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Former Pima County deputy chief sentenced in RICO case

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A former high-level commander with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department was sentenced in federal court on Friday after pleading guilty in a case involving the illegal use of money seized from crime suspects.

Former Chief Deputy Christopher Radtke was initially charged with six felony counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. But Radtke reached a plea deal with the federal government this year that reduces his charges to three misdemeanor counts of theft of public money. He was sentenced to one year probation and 100 hours of community service, plus a $3,000 fine.

Radtke resigned shortly after his indictment last fall.

He admitted to using a civil asset forfeiture program known as RICO to purchase model airplanes and other items.

Radtkeai??i??s case was one of several abuses of seized money often cited by champions of reforming state civil forfeiture laws.

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