PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A formerly high-ranking officer in the Philadelphia police department has avoided being sent immediately back to jail following his guilty plea and conviction on counts related to an extortion scheme.
Onetime police inspector Daniel Castro, who pleaded guilty in June to scheming to use violence to get back $90,000 from a former associate and was convicted of lying to the FBI (see related story), was sentenced last week to five years in prison, but prosecutors today were asking the judge to incarcerate him immediately.
Last week, federal judge Harvey Bartle III sentenced Castro to five years in prison and ordered him to report on November 15th (see related story). But afterward, outside the US Courthouse, Castro held up photos of a prosecution witness and the witness’ home, saying that the witness deserved to be exposed for testifying against him.
Government prosecutors said that action was an attempt by Castro to threaten and intimidate a government witness. They filed a motion asking Judge Bartle to revoke Castro’s bail and have him jailed immediately.
During today’s hearing, Castro said that he was only maintaining outside the courtroom what he had been contending all during the trial, and that he was not trying to intimidate or threaten anyone. He made an emotional appeal to the judge to allow him to spend his last few weeks of freedom with his family.
Judge Bartle replied that although it was an unwise move by Castro to hold up pictures of government witnesses and their homes outside the courthouse, he would allow Castro to report to prison on November 15th as originally scheduled.
Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060