Former Coast Guard Petty Officer sentenced on extortion charge

Detroit – A former U.S. Coast Guard petty officer was sentenced yesterday to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $2,500.00 as a result of his guilty plea to using his position to extort tens of thousands of dollars from the family of an illegal immigrant, United States Attorney Terrence Berg announced.

Mr. Berg was joined in the announcement by John Tiano, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General, Captain David R. Callahan, Acting Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, Neal Marzloff, Special Agent in Charge, Coast Guard Investigative Service Central Region and Andre G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Benjamin Bostic, age 35, of Macomb Township, Michigan entered the guilty plea in United States District Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan before Judge John Corbett O’Meara in December 2008.

Information presented to the court at the time of the plea showed that between September of 2006 and April of 2008, while BOSTIC held the rank of First Class Petty Officer with the United States Coast Guard, he offered and agreed to use his position to assist a non-citizen illegal alien to avoid being taken into custody and deported from the United States.   In return, BOSTIC demanded and was paid more than $30,000 from the family of the illegal alien.

U.S. Attorney Berg stated, “The privilege of federal service and the honor of protecting the United States in the U.S. Coast Guard should never be sullied by soliciting bribes, particularly when the purpose of the bribe is to prevent the execution of an officer’s lawful duties of enforcing the Nation’s immigration laws.   I commend the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service for their outstanding work on this investigation.” Special Agent in Charge Tiano stated, “The Department of Homeland Security,

Office of Inspector General will aggressively investigate individuals who abuse their position in a government office for private gain.   Public corruption is our top priority.”

Captain David R. Callahan, Acting   Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District stated, “Mr. Bostic’s actions were contrary to the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.   Our core values are deeply rooted in our service’s heritage and guide our performance, conduct and decision making every minute of every day.   The Coast Guard is disappointed that Mr. Bostic chose to violate the public  trust rather than embrace our core values and serve the public.”

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