Former Police Officer Sentenced to 2 Years in Federal Prison for Civil Rights Violation and Lying to FBI

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Michael Phelps, 36, of Needles, Calif., was sentenced here today by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt to two years in federal prison. Phelps had previously pleaded guilty to Making False Statements and Violation of a Constitutional Right Under Color of Law.

The facts showed that Phelps was a sworn officer for the Fort Mohave, Ariz., Police Department when the victim was in his custody for a motor vehicle offense. Phelps threatened to incarcerate the victim unless she had sexual intercourse with him, then released the victim after she complied. After a complaint led to a federal investigation, Phelps falsely told FBI agents that he did not have sex with the victim.

After Phelps serves his federal prison sentence, he will be on federal supervised release for three years. Also, as a condition of his plea agreement, Phelps can never again work as a law enforcement officer, probation officer, correctional officer or bail bondsman.

At sentencing, Judge Rosenblatt stated that Phelps had violated the public trust “in a very despicable manner.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Alison S. Bachus, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix, and Cyra O’Daniel, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

CASE NUMBER: CR-08-1154-PCT-PGR

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-079(Phelps)

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