PATERSON, NJ- Just two days after two Paterson police officers were arrested on charges related to alleged illegal activity in the course of their official duty, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office announced that they will conduct “a thorough review” of any cases handled by their office in which either of the accused officers “signed complaints, handled evidence, testified in a judicial proceeding, or provided material information leading to arrest, complaint, or indictment.”
According to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpentino on Wednesday, an investigation into police officers Jonathan Bustios, 28, and Eudy Ramos, 31, both of Paterson, uncovered instances in which they allegedly stopped motor vehicles, detained the occupants, and searched those vehicle without justification. Both have been arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights. Bustios has also been charged with Extortion Under Color of Official Right.
The statement from Carpentino further reads that on February 20, 2018, Bustios pulled over a BMW with Ramos stopping his vehicle in front. Both proceeded to search the BMW and detain its occupants by placing them in Ramos’ police car. After leaving the scene and driving for approximately 10 minutes Bustios took out a plastic bag filled with cash as well as a firearm.Shortly after Bustios called Ramos who then released the occupants and proceed to drive to where Bustios was located. At this point Bustios passed a portion of the alleged cash to Ramos through the window of his police car.
A similar incident allegedly occurred on March 14, 2018 in which Bustios arrested and detained an individual, but told him he would not charge the individual with resisting arrest if he helped Bustios acquire a firearm. “I ain’t gonna charge you with resisting, and I’m letting you keep your money bro,” Bustios is reported to have said.
Following the arrests, Paterson Corporation Counsel Domenick Stampone said that “The Paterson Police Department referred this matter to federal authorities after its own internal investigation revealed irregularities.”
Carpentino further thanked the Paterson Police Department, and specifically Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale, Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Office of Internal Affairs for their assistance in the investigation.
“The Paterson Police Department is committed to protecting the safety and civil rights of the citizens it serves and will not tolerate this alleged behavior amongst its ranks,” Stampone concluded on behalf of the city. “The city will continue to work with the federal authorities on the prosecution of this case.”