DETROIT – Detroit police officers accused of using their badges to steal more than $1 million in a conspiracy to rip off narcotics dealers were sentenced Wednesday to prison time.
The two former police officers were sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison by a federal judge, but one of the men said there's evidence that proves they're innocent.
David Hansberry wasn't angry when he left federal court. He was upbeat and motivated to prove he's innocent.
The former Detroit lieutenant was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for conspiracy to rip off narcotics dealers of cash and drugs. But when he came out of the federal court building, he told the Local 4 Defenders he is calm and confident.
"To all my family, friends and former police officers, I want to send out a message of confidence," Hansberry said. "I want them to keep their heads up and keep me in their prayers. I definitely have my head up."
In court, Hansberry was found not guilty on nine of the 10 charges against him, which could have added an additional 15 years to his sentence. On Wednesday, he told the judge at length that he's innocent of the one conviction on which he was found guilty.
He vowed to win an appeal and restore his reputation. He said he'll expose "an imperfect justice system."
"I'm the right person for this fight," Hansberry said. "I believe I was chosen for this fight to take care of something bigger than myself. I'm up for the task and I believe when it's all said and done, I will be vindicated."
Bryan Watson was the other former officer sentenced for conspiracy to rip off drug dealers. He was found not guilty on eight of his nine charges and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Watson had nothing to say to the judge and nothing to say after the court hearing. He plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.