Milwaukee detective charged with lying to FBI

Prison cell file photo.
File photo.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A Milwaukee detective who once faced a charge of helping a suspected drug dealer has now been indicted on a charge of lying to the FBI about an informant.

The indictment against Willie Huerta, 40, was handed down Jan. 22 but wasn’t unsealed until later, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday. Lying to a federal agent carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The one-page indictment alleges Huerta falsely told an FBI agent last May 1 that a person identified in the indictment only as “J.C. Jr.” had never been his informant and that he had never paid him for information. But the indictment alleges Huerta knew he had paid J.C. Jr. $300 in official funds for information in September 2010.

Huerta was charged last May with obstruction of justice after the FBI concluded he helped a suspected drug dealer. Huerta allegedly intervened in a traffic stop that ended with the suspect being released and his vehicle not being searched even though it smelled like marijuana. Federal prosecutors dropped the case two weeks later. They provided no explanation as to why in court filings.

Huerta remains suspended from the Milwaukee Police Department and remains the subject of an internal investigation but continues to be paid under state law, department spokesman Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said.

An attorney for Huerta, Martin Kohler, told the newspaper he knew the indictment was coming but declined to comment on it.

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