Former Comanche police chief pleads guilty to embezzlement

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (AP)

The former police chief of the Comanche Nation could receive a five-year prison term and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $12,000 from the tribe.

Ray Anderson resigned from his post as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

The FBI began investigating the Lawton resident after receiving a call to a toll-free telephone number set up to handle reports of crime on tribal land, authorities said.

Anderson, 55, was accused of setting up a bank account without the tribe’s approval in November 2004, according to court papers.

He deposited money given to the police department into that account, but used those funds for things like gambling, meals and gifts, according to prosecutors. His actions caused the tribe to lose nearly $51,000.

Anderson acknowledged he had abused a position of public trust, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney John Richter noted in a news release that law enforcement officers have a duty to uphold, enforce and obey the law.

“In this case, unfortunately, a sworn law enforcement officer – the police chief – abused his position of public trust for his own benefit. This case should send a clear message to the public that such abuse will be aggressively prosecuted.”

Court officials will schedule formal sentencing for Anderson in about 90 days.