September 9, 2008

Former Oak Ridge Police Chief Guilthy of Extortion

SHERMAN, TX - United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that a former Oak Ridge, Texas Police Chief has pleaded guilty to extortion in the Eastern District of Texas.

MICHAEL TODD LACEY, 33, of Cooke County, entered a guilty plea to one count of Extortion Under Color of Official Right today before United States Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush.

According to information presented in court, Lacey admitted that in 2006, while in uniform and on duty as the Oak Ridge, Texas, Police Chief, he stopped Hispanic motorists on Highway 82 and, upon determining that the motorists were illegal aliens, he demanded and received payment from the motorists in exchange for not ticketing them for traffic infractions and taking them into custody. Lacey was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 9, 2008.

Under the terms of the plea agreement entered into with the United States, Lacey faces a term of 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. A sentencing date has not been set.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stevan A. Buys.

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