5th Detroit officer pleads guilty in extortion scandal involving chop shops, towing companies

1 current officer still faces trial


DETROIT – A fifth Detroit police officer pleaded guilty to federal extortion charges in a bribery scandal involving chop shops and towing companies while four retired officers await sentencing and a sixth officer awaits trial.

Charles Wills, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of extortion Thursday. He was originally charged with four counts.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the officers accepted bribes from collision shops in exchange for referring stolen and abandoned vehicles recovered in Detroit.

“The vast majority of Detroit police officers are courageous, dedicated, superb public servants,” said U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch. “The charged defendants should have put the people of Detroit first, rather than lining their own pockets.”

James Robertson, 45, and Martin Tutt, 29, pleaded guilty to two counts of extortion, while Jamil Martin, 46, and Anthony Careathers, 52, each pleaded guilty to one count of extortion.

Deonne Dotson, 45, is still currently employed by the Detroit Police Department and awaits trial. He was charged with six counts of extortion and is awaiting trial.

Each of the extortion charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“While these allegations are troubling, we are relieved that this bringing closure to a long standing issue that has plagued this department,” said Detroit police Chief James Craig.

Stay with Local 4 and ClickonDetroit.com as more information becomes available.