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Ex-LAPD Officer Faces Extortion Sentencing

July 12, 2002|LAURA LOH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A judge on Thursday ordered a 90-day state prison evaluation of a former LAPD motorcycle officer before deciding how to sentence him in an extortion plot to which he pleaded no contest.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Wesley said he needed more information about Melvin Leon Boyd, 38, before deciding whether Boyd should receive probation or prison time for his part in the May 2001 crime.

Prosecutors sought a three-year prison term. Boyd's lawyer, who argued for a lighter sentence because of his client's record as a public servant, asked for a year in jail and probation.

Boyd is one of six people who have pleaded no contest to charges stemming from the scheme. Prosecutors say Boyd posed as a detective while another man told a Lakewood real estate broker he was being investigated for ties to organized crime.

They demanded $1 million, threatening to arrest the man if he did not pay, prosecutors said. The broker gave them $2,700 and a Rolex watch and agreed to subsequent meetings to pay the rest.

The other defendants got sentences ranging from time served to three years in prison, said Deputy Dist. Atty Max Huntsman.

Huntsman argued that Boyd should be punished more severely because he was a law enforcement officer. "He used his badge to try to get

Boyd's attorney, Bradley Brunon, told the judge that his client had been lured into the plot by a friend who had told Boyd that they were going to collect a debt.

The judge, however, said he believed Boyd had been an active participant. He added that he was not inclined to grant Boyd probation.

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