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Posted: 8/13/2007 6:07:10 PM EDT

Fourth Hollywood cop sentenced to prison in FBI sting

The Associated Press

A fourth former Hollywood police officer was handed a stiff prison sentence Friday after pleading guilty to a drug trafficking charge arising from an undercover FBI corruption investigation of the police department.

Former Sgt. Jeffry Courtney, 52, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas. Three other ex-officers charged in the case received sentences of between nine and 14 years behind bars.

Like the others, Courtney pleaded guilty earlier to a heroin trafficking conspiracy charge. Prosecutors said the corrupt police officers agreed with people they thought were New York-based mobsters - in reality, undercover FBI agents - to protect a purported heroin shipment as it moved by truck through South Florida.

The officers also took part in what they though were schemes involving stolen diamonds, jewelry and other goods, gambling and other illegal activities.

A fifth ex-officer is scheduled to be sentenced in October for lying to the FBI about whether he disclosed the existence of the probe to someone else at the department, who then informed the officers being targeted. That led to the premature shutdown of the investigation by the FBI.
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