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Former police chief faces federal extortion term

by By JOE MANDAK ssociated Press on May 16, 2013 8:14 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A former Washington County police chief faces prison for offering paid protection to undercover agents he thought were dealing drugs and taking money to buy them stun guns only lawfully used by police.

Donald Solomon, the ex-chief of East Washington Borough, pleaded guilty in January to extorting money in exchange for protecting fake drug transactions staged by the FBI. Authorities say he also made threats against a politician and a former girlfriend, the latter resulting in a drive-by shooting that damaged a car.

U. S. Attorney David Hickton has called Solomon's actions “stark and brazen criminal conduct” that violated both laws and ethics.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for more than 10 years in prison, though Solomon's attorney is expected to argue for leniency when he's sentenced Thursday by a federal judge in Pittsburgh.

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