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Altus Police Officers Arraigned

ALTUS Okla_ The two Altus police officers arrested last week in connection with stolen property, including weapons, were formally charged Thursday.

Russell Hansel is charged with 4 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit a felony and knowingly receiving stolen property. Jose Arce is charged with 4 felonies as well, including three counts of attempting to receive stolen goods.

If convicted, Hansel faces up to 20 years in prison. Arce is looking at 17 ½. Court records show the FBI used an Altus police detective to help with the sting that caught the pair back in October.

Sheriff Roger Levick is one of the first authorities to be alerted to what Hansel and Arce were doing and called on the FBI to get involved. He said having to turn in fellow lawmen was not easy, but he knows he made the right decision.

Levick would not go into details about who told him about Russell Hansel and Jose Arce, but he did say these types of situations don't take him by surprise. Levick said his 24 years in law enforcement has taught him that authorities, just like criminals, are human.

"Some of them are going to be bad apples," Levick said. "Not knowing what their circumstances are or how they look at things, they may decide to go the other way."

When those in an authoritative position commit a crime, public perception can taint the entire department. Sheriff Levick said APD is doing all they can to make sure they're still held in regard in the community.

"You just have to deal with the problem and recognize there is a problem," Levick said.

Levick knows all too well what APD is going through. Just last year, one of his Jackson County jailers was arrested on charges of smuggling tobacco, cell phones, and other banned material to county inmates. Levick said preventing these types of crimes is next to impossible.

"You do all the background checks and try to get to know folks," Levick said. "It's also something that you have to continually monitor and keep an eye on."

Both Hansel and Arce are still in the Jackson County Jail. Hansel's bond is still set at $500,000 and Arce's bond is at $250,000. Hansel and Arce are due back in the Jackson County Courthouse March 27th.


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