Former Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro broke down in tears on the witness stand yesterday and admitted that he authorized the use of violence in a strong-arm extortion scheme last year against a former business partner who owed him money, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Castro called his move “the biggest mistake of my life [ ] I was stupid.”
Castro, 47, believed to be the highest-ranking member of the Police Department to face criminal charges in several decades, also admitted he lied to FBI agents when they came to question him about his involvement in the scheme to recoup money from a failed real estate investment. He testified that he looked up a car’s license-plate information for a friend as a personal favor, a violation of department policy. Castro wept several times during his 90 minutes on the stand and expressed regret for the crimes that led to the end of his 25-year career. If he is found guilty, he could face more than 50 years in prison. Castro, who had risen to the inspector’s job less than a year before his arrest, had ambitions of becoming police commissioner.