PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A former Philadelphia police inspector was today sentenced to five years in prison for extortion-related crimes: he was caught up in an undercover sting lying about one extortion plot and taking part in another (see previous story).
The prosecution argued that Daniel Castro, once head of the Philadelphia Police Department’s traffic division, behaved like a criminal and he should be punished like a criminal, and Judge Harvey Bartle III agreed.
“The tapes in this case make it abundantly clear not only that the defendant knew force might be used, but that he was quite agreeable to the use of force and violence to help an acquaintance, William Wong, collect a debt,” Judge Bartle said during his sentencing ruling in federal court in Philadelphia.
But Castro, who pleaded guilty to one of the counts, still maintains that he’s no criminal. He contends that he was set up by a lying friend and indicates he will appeal.
“I’m gonna have to use the criminal justice system to fight the decision that was made,” Castro told KYW Newsradio after his sentencing today. “I don’t agree with it.”
In exchange for the guilty plea, the government had dismissed seven other open counts against Castro, including an honest services fraud count, which Castro’s defense attorney said would permit Castro to keep his considerable police pension.
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060