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Last remaining defendant in police kickback scandal pleads guilty to conspiracy, extortion

Blackmail and ExtortionOrganized CrimeJustice System

The last of 17 Baltimore police officers charged in a kickback scheme pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and extortion in federal court, bringing the prosecution phase of the case to a close.

Over a five-month period, Jaime Luis Lugo Rivera, 36, steered car crash victims to Majestic Auto Repair in Rosedale in exchange for cash payments worth at least $6,000, falsified police reports, persuaded at least one vehicle owner to submit a false insurance claim and supported efforts by the body shop owners to increase damage for bigger insurance payouts, according to his plea agreement.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake read parts of the document aloud in court Thursday, asking Lugo Rivera if the account was accurate.

"Yes, your honor, I have to admit that it is," he said. "I am guilty, your honor."

His sentencing was set for the morning of July 10. Three officers have been sentenced in the case. One man — the only officer convicted in state court — received probation before judgment, while the other two were sentenced to eight months and 30 months, respectively, in federal prison. The other sentencings are set for later this year.

In total, 16 officers were convicted in the scandal, and charges against one man were dropped. Fourteen officers not criminally charged are facing departmental investigations. The two owners of the auto shop were also found guilty of conspiracy and extortion.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

Kickback defendantsBaltimore police officers

Ayala Olivera, Eric Ivan: 36, Edgewood, case dismissed Aug. 31.

Arias, Eddy: 40, Catonsville, pleaded guilty in federal court to extortion; sentencing date not set.

Cintron, Rodney: 32, Middle River, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for May 30.

Corona, Jhonn S.: 33, Rosedale, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for April 17.

Cross, Michael Lee: 29, Reisterstown, pleaded guilty in federal court to extortion; sentencing set for April 6.

Diggs Jr., Jerry Edward: 25, Baltimore, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

Feliciano Jr., Rafael Concepcion: 31, Baltimore, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for April 13.

Manrich, Kelvin Quade: 42, Gwynn Oak, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for May 25.

Nunez, Luis: 34, Baltimore, pleaded guilty in federal court to extortion; sentencing set for April 4.

Ocasio, Samuel: 36, Edgewood, convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for June 1.

Reeping, David: 41, Baltimore, pleaded guilty in federal court to extortion; sentenced to eight months in prison.

Rice, Jermaine: 29, Owings Mills, pleaded guilty in federal court to extortion; sentencing set for April 11.

Rivera, Jaime Luis Lugo: 36, Aberdeen, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for July 10.

Torres, Leonael Rodriguez: 32, Edgewood, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for April 27.

Urena, Marcos Fernando: 34, Baltimore, pleaded guilty in state court to theft under $500; sentenced to six months' probation.

Valentine, Osvaldo: 39, Edgewood, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing set for April 19.

Yambo, Henry: 29, Reisterstown, pleaded guilty in federal court to extortion; sentencing set for April 9.

Majestic Auto Repair owners

Mejia, Edwin Javier: 28, Middle River, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing date not set.

Mejia, Hernan Alexis Moreno: 31, Rosedale, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and extortion; sentencing date not set.

Source: U.S. District Court records

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