Del. Trooper Indicted In Warning Fraud Scheme
A suspended Delaware State Trooper has been indicted on charges related to a fraudulent warning scheme that Attorney General Kathy Jennings said victims dozens of people.
The full extent of the misconduct case surrounding Corporal Edwin R. Ramirez has yet to be determined, according to Jennings.
The Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust was contacted by Delaware State Police leadership in May about an internal review which purported to unveil a “serious pattern of fraudulent E-Warnings” issued by Ramirez. A supervising officer of Ramirez had discovered discrepancies in one of his reports. Ramirez was suspended pending the investigation, which Jennings said determined that in April alone he issued more than 30 fraudulent warnings without motorists being informed, and in some cases without a traffic stop actually occurring.
“These victims deserve an apology for getting wrapped up in this ridiculous scheme,” Jennings said. “This kind of ham-fisted misconduct undermines the work that good police officers do every day to earn and honor the public’s trust. The accolades that this Trooper misappropriated are not worth the felony charges he’s now facing. 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.”
“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,” Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Melissa Zebley added. “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.”
Additional details were provided by the Attorney General’s office below:
While E-Warnings do not carry a financial penalty, they do harm drivers. Drivers with E-Warnings are less likely to be given consideration in future traffic encounters with police, and more likely to be stopped in the first place.
Following the internal investigation, a DSP investigator received a search warrant for Ramirez’s police car and recovered from the center console a sheet kept by Ramirez displaying Troop 9’s troopers and their productivity statistics, along with his own 2019 and 2020 yearly evaluations which included commendations for traffic productivity.
On February 2, 2021, Ramirez was recognized as the recipient of the “2020 Troop 9 Traffic Ace” award. In a performance commendation, Ramirez’s Captain notes that Ramirez issued 458 traffic citations and 640 traffic E-Warnings in 2020 alone. DCRPT continues to investigate the full extent of Ramirez’s potential misconduct outside of April 2021.
Ramirez now faces charges of Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree (Class E Felony), Issuing a False Certificate (Class G Felony), Falsifying Business Records (Class A Misdemeanor), and Official Misconduct (Class A Misdemeanor). If convicted on all charges, Ramirez faces a statutory maximum sentence of 9 years in prison.
Anyone who feels they may have been impacted by Ramirez’s actions and has questions may email DCRPT at email@example.com or contact the Delaware State Police via DSP’s Customer Satisfaction Survey.