Ex-SF cop sentenced to 41 months in federal prison in corruption case 

click to enlarge Former San Francisco Police Sergeant Ian Furminger was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison Monday for his role in a series of crimes committed as part of a plainclothes unit in the Mission district. - JONAH OWEN LAMB/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Jonah Owen Lamb/The S.F. Examiner
  • Former San Francisco Police Sergeant Ian Furminger was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison Monday for his role in a series of crimes committed as part of a plainclothes unit in the Mission district.
A former sergeant in the San Francisco Police Department was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison Monday for his role in a series of crimes committed as part of a plainclothes unit in the Mission district.

“It’s a day of shame,” said Judge Charles Breyer about the crimes committed by Ian Furminger, which included stealing money and drugs from drug dealers among other corrupt acts.

“We all rely every day that the police will be honest, fair,” Breyer added before reading the sentence in his federal courtroom in The City.

Furminger was found guilty in December on four of seven counts. His co-defendant, former officer Edmond Robles, was found guilty on five counts related to conspiracy to sell drugs, extortion and theft. Furminger was given the maximum sentence possible.

Both men have since resigned from the SFPD.

Furminger and Robles -- along with former officer Reynaldo Vargas, who pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution against Furminger and Robles-- all worked together in 2009 in a plainclothes unit in the Mission.

The trio were part of several undercover teams whose actions at single-room-occupancy hotels in the Mission, Tenderloin and on Sixth Street -- including allegedly searching rooms without warrants -- were captured on video released by the Public Defender's Office in 2011.

In one incident, the three officers dug up $30,000 in a 2009 search of a Newark heroin dealer's house. They then split the cash, allowing Robles to pay for an expensive Belgian road bike and Furminger to buy new skylights, according to testimony.

“This casts a shadow on the hard work the men and women of the SFPD do every day,” Sharon Ferrigno, deputy chief of administration for the SFPD, said in a statement in the courtroom.

Ferrigno added that the case prompted the SFPD to focus energy on oversight when it comes to its undercover operations.

Meanwhile, Furminger maintains his innocence. Outside the courthouse Monday, he said he did not need money at the time so there was no reason to steal from anyone. He also said he was framed and plans to appeal his conviction.

Along with 41 months in federal prison, Furminger is required to pay a $25,000 fine.

Robles has yet to be sentenced.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Bio:
Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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