Nearly 100 current and former Puerto Rican law enforcement officers were arrested yesterday on drug-related charges in the largest police corruption investigation in the history of the FBI, reports USA Today. Attorney General Eric Holder said the two-year inquiry involved 1,000 FBI agents, including 750 federal investigators secretly dispatched to Puerto Rico in the past week to participate in the arrests.
Other defendants include two U.S. Army officers and three soldiers in the National Guard in Puerto Rico. The U.S. government alleges that all of the defendants accepted payments from undercover federal agents to provide armed protection for what they believed were drug shipments. The payments ranged from $500 to $4,500 per transaction. FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry said the probe involved agents from 30 of the bureau’s 56 field offices around the country. Henry said the number of suspects and agents involved made the investigation the largest in the FBI’s 102-year history. In Puerto Rico, where the police department is the target of a federal civil rights probe into allegations of excessive force and other misconduct, the arrests prompted promises of reform from the highest levels of the U.S. territory’s government.