Friday, August 5, 2016

Retired CSPD officer charged in Broncos gear scam

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM

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A former Colorado Springs police officer has been arrested in connection with selling fake Denver Bronco's gear after he was allowed to quietly retire after collecting five months of paid administrative leave pending the criminal investigation, according to sources.

Dave Hendrichsen, 51, was among those arrested, as reported by the Denver Post. The newspaper reported on Wednesday that four men, including Henrichsen, face racketeering charges for allegedly selling counterfeit Broncos football merchandise at the Mile High Flea Market in Commerce City for nine years.

The others are Marc Alan Misko, 62, Mitchell Jay Misko, 62, and Glenn Ford, 63. All four were charged with money laundering and surrendered to law enforcement officers and were released on $20,000 bail each, The Post reported. The illegal sales allegedly occurred between Nov. 14, 2006, and Nov. 10, 2015, according to a news release by Sue Lindsay, Adams County District Attorney Dave Young’s spokeswoman, The Post reported.

From The Post:
The merchandise was falsely marked as official merchandise for the Denver Broncos. The four also counterfeited other merchandise using the names of other Denver professional and college teams, Lindsay said.

David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Denver, said the investigation uncovered an international counterfeit network.

“This investigation uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in money wired to China to finance these counterfeit products and more than 20 shell companies furthering this illegal activity,” Thompson said in a news release. “Not only do these counterfeiting organizations produce inferior merchandise, which is sometimes dangerous, these counterfeits also hurt legitimate businesses in the United States, which can hinder job growth and support criminal organizations around the world.”

DHS agents seized $68,000 in counterfeit NFL merchandise from the Miskos’ booth at the flea market on Jan. 10, 2015.

The charges allege that the operation purchased more than $868,000 in counterfeit merchandise from China beginning in 2006 until late 2014 for sale in the Denver area, Lindsay’s news release says.

All four defendants are charged with operating a criminal enterprise of trademark counterfeiting in violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.
Henrichsen was placed on administrative leave by Springs Police Chief Pete Carey last year, pending the criminal investigation. The officer collected five months of pay during that leave until he was eligible for retirement, sources familiar with the Springs Police Department who insisted on not being named told the Independent.

Hendrickson is a past president of the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association and was supportive of Carey's move to impose a physical ability test on female officers that gave rise to a federal lawsuit, the sources say.

It's the latest black eye for the department, which has seen two officers charged with crimes in the last year — one for having sex with a crime victim and the other for allegedly using excessive force against a suspect. In addition, the department lost its Peace Officers Standards and Training certification earlier this year for failing to follow regulations and was suspended from a military surplus program for accountability issues. It also had its 2014 take-home vehicle list slip into the hands of drug dealers. The latter situation remains under investigation.

Mayor John Suthers says in an interview he was aware of the Hendrichsen investigation.
"I was informed by Chief Carey when the investigation began, and he said they were going to put him on leave, get hold of the reports and look at them themselves," he says. "Subsequently, he said the evidence was overwhelming and they were going to terminate him. You don’t fire a guy as soon as the charges are rendered, you want to have a conviction."

"Chances are he may not have retired but for this incident," Suthers acknowledged. "I don't think they were doing anything just to allow him to retire. He retired because the gig was up."
 

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