PATERSON, N.J. – Passaic County Prosecutor Camela Valdes said Friday that her office is reviewing all cases involving two Paterson police officers charged by the federal government with pocketing cash and valuables during illegal traffic stops and searches.
City Officers Jonathan Bustios and Eudy Ramos “detained the occupants and searched those vehicles without any justification,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said after both were arrested by FBI agents Wednesday on civil rights violations.
Bustios -- who prosecutors said took a handgun from a motorist in exchange for lenient treatment -- was also charged with extortion.
“On certain occasions, Bustios and Ramos also took cash and other items without justification before releasing the detained occupants,” Carpenito said.
Valdes said her office "will conduct a thorough review of the prosecutions in which one or both of the officers signed complaints, handled evidence, testified in a judicial proceeding, or provided material information leading to arrest, complaint, or indictment."
Any information that could affect the outcome of any of those cases will be given to defense attorneys and the courts, she said.
Both officers were on duty Feb. 20 when Bustios, 28, pulled over a BMW from behind while Ramos, 31, parked in front of it, said Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey.
They searched the front, back and trunk while detaining the BMW’s two occupants in the back seat of Ramos’s patrol car, he said.
Soon after, Bustios “left the scene for ten minutes, then stopped his police car and took out a white plastic bag that was filled with cash,” as well as a firearm, the U.S. attorney said.
ALSO SEE: What authorities said was the attempted murder of a 19-year-old Passaic man on a city street produced the arrests of five men -- one of them an ex-con who's already served state prison time for gun convictions.
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