Metro-East tow truck driver gets jail time after failing FBI corruption 'test'

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 9:04 PM

(KMOV.com) -- An East St. Louis tow truck driver indicted on felony charges, including theft of government property and making false statements to the FBI, was sentenced to prison on Friday.

Eddie Johnson, 47, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, as well as three years of court supervision. He was also ordered to repay the FBI more than $6,000 in investigative costs.

According to a Department of Justice statement, the FBI conducted an "integrity test" in February 2011, where federal agents placed diamond earrings, a purse, a debit card, and other valuables in a vehicle which appeared to be stolen and abandoned.

After responding to a call to tow the vehicle, the indictment alleges that Johnson pocketed the diamond earrings and other valuables. The statement says Johnson then lied to the FBI and a federal grand jury in the investigation of the theft.

As part of the test, FBI agents had wired the vehicle with audio and video surveillance devices.

Johnson could have received up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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