A Tulsa police officer has been arrested on a second-degree robbery complaint after a months-long robbery investigation by the Tulsa Police Special Investigation Division and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. Authorities arrested Officer Marvin Blades Junior, 37, early Saturday morning for stealing cash during a traffic stop.
According to officials, investigators from the two agencies conducted an undercover operation after allegations that Blades had been targeting Hispanics during traffic stops and stealing their money.
Police say on Friday night Blades pulled over an undercover OBN agent in the 2800 block of North Lewis Avenue. Investigators say Blades ordered the driver (undercover officer) to the back of the his car and instructed the driver to leave his wallet on the seat.
Authorities believe that's when the officer stole six-hundred dollars in cash before allowing the driver to leave.
According to police, when the undercover cop returned to his seat he noticed that money was missing from his wallet.
Once in custody, officers found six-hundred dollars cash in Blade's right pants pocket. According to officials, Blades told them that the money belonged to his wife, but investigators matched the money to serial numbers on the bills used in their investigation.
Tulsa police chief Chuck Jordan credited other officers for alerting his office to Blades.
"They did the right thing. They did exactly what our community expects of them," said Jordan.
Local Hispanic leaders, like Guillermo Rojas, publisher of the bilingual newspaper La Semana, said Hispanics make easy targets.
"They are afraid because everybody thinks if they are stopped - to any Hispanic, if they don't have a legal status in the country, they'll be put in jail," said Rojas.
But Jordan says no one should be afraid to come forward and encourages those who have been victimized to call the robbery unit at 918-596-9137.
Police say Officer Marvin Blades was working TPD's Gilcrease division at the time of robbery.
Blades is the son of former Tulsa police officer, Marvin Blades, Sr., who was suspended several times in the mid-1990s after he was accused of not following department rules and regulations.
According to 2News archives, Blades' suspensions caused local black leaders to accuse TPD of racial discrimination.
Blades was booked and released on a $25,000 bond. He has a court date set for Sept 4.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
TPD Cpl. Gene Watkins was arrested around 4:30 p.m. and was released on a $1,500 bond within 30 minutes.
Court documents show the offense happened Aug. 21.
A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Watkins and he has been ordered to have no contact with the victim.
Watkins is scheduled back in court Sept. 11.