September 10, 2008

Ex-Oak Ridge police chief admits to extortion

SHERMAN, Texas — A now-former North Texas lawman faces 18 months in prison for demanding money from suspected illegal immigrants to keep them out of jail. The U.S.
Attorney's Office in Sherman says 33-year-old ex-Oak Ridge police chief Michael Todd Lacey pleaded guilty to extortion.

Sentencing is pending for the Cooke County man. Prosecutors say Lacey in 2006, while in uniform and on duty, would stop Hispanic drivers on Highway 82 to determine if they were illegal immigrants.

Lacey would demand money from the motorists, in exchange for not ticketing them for alleged traffic violations or taking them into custody.

A federal grand jury in April indicted Lacey, whose plea agreement was announced late Tuesday.

Oak Ridge is a town of about 245, located 75 miles north of Dallas.

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Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?