T.O. drug cops beat, ripped off dealers, court hears

Accused drug squad officer Ned Maodus has a cigarette during the lunch break. (Craig Robertson/QMI...

Accused drug squad officer Ned Maodus has a cigarette during the lunch break. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)

SAM PAZZANO, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:32 AM ET

TORONTO -- An elite group of Toronto drug squad officers intimidated drug dealers, stole their money and lied in courts to escape "the reach of the law," the Crown alleged Monday.

"They engaged in unjustified acts of physical violence against people in their custody," prosecutor John Pearson told a jury in a three-hour opening statement for the long-awaited trial of five former members of the Central Field Command.

John Schertzer, 54, Steve Correia, 44, Ned Maodus, 48, Joseph Miched, 53, and Raymond Pollard, 47, collectively face 29 charges -- laid in January 2004 -- including obstructing justice, perjury, assault and extortion related to their work between 1997 and 2002.

Each has pleaded not guilty to all the charges which are linked to five drug investigations.

"The defendants tried to cover their tracks to protect themselves from the reach of the law," he said.

They falsified notes to conceal illegal searches, withheld vital information from the drug cases they were investigating and they lied in court, Pearson said.

The first victim, part-time pot dealer Christopher Quigley, testified Monday how he was pummelled into unconsciousness by Maodus and his partner, under the watchful eye of their "boss," Schertzer.

Court heard that on April 30, 1998, Quigley, 46, left police custody with a bloody nose, sore ribs and a forehead gash that required stitches to close it. Photos of his battered face were displayed in court.

Schertzer watched while Maodus and other officers inflicted a lengthy attack on Quigley to extort information from him about where he hid his drugs and money, Pearson alleged.

While Quigley was detained, drug squad cops obtained warrants to search both his and his mom's north Toronto home, he said.

When they searched his mother's residence, they discovered she was holding his cash in a bank safety deposit box, Pearson said.

Schertzer and Correia subsequently seized about $54,000 from the safety deposit box, but reported seizing only $22,850, the prosecutor said.

Police alleged "upon hearing the news of his mother's home being searched, Quigley became violent and punched one of the officers, which caused Maodus and another officer to restrain Quigley," thus causing these injuries, said Pearson.

sam.pazzano@sunmedia.ca


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