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East Cleveland Police Officer Sentenced for Theft, Robbery, and Weapons Charges

A former East Cleveland police officer, Alfonzo Cole, will be sentenced in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for multiple crimes including theft, robbery, and weapons charges. The 35-year-old officer pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery and one count of theft in office. He also pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and having weapons under disability in an unrelated case.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley, Cole stole a total of $14,781 and two guns from six victims. The offenses took place during traffic stops conducted by Cole. In the first incident, which occurred on September 22, 2020, Cole pulled over a 43-year-old man and stole $850 in cash and $400 worth of marijuana from the vehicle. He even forged a sergeant's signature on the victim's traffic citation.

On June 22, 2021, during another traffic stop, Cole stole $4,000 in cash, suspected marijuana, and a firearm from a 26-year-old man. That same day, he stopped an 18-year-old and seized the victim's mother's gun and ammunition. Furthermore, on July 8, 2021, Cole and another East Cleveland police officer, Willie Sims, unlawfully confiscated $5,000 from a 21-year-old man's vehicle.

The victim promptly reported the incident to the East Cleveland police, who then informed the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's office. As a result, a search warrant was executed at Cole's residence on July 13, 2021. During the search, law enforcement recovered the stolen guns from the July 22, 2021 traffic stops, as well as suspected marijuana edibles.

It is important to note that Officer Willie Sims will be sentenced separately on September 14.

These actions represent a grave breach of public trust by a law enforcement officer. The sentencing of Alfonzo Cole should serve as a reminder that those in positions of authority must be held accountable for their actions, especially when they violate the law they are sworn to uphold.

Sources: Cleveland 19 News, Cuyahoga County Sheriff