A second Baltimore police officer was sentenced to federal prison Monday for participating in an extortion scheme that led to the criminal conviction of 16 city officials and the suspension of 14 others.

Jerry Diggs Jr., 25, was sentenced to 30 months and ordered to pay restitution of $13,105 for illegally referring car owners to Majestic Auto Repair for towing services and repairs after crashes in exchange for cash. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and extortion in October in Baltimore's U.S. District Court.

According to his plea agreement, Diggs also admitted falsifying accident reports and adding to vehicle damage so the repair shop owners, who were also convicted in the scheme, could collect more from insurance companies.

Seventeen officers were arrested in the case, though charges against one of the men were later dropped. The 16th officer, who previously pleaded guilty, is set to be rearraigned Thursday. Most of the others are awaiting sentencing. One man, who pleaded guilty to theft in state court, was sentenced to probation before judgment, and another, who pleaded to extortion in federal court, received an eight-month sentence last week.

Once the criminal proceedings have concluded, the officers will be subject to internal investigations through the police department.

"Officer Diggs chose a treacherous path that included taking bribes, filing false police reports and committing insurance fraud," U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. "Even as we condemn such criminal conduct, we should pause to thank the many police officers who serve with honor and integrity."

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts