“We have been working cooperatively with federal authorities on this investigation and are proud that our internal proactive measures have proven effective in addressing these types of allegations. We will never tolerate criminal misconduct from any of our employees. Both officers have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the Internal Affairs investigation. The allegations against these officers are not reflective of the hard working men and women at HPD. Since this is still very much an ongoing investigation, there will be no further statements until its conclusion.”
-Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr.
Houston Police Officers Emerson Canizales, 26, of Kingwood, and Michael Miceli, 26, of Humble, have been arrested following the return of an indictment charging conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Canizales and Miceli were arrested yesterday afternoon as they reported for duty. They are expected to appear in federal court this morning at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy.
The two-count indictment, returned on Jan. 23, 2013, and unsealed upon their arrest, alleges the officers conspired in the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in the Houston area and that they accepted money for the protection service.
Both officers are alleged to have conspired in the possession of cocaine on or about Dec. 26, 2012, and allegedly received a payment of $1000 for the protection they provided.
If convicted of possession with the intent to distribute, each faces no less than 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine. For extortion under color of law (Hobbs Act violation), they could also receive up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.
The operation was an effort conducted by Houston Police Department – Internal Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program – Major Drug Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James McAlister.