion scheme.

According to a grand jury indictment, Carlos Daniel Castro, 47, a commander from the traffic division, was arrested Friday morning without incident.

Castro is accused of hiring a “collector” to use threats of violence and violence to collect $150,000 that he allegedly was owed from a debtor following a unsuccessful real estate investment.

The debt collector, it turns out, was a confidential informant cooperating with the FBI.

According to the indictment, Castro instructed informant to act as his representative, and to not identify Castro’s position within the police department, allegedly saying, “I can’t get myself in trouble. I want to be Police Commissioner.”

Castro is also charged with lying to the FBI during the investigation.

If convicted, he faces 80 years in jail and a two million dollar fine.

Castro is being held awaiting arraignment Friday afternoon in Federal court.

Mayor Nutter spoke to reporters at City Hall and voiced his outrage that a high-ranking police commander had been indicted:

“This city and this community deserve better from all of our officers, but especially anyone of the rank of that officer. These kinds of behaviors and activites are unacceptable under any set of circumstances, but certainly from a person of rank. This officer has disgraced their badge, their uniform, the reputations of the many thousands of good men and women who risk their lives everyday, who do their job honestly on behalf of the city.”

Listen to audio of Mayor Nutter responding to the police indictment

Stay with CBSPhilly.com for the latest on this developing story.

Reported by: Walt Hunter, CBS 3; Hadas Kuznits & Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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