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Feds: Cincinnati officers took drug money as payment for off-duty details

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Posted at 5:39 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 20:27:11-04

Cincinnati officers knowingly took off-duty details at local nightclubs that were used to launder money from drug sales, accepting payment in cash from organizers they nicknamed “dope boys” and concealing the amount they made, according to an indictment filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

The only officer named in the complaint is Diondre Winstead, a 15-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department accused of falsifying tax documents to hide the money earned from these off-duty shifts.

From 2015-2017, Winstead concealed $58,165 in money from off-duty details from the IRS.

“Winstead stated he began working details at area nightclubs approximately 10 years ago and that these nightclubs host performers and concerts that are paid for and promoted by ‘dope boys’ so they could clean their drug money through the nightclub,” an IRS investigator wrote in the complaint.

The complaint continues: “The ‘dope boys’ pay for all the expenses including the cost for officers to be there. Winstead stated the ‘dope boys’ paid for the expenses in cash which came from drug sales.”

The document claims multiple officers, not just Winstead, took money from these drug traffickers at money-laundering businesses and even warned them when United States Treasury investigators and other Cincinnati officers began an investigation into the clubs.

“During the course of this investigation, (investigators have) also learned that it appears members of the Cincinnati Police Department working off-duty details were aware of money laundering activities ongoing in the nightclub and had reason to believe the cash being paid to them was derived from narcotics sales,” the complaint reads.

A Cincinnati Police Department spokesperson on Friday declined to comment on Winstead's arrest or the allegations against him.