Two police chiefs pleaded not guilty after being arrested for allegedly devising a plan to break into the home of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's surrogate.
Martins Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter and Bridgeport Police Chief Chad Dojack were charged with several felonies on Friday, the Associated Press reports. Carpenter, 32, was charged with two counts of burglary, one count of receiving stolen property, one count of theft in office, one count of unauthorized use of property or services and one count of tampering with evidence.
Dojack, 30, was charged with two counts of complicity to burglary and one count of complicity to receiving stolen property. Although Dojack could face up to 14.5 years in prison if convicted on all charges, Carpenter could face up to 21.5 years in jail.
The two cops were booked into the Belmont County, Ohio jail at approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. The two men — who posted bond shortly after their arrests and were released — allegedly planned to dig up information on the woman, named Michelle Ross, who carried the couple's babies to sell to tabloid photographers.
"It is extremely troubling that the persons sworn to uphold the law and protect the public are now charged with violating those oaths," special prosecutor T. Shawn Hervey said, adding that it was troubling that society "is so celebrity crazed that a market exists and tens of thousands of dollars are exchanged for pictures and stories of celebrity scandal."
The alleged burglary took place in mid-May in the eastern Ohio town of Martins Ferry, and the allegations against Carpenter and DoJack surfaced about a week later. Ross is no longer staying in the town, officials told the Associated Press.
"Matthew and Sarah Jessica have complete faith in the legal system," Broderick's publicist said in June when the investigation began. "But because it's a criminal investigation, we will not be making any more comment. What I can say is the entire family looks forward to the healthy delivery of their daughters later on this summer."
Parker and Broderick welcomed twin girls — named Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick and Tabitha Hodge Broderick — via the surrogate on June 22.
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