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FBI Arrests 44 Cleveland Cops

January 21, 1998

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Forty-four police officers, sheriff’s deputies and prison guards from the Cleveland area were arrested by the FBI on Wednesday and accused of taking payoffs to protect cocaine dealers.

The dealers were actually undercover FBI agents taking part in a sting.

The officers were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

The officers were paid as much as $3,700 to provide security for the ``drug dealers″ while they took part in deals, said Van Harp, agent in charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office. Undercover agents staged 16 drug deals from November 1996 to this month, the FBI said.

The arrested officers included police from Cleveland, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Brooklyn, plus one deputy, 24 corrections officers and one former corrections officer for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.

Eight other people were arrested on drug charges as part of the sting.

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