It looks like the Shenandoah Police Department patterned itself after Clint Eastwood's movie "Magnum Force". While the corruption in Luzerne County really isn't making national news the Shenandoah Police Department can claim coverage everywhere.
Yesterday federal authorities charged it's chief and two police officers with allegedly obstructing the investigation into the death of an illegal Mexican immigrant.
The Shenandoah police officers pleaded not guilty in federal court Tuesday but will remain jailed until a bail hearing today in Scranton.
The charges against them stem from the July 2008 beating death of Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala, the subsequent actions of Shenandoah police and allegations of extortion.
The FBI investigation was first reported by The Pottsville Republican-Herald on May 6, citing unnamed sources.
Federal authorities charged Shenandoah police Chief Matthew Nestor, Lt. William Moyer and Officer Jason Hayes with conspiring to obstruct justice. In addition to those charges, Moyer has been charged with witness and evidence tampering and lying to the FBI, according to authorities.
Each officer faces up to 20 years in prison on obstruction charges and five years for conspiring to obstruct justice. Moyer also faces five additional years for making false statements to the FBI.
The FBI investigation uncovered alleged extortion and civil rights violations by police dating back to 2004.
Nestor and Capt. Jamie Gennarini allegedly conspired to collect cash payouts from illegal gambling operations in the Shenandoah area. They also allegedly tried to extort $2,000 in cash from a local businessman and his family in 2007 in exchange for releasing the businessman from custody.
The extortion charges carry 20 years of prison time, according to the Department of Justice.
In today's revelations a lawsuit was reported alleging a hanging of an incarcerated Hispanic teenager.
These allegations point to heinous racial bias that should not be tolerated under any circumstances. It points to true racism, not the type people try to ascribe to a law which penalizes employers.