A former Tulsa police officer was convicted and sentenced to prison
Thursday for robbing Hispanic motorists during traffic stops.
Marvin Blades Jr., 38, faced five counts of robbery with a firearm on allegations that he repeatedly pulled over Hispanic drivers, then either took or ordered them to abandon their wallets, and then stole money from the wallets before returning them.
District Judge Tom Gillert found Blades guilty on all five counts and sentenced him to a split sentence of 35 years in prison, followed by 35 years of probation.
During a nonjury trial on Wednesday, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control Agent Jesse Diaz testified that Blades took $600 from him during a traffic stop last August.
Diaz said he was undercover and portraying an "immigrant worker" who didn't speak English and who had been drinking when he was pulled over by Blades on Aug. 24 in the 2800 block of North Lewis Avenue.
Diaz testified that, as part of the sting operation, he had been provided with a truck and a wallet that contained $1,040, including six $100 bills.
He said he turned off the truck's headlights and drove in front of Blades' patrol car in a successful attempt to get pulled over by Blades.
Diaz said Blades instructed him to leave the wallet in the vehicle and told him to walk to the area of Blades' patrol car.
Blades later leaned into the truck and subsequently gave Diaz the wallet back, telling him he was "lucky this time" and allowed him to leave, Diaz testified.
However, Diaz said he soon discovered that the six $100 bills were missing.
Blades was arrested early the next morning while allegedly in possession of the $100 bills, whose serial numbers had been logged by police.
The other four charges pertain to civilians who say they were robbed by Blades of varying amounts of cash in a period between August 2011 and June 2012.
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