Two former police officers in Cleveland sentenced to prison after robbing motorists during traffic stops

Two former police officers in Ohio were sentenced to prison after reportedly stealing thousands of dollars from motorists during traffic stops. They wrote at least one person a ticket and robbed one man twice in the process.

Willie Sims, 32, and Alfonzo Cole, 35, stole a total of $14,781, two firearms, and marijuana edibles from six different victims between July 2020 and July 2021, according to Fox News. The two men pleaded guilty to four different counts of felony robbery and one count of felony theft in office.

Cole was also convicted on separate charges of possessing weapons under disability and carrying concealed weapons for stealing guns from two different drivers in June and July 2021. Consequently, Cole was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Sims received a two-year prison sentence on Thursday, per the report.

The two were eventually caught after they robbed a 21-year-old motorist of $4,000 while he was on his way to his mother’s funeral services on July 9, 2021. The motorist apparently drove to the police station where he worked and filed a complaint. Later that same day, department supervisors pulled Cole over and discovered $1,200 and marijuana edibles.

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Another victim, Jonathan Whitlow, said that “[t]his has been going on in East Cleveland for over 20 years, and nobody has been doing nothing about it,” according to

Whitlow was apparently robbed by Sims two times, once on November 8, 2020, and then again in July 2021. Sims collected a total of $2,081 from the two robberies.

Whitlow told a judge last week that he does not want Sims to go to prison. “How is he going to pay [back] making three cents an hour?”

“He didn’t kill nobody. He didn’t beat nobody up. He’s a thief,” Whitlow said. “Him going to jail ain’t going to do nothing for me.”

Both officers were fined $40,000 and ordered to repay $5,000 to one of their victims, according to Fox News. Cole was ordered to pay back the three victims he robbed a total of $4,580, while Sims was ordered to pay back $6,931 to his victims.

The report noted that it is unclear if the amount includes the fine for a traffic ticket Cole wrote to one victim from whom he took $850 and about $400 worth of marijuana in September 2021.

WATCH | Former East Cleveland police officer sentenced for role in scheme to steal from

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