CINCINNATI – A Cincinnati police officer is accused of exposing an undercover colleague to a nightclub owner under investigation and concealing $81,000 in off-duty income, federal officials announced Friday.
It’s all part of a money laundering and drug trafficking investigation into local nightclubs that may have been “tipped off” about raids and possibly protected by “members of the Cincinnati Police Department,” according to court records unsealed Friday.
Quianna Campbell, 39, of Cincinnati, appeared in federal court Friday afternoon on charges of lying to federal agents and filing false income tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, Fox 19 reported.
A joint inquiry by the Cincinnati Police Department and IRS Criminal Investigation began looking at Campbell for criminal offenses related to financial benefits she received as a result of her employment with the department several years ago, according to federal records unsealed Friday.
Campbell has been with the police department since 2008.
Officers Quianna Campbell and Jody Edwards from District 4 honored for their bravery and service to the community. pic.twitter.com/pp9vn5Fjhw
— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) May 11, 2017
She came under scrutiny as part of an investigation into drug trafficking and street gangs by federal agencies and the Cincinnati Police Department, a criminal complaint states. The probe identified nightclubs suspected to be involved in money laundering to support the drug trafficking, reported Fox 19.
Drug proceeds paid entertainers to perform at the nightclubs to generate money, which then appeared to be legitimate income.
Investigators discovered a text message conversation between Campbell and a nightclub owner, court records show.
Campbell allegedly responded to a text from the nightclub owner asking if an individual was an undercover officer.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Campbell confirmed via text message that the person was an undercover officer and discussed with the club owner the possible reasons that the police department might investigate the nightclub.
“They work random nights and go into different bars. If they come back again next weekend I would say yes,” Campbell allegedly said in the Jan. 26, 2015 message, federal records revealed.
When federal agents confronted Campbell about the text conversation, she reportedly denied the accusation, according to the Department of Justice.
Campbell claimed she would never confirm if an individual was a police officer because if they were working in an undercover capacity it would put them in danger, federal authorities wrote in their news release.
The name of the nightclub remained undisclosed.
Moreover, Campbell reportedly failed to claim cash income on her federal tax returns, which she earned working off-duty details, Fox 19 reported.
According to police records, Campbell earned more than $81,000 total working off-duty details in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She did not report an accurate income when filing her taxes.
Court documents show Campbell was released with no bond on her own recognizance following her initial appearance.
A public defender appointed to represent her did not respond to a request for comment.
Campbell is scheduled to appear in court again on March 6 for a preliminary hearing.
A department spokesman released the following statement: “The Cincinnati Police Department is aware of the indictment and arrest of Police Officer Quianna Campbell this afternoon. We will be monitoring the judicial process and provide an update if more information becomes available.”
A retired Cincinnati police captain, Michael Savard, entered pleas last year to federal charges of bribery and filing a false income tax return. He also worked scores of off-duty nightclub details, according to the report.
He faces up to 13 years in prison and a $350,000 fine when he is sentenced. A date has not been set.
He remains free on his own recognizance and has not publicly commented.
Savard retired June 10, 2019 following his arrest a few days earlier.