Garage owners sentenced in police towing scheme

BALTIMORE (AP) — Two brothers were sentenced to prison for bribing Baltimore police officers to allow them to tow cars from accident scenes.

A federal judge sentenced 32-year-old Hernan Alexis Moreno of Rosedale on Wednesday to 33 months and 29-year-old Edwin Javier Mejia of Middle River to two years. Prosecutors say the repair shop owners paid more than 50 officers to tow cars instead of companies authorized by the city. They were also ordered to pay more than $129,000 in restitution to insurers.

Prosecutors say the two also arranged to further damage vehicles to increase insurance payments and cover their payments to officers. Some officers then falsified accident reports to make it appear the additional damage occurred during the accident. Fifteen officers have been sentenced up to 42 months in the case.