Suspended state trooper indicted for fraudulent warning scheme
A suspended state trooper is accused of handing out dozens of fraudulent warnings. The Delaware Department of Justice says the full scale of his alleged misconduct is still unknown.
State justice officials say an investigation revealed that in April 2021 alone, Cpl. Edwin R. Ramirez issued more than 30 fraudulent warnings without drivers’ knowledge, and in some cases, without a traffic stop. He was suspended after an internal review flagged a troubling pattern.
Before that, Ramirez received praise on yearly evaluations and an internal award for his “traffic productivity.”
“This kind of ham-fisted misconduct undermines the work that good police officers do every day to earn and honor the public’s trust,” said Attorney General Jennings in a statement. “Traffic stops should be about road safety, not padding performance reviews, and we're grateful to DSP for doing the right thing as soon as they uncovered the criminal activity.”
Ramirez faces felony charges of Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree and Issuing a False Certificate— as well as misdemeanor charges of Falsifying Business Records and Official Misconduct. If convicted, he faces up to 9 years in prison.
“The Delaware State Police values our relationship with the public and as demonstrated in the case, have policies in place to evaluate and investigate all incidents of misconduct,” said Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Melissa Zebley in a statement. “We are an organization that recognizes while fulfilling our sacred mission to protect and serve the public, we must also hold our own members accountable for any actions that jeopardize public trust.”
Anyone possibly impacted by Ramirez’s actions who has questions should contact the state Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust or the Delaware State Police.
The state continues to investigate any potential misconduct outside of April 2021.
Correction: The state Department of Justice initially stated that the alleged scheme involved tickets, but later clarified that the alleged fraudulent conduct discovered in April 2021 only involved phantom warnings and that tickets issued in that month were issued with the victims' knowledge. DOJ says the ongoing investigation may end up involving tickets.