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Prosecutors: Paterson cops stopped cars, took cash and other items

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PATERSON -

Federal prosecutors say two Paterson police officers stopped vehicles, detained the occupants and searched the autos without justification, sometimes also taking cash and other items.

Jonathan Bustios and Eudy Ramos have both been charged with conspiring to deprive people of their civil rights under color of law.

Bustios is also charged with extortion under color of official right for allegedly telling a man he had just arrested he wouldn't charge him and would let him keep the cash he had if he helped Bustios get a gun.

According to prosecutors, the man ultimately agreed to the deal.

"I want to be clear,” says Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale. “The Paterson Police Department does not stand for corruption and this is not indicative of the 420 members that work tirelessly, with integrity every single day and serve the public here in the city of Paterson with honor and with dignity, because they should not be painted with that brush. "

Both officers were arrested Wednesday morning.

It wasn't known if either man has retained an attorney.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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