A Tulsa cop caught in an undercover sting now faces more charges of second degree robbery. Officer Marvin Blades Jr. is accused of targeting Hispanic drivers in north Tulsa and stealing money from them.
According to an affidavit, the Tulsa Police Department received 12 complaints about Blades Jr. stealing money since the middle of 2011, which led to the Special Operations Division to set up surveillance on him. It wasn't long before investigators caught him red-handed.
The victims' stories are all remarkably similar, and begin in August, 2011. According to the affidavit, an officer they'd later identify as Blades Jr. pulls them over in the area of 800 North Lewis Ave. He would then ask them for their license and insurance, but then refuse to take it. Instead he would tell the victims to get out of the car, but leave their wallet or purse inside. He eventually sends them on their way with no tickets, but after the officer is gone, the victim notices their money is gone, too.
In four more cases filed by the Tulsa County District Attorney's office Friday, prosecutors claim Blades stole more than $1,000. The affidavit says Blades Jr. stole from one of the victims on two different occasions.
When the complaints started back in August, 2011, TPD first thought it was dealing with someone impersonating an officer.
But in photo lineups, victims continued to identify Officer Marvin Blades Jr. as the man who stole their cash.
When internal affairs investigators began watching Blades in June, 2012, they saw him pulling over Hispanic drivers in the same area, which was outside his patrol beat.
In a sting operation last weekend, Blades Jr. pulled over an undercover agent with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, and just as each of the victims described, he stole $600 out of the agent's wallet, then sent him on his way.
Blades Jr. had posted $25,000 bond on Saturday, but will now have to turn himself back in. Bond on the four additional charges was set at $100,000 each.
Blades Jr. is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
In a written statement sent to FOX23 News, Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond said the following about the case:
"When a law enforcement officer is charged with a crime, it impacts public trust. But one of the principles of the criminal justice system is that no one is above the law, regardless of their position or status. In that regard, Mr. Blades will be treated and prosecuted the same as anyone in like circumstances. But these allegations of abuse of police authority are very serious."