Former Pittsburg Officer Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Steroid Distribution, and Obstruction of Justice

Former Pittsburg officer, Patrick James Berhan, has pleaded guilty to a series of serious charges including fraud, steroid distribution, and obstruction of justice. Berhan’s guilty plea sheds light on a massive police corruption scandal that has ensnared 14 ex-law enforcement officers in East Contra Costa County.

In a federal courtroom in Oakland, Berhan admitted to three felonies: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids. While the final sentencing is yet to be determined, it is expected that Berhan will receive a sentence less than the maximum 20 years in federal prison that the conspiracy charge carries.

Berhan’s plea agreement, read aloud by federal prosecutors, revealed new details previously unknown to the public. It disclosed that Berhan had enlisted a woman he was in a relationship with to take online classes on his behalf, in order to fraudulently obtain education pay bumps offered by the city of Pittsburg. Furthermore, Berhan promoted his then-girlfriend’s college cheating service to other law enforcement officials.

The plea agreement also implicated Berhan in the sale of anabolic steroids to other police officers, including ex-Antioch and Pittsburg Officer Timothy Many-Williams. Berhan’s defense team contests the allegation that he played an “aggravating role” in running the scam, a point that will be debated during sentencing.

Berhan’s guilty plea makes him the third officer to be convicted in the ongoing police corruption scandal. Federal authorities consider him a significant defendant and a ringleader in the fraudulent scheme to obtain pay bumps from the cities of Antioch and Pittsburg.

The investigation into the corruption scandal was initiated after one of the defendants’ ex-girlfriends reported the scam to authorities. This led to the seizure of Antioch officers’ phones, uncovering a separate scandal involving racist text messages among current and former Antioch cops.

Berhan’s plea agreement also revealed an attempt to obstruct justice. When he learned that Many-Williams had been placed on leave from the Antioch Police Department, Berhan destroyed evidence, including cellphone data and cloud accounts, in an effort to conceal his criminal activities.

Author: CrimeDoor

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