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Paterson police officer Matthew Torres pleads guilty in FBI corruption probe | Paterson Times

Paterson police officer Matthew Torres pleads guilty in FBI corruption probe

matthew-torres

Police officer Matthew Torres on Monday admitted to conspiring with fellow officers to stop and search motor vehicles without justification to steal cash and other valuable from occupants. He also admitted to filing a false police report to cover up the officers’ criminal activity.

Torres, 30, of Paterson, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report. He worked with others, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, and other unnamed officers, to further the shakedown scheme.

Ramos, Bustios, and Pent each have been charged as part of a sweeping FBI investigation into police corruption. In all, six officers were arrested in the probe. Two officers, Ruben McAusland and Roger Then, were sentenced to prison time last month.

Torres and the other officers used fake paperwork to trick the victims into thinking the motor vehicle stops and cash seizures were legitimate. He and co-conspirators also stopped and searched people in the streets of Paterson.

During the search, Torres and others illegally took cash from victims. The officers then covered up their criminal enterprise by filing false police reports.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a motor vehicle stop of a pair of brothers in an undisclosed location. Both officers searched the vehicle and the victims.

The passenger told Ramos and Torres he had two bags of marijuana in his pocket.

“Honesty goes a long way,” Ramos told the passenger. The passenger also said he had $3,100 in his pocket.

Ramos took the cash and placed it on the back seat of the car. He told the passenger not to “worry about the weed.” He also told the passenger he had a potential outstanding warrant.

Both passenger and driver of the vehicle were removed from the car and put into Torres and Ramos’ separate police cars.

The two police officers told the passenger he could be charged with distribution of marijuana and that he could not be allowed to go without being charged “because the camera saw it.”

Ramos told the passenger he could avoid arrest by giving $500 and signing a piece of paper for the Narcotics Division. He told the passenger $500 would be confiscated, and that he had to call his superior officer to verify that amount is acceptable.

Ramos asked the passenger for his date of birth, and social security numbers. He then made a phone call and hung up.

“They could do it, but it’ll be $800,” Ramos told the passenger, according to charging documents.

Ramos took a piece of white paper that had Paterson Police Department logo, turned it over, wrote something on it, and handed it to the passenger to sign.

The passenger signed it without knowing what was written on the paper.

Torres and Ramos released both victims without filing any charges.

The passenger told authorities $1,000 was missing from the original $3,100.

Torres and Ramos did not report the cash seizure. Police records showed the passenger did not have an outstanding warrant.

A cooperating police officer told the FBI Ramos frequently used fake paperwork to trick people into believing an incident was as legitimate law enforcement encounter.

In Dec. 2018, Torres was interviewed by the FBI. He admitted that he and Ramos illegally seized cash from the passenger and that the cash was split amongst themselves.

Torres admitted he and Ramos engaged in similar conduct on other occasions, according to charging documents.

Torres, who joined the police force in Jul. 2014, has been terminated, said public safety director Jerry Speziale on Monday afternoon.

Speziale described the officers involved as “bad apples.” He said their conduct is not indicative of the police force.

Torres faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 9, 2019.

Email: jay@patersontimes.com

  • Dominick Perez

    Not indicative of the police force lmfao, sure Jerry, and your daughter isn't a cokehead either right?

    • John

      Dominick Perez. You are a classic low life. Wow, talking about someone's daughter, may misery come upon your most valued loved ones.

      • Dominick Perez

        I'm a lowlife for pointing out the hypocrisy of these corrupt bastards lol? Do you think his daughter hasn't gotten away with murder because of daddy? I can tell you stories buddy. You must be one of the corrupt above the law scumbags..

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    It's a shame to live in a city so full of crime, worried about getting robbed on every corner, and having to worry more about those that are supposed to protect you from the criminals.i know this won't be the end of it. Next will be complaints about the forced entries by police,mistaken raids at wrong houses? Or is that on purpose too?

    • John

      You complain about crime.being too high but yet.find fault in Police searches. Your desires do not reflect your expressions.

      • J DA DON

        PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP

      • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

        I was not "complaining" about police searches. If they go to a judge and get a warrant,and follow the rules, I have no problem with that, but to just single out people,driving or walking,and robbing them? And then there's the warrantless searches,knock on the door,,ask them if they have a warrant,they don't,and they push their way in anyway.Of course nothing is found and going to internal affairs to complain is asking to be harassed and other problems. So I am complaining about all of the above and about the fact that you have to be scared when you see a police instead of being relieved. If I get robbed,I am on my own,will have to do my best diy self defense or risk calling police and getting robbed twice,once from the robbers and again from the police. P.s- I am not anti police. I have law enforcement in my family,I know there's a few great cops in Paterson, but the others that I don't know? I can never trust them again.what is going on here is unacceptable.

  • John Brown

    Most of the crime in Paterson is committed by the police. And drug dealers.

    • John

      John Brown. What is you education level? You sound very knowledgeable.

      • Dominick Perez

        He's not lying. The corrupt scumbags that just arrested by the FBI are the tip of the iceberg. Half that force belongs in jail. you must be one if the corrupt scumbags or related to one.

  • Miss jamaica

    Honesty goes along way very bold statement to make. These are the people we hired to serve and protect us. They were hired to serve with honesty and integrity.
    Paterson must evaluate their hiring process.

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