Joletta Vallejo, a former Wichita police officer, and two others were charged with conspiracy and wire fraud after an internal investigation concluded that they were involved in a scheme to keep the officer from losing her job. Vallejo, and her friends, Patrick Melendrez and Courtney Foster, have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, a woman went to the Patrol North substation in Wichita to report that she had been abducted and beaten by her boyfriend, Larry Edmonds. Joletta Vallejo took the report and opened a case of misdemeanor domestic violence. On the same evening, another man went to the Patrol North to report that Larry Edmonds had robbed him and stolen his car. Vallejo refused to take the report and told him to call the case desk. The police department’s professional standards bureau investigated Vallejo’s handling of the initial reports and concluded that she violated departmental policies and regulations.
The indictment alleges that Vallejo, fearing that she would lose her job, arranged for co-defendant Patrick Melendrez to make a call to the man who tried to report the theft on August 22, 2012. Melendrez offered to pay a total of $300 to the main in hopes that he would change his statements to the police department’s professional standards bureau. Then Melendrez, Vallejo, and co-defendant Courtney Foster drove to an ATM where Vallejo got cash for Melendrez to pay the bribe.
Patrick Melendrez set up a meeting to pay the man to change his statements while Foster drove to the meeting and waited across the street in the car..
According to the federal statutes in this case, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.
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