SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The former chief of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan police department has pleaded not guilty to several charges including extortion, illegal gambling and conspiracy.
A seven count grand jury indictment filed Wednesday charges 65-year-old Willie Lovett with extorting the operators of an illegal gambling ring in exchange for protection from police.
Prosecutors say Lovett accepted cash payments on five separate occasions and the arrangement began in 2004.
A superseding indictment charges Randall Wayne Roach and Kenny Amos Blount with running the illegal gambling business, and conspiring with Lovett to obstruct state gambling laws. A fourth man, Randall Wayne Roach, Jr. is also charged with participating in the gambling ring.
Lovett resigned in 2013 after he was accused of sexually harassing an officer.
It’s unclear if the men have attorneys.