Ontario, Canada – Peel police have charged four officers with perjury after they were accused of stealing a statue of Scarface character Tony Montana from a drug dealer’s storage unit in 2014, and then lying about it twice under oath.
“It is a unique situation, 100 per cent,” Sgt. Joshua Colley, Peel police spokesperson, told the Star of the 13-month criminal investigation. “As far as I can remember, only one officer has ever been charged (with perjury), and no one has been convicted in the 44-year history of Peel Police.”
In May 2017, an Ontario Superior Court Justice described the conduct of Major Drugs and Vice Unit constables Richard Rerrie, Mihai Muresan, Emanuel Pinheiro and Damian Savino as “profoundly and demonstrably inconsistent with what a fair justice system requires.”
“Upon learning about the ruling, I immediately ordered an internal investigation to be conducted by our Professional Standards Bureau into the conduct and actions of the involved officers,” Peel police Chief Jennifer Evans said in a press release. “Our officers are held to a high standard in order to maintain the trust that we have worked so hard to build with our community.”
In June 2014, Peel police witnessed a drug deal involving Lowell Somerville, of Brampton. During an investigation into his activity, officers took out a search warrant for a storage locker he owned in downtown Toronto; they told the court, nothing had been taken from the unit once in a preliminary hearing, and again during a cross-examination.
Surveillance footage, however, showed the four officers leaving the storage facility with a large object under a beige sheet.
After Somerville was released from custody, he discovered that some of his possessions were missing, including a one-metre-tall, “one-of-a-kind” hand-painted wood statue of fictional drug dealer Tony Montana, which he stored under beige cloths. He reported the apparent theft to his lawyer, Kim Schofield.