In the first of two trials involving a group of five SFPD officers federally indicted on multiple counts of theft, misconduct, and overall bad behavior, two currently suspended SF cops were found guilty Friday of most of the charges against them, and will likely be fired from the department. Sgt. Ian Furminger, 48, and Officer Edmond Robles, 47, have over 40 years on the force between them, but they were found by the jury to have stolen money, property, and drugs from known criminals and either kept it for themselves or used to pay other criminals for information, as the Chronicle reports.
The case that stretches back several years and involves video evidence taken SROs in the Tenderloin and the Mission, some of which showed cases of brutality, and other footage showed the officers exiting building carrying property that was not entered into evidence. As Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in a statement, the actions of these officers led to the dismissal of over 100 criminal cases, and these convictions "bring a measure of justice to the victims, who were ripped off, falsely arrested and disbelieved for far too long."
The trial began in early November, and witnesses for the prosecution included a parade of drug dealers and criminals, as well as the alleged ringleader of the bad cop brigade, former officer Reynaldo Vargas, who already plead guilty himself to charges against him and was fired from the force earlier. Vargas testified that he and the two accused officers took part in a search of a known drug dealer's home in Newark in 2009 and after Vargas found $30,000 in cash buried in the man's backyard, he took it and the three officers divvied it up in the car ride back to SF.
Another known drug "large-scale" drug dealer, Cesar Hernandez, took the stand and testified that "Robles paid him in cash and drugs for his information, and told him he could keep selling narcotics with impunity as long as he continued to cooperate."
Furminger was convicted of four counts and Robles five, including the main charges of but they were acquitted of a few charges involving wire fraud and drug dealing. Coming up in early 2015 will be a second trial relating to the same federal indictment of the officers, this time prosecuting three other active SFPD cops: Officer Arshad Razzak, 41, Officer Richard Yick, 37, and Officer Raul Eric Elias, 44.