A former police officer has been charged with extortion under color of official right as well as making false statements to federal agents in relation to an armored car robbery that occurred in Houston in 2013, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Joel Quezada, 33, of Houston, has been charged in a three-count indictment alleging he accepted money to monitor police radios during the robbery. He is also charged with making false statements and concealing materials facts from federal agents.
The sealed indictment, returned Aug. 5, 2015, was unsealed last night upon his arrest. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy at 2:00 p.m. today.
The indictment alleges that while employed as a full-time patrol officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD), Quezada accepted money to monitor his police radio during the course of a Loomis armored car robbery on Dec. 6, 2013. Upon questioning be law enforcement, he then allegedly lied about his involvement to federal agents.
Quezada no longer works at HPD.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a possible $10,000 maximum fine for the extortion charge, while making false statements and concealing material facts both carry a possible five-years prison term and fines up to $250,000.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the FBI and HPD – Internal Affairs Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Leuchtmann and Carolyn Ferko are prosecuting the case.