A former undercover San Francisco police officer was sentenced to 39 months in federal prison Wednesday for his involvement in a corruption scandal led by Ian Furminger — the former police sergeant known for sending bigoted text messages to other officers.
Edmond Robles received two months less than the maximum sentence from Judge Charles Breyer for “widespread and consistent” illegal activities.
A federal court in December found Robles guilty on five counts related to conspiracy to sell drugs, extortion and theft.
“There is no justification for their illegal conduct,” Breyer said, referring to the time Robles and former officer Reynaldo Vargas spent stealing money and drugs from dealers under the leadership of Furminger. “He had a lousy partner and a terrible boss.”
Robles was part of an undercover narcotics team caught on surveillance video searching rooms without warrants at a single-room-occupancy hotel in 2009, which unveiled a slew of police wrongdoings at other residential hotels.
Unlike Furminger, who maintains his innocence despite being found guilty and sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, Robles seemed remorseful and said he fully understood the judgement, saying “it is like they say what it is.”
After the judge denied a motion for a new trial and commenced with the sentencing, Robles’ defense attorney Anthony Brass made what the prosecution and judge referred to as a compelling and heartfelt case for the least possible sentence.
There was only one sustained complaint against Robles in the 22 years he was an officer, Brass said. But as a member of the plainclothes narcotics unit for eight consistent years, Robles found himself making countless arrests and working night shifts with little acknowledgement from the community or police force, Brass said on behalf of his client.
“It was a dark road and it was very confusing to me what was going on for most of the time,” Robles told the court.
But the judge disagreed with his argument, saying Robles had in fact engaged in illegal activity.
Robles is set to surrender to authorities May 1 and has been fined $25,000. After his term, he will serve 120 hours of community service and three years probation.