This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
Cops surely come across a lot of interesting stuff during the course of their investigations, but four Peel-region police officers allegedly couldn’t resist stealing a Tony Montana statue while busting an accused drug dealer.
According to the Brampton Guardian, Sergeant Manuel Pinheiro and constables Richard Rerrie, Damian Savino, and Mihai Muresan are facing theft under $5,000 [$3,889], obstructing police, and perjury, after allegedly stealing the Scarface statue, cash, and jewelry from Lowell Somerville.
Somerville, who was facing heroin, cocaine, and MDMA-related trafficking and possession charges told a judge the officers stole from him. The charges against him were stayed after Justice Jennifer Woollcombe reviewed video footage of the alleged theft going down.
In her decision to stay the charges last year, Woollcombe reportedly described the statue (which does sound pretty cool) as “modeled on Montana’s character, at the end of the movie Scarface, at the point at which he utters the phrase, "say hello to my little friend," in reference to the gun that he is carrying.”
Somerville claimed that after he was released from custody, he checked on his storage unit, which cops had raided, and saw that the statue was gone. Security footage also showed “the shape of the object that was carried out of the facility by Rerrie appears very similar to the shape of the statue of Tony Montana,” according to Woollcombe’s ruling. She didn’t buy Constable Rerrie’s rebuttal that they took a free heater, not the statue.
“It seemed most likely that one of them found the statue and that a number of them recognized the statue as Tony Montana, a renowned drug dealer in a movie that they were familiar with,” Woollcombe said. “The irony of finding a statue of a drug dealer in a storage unit of a person they had just arrested for drug dealing is obvious.”
She also slammed the cops for “deceiving the court about what they’d done.”
Following the ruling, Peel police launched an internal probe and have now charged the officers. They are suspended with pay.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.