In what was like a plot lifted from a movie script a former Philly detective was charged for allegedly telling drug kingpin "Ace Capone" about federal raid that was about to go down.
The dirty cop calls friend who calls big, bad drug dealer to warn him about pending government raid on properties. Big, bad drug dealer then takes care of the evidence and gets away with it, at least until the third act.
Police searched 23 different locations and 11 different automobiles connected to Coles in 2005. During those searches they found numerous firearms, including several 9-millimeter handguns, live ammunition, several hundred grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and approximately $800,000 in drug proceeds.
Coles was eventually convicted of the crimes and sentenced to life in prison.
And now Durham faces up to 30 years behind bars as well as a $1.5 million dollar fine if convicted of all crimes after his indictment was unsealed Wednesday.
“The alleged actions of Mr. Durham are contrary to the code of police officer duty when trying to prevent crime and ensure public safety. ATF lives, those of our partners and community members were endangered when, as the indictment elicits, Mr. Durham contacted a major violent drug dealer, through an intermediary, to alert him of law enforcement presence,” said Acting Special Agent-in-Charge for the Philadelphia Field Division of ATF Russell May.
Durham was said to have received a car, clothes, tickets to sporting events and cash totaling over tens of thousands of dollars from friend J.R., Jr. while being assigned to the F.B.I as a Task Force Officer from the Philadelphia police department. It was J.R., Jr. that Durham allegedly made the phone call to to warn about the searches.
“Rickie Durham, in his official position as a Philadelphia Police Officer and F.B.I Federal Task Force Officer, abandoned the sacred trust of his law enforcement oath in order to curry the favor of his criminal friends. Working in our office alongside FBI Agents and other law enforcement officers, he jeopardized not only important on-going criminal investigations but also public safety through his alleged criminal activities,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI.
In June 2008, federal agents investigating the origin of the warning given to Alton Coles interviewed Durham. In the interview, Durham lied about his relationship with J.R., Jr. Durham allegedly made similar false statements to investigators in January 2009.
Stick with NBCPhiladelphia.com as this story unfolds.