February 23, 2011
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, joined by Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, today announced the Attorney General's Public Integrity Unit has filed criminal charges against two MSP lieutenants and a Monroe County man accused of running a criminal enterprise out of the Michigan State Police Office of Monroe Narcotics Investigations (OMNI).
"Cleaning up public corruption is a top priority for all of us," said Schuette. "I applaud Colonel Etue for taking the lead in rooting out bad actors in her own department and assuring the public that corruption will be found and eliminated, no matter where it is."
"Pursuing charges against members of your own department for this type of criminal activity is an embarrassment, but there is no doubt it's the right thing to do," said Etue. "The MSP does not tolerate criminal behavior, especially within its ranks, and the resulting 34 criminal counts filed today are evidence of this fact."
Michigan State Police Lt. Luke Davis, 48, of Monroe; Lt. Emmanuel Riopelle, 42, of Grosse Ile; and Monroe County resident Lawrence Dusseau, 42, are accused of coordinating an extensive scheme to systematically embezzle property and money seized from suspects between March 2006 and December 2008.
The alleged embezzlement was uncovered by the MSP following a Nov. 28, 2008 complaint from a suspect alleging Davis stole property from his home. An MSP search of Davis' home on Dec. 4, 2008 revealed the stolen property, as well as vicodin, oxycotin, steroids, a wall covered with a large quantity of men's and women's jewelry, 30 designer purses, 22 cell phones, computers, televisions, motorcycles, and a golf cart, among other property.
Subsequent investigation revealed Davis allegedly developed a system of embezzling seized property from the OMNI unit he commanded. According to MSP policy, seized property is to be sold at public auction, put to official use, or destroyed. However, in March 2006, Davis with the help of Riopelle and Dusseau, began diverting some property for his own use or giving it away rather than selling it at auction. It is also alleged Davis used Dusseau as a "straw buyer" at the auctions, falsifying receipts to show Dusseau purchased the property at auction, but Dusseau would later sell the property to a third party and then split the profits with Davis. Embezzled items included flat-screen televisions, designer purses, furniture, cell phones, automobiles and electronics.
The defendants were arrested by the MSP last night, and the following charges against them were filed with the 1st District Court in Monroe today:
Upon issuance of the charges, Davis and Riopelle were placed on unpaid suspension. All three defendants are expected to be arraigned today before Judge Jack Vitale. A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.