Former Meridian police officer pleads guilty to federal extortion

Former Meridian police officer pleads guilty to federal extortion
Royric “Roy” Benamon, 27, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III Wednesday. (Source: Madison County SO)

JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - A former Meridian police officer pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in federal district court Wednesday.

Royric “Roy” Benamon, 27, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to one count of federal extortion under color of right, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi.

In April of this year, Benamon pulled over a driver at night in Lauderdale County and requested and received a cash payment from the driver for not giving them a ticket.

Benamon was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 28, 2019, charging him with two counts of extortion under color of right.

“There is almost no greater threat to our society than when public servants, especially law enforcement, betray the trust of the people and abuse their authority for their own personal gain,” U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst Hurst said in a news release. “Bringing corrupt officials to justice is one of the highest priorities of this office, and we will continue to ensure that the public is protected and that criminals answer for their crimes.”

Benamon is scheduled to be sentenced by Jordan on March 3 in Jackson.

Benamon faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hurst thanked the work of special agents with the FBI’s Jackson Division and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, who investigated the case.

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