NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer was arrested today and charged with conspiring to violate the civil rights of motor vehicle occupants and others in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, was arrested by special agents of the FBI on a complaint charging him with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Pent is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:
Pent, and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Pent, Ramos, and others also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from those individuals.
On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the occupants. Pent told Ramos that either they should take all of the money or they should take none of it, and they chose to take all of it. They split the money between themselves. Pent and Ramos subsequently arrested the victim and charged the victim with loitering in a drug area. Pent filled out a prisoner property report for the victim that falsely stated that the victim had approximately $36 on his person. Ramos and Pent submitted an incident report in which they omitted the fact that they had located, and seized, $10,000 from the victim.
A federal grand jury indicted Ramos on March 20, 2019, for his role in the conspiracy and other civil rights and false records charges. His case is pending before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.
The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.