Detroit police officer accused of being involved in chop shop

Devon Payton suspended without pay

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

DETROIT - A Detroit police officer has been charged on accusations he was involved in a chop shop.

Police Chief James Craig on Wednesday said Officer Devon Payton, a five year veteran of the department assigned to the Northeastern District, had been suspended without pay since being charged with conspiring to operate a chop shop and receiving and concealing stolen property.

Craig said the department was tipped in off in April that vehicles were being stripped at a location in the 14100 block of Meyers and then being taken down the road to a business to be scrapped.

During a business inspection, which Craig said was routine, Payton told investigators it was a family business and he was working there.

"The police officer was actually removing an engine from a vehicle at the time the inspection was being conducted," Criag said.

Payton turned himself in this week after a warrant with the felony charges against him was issued last week.

Police department employee charged with pocketing money

A civilian employee assigned to the department's medical section, 56-year-old James Kerns, has also been charged for allegedly charging officers for their medical records and then keeping the money.

Craig said Kerns is not authorized to solicit or accept payments on behalf of the department and is facing a felony charge of embezzlement.

Craig said the department doesn't charge for those kinds of records.

He has been suspended without pay.

Kerns worked for the department for 10 years and could be terminated.

--James Kerns

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