SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—Prosecution and defense attorneys in the federal corruption trial of two San Francisco police officers rested their cases Tuesday, clearing the way for the jury to begin deliberating on Monday.

Officer Edmond Robles, 47, of Danville and Sgt. Ian Furminger, 47, of Pleasant Hill are charged with stealing money, property and drugs from suspects during searches and arrests in 2009 and conspiring to distribute drugs.

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Robles’s defense attorney, Teresa Caffese, told U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Monday that the officer would testify in his own defense. But Robles and his attorney later changed their minds and Robles did not testify.

Outside of court, Caffese said, “The government did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m confident of that.

“We don’t need to dignify these false allegations with a response,” Caffese said.

Both sides rested their cases during Tuesday’s brief court session. Breyer scheduled the closing arguments for Monday morning, after which the case will go to the jury.

Federal prosecutors wrapped their case on Monday- presenting evidence they said tied Furminger to a dealer in stolen property.

The only defense witness to testify was Furminger’s estranged wife, who was called to the stand on Monday.

The chief prosecution witness in the trial was a third defendant, former Officer Reynaldo Vargas, 46, of Palm Desert, who pleaded guilty last month to various charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

In testimony last week, Vargas told the jury of several searches in San Francisco and Newark in 2009 in which he and one or both officers allegedly stole money or Apple gift cards during searches and divided the proceeds among themselves.

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“I committed these crimes with my partner, Officer Robles, and at times with my supervisor, Sgt. Furminger,” Vargas told the jury.

Furminger and Robles both face eight criminal counts. The charges include conspiracy to commit theft from the Police Department, theft of more than $5,000 and conspiracy to violate civil rights.
They are also accused of two counts of depriving the citizens of San Francisco of their honest services between 2008 and 2012; two counts of wire fraud; and conspiracy to distribute drugs between 2009 and 2011. Furminger alone is accused of a ninth count of extorting property from a confidential informant in 2011 and 2012.

According to SFgate, Robles worked with a drug dealer and police informant who testified in the case that Robles offered him impunity to deal drugs as long as he cooperated with them. In his testimony, the witness said this led to him turning in a former customer who later became his competitor as a drug dealer himself.

Vargas was fired in 2012 for falsifying timecards. He pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs, distribution of marijuana, conspiracy to commit theft, and theft. His sentencing date has not been set.

Robles and Furminger, who worked at SFPD’s Mission Station have been suspended without pay.

 

 

 

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