Two veteran Altus Police officers are in jail today following an ongoing investigation which started months ago. According to Jackson County Sheriff Roger Levick, he contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation six months ago for assistance, after months of investigation on his own.
Altus Police has also been working in conjunction with the FBI on the matter, and the officers involved were booked into jail Thursday afternoon. Police Chief Tim Murphy said those arrested were 17-year veteran Russell Hansel, and 11-year veteran Jose Arce.
Hansel has been jailed on complaints of grand larceny and conspiracy to commit grand larceny. Arce has been jailed on a complaint of conspiracy to commit a felony. The case against the two officers was sent to the Jackson County District Attorneys office for prosecution on Thursday.
Murphy did not confirm if any other individuals would be arrested in connection with this case, but did say, “The actions of these two officers have placed a dark cloud over our police department. Corruption at any level will never be acceptable. Society holds police officers to a higher expectation of behavior and conduct. Although the investigation lasted many months the end result was two police officers facing felony charges.”
Chief Murphy then added, “I would like to give special recognition to detective Bill Perkins who worked closely with the F.B.I. to bring about the successful closure of this investigation, which led to the arrest of these two officers.”UPDATE:Altus police investigators met with members of the Jackson County District Attorneys office Friday morning. Amended charges are anticipated against the two officers, which are as follows:
Russell Hansel: 1 count of Conspiracy to commit Attempting to Knowingly Conceal stolen property, 2 counts of conspiracy to commit knowingly concealing stolen property, 2 counts of knowingly concealing stolen property, 3 counts of possession of a firearm with removed serial number while in the commission or attempting to conceal stolen property.
Jose Arce: 1 count of conspiracy to commit attempting to knowingly conceal stolen property.
Hansel and Arce remain incarcerated at the Jackson County Jail.