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Ex-ACPD sergeant gets house arrest, probation for lying to Feds

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A former Atlantic City police sergeant charged with lying to federal agents was sentenced to six months of house arrest in U.S. District Court in Camden on Wednesday.

Kiyia Harris, 40, of Egg Harbor Township, previously pleaded guilty to lying to law enforcement and structuring for helping to hide more than $120,000 in cash for her then-boyfriend, Donnell Williams.

Williams was sentenced to 84 months in prison Wednesday.

During her house arrest, Harris will be required to wear an ankle monitor similar to the one Williams wore during a probation violation while the two were dating. However, Harris told investigators she never knew he was on house arrest, and that he never stayed overnight at her home during that time.

Harris also must serve five years’ probation.

She can no longer work as a police officer, but is enrolled in school and working on a new vocation, according to her attorney, James Leonard Jr.

“We are very happy with today’s outcome and very thankful that the court gave Ms. Harris a just sentence,” Leonard said.

She could have faced 10 to 15 months in federal prison under the plea agreement.

Department policy does not allow police officers to associate with known criminals, but Harris allegedly denied knowing Williams had a criminal background.

Williams was arrested in September 2006 on federal charges of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

He was sentenced to five years probation on April 10, 2010, the same date he and Harris started dating, according to the federal complaint against her.

Williams was again arrested in December 2014, as part of a drug-trafficking bust involving Pleasantville businessman Toye Tutis. Williams was additionally charged with violating his federal probation.

Harris and Williams dated for five years, and Harris was even granted joint custody of one of Williams’ children on March 19, 2013, following a Family Court hearing in which Harris testified that Williams “has been staying with me in my Egg Harbor Township residence and has changed his residence to my address,” according to the complaint.

“By no one’s measuring stick, including the FBI or the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is this a case involving allegations of official misconduct or corruption in my client’s capacity as an Atlantic City police sergeant,” attorney James Leonard Jr. said at the time. “Rather, what is alleged by the government involves conduct relative to a relationship in her personal life with someone who turned out to be the wrong guy.”

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Monday, April 15, 2024
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