Ex-Michigan cop charged with taking kickbacks from towing company

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HAMTRAMCK, MI — A former Hamtramck police officer is facing a federal corruption charge in an ongoing FBI investigation into government and police corruption in the Detroit metro area, authorities said .

Michael Stout, 60, of St. Clair Shores, who left the Hamtramck Police Department in 2020, is charged with bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine , U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison and Josh P Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Detroit Division announced Thursday, March 3.

While working as an officer at Hamtramck, Stout is accused of accepting bribes, including a vehicle and $1,500 in cash, from a towing company operator. In return, Stout reportedly provided information from the Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network, or LEIN, a restricted law enforcement database, to the tow company operator.

For example, when the tow company operator told Stout he was worried a police vehicle was following him, Stout allegedly called an unwitting police department employee to search LEIN. Stout then allegedly provided the vehicle registration information to the tow company operator.

Stout is the sixth defendant charged in connection with “Operation Northern Hooka federal investigation into corruption in government and the Detroit City Police Department regarding the towing industry and other matters.

In December, Michael Pacteles, 44, of Southgate, a former Detroit police officer who worked as an officer at Hamtramck, was charged with corruption in connection with “Operation Northern Hook”. In November, Alonzo Jones, 55, of Detroit, a former Detroit police officer, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes. In October, Lt. John F. Kennedy of Detroit, 56, of Rochester Hills, and Officer Daniel S. Vickers, 54, of Livonia, were each charged with three counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy with a view to committing bribes. In September, Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey pleaded guilty to accepting bribes related to oversight of the tow policy; he then resigned.

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