Former Penn Police officer charged with making false statements to feds


Melvin Ramos' employment at Penn ended on Sept. 11, 2013


33694_photof


A former Penn Police officer was charged on Tuesday with having a gun in a federal facility and making false statements to federal law enforcement officers.

When former University of Pennsylvania Police Officer Melvin "Tony" Ramos entered the Philadelphia FBI Office on Monday, he wanted to file a complaint regarding the Penn Police Department, according to a criminal complaint filed against him in Philadelphia federal court.

He entered the office with his Penn Police identification card, a badge and a gun, according to the complaint. When he told the FBI receptionist that he wanted to speak to a federal agent, he identified himself as a Penn Police officer, presenting his badge and ID card, the complaint alleged.

Since Ramos claimed to be an active police officer, FBI Special Agent Matthew Yaeger told him that he could keep his weapon, Yaeger stated in the criminal complaint he filed.

However, as he was being questioned by officers Ramos "seemed agitated, frequently answered questions by digressing to unrelated matters and referenced the suicide of another UPPD police officer multiple times," according to the complaint.

In response, Ramos' weapon, ID and badge were taken from him. Officers who later contacted Penn Police discovered that Ramos was no longer employed by Penn, according to the court filing. He was no longer employed at Penn as of Sept. 11, 2013, Stephen MacCarthy, a University spokesperson, said in a statement.

After leaving Penn, Ramos failed to return equipment to the Penn Police Department, including his ID and badge, according to the complaint. However, the badge that Ramos presented to the FBI receptionist was later determined by a Penn Police detective to be a fake — a replica of a Philadelphia Police Department badge, the complaint stated.

ABC News reported in an article posted earlier today that current and former law enforcement officials said "the blame for the security lapse on Monday should sit with [Penn Police] for failing to retrieve Ramos’ ID, not the Federal Protective Service guard," an organization that helps secure federal buildings. 

The article quoted a current federal law enforcement official explaining that "the seemingly 'valid' ID card would have the effect of validating the fake badge Ramos was allegedly holding."

The University had no immediate comment on Friday night in a follow-up email question regarding the allegations made by the law enforcement officers. An attorney for Ramos could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday night.

In the statement, MacCarthy said that Penn is "cooperating fully with the FBI in their investigation."

Discussion

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.