HOUSTON - Two Houston police officers were arrested Sunday afternoon on allegations they accepted money to help protect acocaine distribution scheme.

A press release from United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson said Emerson Canizales, 26, of Kingwood, and Michael Miceli, 26, of Humble, were taken into custody at the start of their shifts at the Houston Police Department.

Both were named in an indictment charging conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.

The Department of Justice said the officers received a payment of $1,000 for protection they provided to distribute drugs in Houston in late December 2012.

If convicted, each faces no less than 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine. For extortion under color of law, they could also receive up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Canizales and Miceli were scheduled to appear in federal court Monday at 10:00 a.m.

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