COLUMBUS, Ohio – A former Columbus police detective who acted as an armed bodyguard for a central Ohio drug dealer has been sentenced to nearly six year in prison.
U.S. District Court Judge James Graham Friday sentenced Stevie Billups, 48, of Columbus, to 57 months in prison, fined him $10,000 and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release after he is released from prison, according to a release from the office of District Attorney Carter Stewart.
Billups pleaded guilty on November 22 to one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin.
According to court documents, Billups was paid $5,000 for protecting a drug dealer during the pickup of purported drug money on June 28th and during a heroin deal on July 17th, both FBI stings.
During the second transaction, authorities say Billups was on duty, carrying his service weapon and driving a Columbus Division of Police unmarked detective vehicle.
Stewart’s office said in documents filed with the court that Billups began laundering money for the drug dealer by cashing in chips which helped the dealer avoid transaction reporting requirements at the Hollywood Casino in Columbus.
The Columbus Dispatch reports Billups told the judge his actions were driven by a gambling addiction that ruined his life.
Stewart’s office says the Homeland Security Investigations Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force helped initiate the investigation, which also included the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the FBI’s Central Ohio Public Corruption Task Force which includes agents from the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Stewart commended the Columbus Division of Police and Chief Kim Jacobs for their cooperation. The newspaper says Billups was fired last fall.
A message seeking comment was left for his attorney, Mark Collins, near the close of business Friday.