Former Wichita Police officer sentenced in bribery scheme

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- A former Wichita Police officer, under investigation by the department's Professional Standards Bureau, has been sentenced for bribery.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Wichita says 35-year-old Joletta Vallejo has been sentenced to a year on federal probation after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud. Vallejo was employed by the police department from January of 2006 to August of 2012.

In her plea, Vallejo admitted that in October of 2011, she was approached by two people who had been the victims of aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnaping, aggravated battery and attempted first degree murder. Vallejo did not follow department policy in responding and filing their complaints and came under investigation by the department's Professional Standards Bureau.

After lying to investigators, she learned she would be fired from the department once the investigation was complete. She and co-defendant Patrick Melendrez came up with a scheme to bribe one of the victims into recanting his statement to investigators.

On Aug. 22, 2012, Vallejo created a Google Voice number in the name of Melendrez. They used that number to call and text one of the victims, offering him money in exchange for changing his statement to investigators. The victim worked with police in the bribery investigation.

Co-defendant Patrick Melendrez has already been sentenced to two years of federal probation. A third defendant, Courtney Foster is awaiting trial.

The FBI assisted Wichita Police in the investigation.

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