Two former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers were indicted today for allegedly stealing property seized after an arrest.
Ronald Jackson, 57, and Christian Brezill, 25, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri with stealing over $1,000 in merchandise purportedly stolen from Best Buy after they arrested an individual with the property. The arrest was part of a sting operation and the individual was working with federal law enforcement.
Both men are no longer with the department. Brezill's employment was terminated and Jackson retired from the department, according to a release from the Metropolitan Police Department.
According to court documents:
Jackson received a call from an individual that a person identified only as Jane Doe was in possession of electronics stolen from Best Buy. Jackson told the individual that he would find Doe and take the merchandise and split some of the electronic equipment with him.
Brezill and Jackson were uniformed patrol officers assigned to work in the department's Sixth District out of the North Patrol Division.
Brezill and Jackson discovered that Doe had some minor outstanding traffic warrants and arrested her. She was neither arrested nor charged with possession of the stolen equipment, the indictment said.
The officers searched her car and found electronics equipment still in original boxes and Best Buy bags including: a Sony speaker system, a Phillips iPod docking system, a speaker cable, a Wii, an X-Box, a Logitech computer speaker system, a Dell laptop and a LCD flat screen TV.
According to the court documents, they put these items into Brezill's patrol car and never reported the seizure to the department. They split up the items later at a private residence.
Unbeknownst to the officers, Jane Doe was working with federal law enforcement and the electronics seized from her were owned by the U.S. government.
Both officers were indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of theft of U.S. property. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 16.
If convicted, Brezill and Jackson each face a maximum penalty of 10 years and/or fines up to $250,000.
Brezill's attorney Denise Watson-Wesley Coleman declined to comment. No attorney for Jackson was listed in court filings.