Former Meridian Mississippi Police Officer Royric “Roy” Benamon, 27, pled guilty Wednesday before Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to one count of federal extortion under color of right, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.
“There is almost no greater threat to our society than when public servants, especially law enforcement, betray the trust of the people and abuse their authority for their own personal gain. Bringing corrupt officials to justice is one of the highest priorities of this office, and we will continue to ensure that the public is protected and that criminals answer for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
In April 2020, Officer Benamon pulled over a driver at night in Lauderdale County, and solicited and received from the driver a cash payment in exchange for not issuing the driver a ticket.
Benamon was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 28, 2020, charging him with two counts of extortion under color of right, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).
Sentencing has been set for March 3, 2021, before Judge Jordan in Jackson. Benamon faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Hurst commended the work of the Special Agents with the FBI’s Jackson Division and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office who investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.