Former Meridian Police Officer Royric "Roy" Benamon, 27, has been charged in a federal indictment with two counts of extortion, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi announced Thursday.
In April 2020, Benamon "on two separate occasions pulled over drivers in the middle of the night in Lauderdale County, and received from each of them cash payment in exchange for not issuing the driver a ticket," according to a news release which referred to the indictment.
Benamon has resigned, was arrested Wednesday and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson in Jackson Thursday, the news release said.
Meridian Chief Administrative Officer Eddie Kelly provided the following statement on behalf of the city:
“Officer Benamon resigned on April 26 of this year. He was found in violation of civil service rules and regulations and he is currently facing federal charges and will have his day in court. We wish him well.”
In April, four present and former officers of the department were each charged in separate indictments for theft and embezzlement of federal funds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
“Our goal is to have a police force that has integrity and we’re doing all we can to ensure that all officers, all leadership act in accordance with all rules and regulations of the city and civil service,” Kelly said.
Benamon was released on bond and his trial has been set for Oct. 5, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.