Former Philadelphia police officer gets two-year sentence for obstruction of justice

    Former Philadelphia police officer Rickie Durham was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday for lying to federal investigators.

    By Meggan Kole

    Former Philadelphia police officer Rickie Durham was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday for lying to federal investigators.

    The sentence is nowhere near the 20 years he could have received.

    The case stems from an investigation into how Durham, a 12-year police veteran, tipped off drug dealer Alton Coles before a police raid.

    U.S District Judge Timothy Savage says there’s no evidence that Durham was trying to protect the dealer. Durham says his intent was only to give a friend’s sister – who lived in the house – enough time to get out safely.

    Durham’s attorney Fortunato Perri says it was a fair sentence.

    “There was no aspect of this situation that was pleasant for him, from the initial indictment all the way through to the trial and now the sentencing,” says Perri. “It’s been a very difficult time for him and his family. And I think today there was a little sense of relief knowing that finally he’s come to the end of a long journey.”

    The U.S. Attorney’s office issued a statement saying they are disappointed with the two-year sentence.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.