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August 12, 2015

Former Philly police officer sentenced in extortion scheme

A former Philadelphia police officer was sentenced Wednesday to 96 months in prison for a scheme to extort drugs and money from drug dealers and drug buyers.

Christopher Saravello, 38, served as an officer in the 6th District between November 2011 and June 2012.

Saravello allegedly conspired with others to rob drug dealers and drug buyers of cash and Oxycontin and other controlled substances. When he was alerted about a drug transaction, he would interrupt the exchange, identify himself as a police officer and then extort drugs or money from his victims, authorities said.

On two occasions, authorities said Saravello used his personal car and wore plain clothing. During one incident, he reportedly pointed his gun at the victim and threatened to shoot him. 

Saravello's scheme resulted in the illegal taking of more than $9,800 in drug money and quantities of Oxycontin and other narcotics, authorities said.

In addition to the prison term, Saravello will face three years of supervised release and a $600 special assessment.