Two former Cleveland police officers were sentenced to prison this week for stealing thousands of dollars from people they pulled over during traffic stops.
Willie Sims, 32, was sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday. His partner, Alfonzo Cole, 35, was sentenced Monday to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Both men pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery and one count of theft in office each for robberies they committed between July 2020 and July 2021.
In November 2020, Sims pulled over a 34-year-old and stole $1,300 from the trunk of the victim’s vehicle. In July 2021, Sims pulled over the same victim and stole $781 and weed edibles from the vehicle.
During a June 2021 traffic stop, Cole stole a firearm and $4,000 from a 26-year-old he had pulled over. That same day, Cole pulled over an 18-year-old and stole his gun. Both guns were later recovered from his home.
In total, Sims and Cole stole more than $14,000 among six victims.
“These officers took an oath to serve and protect the public, and with their actions, they violated that oath,” prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said in a statement. “The citizens of East Cleveland deserve better and today demonstrates that public corruption of any kind will not be tolerated in Cuyahoga County.”
During his sentencing, Sims apologized to his family and said he was sorry “for putting myself in this position.” Along with his prison sentence, Sims was also fined $40,000.