Another Paterson, New Jersey police officer on Wednesday was arrested for stealing from motorists. Matthew Torres, 30, became the fifth officer taken down for misconduct following a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe into the widespread corruption at the department.
Under interrogation, Torres admitted to shaking down motorists on a number of occasions. Specifically, on December 7, 2017, Torres and Officer Eudy Ramos, 31, stopped a motorist who was riding along with his brother. That brother admitted that he had two small bags of marijuana in his pocket.
“Honesty goes a long way,” Officer Ramos said as he took the $3100 in cash he found after searching the car and laid it out on the backseat. “Don’t worry about the weed.”
Instead of arresting the driver, the officers forced the motorist to sign a piece of paper with a Paterson Police Department logo that explained they were confiscating $800 — except they ended up taking $1000. No charges were filed over the drugs.
On Tuesday, former Officer Jonathan K. Bustios, 29, accepted a plea deal from the federal agents who caught him conducting a similar motorist shake down. Like Torres, Bustios would target vehicles likely to have drivers carrying money so that he could conduct a search without probable cause and help himself to their cash. Bustios and Ramos would then submit bogus police reports that covered up what they did during the stops.