City Cop Accused of Conspiracy to Plant Drugs on Suspected Federal Informant
Monday, September 17, 2012 • 9:19pm
PATERSON, NJ – Federal authorities on Monday charged a Paterson police officer with conspiring to plant drugs on a man who he believed was working as an FBI informant, , according to United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
The federal complaint against the police officer, Mahmoud Rabboh, 43, says he also falsely arrested the man. But the complaint does not say exactly why Rabboh would want to target a federal informant. Nor does it say whether Rabboh had other dealings with his alleged co-conspirators.
Rabboh’s attorney, Anthony Iacullo of Nutley, said the officer is innocent of the charges against him, according to a story on northjersey.com. Rabboh has been suspended without pay from the police department, effective Monday, the story said
The federal complaint against Rabboh says the plot to plant drugs on the victim originated with the owner of an unidentified Paterson lounge and two other co-conspirators, along with a fourth person who actually was a confidential source for the FBI.
None of the co-conspirators, the victim or the confidential federal informant are named in the court papers.
The co-conspirators on Feb. 12, 2012 agreed to solicit Rabboh’s help in setting up the victim and met with him at the lounge on Feb. 15 to discuss the plot, the complaint says.
The complaint says Rabboh advised the co-conspirators they should plant cocaine and Percocet pills on the victim because those substances carried greater penalties than does marijuana. The lounge owner then gave money to the federal informant to buy the drugs that would be planted on the victim, the complaint says.
The informant bought three oxycodone pills, six Percocets and a small bag of marijuana and placed the drugs in a small black bag, the complaint said. The informant then drove to the victim’s Paterson apartment to plant the drugs on him, hiding them in the victim’s jacket pocket without him knowing it, the complaint says.
The informant let the lounge owner know the drugs were planted and the lounge owner then called Rabboh, the complaint says. At about 12:30 am on Feb. 16, 2012, Rabboh was in his patrol car and stopped the informant and the victim and searched them for drugs, the complaint says.
At first, the officer could not find the planted narcotics, the complaint says. So the informant sent a text message to the lounge owner revealing the exact location of the drugs and the lounge owner than called Rabboh, the complaint says.
Rabboh still had trouble finding the pills and marijuana, the complaint says, until the informant gestured to the officer to show him where the drugs were.
In his police report, Rabboh said he received an anonymous tip about the drugs from someone who flagged him down while he was on patrol in South Paterson, the complaint says. The US Attorney’s Office says that police report was false.
The formal charges against Rabboh are conspiracy to violate civil rights and deprivation of civil rights. The charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights carries a maximum potential penalty of 10
years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the US Attorney’s Office. The charge of deprivation of rights under color of law carries a maximum potential penalty of 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000, the press release said.
Federal authorities did not announce any other charges against co-conspirators in the case.