Cop bought ‘whatever I wanted’ with drug-dealers’ cash

 The trial of six former Philadelphia police officers accused of corruption began Monday. They are (clockwise from top left) Thomas Liciardello, Perry Betts, Norman Linwood, John Speiser, Brian Reynolds, and Michael Spicer. (NewsWorks Image)

The trial of six former Philadelphia police officers accused of corruption began Monday. They are (clockwise from top left) Thomas Liciardello, Perry Betts, Norman Linwood, John Speiser, Brian Reynolds, and Michael Spicer. (NewsWorks Image)

Shortly after former Philadelphia narcotics officer Jeffrey Walker was arrested in May 2013 on charges of attempted robbery and extortion, he began cooperating with federal authorities.

His information was crucial to the arrest and indictment of six of his former colleagues, who now face significant prison time for corruption and gang-style police tactics.

Three weeks into the trial of the six officers, Walker finally took the stand Tuesday, matter-of-factly describing for the jury how he once found a shoebox full of cash in a clothes dryer in the basement of a drug dealer as he executed a search warrant.

Walker said he stuffed the wads in his police vest pockets and carried it to his unmarked squad car, later surprising fellow officer and alleged leader of the rogue cop group Thomas Liciardello with it in a dark parking lot.

“Whoa, that’s a lot of money,” Walker said Liciardello responded, reminding him to keep it out of bank accounts so as to not leave a paper trail.

Walker also described the time he, Liciardello and Brian Reynolds pulled over a known drug dealer and stole money from inside his car, then placed him in a holding cell at a police station while they drove to his apartment and stole his personal safe, later dividing its cash contents evenly between the three of them.

When asked how much he made from these alleged robberies, Walker said he and his team never counted the cash, just split the stacks, but he said he was, “making good money,” estimating that his paycheck and the confiscated money added up to over $100,000 a year.

While he used his regular paycheck for every day bills, he said he spent the cash on, “women, food, whatever I wanted.”

“It was pure greed,” Walker said of the operation.

Walker said was frequently given the task of “roughing up” dealers who didn’t cooperate, once bending a man over a high-story apartment balcony to get his palm pilot password.

If convicted, some of the officers potentially face life in prison. Walker’s testimony and cross-examination is expected to last through the week.

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