Some information in the 9-year-old report on corruption in the Philly police narcotics unit is finally surfacing. Maybe it should have been publicly disclosed long ago. Perhaps the department wouldn’t be dealing with the same issues today.
By Joseph A. Slobodzian
PHILADELPHIA — The FBI memorandum describes a pattern of corruption among a group of Philadelphia narcotics officers: false information used to get search warrants, planted evidence and perjured testimony, thefts of drugs, cash, and valuables from dealers.
It’s called the Roberts report and, though it’s nine years old, it deals with the same issues that a federal-city task force is now investigating.
The report, written on Sept. 5, 2000, by FBI Agent John Roberts – now head of the FBI’s public-corruption unit in Philadelphia – remains under seal by order of a federal judge and has never been made public. It’s unclear who received the report and what became of its recommendations.
But what has surfaced from court documents is that the report foreshadowed some of the allegations involving brothers Jeffrey and Richard L. Cujdik and other officers in the Narcotics Field Unit.
“At the very least, a department investigation should have been conducted into whether or not police were fabricating evidence simply to obtain convictions,” defense attorney Jerry S. Goldman said.
The report, according to court documents, looked at 12 allegations involving a group of narcotics officers. Some were determined to be credible, others unfounded.