ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — A former police chief and five detectives in the Detroit suburb of Romulus used drug forfeiture money to pay for prostitutes, alcohol and marijuana, and to buy a tanning salon later operated by the then-chief’s wife, a county prosecutor alleges.
Former Chief Michael St. Andre, his wife, Sandra, and five detectives assigned to a special investigations unit were arraigned Tuesday on allegations that they were part of a criminal enterprise that spanned about five years. More than $49,000 in cash seized by the special investigations unit under Michael St. Andre is missing.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said documents and police reports were falsified to cover up the illegal use and reimbursement of funds. Numerous cash deposits were made into the St. Andre’s personal bank accounts, Worthy said. Some of the money was used to buy a tanning salon, to pay for other personal expenses and on a trip for family friends, according to Worthy.
None of the income was listed on the couple’s tax returns.
“The alleged conduct … in this case defines a culture of corruption and greed at its core,” Worthy told reporters. “Although an investigation of this nature takes hundreds of hours of time, it is crucial that we charge defendants where we find them, even when it is in a police department.”
Michael St. Andre retired earlier this month.
Worthy’s office was not aware if the defendants had attorneys. The St. Andres’ phone rang unanswered Tuesday afternoon, and the detectives’ home numbers were either disconnected or weren’t listed.