Former Columbus Police Detective Stevie Billups, 48, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 57 months in prison for crimes he committed through his involvement with a local drug dealer.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kevin Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office (FBI); Karen Huey, Director of Enforcement for the Ohio Casino Control Commission; and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the sentence imposed today by Senior U.S. District Judge James L. Graham.
Judge Graham also fined Billups $10,000 and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.
Billups pleaded guilty on November 22, 2013, to one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin. According to a document the government filed with the court prior to today’s sentencing, in 2013 Billups provided armed protection for two transactions involving drugs while he was a Columbus Police officer.
Billups began his relationship with a drug dealer when Billups began laundering money for the drug dealer by cashing in chips which helped the drug dealer avoid transaction reporting requirements at the Hollywood Casino in Columbus.
According to court documents, Billups asked the drug dealer to “get him in the game.” Billups’ query led to the June 28th and July 17th drug stings by the FBI, whereby Billups protected the drug dealer in the pickup of purported drug money. He later provided protection for the drug dealer during a transaction which Billups believed involved the distribution of heroin. Billups provided protection during the second transaction while he was on duty, armed with his service weapon, and in a Columbus Division of Police unmarked detective vehicle. Billups received a total of $5,000 in exchange for providing protection to the drug dealer during these transactions.
“Public confidence in our police to ‘do the right thing’ is undermined with each case of police corruption,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Squires told the court. “It is a police officer’s duty to uphold the law and protect the public....Billups’ intent to aid and further the problems that heroin has brought to our communities for his own profit indicates the serious nature of this offense.”
“Using a police officer’s badge and gun to commit crime is a particularly disturbing threat to the community,” stated SAC Kevin Cornelius. “This case highlights the fact that local, state, and federal agencies are working together to root out corruption and bring to justice those who betray the public’s trust.”
“Ohio Casino Control Commission and its gaming agents are committed to working with our federal and local law enforcement partners to investigate criminal activity occurring at the casinos,” said Karen Huey. “The Commission will not tolerate money laundering or drug dealing at any of Ohio’s casinos.”
U.S. Attorney Stewart praised the cooperative investigation by the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the FBI’s Central Ohio Public Corruption Task Force, which includes agents from the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
Mr. Stewart commended the Columbus Division of Police and Police Chief Kim Jacobs for the cooperation they provided during the course of this investigation and thanked the Homeland Security Investigations Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force for helping initiate this investigation. The Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force includes agents with Homeland Security Investigations and detectives with the Columbus Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Stewart also acknowledged Assistant United States Attorneys Doug Squires and David DeVillers, who prosecuted the case.