Fort Lauderdale Cops Surrender To Face Several Charges

Detectives face kidnapping, racketeering, official misconduct charges

A pair of Fort Lauderdale Police officers facing a host of charges including kidnapping and official misconduct bonded out Friday after turning themselves into the Broward Main Jail Thursday night.

Detectives Billy Koepke, 32 and Brian Dodge, 30, members of the Street Crimes Unit, surrendered together Thursday night, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.

According to court records, Koepke is facing 17 charges, including racketeering, extortion, false imprisonment, grand theft and falsifying criminal records, in addition to the kidnapping and official misconduct charges. Dodge faces 19 similar charges, which includes perjury.

Both were in bond court Friday, where Broward County Judge Jay Hurley said they'd be placed under house arrest with GPS monitors. Koepke and Dodge would have to turn in their passports and wouldn't be allowed to possess any firearms or other weapons, Hurley said.

The two left jail shortly after noon.

State prosecutors, the FBI and Fort Lauderdale Police had been investigating the two for months, Broward State Attorney spokesman Ron Ishoy told the Sun-Sentinel.

"Officers Dodge and Koepke were involved in an 'ongoing pattern of criminal conduct' that focused on stealing money and pills from patrons of pain clinics," State Attorney Michael J. Satz said in a statement.

Lawyers for both said they couldn't comment until they'd seen the warrants or evidence.

At a Friday news conference to discuss the arrests, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley said it's not a reflection on his force as a whole.

"It's not a good thing, obviously, but it's not a clear reflection of the dedicated people who come to work every day at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department," Adderley said.

"This isn't a happy day at the department, but the men and women who investigate misconduct are doing an important job," Tim Donnelley, the head of the public corruption unit at the State Attorney's Office, said. "If there's tarnish on some officers, we have to expose it to restore the public's trust in the police."

Satz said the officfers conducted traffic stops with or without probable cause and often out of their jurisdiction to search occupants for money and/or pills. If the occupants possessed a large amount of cash, Dodge and Koepke would fabricate criminal charges to steal a portion of the money and pills, Satz said.

The officers then kept a portion of the cash and pills while submitting some for evidence, Satz said.

Koepke and Dodge have been on paid suspension since April 18, after a hotel security video that disputed their versions of a pair of arrests in Oakland Park surfaced.

According to the video from a Red Roof Inn, the detectives were with two other officers at the hotel in Aug. 2010 when two men were arrested and charged with drug possession and intent to distribute.

But the video allegedly disputes the report of the incident filed by Koepke and Dodge, who said they saw the two men drop crack cocaine in a car. Dodge testified that officers didn't run up to the vehicle and didn't have their guns drawn, but prosecutors later said the video footage disputed that.

Prosecutors later dropped the charges against the two men, Junior Jerome and Dieudson Nore.

"Based on the inconsistencies between the surveillance video and sworn officer testimony, the officers' credibility has been diminished," prosecutors wrote in a memo dismissing the case.

The two other officers allegedly involved were suspended but haven't been criminally charged.

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