Eleven police officers were charged with taking payoffs to protect FBI agents they thought were drug dealers and money launderers. Mayor Coleman Young's niece was charged with helping set up the arrangement.

The officers, eight from Detroit, two from Highland Park and one from Royal Oak Township, escorted shipments of drugs and money in unmarked Detroit police cruisers, said Hal Helterhoff, FBI agent in charge in Detroit.Each officer was paid between $2,000 and $3,000 for each shipment, the criminal complaint said.

Five civilians also were charged in the scheme, including Young's niece, Cathy Volsan-Curry. She allegedly introduced undercover FBI agents to people who provided police protection.

The officers were charged under federal law with illegally providing protection for narcotics trafficking. Volsan-Curry and other civilians were charged with accepting money for protecting narcotics trafficking.