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Posted at 6:37 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Two D.C. cops charged in scheme

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post editors

A federal grand jury indicted two Metropolitan Police Department officers on Friday for allegedly accepting at least $10,000 in protection money from a Van Ness liquor store following a November 2006 robbery.

Malcolm Rhinehart, 50, and Abraham Evans, 31, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on charges of receipt of illegal gratuities and illegal supplementation of salary, charges that upon conviction carry prison terms of 24 to 30 months under federal guidelines.

A third former MPD officer, Nathaniel Anderson, 41, pleaded guilty in November 2010 in the case and awaits sentencing, according to a joint statement by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., James W. McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.

Rhinehart, Evans, Anderson and a fourth, unnamed officer were assigned to the Second Police District. Rhinehart joined the department in 2003, Evans in 2002, and Anderson in 1997.

According to prosecutors, two armed men robbed Calvert Woodley Wine & Spirits in the 4300 block of Connecticut Avenue NW shortly after closing Nov. 25, 2006.

Starting the following month, Rhinehart, Evans and Anderson agreed to accept about $25 a night to provide protection, prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, a fourth, unnamed officer, also agreed to the deal, but only when the others were unavailable and when off-duty and out of uniform. The others allegedly accepted payments while in uniform for at least two years, with the last stopping in May 2009.

By Spencer S. Hsu  | January 21, 2011; 6:37 PM ET
Categories:  Spencer S. Hsu, The District  
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Comments

Forgive me for appearing naive or unlearned...but what is the crime here?? Don't many police officers moonlight??? Or provide "security" for payment?? Someone please enlighten me!

Posted by: pinkezup_1908 | January 21, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree! NO CRIME.

Maybe the story is wrong because the Cops were robbed at $25 per night for security.

Posted by: FutureJumps | January 21, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

yes they do, but they must get it approved by the PD BEFORE doing it.

of course, they must be OFF DUTY when doing it - they cannot be getting their salary AND supplementing it with payments from others for doing their regular job.

the taxpayers and businesses have already paid taxes for these guys to do their job, they shouldnt have to pay extra.

is it possible they had something to do with the original robbery?

they also probably never reported the earnings as income.

Posted by: Section107 | January 21, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

yes they do, but they must get it approved by the PD BEFORE doing it.

of course, they must be OFF DUTY when doing it - they cannot be getting their salary AND supplementing it with payments from others for doing their regular job.

the taxpayers and businesses have already paid taxes for these guys to do their job, they shouldnt have to pay extra.

and if these guys are giving extra special attention to this store while on the job, then what are not giving proper attention to?

is it possible they had something to do with the original robbery?

they also probably never reported the earnings as income.

Posted by: Section107 | January 21, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Officers of MPD cannot work at any establishment that sells alcohol. They must get approval before working any part time employment. If recollection serves, if an establishment serves alcohol more than 50 percent of their sales must be something other than alcohol. I.E. food.

Posted by: robostop10 | January 21, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

This most certainly is a crime! Think about what would happen if every business were allowed to pay money to on-duty cops for extra protection. That would divert their attention from people who don't pay, creating gaps in patrols and making some neighborhoods less safe. This is a reason why police are a public service and should not be rented out to those who are able to pay. There are scarcely enough police in DC to do patrols as it is, and we don't need cops parking out in front of liquor stores for under the table money.

Calvert Woodley Wine and Spirits should also be charged with bribing public officials. If they wanted extra protection, they should have paid for a private security firm to do it. Sure they may not have the presence of the MPD, but they are still a deterrent and are able to call the police if they need to. Yes it was certainly cheaper to pay cops $25 a night, but that's because taxpayers (i.e. you and I) were footing the rest of the bill. That's not at all fair.

Posted by: danny7 | January 22, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

who really cares. the police does not make crap afterall. they need extra help to.

Posted by: coolbrz900 | January 26, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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