The Canadian Bazaar
MISSISSAUGA: Four Peel Police officers have been charged with stealing and then lying.
Sergeant Manuel Pinheiro and three constables Richard Rerrie, Damian Savino and Mihai Muresan have been charged with stealing a statue – of fictional drug dealer Antonio `Tony’ Montana of the 1983 film Scarface – from a Brampton drug trafficker and then lying about it in court.
All four face one count of theft under $5,000, obstructing justice and two counts of perjury.
In 2014, when Peel police filed charges of drug trafficking against Lowell Somerville of Brampton, they searched his basement apartment where they found that Somerville also had a storage locker in downtown Toronto.
When the four police officers searched the locker unit, they allegedly took away a statue of `Tony Montana’ from Somerville’s locker.
The video footage clearly showed one of the cops carrying a large object. But in their testimonies in a Superior Court, all the four police officers denied taking anything from the storage locker. But Somerville testified that when after his release he opened the locker unit he found some possessions, including statue of `Tony’ Montana, missing.
In its judgment in May 2017, Justice Jennifer Woollcombe called the conduct of the four police officers “profoundly and demonstrably inconsistent with what a fair justice system requires.”
Immediately after the court judgment, Peel police Chief Jennifer Evans ordered an internal investigation against the four police officers who were suspended with pay.
After the completion of the internal investigation by Peel Police, charges were filed against the four police officers on May 3.
Chief Jennifer Evans said, “Upon learning about the ruling, I immediately ordered an internal investigation to be conducted by our Professional Standards Bureau into the conduct and actions of the involved officers. Our officers are held to a high standard in order to maintain the trust that we have worked so hard to build with our community.”
The police officers will appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on Monday June 4.