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Officer convicted of extortion in vehicle referral scheme


  A Detroit police officer has been found guilty in connection with a scheme where bribes were given by collision shop owners in exchange for referrals of stolen and abandoned vehicles recovered in the city.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit says 47-year-old Deonne Dotson was convicted Thursday by a federal jury on six charges of extortion.

Five other officers have pleaded guilty to committing similar crimes while employed by the Detroit Police Department. They were accused of using their positions to get cash for steering cars to certain shops. Owners of the vehicles were unaware of the scheme when they agreed to have their vehicles repaired at the shops.

Dotson will be sentenced March 19, 2020. Each extortion charge carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.