Motions to keep 4 indicted Phila. officers in jail

Posted: August 07, 2014

Federal prosecutors will continue their efforts to keep four Philadelphia narcotics officers behind bars until their trial on racketeering conspiracy charges.

In motions filed Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek said he intended to appeal decisions this week to release Officers Brian Reynolds, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser on house arrest pending trial.

Wzorek had argued that the men posed a danger to the community and the government witnesses who say the officers beat them and stole from them over a six-year period.

During a bail hearing for Speiser on Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Rice dismissed those arguments, as he had done in the other three cases.

Rice, however, agreed to stay his bail order for 24 hours to give the U.S. Attorney's Office time to appeal that decision to a higher court.

Six former officers of the Philadelphia Narcotics Field Unit are accused of robbing and violently attacking drug dealers from 2006 to 2012.

Two - Michael Spicer and Thomas Liciardello, the group's purported ringleader - have been ordered held in federal custody until trial.

All six have denied the allegations.

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