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Medicinal Marijuana, a product having the properties of a medicine made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis plant usually smoked or eaten to induce euphoria or to relieve Medicial  Marijunapain. The effects of Medicinal Marijuana vary with its strength and dosage and with the state of mind of the user. Typically, small doses result in a feeling of well-being. The intoxication lasts two to three hours, but accompanying effects on motor control last much longer. GOVERNMENT WARNING: Marijuana use can cause complex thoughts leading to better ideas of how to live your life. Caution, free thinking has been routinely reported with continued use. ' Below A weekly look at Law enforcement ' lack or abuse of it' from the good old USA as supplied by our friends at stopthedrugwar.org

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 27th 2011

 

In Piscataway, New Jersey, a Piscataway police officer was arrested April 25 on charges he stole cocaine while working as the department's evidence officer. Albert Annuzzi, 47, is charged with one count each of official misconduct-theft by unlawful taking and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors said he took the cocaine for personal use. They did not announce his arrest until last week.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, one Wake County sheriff's deputy has been arrested and another is under investigation for the theft of drugs and cash from the department. Deputy Balinda Manley, 34, was fired after her arrest last month when she was charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana. She went down after a routine audit showed that she signed out drugs and $6,435 in cash last June, but didn't return it. When prosecuted requested the evidence for trial, she returned drugs, and then, five days later, what she said was the cash. But when investigators opened the package, they found a pile of blank paper sandwiched between two $100 bills. Investigators found a deposit slip for $1,800 in Manley's care and one for $940 in the car of a second deputy, Chad Hines. He is now under investigation.

In Duanesburg, New York, a University at Albany police investigator was arrested May 16 along with her husband after a search of their property turned up 100 marijuana plants growing in a pole barn. Wendy Knoebel, 48, and her husband face a federal charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. The pair has been released on bail.

In San Leandro, California, a San Leandro Police narcotics officer was arrested last Friday on charges he furnished marijuana to a confidential informant for sale. Detective Jason Fredriksson, 38, allegedly provided more than a pound of pot to the snitch, who planned to sell it, police said. He is also the subject of an internal investigation for having an "improper relationship" with the snitch. He has been on the San Leandro force for nine years, and most recently has been a detective in the vice/narcotics unit and a member of the 14-person SWAT team.

In Phoenix, a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy and two detention officers were arrested Tuesday on drug and human trafficking charges. Deputy Ruben Navarette and detention officers Marcella Hernandez and Sylvia Najera face felony charges. Seven other sheriff’s employees were being investigated for their possible involvement. The three arrested are accused of being part of a Phoenix-based international drug smuggling ring. Hernandez told authorities she is eight months pregnant with the child of the ring's leader, a member of the Sinaloa Cartel. Navarette admitted to passing information about the sheriff’s crime-prevention operations to the group. The deputy also was accused of being part of a separate human trafficking ring that smuggled illegal immigrants from Arizona to California. Deputies found two illegal immigrants when they searched his home. He is also alleged to be an active member of the drug smuggling ring that brought loads of heroin from Mexico to Phoenix. Ten pounds of heroin and nearly $200,000 in cash, weapons, vehicles and stolen property were seized during searches. Hernandez, 28, was found with $16,000 cash when she was arrested Tuesday after arriving for work. She is being held on charges that include transporting drugs and money laundering. Najera is charged with money laundering and controlling a criminal enterprise.

In San Antonio, a former Bexar County sheriff's deputy was sentenced May 19 to six years in prison for trying to smuggle heroin to inmates using barbacoa tacos. Robert Falcon, 48, went down after another deputy found a note in a jail cell with Falcon's address on it that spelled out a smuggling strategy. A sting was set up in which $50 in marked bills, the taco ingredients and 4 grams of fake heroin were left on his doorstep. The fake drugs were recovered from his lunch bag when he arrived at work, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty in November to bringing drugs into a correctional facility, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Falcon is on suicide watch after he vowed to kill himself if not granted probation.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 17th
2010

A narc who admits he's corrupt, a narc accused of serial theft, an auxiliary cop busted for peddling pills, and a deputy who thought he was protecting dealers all made the roll of dishonor this week.

In Philadelphia, a Philadelphia narcotics officer has been jerked off the streets after being accused for the third time in as many years of stealing money from people he accosted. Officer Joseph Sulpizio, a member of the Strike Force North dope squad, is now accused of detaining a man, driving him to a remote location, and then stealing $500 from him before letting him go. He is scheduled to go before a Police Board of Inquiry next month. At least two high-ranking narcotics supervisors have repeatedly complained to the Internal Affairs Bureau that Sulpizio might be a rip-off artist. If internal affairs can't figure it out, the neighborhood where he patrols already knows the score. "Everybody in the neighborhood knows he's stealing," one resident said.

In New Lexington, Ohio, a Somerset police auxiliary officer was arrested December 7 for peddling Oxycontin. Auxiliary officer Joseph Daley, 33, was arrested at his home after an investigation that began in February. Daley sold to an undercover officer and then was arrested. He is charged with one count of aggravating drug trafficking with a gun specification. He was being held on a $50,000 bond in the Muskingum County Jail at last report. Oh, and he's been fired from his auxiliary officer gig.

In Houston, a former Harris County sheriff's deputy was indicted by a federal grand jury last week on charges he took $1,000 in bribes to help protect what he thought were Ecstasy shipments. George Ellington, Jr., 38, is charged with two counts of extortion under color of official right, two counts of aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute Ecstasy, and two counts of carrying or possessing a Glock .40 caliber pistol to further a drug trafficking crime. He was originally arrested October, but the federal grand jury has updated the charges. He is out on $50,000 bond.

In Providence, Rhode Island, a Providence narcotics officer pleaded guilty December 9 to peddling cocaine and assisting a "large-scale cocaine distribution ring" led by one of his confidential informants.  Detective Joseph Colanduono, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to deliver drugs, larceny, and harboring a criminal. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Colanduona was one of four Providence police officers and at least 25 others charged in a joint investigation of the ring by the Rhode Island State Police and the FBI. He worked on a DEA task force until he was arrested.

 

 

If we can't keep drugs out of the prisons, how can we keep them out of the country?
Stop the Drug War
November 16th 2010

 

Cops shouldn't mess with meth, narcs shouldn't deal dope, and prison guards shouldn't smuggle contraband. We already knew that, but some law enforcement officers are finding out the hard way.

In Roanoke, Virginia, a former Pulaski and Radford police officer was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison for peddling methamphetamine from his marked patrol car. Christopher Bond, 33, smoked meth with dealers in his patrol car and while wearing his uniform and gun, prosecutors said. Bond said he developed a meth habit, but objected to being called a drug dealer. He said he only sold meth three or four times. Bond went down after one of his dealers got busted and snitched him out.
stop the drug war
In Wailuku, Hawaii, a former Maui police officer was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for crimes associated with her months-long campaign to deceive her coworkers that she was suffering from cancer when she was actually strung out on methamphetamine. Among them were forgery and stealing dope from the evidence room. Fellow police officers donated paid leave and cash to former officer Allison Moore, who forged doctors' notes saying she was undergoing cancer treatment. She pleaded no contest to seven counts of second-degree forgery, three counts of second-degree theft and seven misdemeanor charges of tampering with evidence from police vice evidence lockers. The prosecution reduced an attempted first-degree theft charge to second-degree theft and dismissed seven counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and one charge of prohibited fixing of tickets. She must also pay restitution.If we can't keep drugs out of the prisons, how can we keep them out of the country?

In Leesville, Louisiana, a Leesville narcotics officer was arrested October 27 by FBI agents and charged with one felony count of distribution of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. Narcotics Investigator Charlie Lopez was arrested while on duty at the Leesville Police Station. FBI agents also served two search warrants for offices at the police station. No further information is available.

In Gilroy, California, a state prison guard was arrested October 27 in a sting in which he allegedly agreed to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the prison in exchange for cash. Guard Sergio Noguera, 38, was arrested after showing up for a meeting in Gilroy with undercover detectives pretending to be interested in smuggling contraband into Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledod, where Noguera worked. He agreed to smuggle in an ounce of meth, an ounce of heroin, three ounces of pot, and four cell phones in return for $2,500. Noguera had been under suspicion since April, when an inmate reported he was bringing in drugs and phones. At last report, he was being held on $130,000 bond on various drug counts.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 28th
2010

 

A Kentucky sheriff gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, a Texas deputy gets busted for protecting a drug dealer, two Southern California cops get nailed for doing robberies disguised as drug busts, and a small-town Wisconsin cop lets her crack habit get the best of her.

In Carlisle, Kentucky, the Nicholas County sheriff was indicted October 18 for stealing $43,000 in cash from the department's drug asset forfeiture account. Sheriff Leonard "Dick" Garnett was indicted by a Nicholas County grand jury on charges of unlawful taking of more than $300 and abuse of public trust of more than $10,000. He is also accused of spending more than $10,000 in federal asset forfeiture funds for his own personal use. Garnett, who used some of the money to make car payments on a vehicle not owned by the county and some to buy exercise equipment, went down after a state auditor checked the county's books. He is out of jail and running unopposed for reelection as sheriff next week.

In Houston, a Harris County sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday for allegedly accepting bribes to access confidential law enforcement data bases and providing protection for an ecstasy dealer. Deputy George Wesley Ellington, 38, is accused of twice receiving $500 for accessing the data bases and providing protection for a person he believed to be possessing and transporting ecstasy. He is looking at up to 20 years of prison on the two counts.

In Los Angeles, two former Southern California police officers were convicted Wednesday of participating in a robbery ring that disguised home invasions as drug raids. Brothers William and Joseph Ferguson, the former an ex-LAPD officer and the latter an ex-Long Beach officer, were convicted of various charges, including conspiracy to deprive people of their rights under color of law and conspiracy to possess marijuana and cocaine. William Ferguson was convicted on 13 counts and acquitted on five more, while his brother was convicted on three counts. They were part of a ring that conducted about 40 robberies from 1999 to 2001 in which members would steal cash and drugs, then sell the drugs on the street. Fifteen people have pleaded guilty in the investigation, including the gang's ringleader, former LAPD officer Ruben Palomares, who worked with William Ferguson at the scandal-plagued Rampart Division until both were fired in 2003.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a former Platteville police officer pleaded guilty October 20 to maintaining a drug house. Michelle Salentine, 29, was arrested in April over allegations she was using drugs while in uniform and again in October as she and her brother sat and argued in a parked car. In that bust, police found heroin, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a kit to defeat drug tests. Salentine admitted being strung out on crack and allowing about a pound of cocaine to be stored at her home. She's looking at up to 20 years in federal prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 8th
2010

 

Whew! Sex, drugs, strippers, and a federal judge, oh, my! Plus a murder-plotting meth-head trooper, another crooked border inspector, more Philly cops trying to rip off drug dealers, and an Oklahoma narc helping send guns down Mexico way.

We don't typically mention cases of drug use (or paying for sex) in this feature, but when it's a federal judge cavorting like a degenerate rock star, we think it's worth noting. In between coke-fueled trysts, this guy was hearing drug cases. That said, let's get to it:

In Atlanta, a federal judge was arrested last Friday on charges he bought and used drugs with an Atlanta stripper with whom he was having a sexual relationship. Senior US District Judge Jack Camp Jr., 67, is accused of buying and using cocaine, marijuana, hydrocodone, and roxydocone as he partied with the exotic dancer. When FBI agents arrested him, they found two illegal firearms and a bag containing blue pills and a white powder in his car. He has been released on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Camp went down because the stripper was also an FBI snitch who became cooperative with the feds after a drug conviction. The pair met on multiple occasions to get high and get down, with Camp typically (although not always) providing the money and the stripper providing the sex and drugs. She recorded Camp talking about the drug deals.

In San Diego, a border inspector was arrested last Thursday for allegedly taking bribes to allow illegal immigrants and nearly five tons of pot to make it through the San Ysidro and Otay Mesas border crossings. US Customs and Border Patrol Officer Lorne Leslie Jones is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, bribery, and immigrant smuggling. He faces 10 years on the first count and five years each on the latter two.

In Philadelphia, two Philadelphia police officers were arrested Monday for robbing a drug dealer, except, unfortunately for them, the drug dealer was actually an undercover officer working a sting. Officers Sean Alivera, 31, and Christopher Luciano, 23, are charged with robbery, false imprisonment, and related charges. At least five Philadelphia officers have been charged or convicted of trying to rip off drug dealers in the past year.

In Auburn, California, a former California Highway Patrol officer pleaded no contest Monday to methamphetamine and attempted murder charges. Ruben Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, had been arrested in May after buying meth from an informant and was arrested again in June after trying to hire someone to kill the snitch. In a plea deal, he copped to attempted murder, driving under the influence of meth, and meth possession while carrying a gun. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

In Oklahoma City, a former state narcotics officer pleaded guilty September 29 to federal charges in a gun-running ring where some of the weapons ended up in Mexico. Former Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Agent Francisco Javier Reyes admitted taking money to buy "military-type" rifles in Oklahoma for a Mexican national and paying two friends to purchase rifles for him. He pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and transferring firearms to an out-of-state resident. Each crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He's out on bail awaiting sentencing.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 2nd
2010

 

In Benton, Illinois, the Gallatin County sheriff was convicted September 23 of marijuana trafficking and plotting to kill two people who planned to testify against him. Sheriff Raymond Martin was convicted on 15 counts in the drug trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme. Ten of them carry possible life sentences. According to the DEA, Martin supplied a drug dealer with pot, threatened the dealer with death after he said he wanted out, and told him he could make up crimes against him. The dealer went to the feds, and Martin went down. While Martin was in jail awaiting trial, he conspired with his wife and son to offer two cellmates $17,000 to kill the witnesses. That plot unraveled when one of the would-be hit men got cold feet and went to the authorities. Martin had refused to resign from his job, forcing the county to continue to pay him his $40,000 annual salary even while in jail. Now, the county can fire him. It did so Tuesday.

In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer was convicted Monday on cocaine trafficking and firearms charges for escorting loads of what he thought was cocaine through the city. Officer Orlando Jesus Hale, 27, was found guilty of of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and using a firearm in furtherance of that drug offense. Hale and fellow Laredo police officer Pedro Martinez III were snagged in an FBI sting after they each agreed to transport 20 kilos of fake cocaine through the city, then went to San Antonio, where they were each paid $1,000. Martinez copped a plea earlier and testified against Hale. Hale is looking at a mandatory minimum 10-year federal prison sentence on the coke charge and a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for the gun charge. Sentencing is set for January 10.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a DEA agent was found liable for damages Friday for beating a motorist in a 2003 road rage incident. DEA Agent Timothy McCue was found liable for attacking motorist Barron Bowling, leaving him with severe brain damage and post-traumatic stress. US District Judge Julie Robinson ruled that McCue inflicted assault, battery, and excessive force in what she called "road rage fueled by egos and unwarranted self-righteousness."  McCue must pay damages to the tune of $833,250. Robinson also chided Wyandotte County police and prosecutors for falsely blaming Bowling for the minor collision that precipitated the incident and charging him with leaving the scene of an accident for moving his car off the roadway in a bid to protect the DEA agent. Wyandotte County earlier agreed to pay $425,000 to Bowling for its misbehavior.

In Washington, DC, a DC Metro police officer was indicted last week on charges she protected her drug-dealing boyfriend as he packaged large amounts of crack cocaine and heroin at the couple's home in District Heights. Officer Tamara McGuire faces drug trafficking conspiracy charges. She was one of 12 people arrested in raids aimed at stopping what prosecutors described as a major crack and heroin trafficking ring in the District. She has been on administrative leave since May, and the department said last week it was considering suspending her without pay.

In San Diego, a Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested September 23for taking bribes to allow vehicles he thought were smuggling drugs to pass unimpeded through his entry lane at the Calexico border crossing. Oscar Ortiz Martinez, 30, is charged with bribery and conspiracy to smuggle drugs. Ortiz Martinez took $22,000 in bribes from a former coworker and was arrested on his way to pick up what he thought was another $30,000 payment. But the former coworker was getting the money from an undercover narc posing as a drug dealer. The co-worker has also been arrested.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 16th 2010

 

In Philadelphia, three Philadelphia police officers were charged Tuesday with plotting to rip off 300 grams of heroin from a drug dealer and then sell it to another drug dealer. The problem was that the intended recipient was actually an undercover DEA agent. Officers Robert Snyder, 30; Mark Williams, 27; and James Venziale, 32, are charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and related counts. Four other people, including Snyder's wife Christal and three alleged drug dealers are also charged. The plot began when Venziale met with a drug dealer in April and discussed a rip-off plan in which police would stage a vehicle stop to make it seem the drugs were being seized by law enforcement. The actual rip-off went down on May 14, when Williams and Venziale pulled over a vehicle occupied by the plotting drug dealer and an undercover agent. They pretended to arrest the drug dealer, then let the undercover agent drive off with the heroin. Later, they met up with the dealer, who paid them $6,000 for their work, as well as paying Christal Synder an unknown sum.

In Springfield, Tennessee, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was arrested Monday night as he delivered illegal prescription drugs to a female acquaintance. Trooper Cesar Maldonado, 36, faces one felony count of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. He was caught delivering a quantity of Dilaudid to a woman waiting at the Springfield Inn. He is now on administrative leave and faces termination. He made $12,500 bond Tuesday morning.

In Morganton, North Carolina, a Caldwell County probation officer was arrested July 8 after being caught illegally delivering prescription pills. James Franklin, 44, is charged with felony trafficking in drugs, opiates by possession. He went down after a five-week investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation that ended with him delivering 120 hydrocodone tablets to an undercover officer. Bail was set at $100,000.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a Pennsylvania parole officer was charged July 8 with trying to extort a parolee into stealing cash from a drug dealer's home and giving him the money. Paul Dschuhan, 44, is also accused of threatening to kill the parolee if he told authorities about the plot. Dschuhan is also a former state trooper. He faces federal charges.

In Williamsburg, Kentucky, a former Williamsburg police officer pleaded guilty July 8 to being a participant in a drug ring that peddled 10,000 Oxycontin tablets and burglarizing a pharmacy to score more. Kenneth Nighbert, 32, copped to a federal conspiracy charge and now faces up to 20 years in prison. He admitted to using his police cruiser to go to a pharmacy in February 2006, removing electrical meters in a bid to disable the alarm system, helping another man hook a chain to his SUV to pull the doors out of the pharmacy, and then stealing drugs. Nighbert resigned from the force in April 2006 after running into a woman's car in his cruiser while under the influence of drugs. He was arrested in Laurel County in May 2007 carrying a police badge, a loaded pistol, Oxycontin tablets, and $32,000 in cash, which he admitted he planned to use to pay drug debts and buy more pills. He's already done state jail time for that arrest.

In Roanoke, Virginia, a former Pulaski and Radford police officer pleaded guilty July 8 to federal charges he sold and used methamphetamine in his patrol car while in uniform and on duty. Christopher Bond, 32, copped to conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Federal prosecutors alleged that Bond smoked meth in his patrol car with other users and at the homes of other users while in uniform, and that he bought large quantities of meth with other users. He faces a mandatory minimum five-year sentence and up to 40 years. He's free on $100,000 bond until his October 4 sentencing date.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 6th 2010

 

A Virginia sheriff is under investigation for dipping into asset forfeiture funds, a Dallas-area narc's credibility is under question, a small-town Missouri cop gets caught buying coke to replace coke he pilfered, and, of course, two more jail or prison guards get busted.

In Chesapeake, Virginia, the Middlesex County sheriff is under investigation for embezzlement. Last week, investigators filed search warrants for two bank accounts, one a personal account for Sheriff Guy Abbott; the other, the sheriff's asset forfeiture account. Investigators said they found evidence to support allegations of embezzlement and misuse of county and state funds. No charges have yet been filed.

In Garland, Texas, a Dallas County judge last Friday threw out two drug indictments after coworkers challenged the credibility of former Garland narcotics Detective Dennis Morrow. Two co-workers and a police supervisor testified that Morrow lied in police reports to strengthen his cases and that the lies were part of a pattern of behavior by Morrow.

In Winfield, Missouri, a Winfield police officer fired last month was charged June 17 with evidence tampering and theft of evidence for stealing cocaine and marijuana from the department's evidence room. Former officer Bud Chrum's career unraveled last month when he and his brother were arrested as they attempted to buy cocaine to replace some of what Chrum had stolen from the department. During the arrest, police seized two evidence envelopes from Chrum's vehicle. According to court documents, the evidence bags were supposed to contain a black pipe and marijuana and cocaine. At the police chief's request, the Missouri Highway Patrol is now investigating departmental evidence-handling policies and procedures.

In Atlanta, a Fulton county sheriff's deputy was arrested Wednesday for allegedly bringing marijuana into the Fulton County Jail to sell to inmates. Deputy Raheim Lowery, 30, was arrested when caught with pot as he arrived for work on the night shift. He is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and crossing the guard lines of a jail with prohibited items. He is now an inmate in the jail and will be fired Friday, the sheriff's office said. He was a probationary employee hired in December.

In La Tuna, Texas, a guard at the Federal Corrections Institution there was arrested June 16, accused of smuggling heroin into the facility. Guard Randy Smith, 28, went down in a sting after agreeing to smuggle an ounce of smack into the prison in exchange for $5,000. He was arrested after taking money and heroin from an undercover federal agent.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 6th 2010

 

This week we have three cops whose drug habits got them into trouble. It is Chronicle policy not to include police officers whose only offense is drug possession in this column. Dope-snorting cops may be hypocrites, but that doesn't make them corrupt. But in all three cases below, officers who used drugs also did something crooked.

In Troy, Missouri, a Winfield police officer was arrested May 25 on suspicion of arranging to purchase cocaine. Officer Bud Chrum went down after investigators with the Lincoln County Narcotics Enforcement Team received information that Chrum and his brother, Tony, were trying to score in Winfield to replace two grams of cocaine Bud Chrum had taken from the Winfield Police evidence room. The narcs busted Tony after he made a purchase, then convinced him to snitch out his own brother, which he did. Officer Chrum was arrested when he arrived in uniform to meet his brother to pick up the coke. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute, deliver or manufacture a controlled substance, and was being held on $25,000 bond at last report.

In Mansfield, Louisiana, a Mansfield police officer was arrested May 25 after allegedly buying cocaine from an undercover officer. Officer Todd Brewer, 31, is charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute it, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, malfeasance in office and possessing a gun during a drug transaction. Brewer went down after the local drug task force got reports he was involved in the buying and selling of drugs. He was busted after buying 10 grams -- possibly a sign of a really bad coke habit, but more likely a sellable quantity.

In Williamsburg, Kentucky, a former Williamsburg police officer will plead guilty to conspiring to sell drugs. Kenneth Nighbert's attorney filed a motion last Friday to set a plea hearing date. Nighbert and six others were indicted by a federal grand jury with conspiring to sell pain pills from December 2005 to May 2007. Nighbert was a police officer during part of that time -- until he was arrested on state charges of trafficking in Oxycontin. He did jail time for that already. The federal indictment also alleged that Nighbert burglarized a pharmacy while he was an officer in order to get more pain pills. Nighbert is the son of former state Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 30th 2010

 

A New York cop heads to prison for dealing dope and groping women, a pair of Texas cops land in hot water, and California seems to have something of a problem with its drug lab techs.

In Buffalo, New York, a former Niagara Falls police officer pleaded guilty April 22 to three federal charges, bringing his career as a dope dealer in uniform to an end. Former Officer Ryan Warme, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine, possession of a weapon during the commission of a drug offense, and deprivation of civil rights. Prosecutors described Warme as a cocaine dealer who bought and sold drugs while at work and in uniform. They also said he had provided descriptions of undercover cars to drug dealers and warned one dealer of an impending raid, allowing him to elude arrest. The civil rights charge was for groping a woman he had detained. He faces mandatory minimum five-year sentences on both the cocaine and the gun charge, and one year on the civil rights count.

In Pasadena, Texas, two Pasadena police officers were indicted Thursday for their behavior during drug investigations. Officer Raymond Garivey, 39, was indicted on two counts of filing a false police report for lying to a Harris County prosecutor about the existence of a witness in case. Officer David Deal, 35, was indicted on two 2nd degree felony counts of tampering with a government record for written statements he made in official documents about a suspect he arrested with three pounds of marijuana. Both men have been suspended.

In Ripon, California, drugs have turned up missing from the Central Valley Crime Lab and thousands of drug cases could be in jeopardy. One lab employee is under investigation and has been suspended in a series of cases where methamphetamine has gone missing, but no arrests have yet been made. The lab did testing for five Central Valley counties, and public defenders in those counties are preparing to challenge current prosecutions and review past convictions. This is the second crime lab scandal in California in recent weeks; similar problems in San Francisco have resulted in hundreds of cases being dismissed, and that number could rise.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 27th 2010

 

An Atlanta cop gets nailed, a Tarheel State two-fer and the de rigeuer dope-smuggling jail guard make the hall of shame this week.

In Atlanta, an Atlanta police officer was arrested Wednesday for participating in multiple cocaine sales and protecting what he thought were cocaine deals, but were actually FBI stings. Officer Lucius Solomon, 31, faces seven drug and weapons counts, including conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and possessing a weapon while participating in drug sales. He's facing up to 65 years in prison.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a former Burgaw police officer was sentenced last Friday to 10 years and one month in federal prison after being convicted in December of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Michael Carl Stevenson, 46, went down after traveling to Richmond County to buy a half kilo of cocaine with a convicted drug dealer and the dealer's uncle. All three were arrested during a controlled buy. Prosecutors said Stevenson had taken three Narco test kits from the department to test the drugs and that he had run the license plate of the other vehicle they met at the buy. Testimony during trial also revealed that Stevenson had stored drugs for the convicted dealer at his home and profited from it.

In Durham, North Carolina, a former Durham police officer pleaded guilty in federal court March 18 to a single weapons charge in a plea agreement that saw a drug distribution charge dropped. Sherrod Peace, 35, copped to possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime in return for the dismissal of a charge of distributing less than five grams of crack cocaine. Peace was indicted in January after Durham police received a complaint in October 2009 and investigated further, with help from the DEA. He was accused of selling crack and carrying a firearm while doing so. He is out on bond until he is sentenced in August.

In Chicago, a Cook County Jail guard was arrested March 16 after being caught going to work with marijuana in his boot and the trunk of his car. Jail guard Kenneth Crawford, 33, went down after drug dogs sniffed out the weed, and allegedly struggled with investigators as they tried to take him into custody. He is now charged with possession of contraband in a penal institution, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, official misconduct, resisting arrest and battery to a police officer.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 22nd 2010

 

It''s prison guards gone wild this week, with 16 going down in one Florida sting alone, and one in New York City busted with a half-pound of smack. A crooked Texas border town cop cops a plea, too.

In Belle Glade, Florida, 16 Florida state prison guards were among 22 people arrested February 11 in a two-year FBI undercover sting targeting drug smuggling into two Florida prisons. Eleven of the guards worked at the Glades Correctional Institution in Belle Glade. They are charged with attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. The arrests went down after FBI undercover agents told guards they were members of a drug trafficking group and the guards agreed to use their positions to help transport multi-kilo cocaine loads from warehouses in Miami to West Palm Beach. The guards were allegedly paid a total of $145,000 in bribes and transported cocaine on at least nine occasions. Five other guards at Glades and one from South Bay Correctional Facility are charged with bribery for smuggling non-drug contraband into the prisons.

In New York City, a New York City prison guard was arrested Monday after he was stopped for running a red light and police found eight ounces of heroin in his car. Although eight ounces of heroin is by no means a personal use amount, Marco Villacris, 46, is charged only with possession of a controlled substance and two traffic infractions. Villacris has been a guard at Rikers Island since joining the city's Department of Corrections in August 2008. He will be fired, the department said.

In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to escorting cars he believed were loaded with cocaine through the city. Pedro Martinez III pleaded guilty to one federal count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Martinez admitted meeting with an undercover FBI officer posing as a drug dealer and agreeing to escort two loads of cocaine through town, including one while he was in uniform and driving a marked police vehicle. He faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to life. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 13th 2010

 

A dope-dealing probation officer, a detective who buddied-up to a dope dealer, and a sticky-fingered small town cop make the roll-call of dishonor this week. Let's get to it:

In Cranston, Rhode Island, a juvenile probation officer was arrested Tuesday after police said he sold heroin to an undercover officer. Michael Ayer, 49, faces two counts of delivering heroin to a police officer. He went down after the State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force got a tip from an informant last month. He allegedly made repeated heroin sales to the undercover officer, and did so using his state vehicle and his state-issued cell phone. There is no indication Ayer peddled any dope to his probationers.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a Santa Fe police detective has been recommended for termination after he was caught on an FBI tape promising to provide a gun to a drug dealer "who clearly conveyed his intent to commit murder," according to police documents. Detective Jose Valencia, who headed the police union at the time of the taping, is also accused of providing an undercover narc's description to the drug dealer and making disparaging remarks about fellow officers. Valencia faced a hearing Thursday to revoke his certification as a law enforcement officer in New Mexico. That decision will be made next month.

In Moab, Utah, a former Moab police officer was arrested February 4 for stealing $900 in drug bust proceeds from his own police station. Edward Guerrero, 43, faces burglary and theft charges in the break-in, which occurred last August.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 21st 2009

 

One New Jersey prison guard gets indicted and another gets sentenced. There's also another Customs officer lured by lucre, a meth-slinging Indiana cop, and a Colorado cop turned pill provider. Let's get to it:

In Trenton, New Jersey, a suspended prison guard was indicted Tuesday for leading a cocaine ring. Eugene Braswell, 30, who had been suspended from his job at Northern State Prison after he was arrested last year for shooting and killing a former inmate, is now charged with leading a narcotics trafficking network, which carries a maximum life sentence. He and five other members of his crew are charged with first degree intent to distribute cocaine, second degree conspiracy and third degree cocaine possession. They allegedly bought large amounts of cocaine in Texas than transported it for sale in New Jersey.

In Trenton, New Jersey, a Southern State Correctional Facility guard was sentenced last Friday to five years in prison for smuggling drugs and a syringe into the prison for an inmate. Guard Roy Solomon, 33, had earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree official misconduct. He admitted that he smuggled cocaine and a syringe into the prison in 2008. The eight-year veteran was suspended without pay in April. His employment status should be changing soon.

In McAllen, Texas, a former US Customs officer pleaded guilty Monday to bribery, cocaine trafficking, and immigrant smuggling. Raul Montano had been arrested in April. Prosecutors said he made tens of thousands of dollars by letting designated vehicles carrying drugs or undocumented immigrants through his inspection lane in Brownsville. Montano told the judge he had been strung out on coke.

In Topeka, Indiana, a Topeka police officer was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of dealing methamphetamine. Deputy Marshal Zachary Miller, 28, was arrested by the IMAGE Drug Task Force and LaGrange County sheriff's deputies. He faces three counts of official misconduct, and one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

In Longmont, Colorado, a Longmont police officer was arrested November 12 for providing pills to a woman he had once arrested. Officer Jack Kimmett, 54, went down after a parolee complained that Kimmett was regularly providing Vicodin pills to his wife. The wife eventually admitted that Kimmett stole his wife's Vicodins to give to her when she needed them, that he had been paying the rent and utilities for her apartment, and that he admitted stealing tea bags, trash bags, and hot chocolate mix from a local business where he worked security. The woman agreed to do a drug transaction with Kimmett while police watched, and after it went down, he was arrested. He is charged with felony drug distribution, misdemeanor official conduct, and theft of less than $1,000.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 24th 2009

 

In Gaffney, South Carolina, a Cherokee County sheriff's officer was arrested Tuesday and fired Wednesday for exchanging drugs for sex with a female confidential informant. Now former Officer Troy Cooper, 56, is accused of providing marijuana, money, and other contraband to the informant in return for sexual favors between March 2008 and last week. Investigators from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were called in by Sheriff Bill Blanton. A search warrant in the case indicates that SLED has recorded telephone conversations between Blanton and the informant.

In St. Louis, police commanders are at odds with the police union over departmental demands that up to 20 officers reveal details about their confidential informants. The department has acknowledged in court filings that "one or more" officers "have included false information in affidavits" for warrants, and says the investigation is aimed at stopping "the concerns of police abuse and violation of civil rights." At least two officers, Shell Sharp and William Noonan, have already resigned, and prosecutors have dropped 39 cases in which one or the other officer was involved. But the police union has won a temporary restraining order to block the revealing of informant information, saying it would endanger snitches and officers. Whether they can win a permanent injunction will be decided next week.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 14th 2009

 

The Chronicle may have taken a week off, but corrupted law enforcers didn't take time off from their illicit enterprises, and there was no letup in corrupt cops stories. Here's this week's motley crew.

In Verona, Virginia, an Augusta County Correctional Center guard was arrested August 1 for smuggling in marijuana for inmates. Guard April Hogsett, 26, faces a Class 5 felony charge and is looking at up to 10 years in prison. A Virginia Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General agent executed a search warrant on Hogsett's vehicle the previous day and seized a phone, plastic baggies, and letters -- but no marijuana. That search came after an informant told authorities Hogsett was to supply marijuana to an inmate known to be dealing in the jail. Authorities said cell phone and inmate money order records backed that story.

In Clatskanie, Oregon, a Clatskanie police officer was arrested August 5 for burglarizing a home to steal prescription drugs. Officer Joseph Lee Harrison, 35, was charged with burglary, theft, and official misconduct for the late July burglary. He was accused of stealing prescription painkillers, and the victims told deputies they believed he was addicted to the drugs. Harrison is out on bail.

In Crossett, Arkansas, a Crossett police officer was arrested Sunday for selling drug investigation information and other files to the target of that investigation and conspiring with him to invest in the crack cocaine trade. Officer Darrell Webb is now a former officer, having been fired immediately after being charged with second degree forgery, theft of property, conspiracy to deliver cocaine and laundering criminal proceeds. Last July, Webb stopped a vehicle driven by the drug suspect, set up a meeting at a remote location, showed him a case file on him, and offered to sell it to him for $800. The suspect gave Webb $600 and agreed to meet later to pay the balance. The next day, the suspect called Webb at work and asked him if he wanted the rest of the money. The suspect recorded that call. The pair met, the suspect paid, and again recorded the conversation, with Webb saying he had deleted the damaging information. Webb then asked if he could make a profit investing in drugs for retail sale. The drug suspect then went to the department's top brass with his information, and Webb went down. He's now in jail trying to raise $50,000 bond.

In Zanesville, Ohio, a former Zanesville police officer was sentenced July 30 to 20 years in prison for teaming up with two other former local cops to rip off drug dealers. Former officer Sean Beck and his co-conspirators Trevor Fusner and Chad Mills had all originally been charged with six felony counts after being arrested in October 2007 in the act of ripping off a drug dealer at gunpoint in a local cemetery. All three eventually pleaded to one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count each of having a weapon while committing a drug trafficking offense. The trio went down after a local drug dealer went to the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office to complain they were shaking him down, making him sell drugs for them, and splitting the proceeds. He then became a confidential informant, recording various conversations, and informing authorities so that deputies and FBI agents were waiting when Beck and buddies tried their cemetery heist.

In San Diego, a former San Diego police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for giving inside information to drug traffickers. Former officer Juan Hurtado Tapia, 39, had admitted informing drug traffickers about an ongoing investigation and lying to federal officials about it. He pleaded guilty to obstructing an official investigation, making false statements, and a misdemeanor count of misusing a computer. Hurtado provided traffickers with background check information about a person they suspected of being an informer.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 11th 2009

 

A crooked Chicago cop goes to prison and a pair of jail guards get stung.

In Chicago, a former Chicago police officer was sentenced June 30 to almost 11 years in prison for robbing drug dealers. Former officer Richard Doroniuk, 33, had pleaded guilty to racketeering and bribery and testified against another officer involved in return for prosecutors dropping a civil rights charge that could have left him looking at 30 years in prison. Doroniuk and his partner went down after they were videotaped in an FBI sting stealing $31,000 from self-storage lockers they thought were rented by drug dealers.

In Miami, an Everglades Correctional Facility guard was arrested July 2 in a sting where he thought he was negotiating with an inmate's family to smuggle a pound of pot, four ounces of cocaine, and two cell phones into the prison. Correctional Officer Shamel Watson went to collect the contraband in Collier County, but was instead met by a Collier County sheriff's deputy and arrested. It's not clear yet what the charges are, but Watson has been fired and prosecutors are promising to go after him to the fullest extent of the law.

In Amite, Louisiana, a Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday in a DEA sting. Deputy Kevin Whittington, 44, was allegedly providing drugs to inmates at the parish jail, and was arrested after a DEA snitch gave him 24 grams of crack cocaine and he agreed to take it to an inmate at the jail. He faces federal charges for intent to distribute crack cocaine, and is looking at up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 21st 2009

 

The stench emanating from Philadelphia's Narcotics Field Unit grew even more rank this week, an Arizona cop steals cash to feed his pill habit, and two Indianapolis cops turned thugs are headed for prison.

In Philadelphia, the festering narcotics squad scandal just keeps getting uglier. The Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday that at least three women who were present at addresses raided by the Narcotics Field Unit have accused a unit member, Officer Thomas Tolstoy, of sexually assaulting them. None of the women have criminal records, none were arrested during the raids, and none of them knows the others. You can read the ugly details at the link above. This is just the latest sordid tale to emerge about the Narcotics Field Unit since February, when the Daily News reported that unit member Officer Jeffrey Cujdik lied on search warrant applications in order to get into suspected drug houses. In March, the same newspaper reported that Cujdik, Tolstoy and other dope squad members routinely raided corner stores that sold small plastic baggies, disabling surveillance cameras, threatening owners with arrest, and stealing thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise. Tolstoy is now on desk duty as the department and the FBI investigate.

In Yuma, Arizona, a Yuma Police officer was arrested June 8 for allegedly stealing more than $11,000 in cash from seized evidence to buy prescription drugs to which he was addicted. Officer Geoff Presco is charged with one felony count of theft and has been placed on paid leave. Presco went down after a detective following up on a case noticed the missing cash and other evidence and tracked it back to Presco, who had apparently been dipping into the till since February. He was named Yuma's patrol officer of the year last year. He was being held on a $55,000 bond.

In Indianapolis, two former Indianapolis Police narcotics detectives were convicted last Friday for their roles in a scheme to steal marijuana and money from pot dealers. Former detectives Robert Long, 35, and Jason Edwards, 38, were found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, as well as several counts of drug possession or attempted possession with the intent to distribute. The pair went down during an FBI sting in which they were videotaped stealing pot and cash from a stash house in one incident and ripping off $20,000 from a supposed drug courier. A third officer, James Davis, earlier pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme. He faces 10 to 15 years in prison, while Long and Edwards are now looking at 20 years.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 8th 2009

 

Cops pocketing drug money, cops ripping off drug dealers, cops protecting drug dealers, cops stealing dope, and, of course, another dope-smuggling jail guard.

In South Memphis, Tennessee, a Shelby County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday for pocketing money seized in a drug arrest. Deputy Jeff McCall, who worked for the Shelby County Narcotics Unit, went down in a sting after the sheriff's office received tips he was stealing drug money he confiscated on the streets. The sheriff's office and the FBI set up a phony traffic stop where it was McCall's job to inventory the $4,200 in cash and marijuana seized. Only $3,800 made it to the evidence room. When confronted later that same night, McCall admitted he had taken the money, left work, gone to a local mall, and used the money to buy a Playstation 3. Officers found the game in his work vehicle. He is currently facing state charges of official misconduct and theft of under $500, but federal charges could follow.

In West Manchester Township, Pennsylvania, a former West Manchester Township police detective was charged May 27 with stealing drugs from the department evidence room. Former Det. Steven Crider, 54, has admitted to state police that he stole and ingested cocaine, heroin, and marijuana from more than a hundred cases since 2001. He allegedly replaced some of the stolen drugs with chalk and tampered with records to cover it up. The 32-year veteran was fired last month.

In Texarkana, Arkansas, a former Miller County jail guard was arraigned May 28 on charges he smuggled marijuana into the jail for inmates. Adrian Trevone Tate, 24, was arrested after another guard saw pot inside a soda cup from a convenience store that Tate had brought into the jail. He has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts: furnishing a prohibited item into a correctional facility and possession with intent to deliver marijuana into a jail. Tate is free on $50,000 bond.

In Los Angeles, a former Huntington Park police officer was found guilty May 27 of ripping off cocaine and methamphetamine from drug dealers. Former Sgt. Alvaro Murillo was convicted of two counts of drug conspiracy, one count of extortion, and one count of submitting a false tax return. Murillo was a member of a multi-agency federal drug task force and used his job to recruit informants, then used them to help steal dope from dealers and traffickers. He and his informants formed what they called the "black tactic group" to identify dealers they could rob. Among the thefts were five kilograms of cocaine in 2002 and two kilos of methamphetamine in 2006. Murillo went down after attempting to steal cocaine from a dealer who turned out to be an undercover DEA agent. He faces a mandatory minimum 10-year federal prison sentence.

In Lake City, South Carolina, a former Lake City police officer was sentenced May 27 to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring with drug dealers to help them avoid getting busted. Shanita McKnight had been convicted in October of drug conspiracy and extortion, tipping off local dealers to impending police actions. McKnight must also do five years of supervised release after finishing her prison sentence.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, two former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were sentenced May 27 to nine years in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine. Former officers Gerald Holas and Jason Ross admitted they protected a cocaine dealer's operation, but claimed to no avail that they did so in an effort to gain information they could use to arrest his suppliers and customers. Holas tipped off the dealer about police activities, and both officers helped him get revenge on a rival whose home was firebombed. Some 50 criminal cases in which the pair were involved had to be dismissed after they were arrested.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 23th 2009

 

There's an embarrassment of riches for the corrupt cops file this week. We've got pot-dealing sheriffs, we've got corner-cutting DEA agents, we've got sticky-fingered cops, and of course, we have dope-peddling prison guards. And that Philadelphia narc squad scandal just keeps reverberating.

In Shawneetown, Illinois, DEA agents Monday arrested the Gallatin County Sheriff on federal marijuana distribution charges. Sheriff Randy Martin provided marijuana to a confidential informant, typically in one-pound lots, between November 2008 and this month, according to DEA affidavit in the case. The affidavit also says the informant wore a wire and several of the transactions were videotaped. Sheriff Martin would meet the informant at rural locations, "front" the weed to the informant, and take cash payment for the previous shipment. He is charged with three federal counts of marijuana distribution and two counts of carrying a firearm -- his service revolver -- during the commission of a drug crime.

In Cleveland, Ohio, a DEA agent was indicted May 12 for his role in a 2005 drug operation that put more than two dozen residents behind bars. DEA Agent Lee Lucas, 41, faces seven counts of obstruction of justice, seven counts of perjury, three counts of violating individuals' civil rights, and one count of making false statements in an official report. In the 2005 operation, Lucas' informant, Jerrell Bray, intentionally framed 17 people by doing controlled drug buys but intentionally misidentifying the drug sellers, providing people with his drugs and then retrieving the stash so they looked like drug sellers, and staged scripted recorded conversations to make individuals appear to be drug sellers. Lucas allegedly knew his snitch was rogue, but covered it up, included false and misleading information in reports, and concealed potentially exculpatory evidence. Bray got 15 years. Let's see what his DEA handler gets.

In New York City, an NYPD officer was arrested May 13 and charged with trying to steal $900,000 left in a Manhattan apartment by a drug dealer who had been deported. Officer Shawn Jenkins, 41, plotted with a confidential informant to go to the apartment, serve an official looking document on the new tenant, immobilize him with a stun gun, and retrieve the money from its hiding place under the floor. He is now charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge.

In Temple Terrace, Florida, a Temple Terrace Police officer was arrested last Friday on charges he stole drugs recovered in a recent case. Officer Zachariah Brown, 33, was arrested after investigators found missing hydrocodone and Xanax pills in his police cruiser. He was booked and released on bail and has been placed on administrative leave with pay until the internal investigation is concluded. He is charged with drug possession, petty theft, and tampering with evidence.

In Philadephia, prosecutors dismissed the first of what could be dozens of drug cases last Friday as fall-out from the ongoing corruption scandal in the Philadelphia police narcotics squad continues to spread. The scandal began with Officer Jeffrey Cujdik, who is alleged to have falsified affidavits in order to get judges to sign drug search warrants. Now, because of the cloud over Cujdik, prosecutors are seeking delays in his pending cases. The case dropped Friday was not one where Cujdik is alleged to have lied on affidavits, but prosecutors dropped it because they had run out of time to stall any longer and Cujdik's credibility in any case is now in doubt. Cujdik, his brother, Richard Cujdik, and another Philly narc, Robert McConnell have all been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, which has since broadened to include allegations that Philly narcs routinely raided convenience stores, turned off surveillance equipment, and stole cash and goods from the stores before arresting their owners for selling small plastic bags. At least 52 more cases could be dismissed, according to Philadelphia public defenders.

In Summerville, South Carolina, a state prison guard was charged May 14 with selling cocaine to undercover Dorchester County deputies. Guard John Lambert, 28, is charged with distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He is now on administrative leave from his post at the Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville.

In Newark, New Jersey, a former Passaic County sheriff's officer was sentenced Monday to seven years and one month in federal prison for stealing $250,000 worth of cocaine from the department evidence room and selling it to drug dealers. Former officer Alan Souto, an 18-year veteran of the force, was a member of the Sheriff's Evidence Unit, and used his access card to gradually begin stealing drugs until he had stolen 95 pounds of cocaine and 1.5 pounds of heroin. He was arrested in March 2008 after authorities noticed a GPS device missing and cooperated with investigators, leading to two other men also being charged in the case. Maybe that's why he got seven years instead of the life sentence he could have received.

In Toledo, Ohio, a former Sylvania Police officer was sentenced May 14 to three years in prison for stealing drug money from the department property room. Former officer Carl Beckman, a 36-year-veteran of the department, nickel-and-dimed more than $30,000 over a 13-year period. He had pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice.

In Hammond, Indiana, a former St. Joseph County Police officer was sentenced May 13 to more than six years in prison for burglarizing a mobile home and stealing plasma TVs and computer monitors from it -- oh, and cocaine, too, which he tried to sell. Former officer Andrew Taghon was one of three local police officers indicted by the feds in the case dating back to 2004. The other two await sentencing.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 9th 2009

 

Last week was one of those remarkably rare occasions when we came across no corrupt cops stories. Not to worry! They're back this week with a vengeance. Another border sheriff goes down, a North Carolina police department goes out of business, an Arizona cop got greedy, and another pair of entrepreneurial jail guards get caught.

In San Antonio, a former Starr County sheriff pleaded guilty last Friday to one drug trafficking charge for assisting the Mexican Gulf Cartel as it smuggled drugs through his border county. Former Sheriff Reymundo "Rey" Guerra was arrested last October after he was one of 29 people indicted by a federal grand jury. He admitted passing information to an informant whom he knew had gone back to work for the cartel in return for payments of $2,000 to $3,000. He also admitted passing information about who tipped off authorities in a raid that resulted in the seizure of 314 kilos of pot and one kilo of cocaine. Guerra pleaded to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics as part of a plea deal that saw two other charges dropped. He faces from 10 years to life in prison when sentenced in July. Until then, he remains free on bond.

In Spring Lake, North Carolina, the Spring Lake Police Department has been shut down after two of its officers were arrested Monday on corruption and abuse of authority charges. Officer Alfonzo Whittington Jr. was indicted by a special Cumberland County grand jury on 11 counts, including embezzlement by a police officer, obtaining property by false pretences, larceny, and obstruction of justice. Those charges stem from the theft of $2,900 from the department's evidence room, which Whittington was in charge of. Sgt. Darryl Coulter Sr. faces 20 charges, including breaking and entering, kidnapping, and obstruction of justice. Some of those charges stem from an April 2008 "drug raid" where he broke into a home occupied by three men, assaulted them, threatening them with a handgun and shotgun, and held them against their will by handcuffing them. Other charges stem from a raid at a local motel room where Coulter seized $2,900 from a room where he said he smelled marijuana. That's the same $2,900 Whittington is accused of stealing from the evidence room. Whittington is looking at 24 years in prison, while Coulter could face up to 32 years. The department lost the ability to investigate homicides after it botched child abuse allegations and a child was killed. That soon expanded to all felonies as the town mayor asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the department's narcotics squad. Now the department has been relieved of investigating even misdemeanor cases, and the county sheriff's office has taken over policing duties for the town.

In Tucson, a former South Tucson police lieutenant was sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling more than $450,000 in asset forfeiture funds and evidence room money. Former Lt. Richard Garcia had total responsibility for managing the asset forfeiture program and was the sole custodian of the department's evidence room. He admitted stealing the money to finance his gambling habit, buy booze, and go to strip clubs. He pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft from an organization receiving federal funds and filing false income taxes. He must also pay $450,000 in restitution after he gets out at a rate of $200 a month. At that rate, the department will recoup its losses sometime in the 24th Century.

In Los Angeles, a former LA county deputy was charged Wednesday with trying to smuggle drugs into a county jail facility in Castaic, where he worked as a jailer. Peter Felix, 25, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the jail, as well as six other drug-related charges. Felix had worked for the department for two years before quitting last October after investigators caught him receiving cash and drugs from a co-conspirator.

In Dover, Delaware, a Delaware Correctional Center guard was arrested Saturday with an ounce of marijuana he intended to smuggle into the jail. Guard Sidney Nunn, 25, went down after internal affairs investigators at the prison went to Dover police with information they had developed. Nunn now faces charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle, conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia and promoting prison contraband. He was released after posting $8,000 bail. He is on leave with pay.

In Greece, New York, a Greece police officer was arraigned Tuesday on charges he coerced a woman he caught smoking marijuana into having sex with him. Officer Gary Pignato was charged with felony bribery of a public servant, and two misdemeanors: second-degree coercion and official misconduct. Pignato already faces a June 1 trial date in a similar case where he allegedly came to a residence on a domestic dispute call, then informed the women he would arrest her for a probation violation if she did not have sex with him. In Tuesday's case, Pignato allegedly followed his victim home one night in 2005 in his patrol car, gave her his card and asked for her phone number. The next day, the victim was smoking a joint at her dining room table when Pignato walked in unannounced and threatened to arrest her. "We can make this go away," he allegedly said. Having sex with him "would take care of it." The victim said she drove to his house the next night to have sex with him, but he kept bothering her for more sex in the following days until she threatened to tell his girlfriend. The victim said she was inspired to come forward after reading about charges being filed in the first case against Pignato.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 25th 2009

 

More crooked prison guards, more crooked cops, and in a first for this newsletter, a crooked Fish and Wildlife officer. Let's get to it:

In Baltimore, four current or former Maryland state prison guards were among two dozen people indicted by a federal grand jury April 16 on drug conspiracy and other charges. The guards allegedly worked to provide imprisoned Black Guerrilla Family gang leaders with heroin, ecstasy, tobacco, cell phones, and other contraband. Gang members would sell the drugs inside the prison and use the cell phones to set up drug deals on the outside. Current prison guards Asia Burrus, 22, and Musheerah Habeebullah, 27, were indicted, as was former guard Terry Robe, 26, and former prison kitchen employee, Takevia Smith, 24. Another half dozen guards were also implicated, but have not yet been charged.

In Wellston, Missouri, a former Wellston police officer was indicted April 16 for paying prostitutes for sex and providing them with heroin. Former officer David Dausman, 35, was arrested in January and fired shortly thereafter. He is charged with corruption by a public servant, felony drug delivery, patronizing a prostitute. He also faces federal charges of making and possessing counterfeit currency and forging the seal of a federal agency.

In Rochester, Minnesota, a Rochester police officer was arrested April 15 for providing information about Rochester Narcotics Unit members to people being investigated for drug offenses. Officer Vanessa Nicole Mason, 31, also allegedly was seen using drugs and hanging out with known drug offenders. She now faces charges of public officer misconduct and bribery. She was disciplined in 2006 for failing to report drug use by a fellow officer and warned she would be terminated if there were any new disciplinary issues. Her job security right now appears pretty shaky.

In Stock Island, Florida, two Florida Keys law enforcement officers were arrested last week after being snagged in an undercover sting in which they thought they were transporting drugs for drug dealers. Monroe County Sheriff's Office corrections officer Shawn Hernandez and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Jonathan Jacox are in federal custody in Miami charged with possession with the intent to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to traffic in narcotics and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. Between them, the pair carried what they thought were shipments of heroin or cocaine at least five times as the DEA and a raft of other law enforcement agencies watched.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 12th 2009

 

Another crooked judge, another dirty border guard, more problems for Philly's narcs, and a guilty plea in Detroit. Let's get to it:

In El Paso, Texas, a Texas district court judge was indicted last week on charges he took cash bribes and asked for sex from defendants in exchange for his help making felony cases go away. State District Court Judge Manuel Barraza was indicted on four counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and lying to a federal agent. Local prosecutors are now reviewing about 100 drug cases he dismissed. Barrera is out on bail pending trial, but has been suspended from his $140,000 a year job.

In Brownsville, Texas, a US Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested April 2 on charges he took bribes to allow vehicles carrying drugs and illegal immigrants to pass through his border checkpoint. Officer Raul Montano Jr., 34, faces charges of bribery, conspiracy and smuggling illegal immigrants and conspiracy to import and possession of cocaine. According to a criminal complaint filed the same day, Montano would tell another person when he would be inspecting a certain lane on the Brownsville Gateway bridge and that person would relay the information to waiting smugglers on the Mexican side, who would pass through with people and cocaine.

In Philadelphia, two Philadelphia police narcotics squads are being reorganized as part of an effort to better supervise the officers involved. The move comes as one of those squads, Squad 9, is the subject of ongoing federal and local investigations after the Philadelphia Daily News ran a series of articles exposing numerous allegations of illegal acts by Narcotics Officer Jeffrey Cujdik and his cronies. Squad 9 is being dissolved, with its members being dispersed among the 10 remaining dope squads. Cujdik was first accused of lying on search warrant applications to gain access to suspected drug houses and of becoming too close to his snitches. Then, last month, the Daily News ran articles from 14 immigrant convenience store owners alleging Cujdik's squad ransacked their stores, ate food, stole goods and cash, then arrested them for selling small plastic bags that could be used to hold drugs. The Cujdik gang would typically cut the wires to surveillance cameras at the beginning of those raids.

In Detroit, a Detroit police officer pleaded guilty April 2 to tax evasion in the theft of more than $2 million worth of cocaine from a police evidence room. Officer Vincent Crockett, 50, had faced more serious charges of cocaine possession and embezzlement, but a police chemist who would have been a key witness in the case died last year, leaving federal prosecutors with a weak case. In his plea bargain, Crockett admitted to evading 2007 income taxes on $72,000 he received as the result of "an illegal act."

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 28th 2009

 

Narcs gone wild, narcs cheating on their pay, narcs stealing dope, narcs lying on the stand, a perverted sheriff heads to prison, and that's just the half of it.

In Philadelphia, a scandal over the behavior of the Philadelphia police Narcotics Field Unit keeps growing. Originally centered on narcotics officer Jeffrey Cujdik and accusations he lied in documenting drug arrests, the stench from the narcotics squad keeps getting more foul. Numerous convenience store owners have reported Cujdik and his squad members raided their shops, destroyed surveillance cameras in the stores, trashed the places, stole cigarettes, took thousands in cash while reporting much less, and then arrested them for selling small plastic bags that could be used to contain drugs. The Philadelphia Daily News interviewed seven store owners with remarkably similar stories, including several who said the narcs took food and slurped energy drinks, and others who said they stole cigarette cartons, batteries, cell phones, and candy bars. At least three of Cudjdik's snitches told the newspaper he gave them cartons of cigarettes. A special task force of FBI and Philadelphia police internal affairs was already investigating Cujdik over the earlier allegations; now that probe could spread to at least 17 other officers and three police supervisors involved in the convenience store raids.

In McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the entire McKeesport Police narcotics unit has been implicated in a pay scam. Seven officers were suspended last week after Chief Joe Pero discovered they were billing the city for court appearances they never made. Those suspended include two lieutenants and all four members of the dope squad. All have been reassigned. No word yet on any possible criminal charges.

In Alamagordo, New Mexico, an Alamagordo Department of Public Safety undercover narcotics officer was arrested last Friday after fellow officers noticed him acting erratically, took him to a hospital for drug testing, and received a positive drug test result. Richard Ramsdale then went down for trafficking by possession with intent to distribute after further investigation uncovered 1.3 pounds of unaccounted for cocaine in his cruiser. He was booked into the Otero County Jail and placed on administrative leave pending a termination hearing.

In New York City, an NYPD narcotics detective was indicted Monday on charges she perjured herself in a drug case. Detective Debra Eager was a little over-eager to make a collar stick when she told a court she and her partner watches two drug suspects carrying boxes into a building. She testified that she then followed the pair into the building, arrested them, and seized 33 pounds of marijuana. But she didn't realize the building was under video surveillance, which directly contradicted her testimony. The case was thrown out, and Eager was indicted on three counts of first-degree perjury, each worth up to seven years in prison. She is also suspended without pay.

In New Orleans, a rookie New Orleans police officer was arrested Saturday in a string of home invasion assaults originally thought to have been committed by someone impersonating a police officer. Officer Darrius Clipps faces numerous charges after admitting he had burst into the women's homes, demanded drugs and money, and forced his victims to undress. Clipps went down after a composite sketch of the suspect was released and several of his fellow officers recognized him. He faces charges of malfeasance in office, sexual battery, false imprisonment with a weapon, simple and aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. He resigned upon arrest.

In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a Luzerne County Correctional Facility officer was charged March 18 with being part of a multi-million dollar drug trafficking ring run by the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Guard John Gonda, 38, was one of 22 people arrested by SWAT teams belonging to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office in wrapping up a ring officials said was distributing a kilogram of cocaine every 10 days. Investigators seized 528 grams of cocaine, cutting agents, drug paraphernalia, more than $5,000 cash, rifles, shotguns, handguns, bulletproof vests, the gang's bylaws and a list of Outlaw associates in prison. Officials said they did not know if Gonda was peddling coke at the jail.

In Dallas, a Dallas County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty this week to plotting to rip off drug dealers. Standric Choice, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Choice had plotted with two other men to steal cocaine from a dealer by having one of them pretend to be a snitch, then arresting the snitch and taking the cocaine from the dealer. He went down in a sting at a Dallas truck stop. He now faces 10 years to life in federal prison and a $4.25 million fine.

In Memphis, two former Memphis officers were sentenced March 18 in a federal corruption case in which they admitted stealing drugs from dealers and reselling them. Former officers Antoine Owens and Alexander Johnson were sentenced in federal court to five years and two years respectively after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights. They admitted conspiring with two other Memphis police officers to use their police authority to stop drug dealers, then steal dope and cash from them.

In Fairview, Oklahoma, a former Custer County Sheriff was sentenced Tuesday to 79 years in prison for sexually abusing female prisoners and drug court defendants. Former Sheriff Mike Burgess was sentenced on felony charges including five counts of second-degree rape. He was convicted of using his power over the women to force them to have sex with him.

In Brownsville, Texas, a former San Benito police officer was sentenced Tuesday to more than 13 years in federal prison for scheming with one other San Benito police officer and a local small business owner to rip off drug loads. Edgar Heberto Lopez and his partners in crime stole 200 to 300 pounds of pot during a February 2003 traffic stop, paid a tow truck driver $1,000 to haul the vehicle with the pot to a safe location in San Benito, and later sold 50 pounds of their stash to an undercover officer in February 2004. The two cops got $7,500 each in that deal. The next month, they stole six kilograms of cocaine during another traffic stop. They were supposed to get $10,000 for that heist; instead they got busted. Lopez pleaded guilty in July 2004, but fled before sentencing, only to be recaptured in April 2008. He has been jailed ever since, and he will be for a long time after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent marijuana, possession with intent to distribute more than 100 pounds of marijuana, carrying a firearm during the commission of a crime, and failure to appear.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 18th 2009

 

From murder most foul to ripping off Crimestoppers, our corrupt cops run the gamut this week.

In New York City, a former NYPD narc who resigned last year in the face of corruption charges was arrested Monday in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend. Former officer Jerry Bowens, 43, was one of five officers arrested last year in a scandal in which they were accused of taking drugs and cash they had seized and using it to pay a confidential informant. After those arrests, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office dismissed charges or vacated convictions in 183 cases involving those officers. That investigation is continuing, but probably now means little to Bowens, who is facing a murder charge.

In Philadelphia, a jailed former Philadelphia police officer was charged March 3 with plotting from his jail cell to assault two suspected drug dealers he believed were cooperating with authorities against him. Former officer Malik Snell is in federal detention awaiting retrial on charges he participated in an attempted robbery of a drug house and ripped off other drug dealers. He is now accused of threatening "to inflict bodily injury" on the two men he suspected were government witnesses. He also is accused of stealing $40,000 in cash at gunpoint from one of the men.

In Vivian, Louisiana, a Vivian police officer was arrested last Friday on charges he bought a stolen gun on the street and sold it back to a drug dealer when he found out it was stolen. Officer James Arthur, 34, went down after one of four rifles reported stolen in nearby Shreveport in March 2008 turned up in a drug raid in November. The Caddo Parish Sheriff's Department investigated and found out that Arthur had bought the gun, a Bushmaster XM15 assault rifle worth $1,250, for $300 on the street, but had then resold it to a "known drug dealer" after checking a national firearms registry and seeing it listed as stolen.

In Erie, Pennsylvania, a former Erie police lieutenant was sentenced March 4 for repeatedly stealing cocaine from the department evidence locker. Robert Liebel, 47, had pleaded guilty in January to nine misdemeanors for the 2007 and 2008 thefts. He was sentenced to at least 77 days in prison and between nine and 22 months on house arrest, plus three years probation. Liebel admitted stealing the coke for his personal use.

In Lebanon, Ohio, a Warren Correctional Institution guard was charged March 5 with trying to sneak 200 grams of marijuana into the prison. Guard Stephen Howard, 49, was arrested two days earlier after being caught trying to smuggle the dope inside hollowed-out markers and a Subway sandwich. He faces charges of attempting to convey drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility and possession of criminal tools, both felonies.

In Jacksonville, Florida, a Jacksonville Police narcotics detective was fired Wednesday over his role in a Crimestoppers hot-line scam. Detective James Narcise was accused of providing inside information on the location of criminals to a female friend, who would then use it to collect the reward money. The department apparently took that offense more seriously than his fatal shooting of an 80-year-old man during a drug sting in 2007. He was cleared of any wrongdoing in that case.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 6th 2009

 

It's jail and prison guards gone wild this week, and a veteran California cop whose pill problem got the best of him.

In Bangor, Maine, a former Penobscot County jail guard was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail for smuggling marijuana and prescription drugs into the jail for prisoners. Lori Call pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in prison contraband. She also faces two years probation, random drug tests, and substance abuse counseling.

In New York City, a guard at the Sing Sing state prison was indicted Monday for accepting cash and cocaine from an undercover agent. Ashley Harris, 47, was arrested February 19 at a Bronx gas station after taking $500 and eight ounces of cocaine from the agent, who was posing as a drug dealer. Harris was indicted on six counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, which prosecutors said was destined for the prison. His arrest was the culmination of a three-month sting by state narcs and the Department of Correctional Services.

In Kingston, New York, an Ulster Country Jail guard was arrested last Friday on charges he trafficked drugs at the jail. Guard Peter Portalatin, 23, went down after investigators determined he had smuggled heroin, Oxycontin, marijuana, and tobacco into the jail and set him up in a sting. He now faces charges of bribe receiving in the second degree, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, receiving reward for official misconduct in the second degree, attempted promoting prison contraband in the first degree and tampering with physical evidence, all felonies. He was also charged with official misconduct and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors. He returned to the county jail as a prisoner until he makes his $10,000 cash bail. Oh, and he's now a former jail guard. He was fired the same day he was arrested.

In Texarkana, Arkansas, a former Miller County jail guard was sentenced February 26 to a whopping 28 years in prison for smuggling contraband hidden in food items to inmates. Jordan Michael Waller, 26, carried tacos, pizzas, and chili to work with him and used the food to hide cell phones, chargers, methamphetamine, marijuana, syringes, tobacco, and rolling papers. Family members testified that Waller suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, but that it was manageable with medication.

In Alameda, California, an Alameda police officer was arrested February 26 for visiting the residence of a terminally ill person and telling the family police provided medication disposal services, but keeping the pills for his own use. It did not appear to be an isolated incident, said police commanders. Sgt. Ronald Jones, a 26-year-year veteran of the department, was charged with two felony counts of using fraud, deceit or misrepresentation to obtain a controlled substance. He is on administrative leave.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 1st 2009

 

A pair of cops turned thugs in St. Louis are jeopardizing a pile of drug convictions, a cop turned thug in Dallas will stay behind bars until trial, a Customs and Border Patrol officer heads to prison, and a Massachusetts town still can't find pot that went missing from its police department half a decade ago -- but it's trying.

In Los Angeles, a former Customs and Border Patrol officer was sentenced last Friday to seven years in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle marijuana and illegal immigrants across the border. Former officer Luis Francisco Alarid, 32, also forfeited $175,000 in bribes he had received for his efforts. He pleaded guilty in November to conspiring to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and bribery. Court documents reveal that Alarid allowed several vehicles containing contraband to cross the border unmolested during his seven-month tenure at the Otay Mesa border crossing, including a minivan loaded with 260 pounds of pot and four illegal immigrants. He went down in May, when the Border Corruption Task Force caught him trying to admit vehicles containing undocumented immigrants and 23 pounds of pot.

In Dallas, a former Dallas County sheriff's deputy will remain behind bars pending trial for allegedly stealing cocaine from a man he thought was a South Texas drug trafficker, but who was really an undercover officer. The judge in the case made the bail decision February 19 after watching a video of former deputy Standric Choice, 36, doing the rip-off at a local truck stop. Choice faces charges of engaging in a drug conspiracy while wearing his weapon. Choice was one of three men charged in the scheme. One pleaded guilty February 17, another has pleaded not guilty. Choice's trial date is April 13.

In Dracut, Massachusetts, the Dracut Police Department is still trying to figure out who got away with $80,000 worth of marijuana in 2003. The pot was stored in a padlocked outdoor storage locker at the back of the police station when it vanished more than five and a half years ago. Investigations by then Middlesex County DA Martha Coakley (now Massachusetts attorney general) and the State Police in 2003 and by Coakley's replacement, Gerry Leone, in 2007 didn't come up with enough evidence to arrest anyone. Now city selectmen have begun a third investigation, calling in the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, which conducts investigations of local departments if invited. Lie detector tests of police officers began in December. But the clock is ticking; the statute of limitations on prosecuting the crime will run out in a few weeks.

In St. Louis, more than a thousand drug convictions are under review because of corruption cases filed against two St. Louis police officers in December. Officers Bobby Lee Garrett, 48, and Vincent Carr, 46, were arrested by the FBI and accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a drug dealer, planting money, drugs, and a gun, and covering it all up. Carr pleaded guilty February 13, while Garrett is pleading not guilty. The cases against Garrett and Carr have already caused St. Louis prosecutors to drop 47 cases, and they are reviewing another 986 convictions to see whether the pair played a significant role in them. Federal prosecutors have already "put the brakes on" three cases before charges were filed and are reviewing another 45 to 50 more.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 23rd 2009

 

Uniformed cops, jail guards, narcs, and assistant police chiefs -- all gone bad this week. Let's get to it:

In Otisville, New York, an NYPD officer was arrested last Friday for allegedly laundering money for her boyfriend's drug trafficking operation. Officer Yaniris Balbuena, an eight-year NYPD veteran, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for receiving thousands of dollars in drug proceeds from her boyfriend, "a known narcotics trafficker in the Bronx." She deposited over $230,000 in cash in nine bank accounts she controlled. She's now looking at up to 20 years in federal prison.

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, two assistant police chiefs were indicted by a federal grand jury February 5 on prescription drug charges. They were also accused of threatening a witness. Assistant Chiefs Johnny Lee Travis, 41, and Maxie Christopher Murphy, both of Glasgow, Kentucky, are accused of illegally possessing hydrocodone between February 2004 and January 2008, and intimidating and threatening a witness between November 2007 and June 2008. They're looking at up to 21 years in prison each.

In Albany, Georgia, a Dougherty County narc was arrested February 11 on sexual assault charges. Dougherty County police officer David Gilliam, 41, a member of the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit, faces counts of sexual battery, false imprisonment, and violation of oath of office for allegedly trying to rape a 26-year-old woman while he worked an off-duty security job at the hotel where she was staying. Gilliam worked for the department since October 2005 and spent the last two years on the dope squad. He was fired the same day he was arrested.

In Fall River, Massachusetts, a Bristol County jail guard was arrested February 11 for allegedly smuggling drugs into the county prison. Marco Moniz is charged with conspiracy to violate drug laws and delivering contraband to a penal institution.

In Indianapolis, a former Indianapolis Metro Police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to running a marijuana distribution ring. Former officer James Davis was one of three Indy Metro Police officers busted in an FBI sting last year. Davis, Robert Long, and Jason Edwards were accused of robbing marijuana dealers and selling their stashes, so the FBI rented a house, rigged it with surveillance cameras, and put out the word the pot was there. The trio got busted in June when they broke in to steal five pounds of pot and $18,000. Davis will get 10-to-15 years instead of a possible 35 in exchange for testifying against his erstwhile comrades, who go to trial next month. He will be sentenced May 1.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 7th 2009

 

It's jail guards gone wild this week, plus a very sleazy Texas sheriff, some entrepreneurial Fresno narcs, and the latest problems with the evidence room in Galveston.

In Fort Worth, Texas, a former Montague County sheriff pleaded guilty January 29 to extorting sexual favors from a woman as the price of avoiding a drug charge. Former Sheriff Bill Keating, 62, went down for a November drug raid at a home where the victim and her boyfriend lived. The boyfriend was arrested on outstanding warrants and removed by sheriff's deputies, who then searched the house and found meth paraphernalia. Sheriff Keating shooed the remaining deputy out of the bedroom, closed the door, and told the victim, "You are about to be my new best friend." He then threatened to arrest her on drug charges unless she "assisted" him by performing oral sex on him on multiple occasions and becoming a snitch for him. She eventually went to outside authorities instead, and now Keating is headed for the big house. He will be sentenced in May, when he faces up to 10 years. But that may just be the beginning of the story. Local prosecutors said they expected to indict Keating and as many as a dozen jail employees on charges they had sex with prisoners and smuggled in contraband to the county jail. http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/evidenceroom2.jpg

In Galveston, Texas, drugs have gone missing from the police evidence room -- again. Police Chief Charles Wiley reported January 29 that when officers went to destroy drugs that had already had their day in court, they found small bags of marijuana, cocaine, hydrocodone, and Xanax were no longer there. When they began checking on evidence for cases still pending, they found more missing drugs. Prosecutors have now put on hold all pending drug cases that rely on drug evidence until they can verify the evidence still exists, just as they did last year, when another cache of missing drug evidence led to the dismissal of 21 cases, the firing of the police chief and a detective, and the indictment of a clerk who worked in the evidence room. Reforms were supposed to have been put in place after last year's scandal, but it's not clear they have been. If they have, it doesn't look like they're working.

In Fresno, California, two Fresno Police Department narcotics officers were arrested last Friday on auto theft charges. A third faces misdemeanor charges for providing false information to investigators in the case. Officers Paul Cervantes, 32, and Hector Becerra, 33, both detectives in the Major Narcotics Unit, are accused of misusing confidential informants to lure drug dealers, then stealing their cars. They now face felony auto theft charges. Officer Richard Epps is accused of lying to investigators. Prosecutors said at least one case has had to be dropped because the pair were involved, and more could follow. A fourth Fresno narc, Ubaldo Garza, was not arrested, but investigators seized about 10 vehicles from his home. Garza also owns a business where investigators said they observed activities "consistent" with a "chop shop," where stolen cars are dismantled and their parts sold. On Wednesday, Fresno police announced they were shutting down the entire narcotics unit pending a review.

In Levittown, New York, a Nassau County jail guard was arrested last Friday for smuggling marijuana, Oxycontin, and cigarettes in for prisoners. Luke Holland, 42, is accused of reaping $9,000 for numerous drug sales to inmates over a nine-month period. Holland is charged with receiving reward for official misconduct in the second degree, a Class E felony carrying a maximum of four years in prison. Holland has been suspended without pay by the Nassau County Sheriff's Department and is free on cash bail.

In Augusta, Georgia, a Richmond County deputy sheriff was arrested January 29 for selling marijuana to inmates at the Richmond County Jail. Deputy Michael Arrington, a two-year veteran of the department, was arrested at the jail and is being held there out of general population. He faces felony charges for marijuana distribution and "crossing a guard line with drugs."

In New Castle, Indiana, a prison guard at the New Castle Correctional Facility was arrested Monday for helping an imprisoned cocaine dealer escape. Maurice Melton, 38, is accused of silencing a door alarm at a minimum security dorm to help the inmate escape, then driving him to Indianapolis. Prison officials said Melton expected to be paid for his help. But now, Melton has been demoted from correctional facility guard to Henry County Jail inmate. The New Castle prison is privately operated by the CEO Group (formerly Wackenhut), and Melton is a CEO Group employee. He has been suspended without pay, too.

In Walla Walla, Washington, a former Washington State Penitentiary prison guard was sentenced last Friday to more than three years in prison for delivering heroin, cocaine, methadone, and marijuana to an inmate. Former guard Camren Jones, 20, must also pay $13,000 -- the cost of locking down the prison to search other inmates for drugs. Jones will likely serve his sentence out of state for his own safety.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
January 22nd 2009

 

No crooked jail guards this week, but we do have a nice variety of law enforcement and prosecutorial misbehavior.

In Fairview, Oklahoma, a former Custer County Sheriff was convicted last Friday on rape and bribery charges for coercing sex from female inmates and drug court defendants. Former Sheriff Mike Burgess, 56, was convicted of 13 felonies, including five counts of second-degree rape and three counts of bribery by a public official. Testimony included that of several former female inmates who testified they feared they would be sent to prison if they did not provide sexual favors to the sheriff, as well as two female drug court participants. Burgess sexually assaulted one of them in his patrol car after arresting her for a drug court violation. The jury recommended Burgess be sentenced to 94 years in prison, but sentencing is not until March 24.

In Oakland, California, 11 police officers, including two sergeants, were fired January 15 for their roles in falsifying search warrant affidavits in drug cases. The police officers would make a drug buy, then seek a search warrant from a judge, telling him the substances had been tested when they hadn't. Oakland Police discovered the problem during an internal affairs investigation and went public at the end of September. Now, the city faces lawsuits from at least seven people claiming Oakland police "have repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of citizens by fabricating information in reports (and) providing false and/or intentionally misleading information in warrant affidavits to the court." A number of pending cases have been dropped, too.

In Muncie, Indiana, the Delaware County prosecutor must repay $168,092 unlawfully seized in drug cases, a circuit court judge ruled last Friday. Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney collected the seized assets and attorneys' fees in confidential agreements without a court order. Indiana state law requires a court order, and it requires that asset forfeiture proceeds be divided between state and local government and schools, but McKinney instead deposited the funds into accounts for the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force and the Muncie city police department. McKinney has 30 days to come up with the money. Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman also has to repay $17,164. The judge in the case said both men had perpetrated "a fraud on the court" by their actions.

In Huntsville, Alabama, the city, the police chief, and a former officer are being sued by a man who claims the officer planted marijuana in his car and then arrested him for marijuana possession. Officer Wesley Little and another officer, Ryan Moore, were indicted in May 2008 on criminal evidence tampering charges in the case, and the charges against Quincy Turner were later dropped. Little and Moore were investigated after Little was overheard saying "there could be some marijuana inside the vehicle if it needed to be." Both Little and Moore resigned from the Huntsville Police Department in June, but now, the good citizens of Huntsville are likely to pay for their out-of-control employees' misdeeds.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
January 10th 2009

 

A former Border Patrol agent cops a plea, another jail guard gets busted, a mystery is solved in Alabama, and one remains in Minnesota.

In Laredo, Texas, a former Border Patrol officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting bribes to escort a load of drugs through Zapata County. Leonel Morales, 30, admitted in federal court that he took $9,000 ensure that 20 kilograms of cocaine made it safely through the county. The guilty plea came in the face of prosecutors prepared to introduce audio and video recordings of Morales planning, negotiating, and coordinating the drugs' movements. Morales faces up to 15 years in prison and remains in custody while awaiting a March 18 sentencing hearing.

In Decatur, Alabama, a Decatur police sergeant faces theft and additional charges after disappearing last Friday, only to show up in Las Vegas, where he was arrested. Police Sgt. Faron White allegedly stole $70,000 in drug money from the department's narcotics office, then attempted to cover up his crime by trashing his office to make it appear he had been assaulted and kidnapped. His family reported him missing Saturday, and local police spent several days searching the Tennessee River and surrounding areas looking for him. Also arrested as an accomplice was Sarah Richardson, who picked White up at the police station Friday night and drove him to Nashville to catch a flight to Las Vegas. According to a police affidavit, Richardson was aware White had stolen the cash stash and helped him so he could "avoid apprehension."

In Kissimmee, Florida, an Osceola County jail guard was arrested last Friday on charges he smuggled drugs into the jail. Guard Eric Sosa, 30, become prisoner Eric Sosa after he left the jail during a break to buy marijuana from an undercover officer. He is charged with drug possession with the intent to sell, as well of introduction of contraband into a county facility and other charges.

In Lewiston, Minnesota, the acting mayor has reported that money, drugs, and documents are missing from the Lewiston Police Department's evidence locker and close to $50,000 in city funds are unaccounted for. Police discovered that drugs seized as evidence and "a couple of thousand bucks" were missing from the evidence locker when they took an inventory nearly a year ago upon the hiring of an interim police chief. The evidence locker, which can be opened only with a key, was in the police chief's office. The Winona County District Attorney's Office is investigating. The acting mayor also told the city council that $50,000 given to the city by the fire department is unaccounted for, as are many official documents, including minutes of council meetings from 2005.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 30th 2008

 

An Indiana prosecutor gets slapped again over shady asset forfeiture practies, a Texas trooper gets caught with the coke, and so does a North Carolina cop.

In Muncie, Indiana, the Delaware County prosecutor has been ordered to repay $18,395 in legal fees he paid himself as a drug task force prosecutor where he bypassed the courts and used confidential agreements with defendants to seize  bad cops money and property. Delaware County Judge Richard Dailey ruled that because no asset forfeiture judgment was rendered in court, Prosecutor Mark McKinney is not entitled to attorney's fees. In one case cited where more than $50,000 was seized by the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force, McKinney paid himself $4,193 in legal fees and took 25% of the value of seized property auctioned off. He faces an investigation by a special prosecutor to see if he committed any crime with his handling of drug forfeitures, as well as a misconduct complaint filed with the Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary commission.

In Brownsville, Texas, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper was charged Monday with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after police watched him take delivery of two suitcases full of the drug in a motel parking lot. Trooper Jesus Larrazolo, 35, was holding 26 kilos of coke when arrested by Brownsville police and agents from the FBI's Special Investigations Unit. According to court documents, Larrazolo said he had been threatened by unknown persons if he did not participate in the drug deal. He is a six-year veteran trooper.

In Columbus, North Carolina, a former Columbus police officer was arrested last Friday on multiple drug charges. Carl David Wright, 53, faces six counts each of trafficking cocaine by possession, transportation, and manufacture. During a search of Wright's home after his arrest, police seized more than $250,000 cash and a kilo of cocaine. State and federal revenue agents seized $4,000 in cash, $1,400 in coins, three flat-screen TVs, two lawn mowers, a 2002 Chevy Camaro and a 1997 Nissan pickup to help satisfy a $39,000 tax lien Wright was assessed for possessing the cocaine. Wright is being held at the Columbus County Detention Center with bail set at $1 million. The state charges could be superseded by federal charges if a grand jury that was set to meet this week returns a federal indictment against him.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 23rd 2008

 

A trio of bad apples from Arizona, including a DARE officer with a penchant for sexual assault, made the news this week, while the city of Berwyn, Illinois, found itself in a bit of hot water over the way it used asset forfeiture funds.

In Nogales, Arizona, a former Nogales DARE officer was convicted last Friday on numerous charges related to unwanted sexual contact with young women. Ramon Borbon, 40, was convicted of sexual abuse and obstructing a criminal investigation in the case of a 16-year-old girl whom he forced to touch him inappropriately and threatened to stop her from going to authorities. He was also convicted of sexual assault and kidnapping charges in the case of a 19-year-old woman for restraining and raping her. He was in uniform during both incidents. In a motion ruling during trial, Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge James Soto wrote that Borbon has "a character trait which gives rise to an aberrant sexual propensity" and that he appeared to have "identified young, vulnerable females with a history of psychological and/or substance abuse problems that are less likely to come forward and if they do, are less likely to be considered credible." There are also at least four other complaints of sexual abuse against Borbon. The police department had earlier found them to be "without merit." He will be sentenced December 12.

In Phoenix, a Maricopa County jail guard was arrested Monday for allegedlycocaine smuggling cocaine in for an inmate. Detention officer Ryan White, 27, accepted sexual favors from two women who were the inmates' roommates in return for sneaking in the coke, which was found in his uniform pocket. He is now charged with two felonies -- promoting jail contraband and assisting in a criminal syndicate.

In Coolidge, Arizona, a guard at the Corrections Corporation of America's Central Arizona Detention Center was arrested last week by the FBI on charges he tried to smuggle cocaine into the prison there. Juan Nunez is charged with attempted provision of a prohibited object to an inmate and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. According to the criminal complaint in the case, Nunez had been negotiating for the past two weeks with an inmate's family to bring cocaine into the prison. On November 6, Nunez met with an FBI agent possessing as an outside source for cocaine and accepted a half-ounce of cocaine and $1,600 for agreeing to smuggle it into the private prison. He was arrested after that meeting. A conviction for trying to bring a prohibited object to an inmate in this case carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both, and a conviction for possession of cocaine for sale carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $1 million fine or both.

In Berwyn, Illinois, the US Justice Department has accused the city of Berwyn of misusing drug forfeiture money. After reviewing the city's annual audit of asset forfeiture spending, the department's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section sent the city a letter citing various "impermissible expenditures," including spending too much of the asset forfeiture fund in the years 2004 and 2005. Since asset forfeiture funds are generally supposed to be used for crime prevention, the department cited more than $120,000 used to pay salaries, $88,000 in "cash transfers" to the Berwyn Park District, $156,000 in "cash transfers" to two local school districts, and $91,000 for bus trip for senior citizens. In all, the city may have to pay back more than $760,000 in improperly disbursed asset forfeiture funds. While schools, parks, and senior citizen bus rides are all worthy activities, spending asset forfeiture funds on them is a violation of the law.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 16th 2008

 

Crooked policing sparks lawsuits in Oakland and New Haven, another jail guard goes down, so does a Border Patrol inspector, a Louisiana narc gets busted for burglary, and an Illinois cop gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Let's get to it:

In Oakland, California, the Oakland Police Department is facing a lawsuit from at least nine people who claim Oakland cops improperly falsified information on drug search warrants and filed false reports. Oakland police have admitted that some officers used purported narcotics obtained through undercover drug buys as probable cause to search homes even though the crime lab had not yet confirmed the substances actually were illicit drugs. Some criminal cases have had to be dropped and verdicts reversed. The lawsuit seeks financial damages and an injunction against the city.

In New Haven, Connecticut, a man who was charged with eight felony drug counts after New Haven police planted drugs on him is suing the department and the city for $10 million. The lawsuit filed Monday by Norval Falconer names the city, former Police Chief Francisco Ortiz, Jr., the former head of the department's Narcotics Enforcement Unit, former Detective William White, and two other former detectives, Justen Kasperzyk and Jose Silva. The three detectives have all pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and been sentenced to prison. Kasperzyk and Silva have acknowledged that they set up Falconer. Kasperzyk testified in a deposition "that Ortiz, White and the NEU enforced a policy of planting evidence, falsifying arrest warrant affidavits, taking keys from drivers in order to illegally search their homes and making arrests that officers knew were unlawful."

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a jail guard was arrested Tuesday for smuggling drugs into the Santa Fe County Jail. Leah Fragua, 21, allegedly smuggled cocaine and marijuana into the jail in a cigarette pack for a prisoner and got busted after jail authorities heard about it while listening in on inmate phone calls. No word yet on formal charges.

In Eagle Pass, Texas, a US Customs and Border Patrol inspector was arrested October 30 for allegedly helping drug traffickers smuggle 3,000 pounds of cocaine intro the country over five years. The Customs officer, Jorge Leija, 43, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and making a false statement. Leija was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his efforts, an unnamed DEA agent testified at a bail hearing last week, including $30,000 he was paid to make false statements on a passport application for another person. Leija was ordered held without bail. He faces from 10 years to life in prison and a $4 million fine if convicted.

In New Iberia, Louisiana, an Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office narcotics division agent was arrested for burglarizing a house on October 26. Narc Jerrel Tauzin allegedly burglarized a home while the owners were out of town, stealing a handgun, a remote control car, and a bag containing $1,000 in parts. Because some of the items had been hidden in the home, the owners suspected it was someone they knew, and attention quickly turned to Tauzin, who subsequently admitted taking the items. The stolen goods were found in his home. The two-year veteran was fired early this month and now faces one count of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling. He's out on $10,000 bond.

In Galesburg, Illinois, a former Galesburg police officer was sentenced November 6 for stealing drugs from the department evidence locker. David Hendricks, 50, pleaded guilty last month to charges of official misconduct and drug possession after being arrested last year. He was accused of stealing drugs over a three-year period for his personal use. While he could have faced up to 20 years in prison, he will do only 180 days and 30 months of specialized probation.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 9th 2008

 

Another NYPD bad apple, a probation officer with a bad habit, and more jail guards ending up on the inside looking out.

In New York City, an NYPD officer has been jailed pending trial after being accused of being part of a gang that robbed arrestsdrug dealers in six states ranging from New York to North Carolina. Officer Jorge Arbaje-Diaz was indicted for conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act (extortion by force), possession and distribution of cocaine, and firearms charges. Arbaje-Diaz reportedly wore his police uniform in some of the 100 armed robberies attributed to the gang, which managed to steal some 1,500 pounds of cocaine and $4 million in cash from dealers.

In Vale, Oregon, an Eastern Oregon probation officer was arrested October 30 for apparently stealing drugs. Sydnie Maglaughlin, 36, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, third-degree theft and third-degree official misconduct. Maglaughlin worked as a corrections technician for the Malheur County Work Release Program from 2004 to 2006, when she transferred to the probation office. She has posted $1,500 bail and is free pending trial.

In Panama City, Florida, a Bay County jail guard was arrested Wednesday after she was caught bringing pain pills to work. It apparently wasn't the first time. Angela Lavonne Chiles now faces charges of introduction of contraband into a detention facility and unlawful compensation for official behavior. She has now been fired and is currently looking out from the other side of the bars.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, a former jail guard at the Worcester County House of Corrections was sentenced October 30 to two years in prison for smuggling oxycodone into the jail. Matthew Mahoney, 25, had been convicted in federal court on charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute. Mahoney was caught in 2007 smuggling between 80 and 100 pills into the jail. He must report to prison by December 1.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 25th 2008

 

Cops dealing drugs, cops stealing money. More of the same old same old. In Memphis, a Bolivar police officer was indicted by a federal grand jury last Friday on drug dealing charges. Officer William Patrick Jordan is accused of buying dea badgepowerful pain-relieving drugs from undercover informants and selling them to "young girls at the Sonic Drive-In in Bolivar."In Knoxville, Tennessee, a former drug task force officer was sentenced October 16 to nine months in jail and three years probation for stealing money from drug suspects and from the drug task force to which he was assigned. Former Sevier County deputy sheriff Mark Victor Shults had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of theft over $1,000. Authorities said Shults became addicted to the drugs he was seizing and stole money to feed his habit. In Boston, a former Swampscott police officer was sentenced October 14 to six months of home confinement and two years probation for dealing dope. Former officer Thomas Wrenn pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and Oxycontin in June after being arrested in March during a police sting while trying to buy drugs. He resigned after his arrest In Atlanta, a former DEA agent was sentenced September 18 to 21 months in prison for failing to report cash income in 2004. (Sorry, we missed this when it happened.) Gregory Campion, 48, served as an assistant supervisor at a DEA task force office in Atlanta, where he had access to millions of dollars in cash seized from suspected drug dealers. In 2004, Campion deposited more than $200,000 in cash in his bank accounts -- at the same time that seizures conducted during his tenure came up "short" when deposited in banks. He didn't report his income on his tax return, and that's why he is headed for prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 19th 2008

 

More rogue cops in New York City, a Texas sheriff gets busted, some sticky-fingered narcs in Ohio, a would-be pot-growing cop in Florida, and yes, another prison employee busted for getting the inmates high.

In New York City, two unnamed NYPD officers will likely be indicted shortly for being part of a violent crew that robbed drug dealers, kidnapping and sexually torturing some of their victims. One is an active-duty officer;Crime City the other is retired. The pair are accused of wearing their uniforms and acting as "cops" for a crew that stole more than 100 kilos of cocaine from dealers in robberies up and down the East Coast. The crew would kidnap their victims after a police-style car stop or home invasion raid, then take them to remote areas at gunpoint and threaten and sometimes torture them until they gave up their drugs. A dozen members of the crew have already been indicted, but in a September 16 hearing before Brooklyn federal District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, Assistant US Attorney Andrea Goldbarg said she would soon file a superseding indictment, indicating the arrest of the two cops is looming.

In Hidalgo, Texas, the Starr County sheriff was arrested Tuesday for conspiring to smuggle illicit drugs into the country. Sheriff Reymundo Guerra, 52, was charged in a 19-count federal indictment that includes more than a dozen co-conspirators. Federal prosecutors said Guerra possessed with the intent to distribute more than 700 pounds of marijuana and more than two pounds of cocaine. He is also charged with using a phone to facilitate the conspiracy and helping a co-defendant avoid capture by suggesting the use of fraudulent lease documents. Guerra is looking at 10 years to life in prison and a $4 million fine.

In Warren, Ohio, two Trumbull County Sheriff's Office deputies will be fired for allegedly ripping-off an anti-drug charity for their personal gain. Sgts. Pete Pizzullo and Anthony Leshnack were informed that the sheriff has recommended their termination on October 3. The pair founded the Ohio Narcotics Officers Association in 2004 to raise money for charitable organizations with anti-drug messages and, using a professional fundraising company, collected more than $1 million statewide. It is unclear how much of the money the two are supposed to have skimmed off for personal use. The firing is not a done deal; there is an extensive appeals process. The county prosecutor has asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed, but so far, there are no criminal charges against the pair.

In Valdosta, Georgia, a Georgia Department of Corrections prison employee was arrested October 8 for smuggling drugs to inmates. Deborah Watson, 26, a kitchen employee at Valdosta State Prison, went down after investigators asked to search her at work. She refused and quit on the spot, only to be stopped and searched by Valdosta County sheriff's deputies when she left the prison. In her bra, they found three tubes filled with drugs including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Authorities valued the drugs at $4,000 on the street and several times that behind bars. That's where Watson is now.

In Orlando, Florida, an Altamonte Springs police officer pleaded guilty in federal court last Friday to setting up a marijuana grow house and having an arsenal of weapons on hand. Clay Adams, 26, pleaded guilty to five federal charges, including conspiring with his wife to grow 2,200 pounds of marijuana. Adams and his wife, Robyn, 32, were arrested July 21 after setting up a grow house in Chuluota. He faces at least 15 years in prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 12th 2008

 

A Wyoming cop get sentenced for stealing his canine officer father's training dope, a prosecutor in Indiana is in the hot seat over asset forfeiture, and another prison guard gets busted.

In Tallahassee, Florida, a state prison guard was arrested Monday night for allegedly selling cocaine at a North Florida prison. Florida Department of Corrections guard Keith Alan Black is charged with one count of trafficking cocaine. He was arrested after an investigation that began September 24 and was being held in the Leon County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

In Lyman, Wyoming, a former Gillette police officer and Campbell County jail guard was sentenced October 1 to two to four years in prison for stealing marijuana from his father's police patrol car. Thomas Brent Clark took about one pound of pot that his father, police drug doga canine officer for the Uinta County Sheriff's Department, kept in his vehicle for training purposes. He was sentenced to the same amount of prison time last week in Campbell County, but may not actually serve any time behind bars. His sentencing judge has recommended that he be sent to a six-month boot camp rather than the state penitentiary.

In Delaware County, Indiana, asset forfeiture abuses by local prosecutors continue to roil local courts. Circuit court judges have been reviewing old cases and are especially critical of County Prosecutor Mark McKinney, whom one judge labeled "deceitful" in his dealing with the court on drug forfeitures. Judges also rebuked McKinney for using confidential settlement agreements with defendants to obtain property without going through the courts, and one judge is examining past forfeiture cases in his court after learning that a defendant's bank account he had ordered frozen had been emptied. That's part of a pattern with McKinney, who in this case divided the bank account holdings between the Muncie Delaware Drug Task Force, the defendant, and his defense attorney. McKinney must now file a brief explaining why he should not be held personally accountable for the improperly distributed funds.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 4th 2008

 

Crooked policing runs the gamut this week: from a former chief of police busted for dope dealing, to a cop nailed for acting as a middleman in a bribery scheme, to some lying cops being scrutinized by a federal judge, to a crew of rogue detectives costing their employer a nice settlement, to another rogue cop who's been on the lam for the last five years. Let's get to it:

In Schenectady, New York, a former Schenectady police chief was arrested September 24 along with his wife on multiple drug charges. Gregory Kaczmarek, who was chief of police from 1996 to 2002, faces multiple felony cocaine possession charges and second-degree conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The charges grew out of an earlier bust that wrapped up Lisa Kaczmarek and the couple's son, along with 20 other people in the Albany area. The Kaczmareks are accused of picking up drugs in Long Island and selling them in Albany. Kaczmarek has been dogged by rumors of cocaine use for years, and had denied being a cokehead when he was named chief. He retired in 2002 over a non-drug-related corruption scandal.bent cop

In Midland, Pennsylvania, a Western Pennsylvania police officer was arrested September 25 for acting as a fixer for a drug suspect who was offering to pay $5,000 to the arresting officer to make his charge go away. Kenneth Williams, 54, a part-time officer in Midland and Industry, was arraigned on charges of bribery and obstructing administration of law. According to state police, Williams offered the money to another Midland officer in April 2007. He was supposed to get $1,000 for brokering the deal, but all he got was busted.

In New York City, an NYPD detective and a deputy US marshal were the subject of a court hearing yesterday to determine whether they should be prosecuted by the US attorney's office for lying in an evidentiary hearing in a drug case. The hearing comes a week after Judge Nicholas Garaufis tossed out the evidence in the case of Edgar Matos, saying he found the officers' version of events to be "a complete fabrication" that "defies credibility." NYPD Detective Adam Heege and Deputy US Marshal Dennis Tait testified that they were looking for Matos' cousin in a homicide investigation and calmly approached Matos, who then reached into his pocket and threw away ziploc bags containing drugs in front of them. Unusually, the judge chose to believe Matos -- and common sense -- when Matos denied throwing the drugs to the ground.

In New Orleans, the city of New Orleans has offered to settle a lawsuit filed by three men who said police planted drugs in their building and falsely arrested them in 2002. The case against the four men began falling apart when the four NOPD detectives involved in the case ran into problems of their own, and the city dropped the charges in 2003. The raid looked even sleazier after attorneys in the civil suit got testimony from informants that contradicted what the officers had reported. Since the bust, one of the officers involved, Det. Earl Razor, was fired from the force after he tested positive for cocaine as he was being investigated for stealing heroin from a drug dealer in police custody. A second, Det. Eric Smith, resigned from the force in 2003 shortly before being indicted for identity theft for using a stolen Social Security number to lease a Corvette. He later pleaded guilty. The lead detective in the case, Det. William Marks, was pulled over by an Illinois state trooper in November 2003 for speeding in a borrowed NOPD vehicle. closing cell doorThe trooper reported finding two women in the car, one of whom was a convicted felon with an outstanding Chicago warrant for prostitution, and a partially-burned blunt and pot pipe under the seat, as well as a stolen 9 mm handgun in the trunk. Marks was later fired. The fourth detective, Steven Payne, had lent the NOPD vehicle to Marks, and he was later fired for possession of a stolen weapon. The city of New Orleans has offered the plaintiffs $85,000 to go away, and if that offer is accepted, the city will be getting a bargain. In Chicago, a fugitive Chicago police narcotics officer remains at large five years after he vanished instead of facing trial for leading a crew of crooked cops who for a decade busted drug dealers but didn't arrest them, instead stealing and dealing their drugs and money and reselling the drugs to other dealers. Sgt. Eddie Hicks, a 30-year veteran of the force, was a superstar narc, making dozens of raids, and getting away with his crime spree until he and his crew were swept up in an undercover operation in 2001. According to federal prosecutors, Hicks and crew robbed and extorted hundreds of pounds of marijuana and kilograms of cocaine from their dealer victims, sometimes posing as members of a DEA squad. He is wanted for RICO violations; conspiracy, possession, and distribution of a controlled substance; and failure to appear. The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Sept: 28th 2008

 

From sea to shining sea, cops, jail guards, and court officers go bad. This week, in addition to the usual rogues' gallery of corrupt cops, we get an abusive one, too.

In Jackson, Alabama, a Madison County deputy resigned last month after an internal investigation found that he either gave narcotics to an inmate or allowed the inmate to take them himself. Deputy Dustin Newman, 24, resigned on August 18 after investigators determined that "the only fact disputed is whether Newman took the drugs from a property box himself or just provided information which led to the drugs being taken by the trusty."

In Knoxville, Tennessee, a University of Tennessee Police Department officer was arrested September 17 for selling drugs in student housing. Officer Matthew Chambers, 35, faces one count of sale and distribution of Schedule II narcotics for selling one oxycodone tablet to a snitch. In a perhaps not so surprising twist, Chambers' attorney claims the snitch is his client's former girlfriend, who ratted him off in an effort to get charges she is facing reduced.

In Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, a Mt. Juliet police officer faces aggravated assault charges Bent copsafter being caught on video using a chokehold on a man suspected of hiding marijuana in his mouth. Mt. Juliet Police Corporal William Crosby pleaded not guilty September 18. Police car video showed Cosby choking James Lawrence Anders Jr. until he passed out during an April traffic stop. Anders was charged with marijuana possession, but those charges have now been dropped, and Anders has filed a civil lawsuit over the incident.

In St. Helens, Oregon, the Columbia County drug court coordinator was arrested over the weekend for allegedly selling drug investigation information to drug dealers and users. Emily Davis Cayton, 30, was initially charged with drug possession, but prosecutors said her case could go before a grand jury and result in further charges any day now. Investigators said they got a tip through their "informant system," but are unsure what information was leaked or how much Cayton was paid. She was arrested after a weeks-long investigation, they said. Cayton is now on paid administrative leave from her drug court gig.

In Walla Walla, Washington, a state prison guard was arrested Monday after being caught bringing "a substantial amount" of drugs into the prison. Prison guard Camren James Jones, 20, was jailed on suspicion of delivering cocaine, heroin, methadone and marijuana. Authorities described the amount of heroin as about the size of two golf balls.

In McAllen, Texas, a former Border Patrol agent was sentenced September 16 to five years in federal prison for lying about cocaine seizures. Juan Espinoza, 31, pleaded guilty to making false statements or entries in August 2006. Investigators found that Espinoza had seized cocaine from drug traffickers and conspired with others to distribute it. He had been free on bond, but now he's behind bars.

In Mineola, New York, a former NYPD officer was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for stealing handguns from a police evidence room and trading them for painkillers. Former Officer Hubertus Vannes had pleaded guilty in May to criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a firearm. He admitted trading three guns to a man in return for painkillers and was caught with 76 pills when arrested. The guy he traded the guns to has also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced October 14.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Sept: 20th 2008

 

A Texas constable and probation/parole officers in Massachusetts and North Carolina are in the spotlight this week.

In Brownsville, Texas, a former Cameron County constable was sentenced September 11 to four years and nine months in federal prison for selling marijuana from the precinct evidence room. Former Constable Saul Ochoa, 37, had pleaded guilty in July to selling 10 pounds of marijuana to a confidential informant in Peter Sellersreturn for the dropping of three additional counts of marijuana sales. All told, Ochoa is suspected of selling at least 175 pounds of seized marijuana he stole from the evidence room. Only 15 pounds were in the evidence room when there should have been 190 pounds. Ochoa was the only person with a key to the evidence locker. Ochoa told investigators he sold the drugs to finance a $40 a day cocaine habit. When he was arrested in May, police found eight pounds of marijuana, along with a loaded 9 mm Beretta, two shot guns, shot gun ammunition, and an M-16 in his squad car. Investigators also found a small amount of cocaine in his wallet and evidence bags with control numbers matching a constable's office marijuana seizure. At Ochoa's home, investigators found a digital scale, a lighter, pipe, two hunting rifles, a brick of marijuana, and more empty evidence bags.

In New Bern, North Carolina, a former North Carolina probation and parole officer was sentenced September 11 to 46 months in federal prison for aiding in the peddling of crack cocaine. Patricia Lisa Gederberg, 42, was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute more than five grams of crack and aiding and abetting. According to federal prosecutors, Gederberg used her state-issued vehicle to meet with contacts she provided with classified documents and for the transportation of drugs. She was charged last October and copped a plea in December.

In Springfield, Massachusetts, a former state probation officer was sentenced September 9 to 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of drug dealing charges. Juan Latorre, a 23-year veteran probation officer, was arrested in March 2007 with three other men as police broke up a large Oxycontin and other pain pill distribution network. Police seized $100,000 in cash during the bust. Latorre pleaded guilty to possession of an opium derivative with intent to distribute, possession of methadone with intent to distribute, possession of diazepam with intent to distribute, and violation of a drug-free school zone. While that case was making its way through the courts, Latorre was busted again and has now ended up also pleading guilty to an additional four counts of heroin distribution and one of possession. His attorney said he was strung-out on Oxycontin after a previous injury.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Sept: 12th 2008

 

We have cops and prison guards getting into drug war trouble from coast to coast this week, from San Diego to Chicago and from Florida to Maryland.

In San Diego, a San Diego police officer was arrested September 2 for allegedly tipping off drug dealers about an ongoing investigation. Officer Juan Hurtado Tapia, whom traffickers allegedly called "El Corrupto," was charged in federal court with obstruction, fraud and making false statements. A federal complaint said Tapia ran criminal history checks on a police computer for members of a drug trafficking ring and warned at least one suspect not to try to cross the border from Mexico on a particular night. Tapia is now on unpaid leave.corrupt cops

In Hagerstown, Maryland, a rookie prison guard was arrested September 4 for smuggling pot and cigarettes into the Roxbury Correctional Institution. Rookie Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Officer Krista Blank is charged with possessing marijuana and contraband, and with possessing the materials with the intent to distribute them inside a place of confinement. That is four separate charges -- two each for the pot and the cigs -- for which she faces up to 10 years in prison.

In Lakeland, Florida, a Polk County detention deputy was arrested September 4 for selling Oxycontin tablets to undercover detectives. Deputy Shawn Thomas Lucas, 30, was arrested after detectives received information he was selling pain pills and set up a buy, where he sold them six whole Oxycontin tablets and nine half-tablets, for a total of 4.4 grams, or about $200 worth. During a post-arrest search of his vehicle, detectives recovered a load .45-caliber handgun. Now, he is charged with armed drug trafficking. Lucas told detectives the pills had been prescribed to his deceased father and he was peddling them because he and his family were having financial difficulties. Lucas has now resigned from the sheriff's office.

In Jacksboro, Tennessee, two Campbell County law enforcement officers were arrested September 5 for allegedly stealing drugs from the Jacksboro Police Department and trading them for prescription drugs. Jacksboro Police Officer Ancil Parker, 30, and Campbell County jail guard Tonya Robinson, 34, are both charged with delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and official misconduct. Robinson also was charged with one count of theft under $500. The pair are being held responsible for marijuana and cocaine that went missing from the police department last year.

In Chicago, a Chicago police officer and another man were arrested Monday for plotting to set up the man's estranged wife on drug and firearms charges. Bogdan Mazur, 47, tried to set up his wife by scheming to deliver 44 grams of cocaine, 62 grams of marijuana and a gun with a defaced serial number to his wife, and enlisted Officer Slawomir Plewa, 30, to help him out. Mazur allegedly arranged with Plewa to have him detain and arrest his wife even though both knew the charges were false. The woman was acquitted of the gun and drug charges in January. Now Plewa is charged with official misconduct, perjury, obstruction of justice, unlawful restraint and false reporting. Mazur faces charges of filing a false police report, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to manufacture or deliver cocaine and cannabis, and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to police reports.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 30th 2008

 

A key Coast Guard anti-drug fighter gets caught doing cocaine, plus the usual array of miscreants in blue. We don't usually mention cases that only involve drug use, but when it's a top Coast Guard commander in charge of fighting drugs, we think we should make an exception to the general rule. Let's get to it:

In San Francisco, a senior Coast Guard officer who supervised anti-drug trafficking efforts in the Western Pacific was arrested August 20 on cocaine charges. Capt. Michael Sullivan, a 26-year veteran, was charged under military law with wrongful use of cocaine and obstruction of justice, a step that sets up an evidentiary hearing and could prompt a court-martial. Officials gave no further details, but said he had been removed from supervisory duties. Sullivan, who was the Pacific area's chief of response since May 2007, supervised the operation of 20 major Coast Guard cutters and directed law enforcement units that protect ports and fisheries and fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration, according to his official biography.

In Benton, Louisiana, an already convicted ex-cop pleaded guilty Monday to seven additional charges. Former Shreveport police officer Roderick Moore, 53, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to trading drugs for sex with a stripper in Caddo Parish in June. Now he has pleaded guilty to an additional seven counts of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute. The pleas in the drug cases come two days after he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. Although Moore theoretically faces up to 145 years in prison, his sentencing judge said the sentences would run concurrently. The maximum he faces for any one count is 30 years.

In Jackson, Mississippi, a Jackson code enforcement officer was arrested Sunday after being found with six packages of marijuana and $19,000 cash during a traffic stop. Code officer Britanny Arnold was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another man, who was carrying $670,000 in cash. Both Arnold and the driver are now charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Both have bailed out of jail.

In Rutland, Vermont, a former Vermont state prison guard was sentenced August 20 to seven months in jail on drug charges. Former guard Sheri Ann Fitzgerald, 44, had pleaded guilty in March to felony possession and sale charges involving cocaine as well as a misdemeanor charge of possessing a narcotic. Fitzgerald had been a prison guard since 1989, but was fired after being arrested. She has until September 4 to get her affairs in order and report to jail.

In Saginaw, Michigan, a jail guard at the Saginaw Correctional Facility was formally charged August 20 with supplying drugs to prisoners. John Singer, 45, now faces one count of delivery and manufacture of marijuana and one count of operating a drug house. He went down after a two-month investigation by the Bay Area Narcotics Team, one of whose members posed as a drug dealer willing to supply him for sales on the inside. He was arrested as he met with the officer in what he thought would be a drug transaction.

In Houston, a deputy constable was arrested August 18 for accosting drug dealers and stealing their money. Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Terrence Richardson is charged with engaging in organized crime and robbery. Word of Richardson's exploits percolated up from underground to the ears of the Houston Police Department, which set up a sting operation that snared him as he tried yet another rip-off. At last word, he was still in jail on a $200,000 bond. He is also now a former deputy constable, having been fired the night he was arrested.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 23rd 2008

 

Cops "misplacing" money, cops providing help to a pot crew, a court security officer peddling pain pills, and a jail guard getting caught bringing in the goodies. Just another week in the drug war. Let's get to it:

In Bartow, Florida, a Lake Wales police officer was arrested August 13 for providing police information to a friend of his who headed up a marijuana distribution ring. Officer Keenan Olson, 50, faces one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering action, five counts of unlawful use of two-way communications device, and four counts of unlawful use of computer access after he was tied to an investigation that ultimately netted 18 arrests. Olson was overheard on wiretapped phone conversations revealing that a certain car belonged to an undercover officer, confirming that an arrest warrant had not been issued for a ring member, and counseling his friend on how to move forward with his marijuana ring by avoiding police-controlled phone calls and drug buys. Olson resigned the day he was arrested.

In Newport News, Virginia, a Curry County Adult Detention Center officer was arrested August 14 after being caught on videotape supplying drugs and other contraband to prisoners. Officer Charlie Aguirre, 23, is charged with bringing contraband into the jail, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and attempt to commit a felony. He met an $11,000 bond and was released the same day. Aguirre is the fourth Curry County jail guard to be arrested for smuggling dope to inmates this year.

In Dedham, Massachusetts, a former Stoughton District Court security officer was sentenced August 15 to two years in jail for selling prescription pain pills on the courthouse grounds. Keely Johnson, 32, was convicted of two counts of possession with intent to distribute a Class C drug and drug violation near a school or park. After the state attorney general's office received a tip Johnson was peddling pills at the courthouse, undercover officers went in and twice bought Percocet tablets off her. Johnson only got three months for the possession with intent charge, but two years on the drug-free zone charge.

In Hamburg, Pennsylvania, a former Lykens police chief was sentenced Monday to nine months in jail and three months house arrest for "misplacing" $3,200 in money seized in drug arrests. Former Chief Chris Wade must also serve two years on probation and pay $6,000 in fines and restitution.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 16th 2008

 

A tough week for jail and prison guards, and a pair of Virginia deputies could find themselves in trouble.

In Wytheville, Virginia, the Smyth County sheriff has launched an internal probe after sworn affidavits for search warrants in a federal drug case linked two deputies to the subject of those warrants. Sheriff David Bradley would not confirm reports that one deputy had been fired and another suspended, nor were the deputies named. According to the affidavits, based in part on what the suspect unwittingly told confidential informants, one deputy, "Deputy A," "uses methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription pills but his drug of choice is methamphetamine." The affidavit alleged that Deputy A scored from Anthony Richardson, former chief of the Damascus Police Department, who is currently facing multiple meth conspiracy and distribution charges in state court. "Deputy B," identified as a Smyth County Sheriff's narcotics investigator, "used to steal drugs and give them to [the suspect] to sell," according to the DEA's affidavit. No word on when or if a grand jury indictment is coming down.

In Clovis, New Mexico, a Curry County jail guard was arrested and fired August 7 for trying to smuggle drugs into the county jail. Former jail guard Julian Patrick Garcia, 36, is charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, bringing contraband into a jail, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, attempt to commit a felony by furnishing drugs to a prisoner and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Garcia went down as a result of an internal investigation at the jail after officials heard allegations an inmate was arranging for drugs to be smuggled in. At last word, Garcia was trying to make a $56,000 bond.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a state prison guard was arrested August 8 for allegedly smuggling drugs and tobacco into the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Andrew Myers, 23, faces a charge of providing contraband to an inmate. Myers had been under suspicion for two months. Prison officials said they believed he had taped the contraband to his body and delivered it to an inmate in return for $100.

In McAlester, Oklahoma, a former lieutenant at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary was sentenced August 8 to a series of suspended sentences after pleading guilty to felony drug charges. Marion Bess, 44, had faced up to life in prison. He had pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; conspiracy to deliver/manufacture/possess a controlled dangerous substance -- which carries a sentence of from seven years to life -- and unlawful use of a communication facility, meaning a telephone. He also pleaded guilty to one more count of meth possession. He has to do five years on probation and go to drug treatment.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 1st 2008

 

Prison guards get busted as cocaine traffickers in Louisiana and New Jersey, and a pair of North Carolina cops plea to helping out the local cocaine trade.

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, a Texas prison guard was arrested Monday night after Louisiana state troopers found 1.2 pounds of cocaine in her vehicle during a drug dog search after a traffic stop. LaQuatta Felder of Houston works at the Darrington Penitentiary in Rosharon, Texas, and was traveling with a former Darrington prisoner, Joseph Harris. Both were booked into the the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

In Newark, New Jersey, a veteran Newark prison guard was charged July 24 with leading a cocaine trafficking ring that bought the drug in Texas and Florida and sold it in New Jersey. Senior corrections officers Eugene Braswell, 29, worked at Northern State Prison. He first came under scrutiny last August, when he shot and killed a former Northern State prisoner outside his home. The investigation into that shooting led to two arrests earlier this month, and then Braswell and three others were arrested last week. Police found $16,000 in cash and a .357 magnum revolver when they searched his home. He is charged with leading a narcotics network, other drug charges, money laundering and conspiracy. Bail was set at $500,000.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, two former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers have cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors in the case against them for conspiring with a drug dealer and an informant to sell crack cocaine. Ex-officers Gerald Holas Jr. and Jason Ross agreed to guilty pleas in return for a prosecutorial recommendation they be sentenced to the statutory 10-year minimum sentence for drug conspiracy. In return for the recommended minimum, the two men must make "full, accurate and complete disclosure" to federal authorities about their involvement in the conspiracy. If they're found to have lied, or if they commit any crime, the deal is off. The pair went down after a confidential informant told the FBI a drug dealer was being protected by them. They claimed they were "working" the dealer to make more arrests, but the feds didn't buy that. Now, local prosecutors say they will dismiss any drug cases brought by the pair. Those could number in the hundreds. The plea bargain must be approved by a federal judge in the fall.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 27th 2008

 

Three cases of crooked cops in Florida this week, and a pair of asset forfeiture abuse situations in St. Louis and Muncie, Indiana.

In Altamonte Springs, Florida, an Altamonte Springs police officer and his wife were arrested Monday night on federal drug and weapons charges. Officer Clay Adams, a nine-year veteran and former member of the department's drug task force, was arrested by DEA and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents when he went to work Monday night. Adams and his wife are accused of operating a marijuana grow house that supplied pot to distributors in Tallahassee, as well as dealing in illicit prescription drugs. Adams is also accused of possessing weapons and explosives. The pair went down after a person Adams recruited to work in the operation turned out to be a snitch. Adams and his wife were jailed pending a hearing today.

In Miami, five Miami-Dade County jail guards were arrested last Friday after being indicted by a federal grand jury for smuggling drugs into the facility. They went down thanks to an FBI undercover operation in which an agent posed as a drug dealer and sold them heroin and cocaine for resale behind bars. A jail kitchen employee and several inmates were also charged. The guards face a maximum 20-year sentence on each charge and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

In Miami, two Miami-Dade police officers were arrested July 17 during a joint state-federal raid on a cocaine and gambling ring. Officer Michael Anthony King, 42, faces state charges of illegal gambling and federal charges of aiding and abetting the distribution of powder and crack cocaine. King is a 19-year veteran officer. Officer Antonio Roberts, a 27-year veteran of the force, faces similar charges. They were among 36 people arrested in the raid, including former Dade County corrections officer Marvin "Cone Head" Coney, who is accused of being a cocaine distributor. King and Roberts allegedly used their positions as police officers to help Cone Head and others avoid arrest. If convicted, they face sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison.

In St. Louis, the St. Louis Police Department has been using seized cars, including those seized in drug busts, to keep the chief's daughter in new vehicles, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It wasn't just Aimie Mokwa, the daughter of Chief Joe Mokwa, who benefited from the sweetheart deal between the department and St. Louis Metropolitan Towing, which handles seized vehicles for the city. Police officers also received similar perks, such as free use of seized vehicles and the opportunity to buy them for deeply reduced prices. Now, Chief Mokwa has stopped the practice, but many questions remain. The Post-Dispatch story goes into all the tawdry details.

In Muncie, Indiana, abuses in the way the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force and the county prosecutor handled local drug asset forfeiture cases are prompting new, tighter rules. Under a draft of the new rules written by a Delaware Circuit Court 2 Judge Richard Dailey, criminal cases will actually have to be disposed of before any civil forfeiture action can begin, and an independent attorney -- not the county prosecutor -- will handle those cases. Current County Prosecutor Mark McKinney received almost $100,000 in attorney's fees over the past decade for handling forfeiture cases. The prosecutor and the drug task force made confidential agreements to divvy up the booty, using much of it to fund further task force operations, as well as buying equipment for police gyms and carpeting the prosecutor's office, a violation of Indiana state law. That law says proceeds from drug forfeitures should be placed in local government general funds and common school funds after law enforcement costs have been paid.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 12th 2008

 

Cops in LA and New York get caught lying about drug busts, a couple of Indiana cops get in trouble, an Alabama cop is headed for prison, and, of course, more jail guards get caught.

In New York City, a bar owner whose surveillance video exposed bogus drug arrests by NYPD officers is now complaining that he is being harassed by the NYPD. Eduardo Espinoza, 36, of Elmhurst, complained that police from the 110th Precinct have been regularly entering, searching, and "inspecting" his bar, and hitting him with violations such as failure to have liquid soap in his bar bathroom. The harassment came after a video Espinoza made available to lawyers for four people arrested for allegedly dealing $100 worth of cocaine showed officers had lied when they said they made contact with the four while in the bar. Queens prosecutors dropped the charges against the four last week, and NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the arresting officers.

In Los Angeles, three LAPD officers have been reassigned as the department investigates allegations they lied under oath in a recently dismissed drug possession case. In that case, LAPD Officer Richard Amio and Chino Officer Evan Samuel testified that they chased a young man into a Hollywood apartment building, saw him toss a black object, and found $260 worth of cocaine in it. But a surveillance videotape from the apartment building showed that police did not find anything for at least 20 minutes, after additional officers arrived at the scene. One of the new arrivals was credited for the "find," and on the videotape, another officer talking about the arrest report, was heard to say "Be creative in your writing." After this evidence was presented in court last week, the judge dismissed the cocaine case. The now-cleared arrestee's defense attorney said the officers should be investigated for perjury and planting evidence. That investigation is now under way.

In East Chicago, Indiana, an East Chicago police officer was arrested July 3 after a DEA source recorded him on videotape trying to buy three kilos of cocaine. Veteran officer Xavier Herrera was jailed pending a Wednesday bail hearing. According to the DEA affidavit filed against Herrera, he was acting as the middleman in a cocaine transaction that involved a DEA informant. The DEA got interested in Herrera after a man arrested on meth charges in March told police he had delivered 20 kilos of cocaine to the home of an East Chicago police officer. The suspect then placed a recorded call to Herrera in which the officer agreed to discuss another cocaine sale. The suspect then vanished, becoming a fugitive from justice, and the DEA replaced him with an informant who told Herrera he was an associate of the missing man. Herrera went down after agreeing to do another coke deal with the informant.

In Indianapolis, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police narc was arrested June 27 for selling a weapon to a snitch with a felony record after that snitch snitched him out. Officer Jason Barber, 32, an eight-year veteran, became the fourth Indy police officer to be arrested last month -- three others were busted June 16 for ripping off pot and cash from dealers. Barber went down after the Indiana State Police turned his snitch and sent him in with a wire and $110 in marked cash to buy a .25 caliber handgun. Barber sold it to him despite knowing of his felonious record, and it was at least the third handgun Barber sold him, prosecutors said. They charged him with selling a handgun to a felon and official misconduct. The handgun charge is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison. Official misconduct is a Class D felony that carries a maximum of three years in prison.

In New York City, two Rikers Island prison guards were fired late last month for smuggling marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco into the prison for an accused cop-killer. Correction officers August Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24, were fired for supplying the contraband to inmate Lee Woods as he awaited trial for gunning down NYPD officer Russel Timoshenko. They are not accused of large-scale smuggling. The case has been referred to the Bronx District Attorneys Office and the Department of Investigation.

In Lexington, Kentucky, a Fayette County Detention Center jail guard was resigned June 23 after being charged with promotion of contraband. Corrections officer Daniel Houlihan is accused of smuggling illegal drugs into the jail. The detention center is the subject of a federal investigation that has so far led to five other jail guards being charged with beating inmates and covering it up. But Houlihan's arrest wasn't related to that investigation, authorities said.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, a former Shreveport police sergeant was convicted June 28 on drug delivery charges that could net him up to 30 years in prison. A jury took less than two hours to convict former Sgt. Rickey Moore, 52, of providing cocaine and prescription pain pills to a dancer at a local strip club. The dancer turned police informant, and conversations and voicemails she recorded with Moore helped convict him. So did surveillance video from the club that showed him giving drugs to the stripper turned snitch. Moore was a patrol sergeant and 17-year veteran of the department.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 29th 2008

 

An Ohio jailer, a Connecticut cop, and a pair of Florida deputies get busted, a Louisiana cop goes on trial, a Texas constable cops a plea, and so does a Texas US Border Patrol Agent.

In Toledo, Ohio, a Lucas County corrections officer was arrested June 18 after authorities with a warrant searched his home and found cocaine, scales, baggies, and cash. Thomas Walker, 24, was charged with permitting drug abuse. The two-year veteran of the sheriff's department has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of his case.

In Waterbury, Connecticut, a Waterbury police officer was arrested Monday for allegedly warning a friend he was the target of a drug investigation. Officer Israel Lugo, 29, is charged with illegally disclosing information about a state police drug investigation that netted 20 pounds of marijuana. He allegedly used a police computer to check the license plate of a state police undercover car for a friend whose home was raided last week. The friend suspected he was being tailed by police and called Lugo for help.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, two Broward County sheriff's deputies were charged Monday with acting as guards for supposed drug loads in a federal sting. Deputy Richard Tauber, 37, was arrested last week and promptly agreed to snitch on his colleague, Deputy Kevin Frankle, 38. Tauber is accused of helping load a plane with what he thought were 50 kilos of cocaine, while Frankle stood watch. Bail was set at $60,000 for Tauber; Frankle was awaiting a Thursday bail hearing.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, a former Shreveport police officer went on trial this week for alleged drug-peddling. Former Officer Roderick Moore, 52, faces two counts of drug distribution. Moore's downhill slide began last August, when he was suspended from the force after a drunk driving arrest. Then, in November, he was arrested on the drug charges and fired. That bust went down after the Caddo-Shreveport Narcotics Task Force received information he was selling drugs. Moore faces one other drug charge -- a possession beef in Bossier Parish stemming from the November search of his home.

In Brownsville, Texas, a Cameron County constable pleaded guilty June 19 to selling drugs he stole from the evidence locker. Former Precinct 1 Constable Saul Ochoa copped to one federal count of distributing 10 pounds of marijuana. He may have made off with up to 175 pounds of marijuana stored under his control. According to evidence logs, 190 pounds should have been in storage, but federal investigators could only find 15 pounds the day they arrested Ochoa. Now, county authorities are trying to figure out how to handle drug cases where the evidence has gone missing.

In McAllen, Texas, a former Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying about his failure to document cocaine he seized. Juan Espinoza, 31, copped a plea to making false statements or entries after internal investigators found a duffel bag full of cocaine he had seized but not reported. Espinoza is free on bond pending a September 16 sentencing date. He faces up to five years in prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 21st 2008

 

Trouble in the Hoosier State this week, with some Indy cops busted for ripping off pot dealers and selling their wares and a Muncie drug task force being investigated over its asset forfeiture practices. Also, a Wyoming jailer steals his cop father's drug dog pot stash, and a Massachusetts cop cops a plea. Let's get to it:

In Indianapolis, three Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers were arrested Tuesday for allegedly participating in a marijuana trafficking ring. Officers James Davis, 33, Jason Edwards, 37, and Robert Long, 34, were arrested by FBI agents after a federal indictment charging them with conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute was unsealed Tuesday morning. Long, a narcotics detective, was described as the leader of the conspiracy and is accused of illegally seizing the drug and informing a fourth defendant he was under investigation. Edwards is accused of illegally seizing marijuana and money, and the indictment says Davis illegally entered apartments to steal marijuana and money.

In Gillette, Wyoming, a former Gillette police officer and Campbell County jailer was arrested last Friday for stealing marijuana and giving it to a woman currently in prison on drug charges. Thomas Brent Clark, 23, stole the marijuana from a vehicle belonging to his father, a canine officer for the Uinta County Sheriff's Department. His father kept the marijuana in the car for training purposes. Clark was a Gillette police officer from January to March, when he was terminated. The marijuana theft occurred in February. Clark gave several ounces of marijuana to the woman, whom he met while working as a jailer at the county jail. He now faces charges of delivery of marijuana and conspiracy to deliver marijuana. He is out on bond and awaits an arraignment date.

In Boston, a former Swampscott police officer pleaded guilty June 12 to federal charges he sold oxycodone and cocaine. Thomas Wrenn, 38, was arrested in March after buying 50 pills from a police informant, but his colleagues had been watching him since they were tipped off to his drug use last year. Federal prosecutors alleged he had distributed illegal pain relievers on about 20 occasions in the past five years, and distributed cocaine on at least three occasions in 2006. Wrenn resigned from the force after his arrest.

In Muncie, Indiana, the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force came under scrutiny at a circuit court hearing last Friday. Delaware Circuit Court 2 Judge Richard Dailey conducted the hearing into the status of more than 50 asset forfeiture cases filed by the task force, and the court heard testimony that seized cash and goods were routinely funneled into task force bank accounts in violation of state law. Judge Dailey fended off repeated efforts by Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney to thwart the probe. McKinney unsuccessfully argued that Dailey had no right to review confidential agreements that also included the names of cooperating witnesses or other information key to criminal investigations. McKinney is the target of professional misconduct complaint filed by Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley charging he misled local courts about the cases, some of which have been pending for years.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 14th 2008

 

 

Busy, busy. Border guards going down, prison guards going down, more cops in trouble, and more investigations of a perjury-condoning prosecutor in Detroit.

In San Diego, a US Customs and Border Protection officer was indicted by a federal grand jury June 3 for allegedly taking $200,000 in bribes to let illegal immigrants and marijuana into the country. Luis Francisco Alarid, 31, is charged with with conspiracy to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants and bribery. In March, Alarid permitted a car driven by his uncle with 18 illegal immigrants and 170 pounds of marijuana to enter the United States, according to authorities. On May 3, Alarid allowed a caravan of four vehicles carrying illegal immigrants into the country. He faces up to 90 years in prison if convicted.

In McAllen, Texas, a US Border Patrol agent was arrested Monday and accused of smuggling 11 bricks of cocaine into the country. Agent Reynaldo Zuniga, 34, faces charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Zuniga allegedly picked up a Mexican drug courier at the border and drove him to meet another man in Hidalgo. Those two are also under arrest. One of them said Zuniga had helped smuggle drugs or illegal immigrants at least six times.

In Texarkana, Arkansas, a Miller County prison guard was arrested May 30 after trying to smuggle syringes into the jail inside tacos and marijuana hidden inside a container of chili. Guard Jordan Michael Waller, 25, went down after a supervisor became suspicious and searched the food. A search of Waller himself also turned up tobacco, methamphetamine, and more drug paraphernalia. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and furnishing prohibited items inside a correctional facility. He goes to court June 17.

In Andalusia, Kentucky, an Andalusia police officer was arrested June 4 on drug distribution charges. Officer Joshua Chad Wood was arrested at a local motel by members of the Covington County Drug Task Force as he tried to illegally sell legally obtained prescription pills to undercover agents. He is charged with drug distribution, complicity for not reporting the presence of marijuana, and violation of state prostitution statutes. He has been suspended without pay pending a termination hearing.

In Farmington, Missouri, a former state prison guard was sentenced last Friday to seven years in prison on drugs and weapons charges. Seth Barton, who had worked at the Bonne Terre state prison, went down after prison employees searched his vehicle on prison property in February 2006. They found bags of marijuana, a loaded handgun, ammunition, a hunting knife, a jar of marijuana seeds, drug paraphernalia and more than $1,500 in cash. He pleaded no contest in April to charges of felony drug possession with intent to distribute and delivery of a weapon at a prison.

In Indianapolis, a former Indianapolis police officer was sentenced June 4 to three years probation for providing information to drug suspects to help them avoid arrest. Former Officer Noble Duke, 39, pleaded guilty in April to unlawfully disclosing the contents of federally authorized wiretaps with the intent to obstruct or impede a criminal investigation. Duke was monitoring phone conversations in a wiretap case and was aware of another case being monitored in the same room at the Indianapolis FBI office. Duke relayed information about phones being tapped, pending indictments, and the date raids were scheduled. He also has to do four months community confinement and six months of house arrest.

In Detroit, the Michigan Attorney General's Office is taking over the investigation of Wayne County's lead drug prosecutor, who is accused knowingly using perjured testimony in a 2005 cocaine case. Assistant Prosecutor Karen Plants was suspended in April after the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission charged her with misconduct for allowing an informant and two Inkster police officers to lie under oath during a cocaine conspiracy trial. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy asked that another agency investigate Plants, and the Attorney General's Office stepped in after prosecutors in four nearby counties declined to get involved.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 31st 2008

 

A Connecticut prison guard gets busted, a pair of JFK airport Customs inspectors do too, an Arizona Border Patrol agent cops a plea, and a Connecticut narc heads to prison. Just another week in the drug war.


In Hartford, Connecticut, a prison guard was arrested last week in a state police sting operation after agreeing to smuggle heroin and a cell phone into a Suffield prison for an inmate. Corrections officer Connie Atkins, 43, met with an undercover police officer posing as a drug connection in Hartford on May 21 and took possession of a cell phone and what she thought was 28 grams of heroin. She was then arrested. Atkins faces charges of criminal attempt to possess narcotics, criminal attempt to convey narcotics into a correctional institution and criminal attempt to convey a wireless communication device into a correctional institution. She is out on bail, with a Superior Court hearing set for June 20.

In New York City, two Customs and Border Protection officers were arrested Wednesday, accused of taking bribes in a drug probe that snagged five other people as well. The so far unnamed CBP officers allegedly took bribes to look the other way as the other arrestees smuggled hashish and other drugs and contraband through Kennedy International Airport. The others arrested included two Customs brokers, an operations manager of a cargo cooperative, and two importers of counterfeit goods and controlled substances. They were due in court this week.

In Tucson, a Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty May 20 to smuggling more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana into the country in his government vehicle. Agent Juan Luis Sanchez pleaded guilty to drug smuggling, bribery, and workmen's compensation fraud. He admitted transporting at least six loads of marijuana ranging from 376 pounds to 921 pounds in 2002 and 2003. He also admitted receiving $45,000 in bribes. Sanchez will be sentenced August 13, when he faces up to life in prison, but a plea deal with prosecutors calls for a sentence of between 10 and 15 years.

In New Haven, Connecticut, a former New Haven detective was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months in federal prison after admitting he planted drug evidence and stole money from a crime scene. Former narcotics detective Justen Kasperzyk pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to violate civil rights and theft of government property. He will report to prison June 24, where he can hang out with his old boss, former narcotics division head Lt. William White, who is doing 38 months for corruption.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 24th 2008

 

On opposite sides of the country, crooked cops are headed for long prison sentences, and another Atlanta narc is going to the big house. Meanwhile, a Customs and Border Protection agent in San Diego and a jail guard in the Florida panhandle get busted.

In Los Angeles, a former LAPD officer was sentenced to 13 years in prison May 12 for leading a ring of corrupt cops who robbed homes while carrying out fake drug raids. Ruben Palomares, 38, admitted to leading more than 40 home invasion robberies disguised as police raids in working-class Los Angeles neighborhoods between 1999 and 2001. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deal drugs, violating the civil rights of his victims, and using a firearm during the commission of a felony. The former Ramparts Division cop is already serving six years for a San Diego conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Palomares is one of five former police officers to be convicted in the scheme. Another Palomares accomplice and former LAPD officer was sentenced Monday to 102 years in prison. William Ferguson got hammered so hard because he turned down a plea deal that involved testifying against his brother John, who was also convicted in the ring and is currently doing eight years.

[Ed: Ferguson's century-long sentence seems troubling for multiple reasons. Armed robbery is serious business, as are betraying the public trust and contributing to the public's distrust of police. But it's not like he killed someone. Not being willing to testify against another person, let one's your brother, shouldn't be reason for increasing a sentence by 89 years and a factor of eight. I wonder how much of the sentence was the drug conspiracy charges as opposed to the robberies. -DB]

In Atlanta, another Atlanta narc has been sentenced to prison in the killing of Kathryn Johnston. Atlanta Police Officer Arthur Tesler was sentenced Tuesday to four years and nine months for lying to investigators about the November 2006 drug raid that resulted in the death of the 92-year-old woman. The three officers involved in the case lied to a judge to obtain a search warrant, tried to persuade another informant to lie for them, and planted marijuana in Johnston's home after the fact. The other two have already pleaded guilty and are serving their sentences. Tesler was the only one of the three to go to trial.

In Boston, a former Boston police officer was sentenced to 26 years in prison May 16 for his leadership role in a scheme that enlisted two other Boston police officers to escort trucks filled with cocaine headed for the city. Roberto Pulido pleaded guilty in November in the middle of his trial after jurors heard tapes of more than two dozen conversations where a swaggering, swearing Pulido was recorded plotting the protection racket in a sting organized by the FBI. Pulido and fellow officers Carlos Pizarro and Nelson Carrasquillo were arrested in July 2006 after guiding a truck filled with 100 kilograms of cocaine from Western Massachusetts into the city. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and 1 kilogram of heroin and two counts of attempting to aid and abet the distribution of the cocaine. He pleaded no contest to a fourth charge of carrying a gun in a drug-trafficking crime. Pulido blamed his crimes on his steroids habit.

In San Diego, a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer was arrested last Friday on charges he conspired to smuggle drugs and illegal immigrants across the border. CBP Officer Luis Francisco Alarid, 31, had worked at the Otay Mesa border crossing, across the frontier from Tijuana, Mexico. Federal investigators watched Alarid repeatedly fail to properly check vehicles coming through his inspection lane. Investigators found dozens of illegal immigrants and hundreds of pounds of marijuana that Alarid is suspected of allowing to be smuggled into the country.

In Panama City, Florida, a Washington County corrections officer was arrested May 10 while on duty for allegedly selling marijuana to inmates. Guard Ivan Duke Peters, 34, is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, unlawful compensation, and smuggling contraband into a detention facility. Investigators had received information that Peters was smuggling in contraband in return for cash from prisoners.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 17th 2008

 

The evidence goes missing in Galveston, a pill-hungry cop goes down in Oklahoma, a pill-peddling cop gets popped in New Jersey, and another pill-peddling cop goes to prison in Indiana.

In Galveston, Texas, large amounts of cash and drugs have gone missing from the Galveston Police Department evidence room, prompting the dismissal of 16 cases and a Texas Rangers audit of more than 2,000 other cases. Some $18,000 in cash, as well as undisclosed amounts of cocaine, Ecstasy, and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) disappeared from the evidence room last month. One civilian employee has been fired, but no one has yet been charged with a crime. Charges could be filed once the state investigation is complete, city officials said.

In Trenton, New Jersey, a Trenton police officer was arrested May 7 on charges of distribution of prescription drugs and official misconduct. Officer Nicholas Fratticioli, 24, is accused of selling more than 100 doses of muscle relaxants. Fratticioli graduated from the Trenton Police Academy in August, but has now been suspended without pay. He is currently out on $25,000 bail awaiting trial.

In Durant, Oklahoma, a Durant police lieutenant was arrested May 8 after breaking into a pharmacy in an alleged attempt to steal prescription drugs. Lt. Johnny Rutherford has admitted he was the person shown in a surveillance video breaking into the pharmacy, according to an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation affidavit in the case. Rutherford, who was due to retire this year after 20 years on the job, was on personal leave when he was arrested. He is now on administrative leave.

In Clarksville, Indiana, a former Clarksville police officer was sentenced May 8 to 10 years in prison for dealing drugs. Former office Franklin Mikel had pleaded guilty to selling morphine tablets to a police informant three times in March and April 2007 at a roller rink he owned in Clarksville. The eight-year veteran officer was running for a town judge position at the time of his arrest. He was suspended from the force and later left the department.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 10th 2008

 

Belated justice comes for two crooked cops, one in Dallas and one in Long Beach.

In Los Angeles, a former Long Beach police officer was sentenced Monday to eight years and one month in federal prison for participating in a series of home invasion robberies staged to look like legitimate drug raids. Joseph Ferguson, 33, was convicted of three counts in January, including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Ferguson was part of a ring of Los Angeles and Long Beach police officers who committed more than 30 home invasion robberies, using stolen LAPD vehicles to rob homes where they thought drugs or cash were stored. Of the 19 members of the ring, 15 have pleaded guilty, two are fugitives, and two, Ferguson and his brother, another Long Beach cop, were found guilty at trial.

In Dallas, the former Dallas narcotics detective at the center of the "sheet-rock" scandal has begun serving a five-year prison sentence. Former Dallas police officer Mark Delapaz was found guilty of lying to a judge to obtain a search warrant in the scandal, which saw dozens of innocent immigrants sent to prison after being arrested by Delapaz and his partners and charged with cocaine possession. But the "cocaine" turned out to be gypsum, similar to the stuff sheet rock is made of. Delapaz was sentenced for tampering with evidence and aggravated perjury. The scandal has cost the city $4 million in payouts to victims and led to changes in departmental policy. Another officer involved, Jeffrey Harwood, was sentenced to two years probation after a jury found him guilty of lying on a police report, and cases are still pending for two other officers, Eddie Herrera and David Larsen.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 4th 2008

 

New Haven's former top narc heads to prison, a Louisiana DARE officer goes down, a South Carolina jail guard gets caught shooting cocaine, and an Idaho deputy gets caught ripping off cash and drugs. Just another week in the drug war.

In New Haven, Connecticut, the former head of the New Haven police drug squad was sentenced Monday to 38 months in prison for stealing thousands of dollars in supposed drug money planted by the FBI in a sting and for taking bribes from bail bondsmen. Former Lt. William White, 64, pleaded guilty last October in US District Court to conspiracy to commit bribery and theft of government property. He admitted to stealing $27,500 planted by the FBI in a car trunk and another $1,000 planted at a house after being told it belonged to drug dealers.

In Pineville, Louisiana, the Pineville Police DARE officer was arrested April 23 after a drug deal he was plotting with an informant while on duty was inadvertently broadcast over a police scanner. Officer Raymond Smith, 37, a nine-year veteran and DARE officer for the last year, was working at a local elementary school, when local law enforcement starting overhearing a conversation about taking "bricks" and "kilos" to Detroit. Smith then met with the informant, and was arrested for conspiring to obtain and distribute one kilogram of powder cocaine.

In Union, South Carolina, a Union County jail guard was arrested April 23 for stealing cocaine used to train drug dogs and shooting it up on the job. Union County Detention Center Officer Ricky Haney, 53, is charged with possession of cocaine and misconduct in office in the April 7 incident. He is now a former Union County jail guard at last report residing at his former place of employment.

In Boise, Idaho, a former Fremont County deputy sheriff was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing cash and prescription drugs from the county jail. Deputy Bradley Holejsen, 25, came under suspicion after an inmate being released asked for his cash back and it couldn't be found. An audit quickly turned up missing prescription pain relievers, and after several interviews with investigators, Holjeson resigned and moved to Boise. He now faces charges of grand larceny and possession of a controlled substance.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 27th 2008

 

A perverted Oklahoma sheriff gets indicted, an Atlanta narc goes on trial, an Indiana jail guard goes to jail, a Santa Fe narc doesn't -- and a cop who made these pages three years ago is found not guilty.

We do try to follow these stories to their endings, but we don't catch everything. If there is anyone else out there who has an update we haven't mentioned, please send it on to us.

In Arapaho, Oklahoma, the Custer County Sheriff resigned April 16 as state prosecutors filed a 35-count indictment charging him with coercing and bribing female inmates to participate in sex acts. Now former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess faces 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy, and five counts of bribery by a public official, among other charges. A federal lawsuit filed by 12 former inmates alleges that Burgess and his employees had them participate in wet T-shirt contests and gave cigarettes to inmates who would flash their breasts. He also allegedly had sex with a female drug court participant after telling her she would be sent to prison if she didn't satisfy his sexual demands. Another prisoner alleges she was given trusty status after agreeing to perform a sex act on Burgess, but lost that status when she later refused. He also faces two counts each of sexual battery, rape by instrumentation, and subornation of perjury. It being Oklahoma, Burgess now faces 467 years in prison.

In Atlanta, an Atlanta police officer involved in the November 2006 raid that resulted in the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston went on trial this week in connection with her killing. Officer Arthur Tesler was one of three officers charged in the case, in which they ginned up a story to get a search warrant at her address, did a no-knock entry, then shot and killed Johnston after she opened fire on them as they burst through her door. They then planted marijuana in her basement and asked another informant to lie in an attempt to cover up their errors. Former officers Gregg Junnier and Jason Smith pleaded guilty to state charges of voluntary manslaughter and a federal charge of violating her constitutional rights and are now in federal prison awaiting sentencing. Tesler, the only one to go to trial, is charged with the lesser crimes of making a false statement to an investigator, violating his oath of office and unlawful imprisonment. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison if convicted.

In Pendleton, Indiana, a Pendleton Correctional Facility guard was arrested April 15 after police found 3.2 pounds of marijuana in his car. Tracy McGrady faces charges of bribery, trafficking with an inmate, official misconduct, and possession of marijuana over 30 grams. Police say she hid drugs in containers of frozen food to smuggle them into the prison. McGrady went down after another guard inside the prison tipped off authorities.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a former Santa Fe police detective was sentenced April 17 to three years probation for stealing money seized from a drug suspect. Former Det. Danny Ramirez, 48, had pleaded guilty January 22 to one count of theft after being caught stealing $5,000 during the May 2006 drug arrest. He was also fined $1,000.

In Chicago, a former Maywood police officer was acquitted April 15 of charges he tipped off a local gang leader about a police drug raid in 2005. Former Officer Arian Wade, 36, had been charged with criminal drug conspiracy and official misconduct after an investigation by the Cook County state's attorney's office and Cook County sheriff's police. The misconduct charge was dropped before trial. During the two-week jury trial, prosecutors alleged that phone calls between wade and a drug suspect were aimed at helping him evade law enforcement, but the defense successfully argued that Wade was grooming him as an informant and feeding him false information to ingratiate himself. The jury deliberated for four hours before delivering the not guilty verdict.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 19th 2008

Problems in the crime lab in Tucson, a small-town Georgia cop gets caught redhanded, and a Georgia sheriff's deputy follows in his father's not so illustrious footsteps.

In Tucson, a police crime lab supervisor has resigned after being accused of stealing drug evidence. Steve Skowron, a veteran of the department for more than two decades, went down after requesting leave for personal reasons on February 27. When a fellow lab employee went to his work station to get items needed for testing, he discovered unsealed packages of drugs with the drugs missing. Tucson police said Skowron was taking the drugs for his personal use. Still, the Pima County Attorney's Office now plans to reopen up to 200 cases Skowron was involved in. He is currently accused of mishandling evidence in six criminal cases between December 2004 and January 2006. No charges have yet been filed.

In Homerville, Georgia, a Lakeland police officer was arrested April 10 for possession of powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and other drugs. Lakeland Police Officer Brian King, 25, will be charged with four counts of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. King was fired last week.

In Rome, Georgia, a former Bartow County deputy sheriff faces sentencing next month after pleading guilty to federal embezzlement charges. Former Deputy Brenton Garmon stole $80,493 in money seized in drug busts between 2004 and 2007 while making a reputation for himself as the department's best narc. He is now working for an industrial services company while awaiting sentencing. Garmon is upholding a family tradition: His father, James Garmon, was a veteran Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer when he was arrested and ultimately convicted of bribery for collecting $1,600 in cash from a pawn shop that bought 81 guns seized by his son's drug unit. He did a year in a federal prison camp before getting out last fall.

Drug War Issu

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 11th 2008

 

A sticky-fingered Pennsylvania cop causes a DA to drop some drug cases, a pill-pushing Massachusetts cop resigns, and an unnamed New Mexico narc is under investigation for undeclared misdeeds.

In Erie, Pennsylvania, an Erie police officer's theft of cocaine from the evidence locker has led to the dismissal of cocaine trafficking charges against four men. Erie County DA Brad Foulk dropped the charges April 3 after a police inspector testified that Lt. Robert Leibel had admitted stealing 28.5 grams of cocaine that was evidence in the case in November. Foulk said the charges should be dropped because the theft broke the chain of custody of the evidence in the case. Liebel, 46, has not been charged in the November theft, but is awaiting an April 29 preliminary hearing on charges he stole another 12 grams of cocaine on February 10. The disappearance of the cocaine in November led to the investigation that resulted in Liebel's arrest in the February case.

In Swampscott, Massachusetts, a Swampscott police officer facing federal drug charges has resigned. Officer Thomas Wrenn, 37, resigned Saturday, thwarting any disciplinary action by the town and leaving him entitled to resignation benefits, including pay for unused vacation and personal time. Wrenn had been placed on leave last month after he was arrested on federal charges he possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute. Wrenn was busted after buying 50 Percocet pills from a snitch. He subsequently admitted to providing pills to five other people, including a former Nahant cop and four young women. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

In Albuquerque, a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department narcotics officer is on paid leave while the department investigates claims of misconduct. Neither the officer's name nor the specifics of the misconduct have yet been revealed. The investigation began April 4.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 5th 2008

 

A Pittsburgh cop rips off the evidence locker, and four Metro Detroit cops get indicted for slinging steroids, helping a biker gang, and lying to the feds, on we go......

In Pittsburgh, a retired Penn Hills police lieutenant was charged last Friday with stealing thousands of dollars worth of heroin and cocaine from department evidence lockers. Former Lt. William Markel, 54, is charged with three counts of theft and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. Markel went down after narcotics detectives told the police chief 110 bags of heroin were missing from a locked evidence locker. Further investigation revealed that an additional $2,000 worth of crack and powder cocaine was gone, as was another heroin stash valued at between $200 and $2,000. According to an affidavit in the case, Markel first said he took the drugs to give to informants, but then admitted stealing heroin and cocaine for his own use on multiple occasions. He also came up dirty on a departmental drug test and was fired. Markel says he has completed in-patient drug rehab and is now undergoing out-patient therapy. He is due back in court June 2.

In Detroit, four Metro Detroit police officers were indicted last month on drug charges and for lying to federal agents and a grand jury in an FBI operation targeting the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, the Detroit area's largest outlaw biker gang. The feds were going after the Highwaymen for alleged drug dealing, murder for hire, interstate theft, acts of violence, mortgage and insurance fraud and police corruption. Although the March 13 indictments served up only one Highwayman (for marijuana and prescription pill peddling), they did get since-fired Garden City Police Officer David Tomlan for perjury and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and steroids. He had joined the biker gang and lied to agents about his contacts with club members. Brownstown Police Officer Michael Ramsey and former Detroit reserve officer Dennis Abraham are charged with lying to agents and a grand jury, and are accused of informing club members of an informant in their midst. Hamtrack Officer Randell Hutchinson, who was assigned to the DEA's Metro Detroit task force, allegedly told the Highwaymen the FBI was wiretapping a club member. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute steroids.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 29th 2008

 

Our corrupt cops are all southern-fried this week. An Atlanta narc cops a plea in fallout from the Kathryn Johnston case, a Mississippi cop heads for prison, a pair of Florida jail guards will be looking out from the other side of the bars, and a Florida sheriff has some problems in his department.

In Atlanta, an Atlanta police narcotics sergeant pleaded guilty Monday to a federal civil rights charge for searching a residence without a warrant and trying to make it look like a break-in. Sgt. Wilbert Stallings, 44, a 23-year veteran of the force, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for an October 2005 raid where his unit had a search warrant for marijuana for one apartment, but failed to find any inside. The team then broke into an adjoining apartment, but failed to find anyone or anything, and Stallings told the team to leave the apartment and shut the door so it appeared there had been a break-in. Stallings' demise is part of the fallout from the shooting of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in 2006 by Atlanta narcs. One of the narcs involved in that killing, Greg Junnier, was part of Stallings' team and had obtained the apartment search warrant. Prosecutors said the break-in was part of a pattern of misconduct by Stallings and his team.

In Natchez, Mississippi, a former Vicksburg police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for taking bribes to protect what he thought were drug shipments. Kevin Williams, 37, was convicted of extortion last October in federal court. Prosecutors said Williams took bribes totaling $3,000 from undercover officers between November 2002 and May 2003, when he was serving as a sergeant in the city's narcotics division. He was indicted in March 2007 and arrested in Hawaii, where he was serving as an Army military police officer.

In Bartow, Florida, two Polk County Sheriff's Office detention deputies were arrested March 20 for smuggling marijuana into the Polk County Jail. Detention deputies Michael Redmond, 23, and Jarrett Brice, 34, are accused of accepting marijuana from the girlfriend of an inmate and delivering it to him. The girlfriend was also arrested. Cell phone text messages between the girlfriend and the inmate showed that six deliveries were made. Brice is also accused of altering inmate visitation records to cover up visits between the prisoner and the girlfriend and of warning Street that an investigation was underway. Both detention deputies have resigned, Street is in jail awaiting trial, and Brice is out on bail.

In New Port Richey, Florida, the arrests of two Pasco County sheriff's deputies on drug charges is leading the sheriff to evaluate hiring and drug-testing policies. Both deputies have been fired. Former Cpl. Donald Riggins is accused of conspiring to possess and distribute hydrocodone after using his patrol car to help steal $25,000 in drug money earlier this month. Former detention Cpl. Rodney Philon is accused of dealing anabolic steroids after getting caught selling 10 Dianabol tablets to an undercover informant. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office does not currently drug test its employees except when there is "reasonable suspicion," but may now consider random tests, the sheriff said.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 22nd 2008

 

Greedy jail guards, pill-peddling cops, sticky-fingered cops, and a sticky-fingered prosecutor. On the corrupt cop front, it's the same old same old. Here's this week's version.

In Charleston, Illinois, a former Coles County assistant prosecutor is considering voluntary disbarment after being accused of stealing drugs from a Coles County Sheriff's Department evidence locker. Former prosecutor James Baba, 39, took 10 grams of marijuana from the department and never returned it after telling deputies "he needed the evidence for court purposes," according to an official with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC). The ARDC accused Baba of theft in a complaint filed last August but not publicly known until now, and also noted the he successfully sought the dismissal of the case against the man to whom the 10 grams of pot belonged. While Baba had reportedly agreed to voluntary disbarment, he had not submitted paper work to the ARDC by last week, and the commission said it will move to disbar him if he doesn't do it himself. The missing marijuana was discovered after Baba had been fired in 2006 for excessive absences. State prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges.

In Cleveland, a Cleveland police sergeant got out on bail Tuesday after being arrested on charges he stole money from a department evidence locker. Sgt. Carlton Darrell, 41, is accused of stealing $5,779 while he served as supervisor of the narcotics unit. He was originally arrested in November after a four-month Internal Affairs investigation and was rearrested last week after being indicted. He is charged with theft, theft in office and tampering with records. Each count is a third degree felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In Lebanon, Ohio, a Lebanon Correctional Institution officer was arrested last Friday for trying to smuggle heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana into the Turtlecreek township prison. John Curless, 35, is charged with third-degree felony attempting to convey drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility, fifth-degree felony possession of drugs and fifth-degree possession of criminal tools. Curless went down after the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections obtained information that he was working with a prisoner to bring drugs into the prison. He was arrested as he met with his contact to pick up the drugs headed for the prison. He faces up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine if convicted.

In Swampscott, Massachusetts, a Swampscott police officer was arrested March 13 on federal charges of selling Percocet pills. Officer Thomas Wrenn, 37, is charged with possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. According to an affidavit, Wrenn purchased Percocet pills, which contain oxycodone, over a period of months and routinely consumed them and cocaine. He is also accused of selling some pills to a former Nahant police officer and a young woman in whom he had a romantic interest. Wrenn was arrested by DEA agents and Swampscott police as he purchased 50 pills from his regular supplier.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 15th 2008

 

A crooked Boston cop is headed for prison, a sticky-fingered Indianapolis cop now faces charges, and the trial of two Maryland prisoners accused of killing a guard is opening a window into corruption in the now shuttered House of Corrections.

In Boston, a former Boston police officer was sentenced Monday to 18 years in federal prison for protecting cocaine shipments for FBI agents posing as drug dealers. Former Officer Nelson Carraquillo was one of three Boston officers nailed in the sting; one other was sentenced to 13 years, while the other has yet to be sentenced. They were arrested in 2006 after traveling to Miami to collect $36,000 in payment from the supposed dealers. Carrasquillo provided counter-surveillance services, monitored Boston police radio, and guided a drug dealer in his travels, prosecutors said.

In Indianapolis, an Indianapolis police officer was arrested Monday for stealing a $725 money order during the search of a drug suspect's home and cashing it for himself last year. Officer Jason Edwards, 36, is charged with forgery and theft. Edwards was one of a group of narcotics officers who raided the home last December. The suspect later reported that the money order, with which he intended to pay his rent, was missing. His bank told him the money order had been cashed, with Jason Edwards in the "pay to the order of" line, and a Jason Edwards signature on the back. The suspect then contacted police, and Edwards subsequently admitted to taking the money order, although he claimed he found it on the ground outside the home. The eight-year veteran is now suspended without pay.

In Baltimore, 21 prison guards at the Maryland House of Corrections were implicated in contraband smuggling and other corrupt activities , according to state police reports given to defense attorneys for two inmates accused of killing a guard at the now shuttered prison. That guard, David McGuinn, was one of two killed at the prison during 2006, which led Gov. Martin O'Malley to shut it down shortly after he took office. Defense attorneys for the inmates are using the state police reports to allege that corrupt guards involved in smuggling "ordered the hit" on McGuinn, that they moved critical evidence -- the shank used to stab him -- and that they beat up an inmate and planted the shank on him to cover-up a beating they inflicted on him the day of McGuinn's death. Look for more to be revealed as this case moves forward.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 8th 2008

A former Cleveland cop heads to the slammer for protecting cocaine shipments, and a former Georgia narc pleads guilty to stealing $80,000.

In Akron, Ohio, a Cleveland police officer was sentenced February 26 to 10 years in federal prison for using his official position to protect drug runners for a cocaine distribution ring. Officer Zyonko Sarlog, 37, was arrested in August and pleaded guilty in November to money laundering and cocaine conspiracy charges. Prosecutors had asked for a longer sentence, citing among other things, the allegation that he used his mother to transport drug money.

In Rome, Georgia, the former head of the Bartow County Narcotics Task Force pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $80,000 from the sheriff's office. That money was seized from criminal suspects. As a captain in the Bartow County Sheriff's Office from 2004 through January 2007, Brenton Garmon, 36, oversaw money seized by the drug and canine units. But instead of depositing all funds in the appropriate accounts, he embezzled $80,493 for his own use. He pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling and faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in May.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 1st 2008

 

Texas court bailiff accused of peddling cocaine and selling guns to the Gulf Cartel, two TSA officials indicted for helping to smuggle drugs onto airplanes, and a California evidence tech with sticky fingers and a bad habit. Just another week on the corrupt cop front. In Brownsville, Texas, a Cameron County court bailiff was arrested last Friday on charges he was dealing cocaine and selling high-powered weapons to Mexico's Gulf Cartel. Oscar Pena, 26, was one of two men arrested after a five-month joint investigation by local authorities, the FBI, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) known as Operation Dirty Pig.

His charges range from weapons charges to operating a continuing criminal enterprise to possession of cocaine. In raids associated with the arrests, police seized 14 assault rifles, five semi-automatic handguns, a sawed-off shotgun, large amounts of ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, $3,000 in cash, and more than a kilo of cocaine.

In Atlanta, two Transportation Security Administration officers and a Delta Airlines employee were indicted Tuesday on charges related to an alleged drug-smuggling operation at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. TSA employees Jon Patton, 44, and Andre Mays, 24, and Delta employee Leslie Adgar, 42, are charged with conspiring to distribute narcotics and attempted distribution of cocaine and heroin. They went down after they agreed to let a man smuggle two kilos of cocaine past security and onto a Delta flight to New York in exchange for $8,000 in December. Unfortunately for the Atlanta trio, their smuggler was also a snitch for the DEA who set them up for two more runs, this time with fake cocaine and heroin. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million. The trio are currently out on bond.

In Vacaville, California, a former Solano County sheriff's evidence technician pleaded no-contest last Friday to seven felony counts related to the theft of pharmaceutical drugs stored in an evidence room. Sean Colfax Wilson, 35, was facing a 179-count criminal complaint when he copped a plea to two counts of possessing Vicodin and Oxycontin for sale, three counts of burglary, one count of embezzlement of evidence and one count of falsifying evidence. Wilson, who had worked as an evidence tech for the county for two years, was arrested in December 2007 after investigators discovered a large variety of prescription drugs had gone missing. After his arrest, Wilson's attorney told the court Wilson had a substance abuse problem and had taken the drugs for personal use, but he still copped to possession for sale. He faces an April sentencing date and he sits in jail until then.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 22nd 2008

 

Slim pickings on the corrupt cop front this week, but we still have a Los Angeles probation officer rounded up in a major bust and a small town Pennsylvania cop about to pay for his big ambitions.

In Los Angeles, an LA County probation officer was arrested over the weekend in a major federal drug bust that netted a dozen people in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. Probation Officer Crystal Dillard was arrested along with her boyfriend, Jerron Johns, whom authorities identified as a member of the Crips. She is accused of participating in multiple crack cocaine sales. Dillard and Johns appeared in a 17-count indictment accusing 23 defendants of participating in a ring that sold marijuana, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Dillard is accused of making drug drops at various locations where Johnson would pick them up and deliver them to a person who turned out to be a confidential informant. Dillard and Johns are now in federal custody.

In Pittsburgh, a former South Fayette Township patrolman awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine. Bernard Golling and his friend Michael Monz were arrested in July upon receiving nine pounds of cocaine in a Fedex shipment. Monz was sentenced last Friday to 57 months in federal prison. Golling will be sentenced May 23. He faces more time than Monz because he was in uniform when he picked up the package and thus carried a gun during the commission of a drug offense.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 15th 2008

 

A Pennsylvania cop's bad habits get him in trouble, a Boston cop goes to prison for steroids and perjury, and a Texas Department of Public Safety technician goes away for a long, long time for ripping off the lab's cocaine stash.

In Erie, Pennsylvania, an Erie Police lieutenant was arrested Sunday night on charges he stole cocaine from the police evidence room for his personal use. Lt. Robert Liebel, 46, went down in a sting operations where investigators used surveillance equipment to watch him take 12 grams of coke out of a larger stash investigators had placed in the evidence room earlier in the day. When confronted, Liebel admitted having some of the cocaine in his hand and the rest hidden in the Erie police station. He told investigators he took it for his own use. We don't run corrupt cops stories about cops who merely use drugs, but in this case, the drug-using cop went bad when he stole from his employers, who in turn had taken the stash from private (albeit illegal) businesses. Now, he's trying to make a $100,000 bond.

In Boston, a former Boston police officer was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in prison for distributing steroids and committing perjury and obstructing justice in an ongoing federal probe of police corruption. Former officer Edgardo Rodriguez, 38, went down after federal investigators in a 2006 case where three Boston cops were indicted for guarding cocaine shipments heard those cops mention steroid sales within the department on wiretapped phone calls. But it was the perjury and obstruction of justice by lying to a grand jury and trying to convince another Boston cop to do so that got the prosecutor and judge unhappy enough to give him jail time.

In Houston, a former Department of Public Safety technician was sentenced last Friday to 45 years in prison for stealing cocaine from the agency's Jersey Village crime lab. Former tech Jesse Hinojosa, Jr. had pleaded guilty in December to two counts of possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute after he and three other men were arrested in a scheme to sell more than 50 pounds of coke stolen from the lab. The other three are doing 25, 25, and 45 years.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 9th 2008

 

More Los Angeles area cops go down in a broad conspiracy, a Customs officer gets nailed for helping traffickers, a Kentucky cop gets nailed for peddling pills, another NYPD cop gets busted, and so does a Tennessee sheriff. Just another week in the drug war.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Hamilton County Sheriff was arrested last Friday by federal agents who charged him with extorting money from ethnic Indian convenience store owners and laundering what he thought was drug money sent from Mexico in cremation urns. Sheriff Billy Long, 55, was arrested after an undercover FBI investigation that began in April 2007. Beginning then, Long was videotaped and audiotaped taking cash payments amounting to more than $17,000 from what he thought were convenience store owners seeking to protect their illegal gambling activities and sales of meth precursors. The FBI also hornswoggled Long into accepting five cash payments totaling $6,550 that he agreed to deliver as a payment to someone supposedly laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal drug proceeds. Long was set for a bail hearing early this week.

In Los Angeles, a former LAPD officer and his brother, a former Long Beach police officer, were convicted January 30 of ripping off drug dealers in a series of burglaries and robberies between 1999 and 2001. Former LAPD Officer William Ferguson and former Long Beach Police Officer Joseph Ferguson were found guilty of conspiring to violate civil rights, conspiring to possess narcotics with the intent to distribute, and possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. They were part of a broader conspiracy to rip-off dealers that has so far resulted in guilty pleas from 15 people, including members of the LAPD, Long Beach Police, LA County Sheriff's Department, and the California Department of Corrections. The rogue cops would target locations where drugs were being sold, then hit the places, pretending that they were conducting legitimate drug raids. The victims were variously restrained, cuffed, threatened, or assaulted during the robberies. The cops would give their booty to civilian co-conspirators to sell, then split the proceeds among themselves.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a Customs and Border Protection officer was convicted last Friday on federal charges of attempting to help traffickers smuggle cocaine and heroin into Miami International airport from Puerto Rico. Officer Edwin Disla was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin. Disla went down in a sting after agreeing to carry what he thought was cocaine through the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in Puerto Rico and Miami International Airport. During his trip, he used his law enforcement authority to bypass security. He was arrested in Puerto Rico after agreeing to take possession of multi-pound shipments of what he thought were heroin and cocaine. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced in April.

In Louisville, Kentucky, a former central Kentucky police officer was sentenced Monday for plotting with his girlfriend to peddle Oxycontin. Former Lebanon Police Sgt. David Carr, 33, was sentenced to one year and a day after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute the drug. He and his girlfriend were arrested together in June; she got four months in jail and four months of house arrest.

In New York City, an NYPD detective was indicted January 31 on federal charges that he was providing confidential information to cocaine dealers. Detective Luis Batista pleaded not guilty to drug dealing, obstruction of justice, and other charges in a case where he is accused of participating in a drug ring run by old friends. Another NYPD officer, internal affairs Sgt. Henry Conde, was also indicted, on charges that last year he tipped Batista that he was the target of an internal probe.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
February 2nd 2008

 

A Texas probation officer gets busted, a Baltimore cop gets caught beating on a suspected drug buyer, a Virginia cop gets popped for meth, a slew of prison guards get busted in Florida, and another in New Mexico. Just another week in the drug war.

In Big Sandy, Texas, an Upshur County juvenile probation officer was arrested last month on drug possession charges after police raided the home she shared with her boyfriend. Probation officer Jessica Hill is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a dangerous drug. The raid came down after an intoxicated man was arrested and said he bought the methamphetamine found in is sock at Hill's home. The police affidavit for the search warrant said officers suspected cocaine, marijuana, meth, and pills were being sold out of the home. Cops found scales, baggies with residues, marijuana, white powders, various pills, and a 9 mm handgun, among other items. According to a later report , Hill's boyfriend moved out some months ago, leaving her as the probable drug seller, assuming in fact drug sales took place. Hill has been freed on bond, but now has to find a new job -- she was fired shortly after her arrest.

In Baltimore, a Baltimore police officer was arrested last Friday for assaulting a man he thought was a drug buyer. Instead, the victim was an undercover detective posing as a drug customer in a sting set up by detectives investigating a citizen complaint against the officer. Now that officer, Jerome Hill, 35, has been suspended without pay and faces second-degree assault charges. He was under investigation because of a prior "serious allegation" made by a citizen. Charging documents described how one undercover detective stood on a street corner while another called in a complaint of a suspicion person who seemed to be looking for drugs. In a few minutes, Officer Hill arrived, got out of his car, and punched the undercover detective in the face without provocation. Hill and another officer then attempted to handcuff the undercover detective, but his colleagues arrived on the scene and took Hill to headquarters for questioning. Residents on North Clinton Street, where Hill was arrested, said he had a reputation as a tough officer and that police routinely rough up local youths.

In Abingdon, Virginia, a former Saltville police officer was convicted on two drug charges last Friday . Former Police Investigator Gary Ray Call was convicted of attempted possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. Call went down after a cooperating witness said she had sold him meth on previous occasions and then set him up to buy four bag of fake meth for resale. According to trial testimony, Call had been using meth for three years and had begun using it with a Smyth County deputy while he was working as a DARE officer. Call is looking at 18 to 24 months in federal prison.

In Sumter County, Florida, nine federal prison employees were indicted last Friday on charges they smuggled contraband -- mostly tobacco, but also marijuana and heroin -- into the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman. Most were accused of receiving bribes of up to $20,000. The charges were filed against seven correctional officers, a cook and a drug-treatment counselor who worked at the five low-, medium- and high-security prison facilities at Coleman.

In Clovis, New Mexico, a Curry County jail officer was arrested January 22 and charged with smuggling marijuana to inmates. Guard Carsten Douglas, 23, admitted smuggling in packages of marijuana, but said he was blackmailed by inmates. According to Douglas, an inmate stole his handcuff keys, and he agreed to carry in packages in return for the inmate not telling authorities about the incident. He admitted to delivering four packages in a one week period. He now faces four counts of bringing contraband into a jail and four counts of conspiracy.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
January 26th 2008

 

Scandal broadens in Brooklyn South, a cop working for a federal drug task force goes bad in California, and a pair of private prison guards in Texas get in trouble.

In New York City, the Brooklyn South Narcotics scandal continues to grow . On Monday night, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly transferred the commanding officer of citywide narcotics, Deputy Chief James O'Neill; the head of Brooklyn South Narcotics, Inspector James O'Connell; and two Brooklyn South Narcotics captains, John Maldari and Joseph Terranova. That move came after word leaked out that 15 Brooklyn South Narcotics detectives have been put on desk duty as the NYPD Bureau of Internal Affairs investigates charges they took sex, drugs and cash from drug users and dealers. Four others have been arrested on charges they stole drugs to pay off informants. The latest trouble in the scandal-plagued precinct began to unravel when Detective Sean Johnstone, 34, forgot he was wearing a wire as he bragged to his partner about seizing 28 bags of cocaine, but only turning in 17. He and another officer, Julio Alvarez, 30, were arrested December 20. Those arrests led to the arrests last week of Sgt. Michael Arenella, 31, and Officer Jerry Bowens, 41, of the same squad. All are accused of stealing cash from drug dealers, and at least one is accused of having sex with an informant.

In Huntington Park, California, a police officer working in a federal drug task force was arrested January 17 for cultivating informants to help him identify and rob drug dealers and sell their wares. Huntington Park Police Sgt. Alvaro Murillo, 44, even tried to rob an undercover DEA agent posing as a dealer, the federal indictment alleges. Murillo and one of his informants face one count each of conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana with the intent to distribute.

In Liberty, Texas, two jail guards were arrested Tuesday after agreeing to smuggle drugs in to a federal prisoner. Guards Shondlyn Jones, 25, and Manitra Taylor, 42, accepted drugs and cash from an undercover agent. They now face charges of conspiring to delivery marijuana and ecstasy. The pair were employed by CiviGenics, Inc., a private prison firm that operates the Liberty County jail.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
January 18th 2008

 

The Detroit drug squad is under investigation, a Pennsylvania police chief is accused of stealing money from drug busts, and a Wisconsin prison has a problem with pill-stealing guards.

In Detroit, the Detroit Police Department has invited the FBI to join its investigation of the department's Narcotics Unit . The move comes as the department digs into the unit's "conspiracy crews," teams of narcotics officers who work on long-term investigations of big-time drug dealers. Some members of one of the crews are suspected of stealing as much as a half million dollars. The accused officers have been reassigned to other duties pending the results of the investigation. A minimum of four officers are alleged to be involved, and perhaps more.

In Lykens, Pennsylvania, the police chief was arrested Monday for stealing money seized in drug busts. Chief W.R. Wade, who was suspended with pay two months ago, is charged with two counts of theft for stealing the money, as well as another count of unsworn falsification, for lying about a previous arrest on his job application. He is now suspended without pay. Wade went down after he announced the arrests of 21 people on drug charges, but in the end only arrested seven and failed to provide any evidence. Investigators found $3,800 in missing seized cash from one case and $200 from another in his home.

In Portage, Wisconsin, a prison guard was arrested January 7 for stealing narcotic drugs intended for sick prisoners. David Yatalese, 53, a guard at the Columbia Correctional Institution, is charged with theft, possession of a controlled substance and possession at or near a prison, a felony. According to prison officials, an internal CCI investigation tracked missing oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone back to Yatalese after another prison worker noticed prisoners' prescriptions coming up in need of renewal too quickly. Yatalese is the third guard caught stealing prisoners' drugs in the previous 20 months. One is awaiting trial, and the other got two years probation and drug treatment. Prison officials said they have a "serious problem" and are working on solutions.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
January 11th 2008

 

There's some funny accounting in some Mississippi anti-drug task forces, a pot-peddling Houston cops is in hot water, there's a bunch of dope missing from the Boston police evidence room, and crooked cops are headed for prison in Chicago, Nashville, and New Haven. Let's get to it:

In Chicago, three former Chicago police officers were sentenced to prison last week for stealing drugs from dealers and then reselling them. Former officer Eural Black got 40 years, Broderick Jones got 25 years, and Darek Haynes got 19 years. The three went down in a joint 2005 investigation by the FBI and Chicago police into cops working with drug dealers. Five dealers were also arrested. The dealers would tip off Jones to where he and his comrades could steal drugs, mainly cocaine and marijuana, and the cops would then raid the place, but instead of arresting the dealers, they resold their wares.

In New Haven, Connecticut, a former New Haven police detective was sentenced to prison Monday for falsifying evidence and stealing money during drug investigations. Former detective Jose Silva had pleaded guilty three months ago to one count of deprivation of individual rights for what prosecutors called his minor role in wrongdoing uncovered during a joint state-federal probe of the department. That probe resulted in the arrest of the department's head narcotics officer and the months-long disbanding of the drug squad. Silva confessed to standing by while another detective moved seized drugs during a raid to bolster the case against a suspect and to splitting with his partner $1,000 confiscated during a drug raid. He got 90 days.

In Nashville, a former Nashville police officer was sentenced to 12 years in prison last Friday for his role in a plot to rip off drug dealers. Former officer Ernest Cecil got 12 years in federal prison for his role in the scheme where the nephew of one of the cops helped them pinpoint and rob a cocaine dealer, but disguised it as a legitimate law enforcement operation. The nephew then peddled the cocaine, and the crooked cops pocketed $70,000.

In Houston, a a Houston police officer was arrested Wednesday for delivery of between 5 and 50 pounds of marijuana, a second degree felony. Officer Traci Tennarse, 29, is a Class B officer who works in an administrative capacity in the department Identification Division where she checks fingerprints of all suspects brought to the county jail. She has been relieved of duty with pay, but at last report was being held in the very jail where she checked prints.

In Boston, some 700 bags of drug evidence have gone missing at the Boston Police Department central drug depository , a 14-month investigation into missing evidence has found. Another 265 evidence bags had been tampered with, in some cases with drug evidence replaced by aspirin tablets. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis announced last Friday that the most likely culprit is a police officer because only police are allowed into the depository. Boston police, Suffolk County prosecutors, and the FBI have launched a joint investigation. The 12 officers who worked at the depository were removed last October. Among the missing drugs are cocaine, heroin, Oxycontin, and marijuana.

In Jackson, Mississippi, at least three of the state's multi-jurisdictional anti-drug task forces are being investigated over suspicious payment vouchers for drug buys and time sheets that appeared to show officers in two places at the same time. The irregularities appeared during routine audits in 2006 and have resulted in at least one task force, North Central, losing its state-disbursed federal funding for the last two years. Officials from the South Central Narcotics Task Force and the Tri-County Narcotics Task force are appealing decisions to deny them funding as well. The state Department of Public Safety has requested that the US Justice Department investigate.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
January 6th 2008

 

A crooked Florida cop seeks a sentence cut, and two more jail guards get in trouble. Let's get to it:

In Miami, a former Hollywood police sergeant convicted in a drug sting is seeking a sentence cut . Former officer Jeff Courtney, one of four Hollywood officers convicted in an operation where FBI agents posed as heroin dealers, is seeking a three-year reduction in his nine-year sentence. US attorneys agreed, saying he offered "substantial assistance" to prosecutors and should be rewarded. Courtney and fellow officers Sgt. Kevin Companion, Detective Thomas Simcox and Officer Stephen Harrison were arrested in February after admitting they helped protect a 10-kilogram shipment of heroin for the FBI agents, who were posing as mobsters. All four pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to possess and distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and all are doing between nine and 14 years.

In Florence, Arizona, a Pinal County Sheriff's Office jail guard was indicted December 27 for conspiracy to take contraband into a correctional facility and conspiracy to transport and/or sell marijuana. Jose Dolores Felix, 45, has been transferred to the Maricopa County Jail and placed on unpaid administrative leave.

In Reed City, Michigan, an Osceola County special prosecutor is pondering charges against a jail guard after he admitted stealing and using prescription drugs intended for inmates. The officer, whose name has been withheld pending formal charges, was arrested December 27 after confessing to the misdeed to investigators from the Michigan Sheriffs' Association. The Osceola County Sheriff's Department contacted the state organization to investigate after it noticed pills were missing. [Ed: Another case where the question needs to be asked, corruption or desperation? More facts than were reported are needed to know for sure.]

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 31st 2007

 

In New York City, the Brooklyn South Narcotics Squad is again under investigation , this time after two undercover cops were taped referring to blacks as "niggers" and a third generated large numbers of civilian complaints. The foul-mouthed narcs, who posed as drug users for buy-and-bust operations in Coney Island, were chatting with each other and not assuming undercover personas when they made the remarks. They are now on desk duty pending further investigation. The third officer, a plainclothes detective also working the drug squad, was put on desk duty last month for receiving a high number of complaints from the Civilian Complaint Review Board. This is just the latest problem for Brooklyn South. Last year, 40 sergeants and lieutenants in the Brooklyn South vice squad were transferred after a handful of cops stole high-end electronics during raids on gambling dens and clubs and placed them in the station house. Three more Brooklyn South officers are accused of breaking into a massage parlor they had raided to steal surveillance tapes that may have cleared suspects. Four years ago, 26 detectives with the Narcotics Squad were demoted to patrolman after they were caught in an overtime scam, and that same year, a female lieutenant sued her narc supervisors for sexual harassment. The beat goes on.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Santa Fe police drug squad is back in business after operations had been suspended for a year while federal investigators looked into the department's narcotics and burglary division. Police Chief Eric Johnson stopped all city narcotics investigations in November 2006, when the FBI informed him of their investigation. It has so far resulted in the arrests of Sgt. Steve Altonji and Det. Danny Ramirez, who are accused of stealing money from drug dealers. Now, Chief Johnson says two Santa Fe officers have been assigned to the Region Three Narcotics Task Force, and they have already conducted their first undercover sting at a local park.

In Boston, a former Boston police officer was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison December 12 for protecting a cocaine shipment for what he thought were Miami drug dealers but who turned out to be undercover federal agents. Former Officer Carlos Pizarro, 37, was one of three Boston cops arrested last year after going to Miami to collect $35,000 from the "dealers" to escort a truck they thought was carrying 100 kilos of cocaine. Pizarro, and the other two cops, Roberto Pulido and Nelson Carraquillo, had all pleaded guilty to conspiracy and attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Pizarro is the first to be sentenced.

In Daytona Beach, Florida, a Daytona Beach police officer was arrested Saturday after being caught stealing cash and drug paraphernalia left as bait by investigators. Robert Rush, 29, a Crime Suppression Team member, is charged with official misconduct. Daytona Beach Police said they acted after repeated citizens' complaints about Rush. On December 13, they put $90 and a crack pipe in a van and set Rush and his partner to investigate for drug sales activity. As investigators watched, Rush returned to the station and entered the crack pipe as evidence, but never admitted to seeing or taking the cash. When he left duty, other officers pulled him over and found the $90, which he claimed he just forget to tag. He was suspended on Saturday and fired this Wednesday.

In Austin, Minnesota, an Austin police captain was arrested Monday for stealing two prescription pill bottles of Oxycontin filed as evidence. Captain Curt Rude has admitted to taking the pill bottles and now faces charges of felony theft, felony 5th degree drug crime and gross misdemeanor interference with property in official custody. He was placed on administrative leave last month, after the theft was first reported. He is currently on paid administrative leave. Rude faces up to 10 years in prison on the theft count and five years on the drug count. [Ed: Corruption or desperation?]

In Zanesville, Ohio, a Zanesville police officer was among five people arrested on drug charges December 12 . Officer Donald Peterson, 53, is accused of arranging cocaine deals and selling prescription drugs, some of which he confiscated during traffic stops, while in uniform. According to a criminal complaint unsealed the following day, Peterson said there were others in the department who could provide him with prescription drugs. He went down thanks to a "cooperating informant," who said Peterson arranged for him to buy eight $20 bags of crack on one occasion, sold him six morphine tablets and two painkillers on another, and offered to pay him in drugs if he would baby sit Peterson's children on yet another. Peterson wife, Serritha, 29, was also arrested on charges she sold morphine tablets and other painkillers to the informant. All five arrested are charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and each faces up to 40 years in prison in convicted. Peterson's downfall came in the wake of the October arrest of Zanesville officers Sean Beck and Trevor Fusner, who were plotting a fake police raid to steal a cocaine shipment. During the investigation of that pair, Peterson's name came to light.

In Longview, Texas, a Gregg County jail guard was arrested Monday for bringing illegal drugs into the North jail facility. Eric Sanders, 21, is accused of delivering contraband to jail inmates and has now become one himself, at the main Gregg County Jail. He is charged with having a prohibited substance in a correctional facility, a third-degree felony. He has also been fired. No word on just what drug it was.

In La Grange, Kentucky, a Texas Department of Corrections guard was arrested December 15 and charged with bringing marijuana, alcohol, a pornographic DVD, and tobacco into the Roederer Correctional Complex in La Grange. Guard Joshua Bertholf, 26, faces two counts of first-degree promoting contraband for the pot and booze and two counts of 2nd-degree promoting contraband for the porn and smokes. He has now been demoted from working at the state prison to residing at the Oldham County Detention Center.

Drug War Issues Police Corruption Politics & Advocacy State & Local Government

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 15th 2007

An Indiana drug task force faces some questions over seized goods, the NYPD can't find some drug evidence, a Texas crime lab tech gets greedy, and so does an Indiana cop.

In Muncie, Indiana, the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force is under investigation for its asset forfeiture practices . Since at least 1999, the task force has violated a state law requiring that seized assets be deposited in the general fund of the entity under which the task force operates and then transferred to the state of Indiana to be used for education spending. The task force did deposit seized cash in a pair of Muncie general fund accounts, but those accounts were specifically for the task force, state auditors found. Auditors also found that the task force had illegally spent some of the money on charitable donations, as well as a state of the art gym for police. The controversy has sparked some remarkably frank talk from police defending the task force. "The DTF can't survive without dope dealers' money," said Muncie Police Sgt. Jesse Neal said. Because of reductions in federal Byrne grants in recent years, the task force relies heavily on seizures, he said. "We've had to make adjustments, be more aggressive with asset forfeitures, more aggressive targeting bank accounts, vehicles, tangible property, things we can sell in auctions," Neal said. "The money goes for equipment essential to running a drug task force -- vehicles, cell phones, recording devices, guns and vests for the SWAT team, drug dogs."

In New York City, all the drugs seized as evidence in Brooklyn one day in 2006 can't be found . The missing evidence came to light when prosecutors last year called the NYPD lab for drug test results in one case and the drugs couldn't be found. That led to the discovery that none of the drugs seized in 43 cases on October 20, 2006 could be found. Despite a year-long inquiry, officials still cannot say whether the missing drugs were stolen, lost, or thrown away. The drugs were gathered by a police courier who visited Brooklyn precincts on a daily basis to gather up evidence and take it to the lab. According to investigators, the drug evidence indeed made it to the lab, but then seems to have vanished. The investigation continues.

In Houston, a former Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) technician pleaded guilty Monday to charges he stole cocaine from the DPS crime lab in Jersey Village and resold it over a period of several years. Former DPS tech Jesus Hinojosa, Jr. pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver. He faces from 15 years to life in prison. Hinojosa went down in February after a peer review of the lab showed that at least 26 kilos of cocaine had been replaced by decoy bricks over the years. One of Hinojosa's co-defendants, Roberto Reynoso, also pleaded guilty today. Reynoso would line up buyers for the stolen cocaine, selling it to them for $11,000 a kilo, well under the going price. Reynoso would keep $1,000 while giving $10,000 back to Hinojosa.

In South Bend, Indiana, a former South Bend police officer has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for extorting drugs and money from a motorist during a traffic stop. Former officer Haven Freeman, 32, pleaded guilty in September to charges of using his official position to unlawfully demand property and to possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Freeman admitted that he stopped a drug supplier's van in summer 2005 after a drug dealer told him it might be carrying a large amount of cash. He displayed his gun and took the supplier's cash and drugs, telling the occupants he would not arrest them if they cooperated.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 7th 2007

 

Troopers telling lies, troopers selling cocaine, cops peddling coke, Border Patrols agents peddling pot, cops peddling cocaine and pot, but not a single jail or prison guard this week! Let's get to it:

In Casper, Wyoming, a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer was fired for calling in a false tip to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) hotline so he could have a pretext for pulling over and searching a vehicle he knew to be carrying a large amount of cash. Trooper Ben Peech, 36, was fired last month for filing a bogus report on the April 7 incident. A DEA agent made a second false DUI hotline report, giving Peech reason to be out on I-80 at 3:00am searching for a silver pick-up truck carrying a driver, a DEA informant, and eight duffle bags filled with cash. Peech found the truck, search it, and the money was seized by the DEA. Neither the driver nor the passenger was arrested. The federal government said the fraud will have no impact on its efforts to keep the $3.3 million cash seized during the traffic stop. No word on any disciplinary action for the lying DEA agent.

In Boston, a Massachusetts State Police officer was arrested November 29 for selling cocaine. Trooper John Foley, 62, has been a member of the department for 36 years. He is accused of selling cocaine in Saugus on October 11. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

In Nashville, Indiana, a former Nashville police officer went on trial last week on drug dealing charges. Former Officer Robert Easterday Jr., 33, was indicted in April 2006 on seven counts, including dealing in cocaine, dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance, attempted dealing in a Schedule I controlled substance and others. Of the charges, three are Class B felonies, one is a Class C felony, two are Class D felonies and the last is a Class A misdemeanor. Easterday's downfall began when his service-issue pistol turned up in the possession of a convicted felon, resulting in an investigation by the Brown County Sheriff's Office and the Indiana State Police into his broader activities that turned up the dope-dealing evidence.

In Jacksonville, Florida, a US Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty last Friday to one count of marijuana distribution. Agent Tony "Hollywood" Henderson, 46, admitted to selling three pounds of weed to a dealer named Pablo Fernandez and an informant. Fernandez also went down and is now doing 20 months in prison. Henderson was also accused of dealing at least six more pounds to others in the area.No word on what the informant got out of it, but Henderson now faces up to five years in federal prison.

In New York City, a a former NYPD officer has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison . Former Officer Jose Torrado pleaded guilty to participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy in 2006 and admitted helping his brother, Edwin Torrado, distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana in the New York City metropolitan area. He went down along with several other defendants when Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents seized 135 kilos of cocaine hidden in the false wall of a truck in the Bronx.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 1st 2007

 

Bad cops cost cases in one Georgia county, a bad cop gets popped in another Georgia county, a bad cop gets several breaks from his colleagues in Michigan, and a bad cop goes to prison in Texas.

In Aiken County, Georgia, prosecutors are expected to begin dismissing drug cases this week in the wake of the firing of the four officers who made up the Aiken County Sheriff's Office drug squad. The four were fired after they got jacked up on booze and went on a bar-to-bar joyride in a county vehicle with a woman who engaged in sex acts with them. Aiken County Solicitor Barbara Morgan said some 300 drug cases are now in jeopardy.

 

In Marietta, Georgia, a Marietta Police officer was arrested Tuesday as Gwinnett County authorities swept up 31 people indicted in an international ecstasy distribution bust. Officer Isaac Saleumsy, a two-year veteran of the force, was reported to be currently sitting in the Gwinnett County Jail and will presumably face ecstasy possession and distribution conspiracy charges. Saleumsy has been suspended pending his upcoming termination.

In Detroit, a previously indicted Flat Rock police officer was jailed by a federal judge after several traffic incidents where fellow law enforcement officers provided him with the "professional courtesy" of not ticketing him for alcohol or drug-impaired driving. Former Flat Rock Officer David Dewitt, 37, had been indicted for his role in an illegal prescription drug ring in which two people died, but had been free on bail pending trial. In court papers filed Monday, the FBI said police in Woodhaven and Flat Rock had looked the other way as Dewitt accumulated six traffic stops that appeared to be drug or alcohol related. In one case, where Dewitt hit another vehicle while driving the wrong way on an I-75 exit ramp, officers failed to conduct a sobriety test, didn't write him a ticket, and gave him a ride home. Things came to a head for Dewitt Saturday, when he got nailed twice in one day for driving under the influence of drugs. Dewitt was a threat to public safety, the judge said in revoking his bail.

In McAllen, Texas, a former Elsa police officer was sentenced November 21 to seven years in federal prison after being caught in an undercover bribery and drug string. Herman Carr, 46, had earlier pleaded guilty to taking $5,000 in August 2006 to provide protection for a vehicle he believed was carrying 11 pounds of cocaine. The drug dealers were actually FBI agents. Carr is the second former Elsa officer to go down in the sting: In May, Ismael Gomez, 27, got an eight-year sentence for taking $2,500 to protect a supposed 22 pound coke shipment.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November24th 2007

 

Two Atlanta cops are headed to prison in the Kathryn Johnston killing, an NYPD narc goes down for drug running, and a strung-out Pennsylvania cop heads to jail for peddling pills.

In Atlanta, two Atlanta police officers were ordered Monday to report to prison to begin serving their sentences for their roles of the killing of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in a drug raid gone bad a year ago this week. In that incident, the officers involved lied to a judge to obtain a search warrant for Johnston's home, shot at her 39 times after she shot once at them as they broke her door down, planted marijuana in her basement, and tried to get an informant to say he had provided the information for the warrant. No drugs other than the planted pot were found at her home. Officers Jason Smith and Gregg Junnier pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other state charges and to federal allegations of conspiracy to violate a person's civil rights ending in death. They have been cooperating with federal authorities in an ongoing investigation into the incident and broader issues of misconduct in the Atlanta narcotics squad, but now a federal judge has ordered them to report to prison by December 3. They have not yet been sentenced, but in their plea bargain agreements, the deal was that Smith would get no more than 12 years and Junnier no more than 10, with possible sentence cuts depending on their degree of cooperation. A third officer involved in the incident, Arthur Tesler, faces state charges. His trial will probably begin in April.

In New York City, an NYPD narcotics officer was arrested last Friday on charges he used inside knowledge to run drugs for a Bronx-based cocaine and heroin trafficking ring. Detective James Calderon, a 13-year veteran of the force, was arraigned on drug possession and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors allege that Calderon smuggled a total of eight kilos of cocaine from New York City to Virginia on two trips in 2004 and 2005. Calderon went down after attempting to get an impounded minivan released from police custody. NYPD officers at the 44th Precinct refused to release the vehicle to Calderon, then searched it and found a kilo of heroin inside.

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a former Scranton police officer was sentenced Tuesday on Oxycontin delivery charges. Then Scranton Police Officer Mark Conway was arrested in March after an informant told police he had bought drugs from Conway on more than one occasion. He pleaded guilty in August and resigned from the force. Now, he will do one month in prison on a three-to-18 month sentence, and then he will be placed on work release. Conway's defense attorney said he wasn't a "drug pusher," but a drug user who occasionally sold drugs to others.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 18th 2007

 

Tennessee's narc of the year gets busted, and cops in Boston and Buffalo cop pleas. Let's get to it:

In Knoxville, Tennessee, a the state's narcotics officer of the year was indicted last Friday on federal charges for taking kickbacks from drug dealers. Knoxville Police Sgt. Brady Valentine, 36, a 13-year veteran, is accused of taking money from marijuana traffickers to allow one load a month to pass unmolested over a three-year period, as well as trafficking in steroids and giving dealers tips to help them avoid getting busted. Valentine was a member of the West Tennessee Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force, a multi-agency team that regularly lands some of the biggest drug busts in the state, and was honored last month as the state's top narc at the Tennessee Narcotics Officers Association annual convention in Gatlinburg.

In Boston, a Boston Police officer pleaded guilty November 8 to federal cocaine trafficking charges, becoming the third to cop a plea in a scandal involving cops providing protection to drug traffickers. Officer Robert Pulido, 42, pleaded guilty after two days of testimony in his trial where his own words on FBI tapes portrayed him as an unscrupulous character more akin to a crime boss than a law officer. He and his partners, Officers Nelson Carrasquillo and Carlos Pizarro, plotted unknowingly with undercover FBI officers to protect trucks carrying 140 pounds of cocaine to Boston. Carrasquillo and Pizarro have already pleaded guilty, and now Pulildo has joined them, copping to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin and two counts of attempting to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine. He also pleaded no contest to carrying a gun in a drug trafficking crime. He faces 15 years to life when he is sentenced February 6. In the meantime, the Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis is vowing to investigate other allegations of corruption that occurred during Pulido's trial, including steroid sales, gambling parties, and illegal after hours parties conducted by other Boston police officers.

In Buffalo, New York, a Buffalo police officer pleaded guilty last Friday in federal court to setting up a phony traffic stop as part of a drug rip-off. Officer Ronnie Funderburk, 42, a nine-year veteran, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess cocaine. Funderburk admitted conspiring with a drug dealer to convince one of the dealer's customers that he had seized $14,000 worth of cocaine that the customer had already paid for. The drug dealer copped a plea last month and faces 20 to life. Funderburk faces up to six months when he is sentenced in March.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 11th 2007

 

A New York cop goes down for peddling pot, a Connecticut cop goes down for slinging smack, and a Nashville cop goes to the pen for ripping off a drug dealer. Let's get to it:

In New York City, a veteran Manhattan cop was arrested October 31 as police rounded up suspects in a marijuana-smuggling ring that allegedly brought millions of dollars worth of weed from Canada to Long Island. NYPD Officer Glen Smokler, a 13-year veteran assigned to the 30th Precinct in Harlem, is charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy. Altogether more than 30 people were arrested in Suffolk and Nassau counties, and cops seized more than $3 million in cash, 23 luxury cars, a 44-foot yacht, 10 assault rifles and more than 100 pounds of pot. Ironically, Smoker himself brought down the long-running operation when he burglarized the home of the ringleaders, leading a tipster to tell police Smokler had done it. From there, a five-month investigation broadened until its denouement last week.

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, a Stamford police officer was arrested on drug charges on October 25. Officer Quinn Fillippino, 28, was charged with possession of narcotics with the intent to sell after Bridgeport police spotting him and a passenger allegedly selling drugs from his vehicle. Police said the drug was heroin. Fillippino is on paid leave and at last report was being held on $50,000 bail.

In Nashville, a former Nashville police officer was sentenced last Friday to 2 ½ years in prison for his role in the 2003 robbery of a drug dealer. Charles Williams III was convicted in January of participating in and concealing a robbery cooked up by his partner, Officer Ernest Cecil, and his nephew, Corey Cecil. The younger Cecil, a cocaine dealer, arranged for Williams and his uncle to pull over a vehicle in which he was a passenger and which also contained 3.5 kilos of cocaine. The apparently legitimate law enforcement stop allowed young Cecil to make off with the cocaine, which he sold for more than $70,000, giving some of the profits to Williams and his uncle. Williams is now doing 12 years, and young Cecil is doing 6 ½ despite testifying against the other two.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 2nd 2007

 

A top narc admits he was dirty, a border drug squad deputy commander goes to prison, a deputy police chief is under investigation, and yes, another prison guard gets busted.

In New Haven, Connecticut, the former head of the New Haven police drug squad admitted last Friday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars left by the FBI in a corruption sting and taking thousands more in bribes from bail bondsmen. William White, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of conspiracy to take bribes. The flamboyant White, a 39-year veteran, was New Haven's top narc throughout the 1990s and collected much of the evidence used by federal anti-crime task forces to break up drug dealing organizations in New Haven and Bridgeport, but was always shadowed by allegations of evidence-fixing and missing drug money. He went down when the FBI caught him on video stealing $27,500 from the trunk of a car he was told belonged to a drug dealer. During the investigation, White also boasted that he had made a lot of money off bail bondsmen by accepting bribes to help them find fugitives -- a service police should provide in the normal course of business. That led to the bribery conspiracy charge. Legal documents introduced in court also show at least one case of detectives manufacturing evidence to bolster a potential drug prosecution. Charges were dropped in that case. White was fired after his arrest. Police Chief Francisco Orti later disbanded the narcotics unit.

In San Antonio, a former deputy commander of the Laredo Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force was sentenced to eight years in prison last Friday for taking bribes from drug traffickers to let their loads pass unmolested. Julio Alfonso Lopez, 46, had pleaded guilty in July 2006 to extorting $44,500 from dealers to protect loads coming though Zapata County on the Texas-Mexico border. An FBI investigation found that Lopez had taken money from traffickers on four occasions in 2005 and 2006. He had been deputy commander of the task force for about a year when he was arrested in April 2006.

 

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 27th 2007

 

This week, we have our mandatory greedy jail guards, and another case that's a little stickier. Are the people in our first story corrupt cops or desperate pain patients or addicts or pill peddlers or some combination of the above? You be the judge. Let's get to it:

In Dickson City, Pennsylvania, a former borough police officer who allegedly stole 6,000 prescription painkillers in June was rearrested Monday for filing a false police report to obtain more of the drugs. Angela Novack, 23, first ran into trouble earlier this year when she was charged with theft, possession of a controlled substance, and other counts for stealing pills from the Olyphant Pharmacy. She was arrested along with her boyfriend, Robert Santarelli, another former cop, who was charged with obtaining drugs through fraud, forgery or deception for allegedly visiting nine different emergency room doctors to have prescriptions filled for oxycodone and fentanyl patches. He then took those prescriptions to five different area pharmacies, according to the attorney general's office. Santarelli had already pleaded guilty in April to stealing a rifle, marijuana and hypodermic needles from the Jessup Police Department's evidence room. He was suspended in February 2006, then fired in May. Novack had been a part-time officer at the Dickson City Police Department until she resigned by mutual agreement for unspecified reasons.

In Belen, New Mexico, a jail guard was arrested Tuesday afternoon as he met with a man he thought was delivering him heroin to be passed on to an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where he was employed. He agreed to do the deed for $1,000. The courier turned out to be an undercover cop, and guard Jeremy Redbear, 22, is now charged with drug trafficking. He was last reported to be behind bars at the Valencia County Jail nearby.

In Lisbon, Ohio, a former jail guard was sentenced last Friday to 18 months in prison for smuggling marijuana onto the grounds of the Columbiana County Jail. Former guard Gary Ludt, 37, was busted last September as he brought marijuana and tobacco into the jail to sell to inmates. He pleaded guilty in August to one third-degree felony count of attempted illegal conveyance of prohibited items onto the grounds of a detention facility and a fourth-degree felony count of illegal conveyance of prohibited items onto the grounds of a detention facility.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 21st 2007

 

Sex and drugs! Sex and drugs! That's our law enforcement corruption theme this week as a gaggle of hormonally-challenged Southern cops let it all hang out above and beyond the call of duty. Let's get to it:

In Lebanon, Tennessee, a state trooper fired for letting a dope-toting porn star go free in exchange for a sex act turned himself in at the Wilson County Courthouse Tuesday morning to face a series of criminal charges for his special deal. Trooper Randy Moss, 40, stopped porn actress Barbie Cummings (real name: Justis Richert) for speeding on May 7 and found illicit drugs in the car. He wrote her a speeding ticket, but Richert claimed on her blog that she negotiated the sex act to avoid drug charges. Moss resigned after Cummings went public, although it appears he was undone by his own urge to brag. Cummings did not name Moss in her original blog post, and says a day later Moss asked her permission to tell some of his co-workers about his exploit, which is how she believes the information got out. He now faces one count of tampering with evidence, four counts of official misconduct, and one count of official oppression from the May incident. It apparently wasn't his first time. He also faces four counts stemming from a similar incident in September 2006.

In Atlantic Beach, South Carolina, an Atlantic Beach police officer was arrested last Friday for receiving a sex act from a woman in return for not arresting her on drug charges. Officer Terence Wiggins, 45, allegedly caught a woman with crack cocaine while on duty, did his thing with the woman, then gave her crack back. He was arrested after an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division and is now charged with misconduct in office. He is now out on bond with no court date yet set.

In Aiken, South Carolina, the last remaining Aiken County narcotics officer has resigned . Investigator Brian Owens quit Wednesday after five years with the agency. He had been suspended earlier this month at the same time his four fellow narcs in the squad were fired for taking a county-owned vehicle to bars and because one of them committed a sex act with a woman in the car on the way to a motel. The entire unit is now under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division for possible misuse of government money, misconduct in office and improper destruction of evidence. Prosecutors said as many as 275 drugs cases could be jeopardized depending on what the SLED investigation finds.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 13th 2007

This week, it's not individual cops, but entire drug squads gone bad, and, of course, the requisite drug-smuggling prison guard. Let's get to it:

In New Haven, Connecticut, two former members of New Haven's disbanded drug squad pleaded guilty in federal court last Friday to civil rights violations for a 2006 drug raid where they planted drugs in a man's room. Detective Jose Silva faces up to a year in prison for his plea to a misdemeanor civil rights count, while former Detective Justen Kasperzyk faces 18 to 24 months in prison after pleading to one felony civil rights count and one misdemeanor charge of theft of government funds. The theft charge was in relation to a separate drug raid where Kasperzyk pocketed $1,000 in seized funds, then gave half to Silva. This is only the latest act in a long-running corruption probe that resulted in the New Haven drug squad being disbanded a few months ago, and there is more to come. US Attorney Kevin O'Connor said outside the courthouse that the investigation was "active" and "ongoing."

In Chicago, the Chicago Police Department will disband its elite drug and gangs unit in the face of repeated scandals and ongoing state and federal investigations into misconduct ranging from armed violence and home invasions to kidnapping and plotting a murder for hire. At least seven members of the Special Operations Section have been charged with belonging to a rogue band of officers who shook down and intimidated citizens. Three members of the unit were stripped of their badges last month after videotape of a raid on a bar showed that they lied when they reported arresting a man for cocaine possession outside the bar. Police said they arrested the man for drinking in the street, then found cocaine when they searched him. But video from the bar showed more than two dozen SOS members raiding the bar and searching everyone inside. The video also showed them arresting the man inside the bar. The disbanding of SOS comes as the Chicago Police Department is awash in scandals, ranging from the videotaped beating of a female bartender by a drunk Chicago cop to recent revelations about police torture of black suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.

In Aiken, South Carolina, the Aiken County Sheriff's Department drug squad has been fired . Lt. Jonathon Owenby, 30, of Aiken; and investigators James Crowell, 33, of North Augusta; Tim Roberts, 29, of Aiken; and Luke Williamson, 34, of North Augusta are all out of a job and facing criminal investigations after Sheriff Michael Hunt fired them on October 2. Hunt said they got the axe for using unmarked, county-owned cars to go bar-hopping last month. According to Hunt, at least one woman performed a sex act on the officers as they rode around. He has asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate whether the officers misused government money, improperly destroyed evidence or committed other misconduct.

In Acadia Parish, Louisiana, a parish jail guard was arrested Sunday for smuggling drugs into the jail. John Herbert, 51, is charged with the intent to distribute marijuana. An inmate and his relative also got nailed in the scheme.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 7th 2007

 

Scheming cops, greedy cops, rogue cops ripping off dealers, and, of course, yet another jail guard falls prey to temptation. Let's get to it:

In Zanesville, Ohio, two Zanesville police officers and a Zanesville hospital police officer were arrested Monday for allegedly extorting one drug dealer and plotting to rip off another one. Officer Sean Beck, 28, the alleged ringleader, Officer Trevor Fusner, 30, and hospital police officer Chad Mills, 29, all face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Beck had extorted $7,300 from one drug dealer in exchange for his help ripping off another one and enlisted the other two to help him out. But that rip-off never occurred because Beck got greedy, hit his extorted drug dealer for another $1,000, and the dealer then snitched him out.

In Detroit, a Detroit police officer was indicted last week for stealing six kilograms of cocaine from a department evidence room. Officer Vincent Crockett, 39, is charged with possessing cocaine with intent to distribute and stealing government property. The cocaine went missing in March, and Detroit narcotics officers eventually enlisted the FBI in the investigation. If convicted, Crockett could face up to life in prison and a $4 million fine.

In Chicago, a former Chicago police officer was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for shaking down drug dealers with other corrupt officers. Former officer Erik Johnson faced up to 11 years, but got a break at sentencing because he helped investigate the leaders of the rogue cops, then-Officers Broderick Jones and Corey Flagg. His testimony also helped to convict Eural Black, Johnson's former partner and the only officer among the five charged to go to trial. The others have all pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

In Largo, Florida, a jail guard was arrested Tuesday on charges he sold drugs to inmates. Kevin Rix, 24, who has been a corrections officer since 2005, worked at the Largo Road Prison, where a three-month undercover investigation found that Rix provided drugs to inmates in exchange for cash, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He is charged with unlawful compensation, introducing contraband into a prison system, and trafficking in cocaine. He was last reported to be on the other side of the bars at the Pinellas County Jail.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 3rd 2007

Cops planting drugs, cops stealing drugs, cops stealing and doing drugs, cops stealing drugs and money -- just another week of drug prohibition-related corruption.

In Milwaukee, an apparent rogue cop is accused of beating or planting drugs -- or both -- on at least 10 people , but has so far gone unpunished by the Milwaukee Police Department, even though the courts have taken note of the repeated allegations by people he has arrested. Sgt. Jason Mucha has been repeatedly cleared by the department's internal affairs unit, but at least four Wisconsin judges have acted on accusations against Mucha by defendants he arrested, in one case allowing others with similar allegations to testify and in another stating there was no reason Mucha should be considered more reliable than the defendant. In at least four cases involving the allegations, charges have been reduced or dismissed, but the Milwaukee Police Department promoted him nonetheless, leading to a rising outcry for reforms within the department and for a definitive investigation of the allegations against the one-time member of the "Night Train," a Milwaukee police unit routinely accused of excess and brutality by residents of the poor and minority neighborhoods in which it operated.

In Baltimore, a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer was indicted along with her boyfriend on September 21 on charges they dealt crack cocaine from the Curtis Bay home they shared. Officer Angela Green, 25, and her boyfriend were both charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The indictment comes three weeks after county police raided the home, finding 29 grams of crack in two safes. Green, who has three years with the Transportation Authority Police, is now suspended without pay pending trial.

In Dearborn Heights, Michigan, a now-former Dearborn police officer has been charged with using a controlled substance . Former officer Edward Sanchez, 30, admitted taking marijuana from suspects and baking it into brownies, which he shared with his wife, who was also charged. He achieved internet infamy last year when a tape of a 911 emergency call he made after eating the brownies began circulating. In it, Sanchez could be heard saying: "I think we're dying. We made brownies and I think we're dead, I really do." The city of Dearborn declined to prosecute, but neighboring Dearborn Heights decided to go after the couple earlier this month. They face up to 90 days in jail.

In South Bend, Indiana, a former South Bend police officer has pleaded guilty in a case where he stole drugs and money during a traffic stop. Former officer Haven Freeman, 31, pleaded to one count of using his official position to unlawfully demand property from a person and also to possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Freeman admitted in court that he stopped a vehicle in the summer of 2005 knowing that it was carrying drugs because of information from an informant. He told the vehicle's occupants that if they gave him their drugs and money, he would not arrest them or separate one of them from her child. He obtained several thousand dollars in cash and about 100 grams of heroin, which he turned over to his informant for resale. Now, Freeman faces up to 40 years in prison, but has been promised a more lenient sentence because he "accepted responsibility" with his guilty plea.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
September 14th 2007

 

Another week's worth of law enforcement officers done in by the temptations created by drug prohibition, including a sheriff headed for prison for turning a blind eye, a prosecutor whose coke habit got him in trouble, a greedy Boston cop, and a pair of pill-peddling policemen. Let's get to it:

In Richmond, Virginia, former Henry County Sheriff Frank Cassell was sentenced to eight months in federal prison Tuesday for covering up widespread corruption in his rural department . Twelve Henry County sheriff's deputies were among 20 people indicted by a federal grand jury on charges they resold seized drugs, including ketamine, steroids, cocaine and marijuana, as well as guns, and engaged in money laundering. Cassell was not accused of participating in the corrupt activities, but of covering up for his deputies. He pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents investigating the case. Seventeen of the 20 arrested have now pleaded guilty, two are in diversion programs, and one faces trial next month.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, a former Pottawattamie County prosecutor has been convicted of stealing drugs from the evidence room . After cocaine went missing, former Assistant DA Jeff TeKippe argued that he had lawfully flushed it down a toilet, but prosecutors presented evidence of cocaine residues found at TeKippe's house. Jurors convicted him on nine counts of theft, two counts of misconduct in office, and one count of cocaine possession. He faces 10 years or more in prison when he is sentenced October 24.

In Boston, a former Boston police officer pleaded guilty Monday to charges he hired himself out as protection for drug dealers . Former Officer Carlos Pizarro is one of three Boston cops caught in an FBI sting where agents posed as drug traffickers making cocaine shipments to Massachusetts. The feds had him celebrating a supposed successful run on videotape. He pleaded to two counts, including conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, and faces up to 24 years in federal prison. Officers Robert Pulido and Nelson Carraquillo, who were arrested along with Pizarro, face trials in November.

In Cleveland, Ohio, a former Parma police officer was sentenced September 5 to three years in prison for peddling prescription drugs . Donald McNea, Jr., 54, was arrested in December 2005 by state and federal agents after repeatedly selling Oxycontin and other drugs to an informant and a federal agent. He had been at it since at least 2003, before he retired on disability with a $63,000 a year pension. McNea and his lawyers blamed his drug dealing on a mind fogged by addiction caused by the physical and psychological pain he suffered fighting crime, but his former colleagues painted a picture of a cop with a long history of disciplinary problems. In addition to three years in prison, McNea must pay $27,000 in fines and repay the city $2,000 he got from undercover agents in return for drugs.

In Clarksville, Tennessee, a Clarksville police officer already on paid leave as he faces drug peddling charges is in trouble again . Officer Franklin Mikel was charged in April with three felony drug counts after Indiana State Police arrested him April 4 after he allegedly sold 30 morphine tablets to an informant. Mikel was arrested again Monday morning for driving while intoxicated, public intoxication, and two counts of invasion of privacy after he violated a restraining order taken out against him by his estranged wife. Prosecutors may now ask that his cash bond be revoked pending trial later this year on the drug charges.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
September 8th 2007

 

Busy, busy, busy. Take a week off, and look what happens: Cops peddling pills, guards stealing pills, cops shaking down housing project residents, jail guards smuggling drugs, a DEA agent giving information to suspected mobsters, and more.

In Cleveland, Ohio, a Cleveland police officer was arrested August 25 for his role in a cocaine distribution ring . Officer Zvonko Sarlog, a six-year veteran now faces a federal indictment for conspiracy to distribute cocaine along with six other people, none of them police officers. The arrests came after a nine-month investigation by the Cleveland police internal affairs unit, which eventually called in the FBI. Sarlog is accused of having a relative in Mexico smuggle cocaine into the country for sale in the Cleveland area.

In Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, 10 police officers have been arrested on charges they planted drugs as evidence against poor islanders . The Puerto Rican Civil Rights Commission is planning hearings into allegations these arrests are only the tip of the iceberg. Eight officers were arrested August 23, and raiding FBI agents found a safe containing drugs held in reserve to plant on people. Two more officers turned themselves in days later. They are accused of using marijuana, cocaine and heroin to frame residents of housing projects between 2004 and 2007. They also made up elaborate details on arrest and search warrants, according to police. If convicted, they face 10 years to life in prison.

In Detroit a Flat Rock police officer was among five people indicted August 29 on federal prescription drug distribution charges . Officer David Dewitt is accused of conspiring with a local physician, Dr. Paul Emerson, and three other people in a ring that allegedly circulated a million pills a year. Dewitt and the other three acted as Emerson's patients, filled the prescriptions he wrote, then allegedly sold them on the black market, according to the indictment. Dewitt, 37, is charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drugs with the intent to distribute several controlled substances and with being an unlawful user of some of the drugs while possessing his department-issued firearm. His status with the department was not known. [Ed: The question has to be asked in cases like this whether the doctors knew what the patients were doing -- often they don't, and such prosecutions are a major cause of the national problem of under-treatment of pain .]

In Gulfport, Mississippi, a jail guard was arrested and fired after being accused of smuggling drugs into the county jail . Harrison County Adult Detention Center guard Laquita Allen now faces up to five years in prison if convicted of introducing contraband into a jail. No word yet on details of the allegations against her. She is free on $25,000 bond.

In Portsmouth, Virginia, the former head of the Portsmouth police drug squad was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for participating in a drug distribution conspiracy that prosecutors said brought more than $5 million worth of crack cocaine to the area . Former Lt. Brian Keith Muhammad Abdul-Ali was found guilty of warning his nephew, convicted crack distributor Gregory Elliott, of upcoming raids, thus allowing him to sell 110 pounds or more of crack cocaine in the area between 2001 and last December, when Abdul-Ali and his nephew were arrested. Abdul-Ali faced up to 10 years on drug conspiracy charges, but the judge suspended 5 ½ years.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, a jail guard was arrested August 22 for repeatedly stealing prescription pain medications from prisoners . Western Worcester District Court jail guard Francine Melanson, 46, faces one count of larceny under $250 dollars, even though jail officials have her on videotape stealing pills on several occasions. She came under suspicion when a woman arrested by Leicester police in October 2006 claimed some of her hydrocodone pills were missing. The prescription drug is used for pain management. State police installed a camera in the court's cell area and subsequently caught Melanson in the act. Her lawyer said she is in treatment for a "substance abuse problem." The 11-year veteran guard is on unpaid leave from her $64,000 a year job.

In Boston, a DEA agent admitted in federal court August 23 that he used a government law enforcement computer to help targets in a mob investigation learn whether they were being investigated . The admission from DEA agent Louis Angioletti came as he pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of intentionally accessing a government computer in a manner that exceeded his lawful authority. Angioletti faces up to six months in federal prison. He also agreed to resign from the DEA. Angioletti got caught up in an FBI investigation of a conspiracy by mob-backed trash haulers to drive out the competition. While working at the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center, Angioletti was approached by an old friend who worked for the mob-connected trash haulers, and he agreed to run the friend's boss's name through the federal Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Information System database. He later reported that the boss's name didn't show up. He will be sentenced November 9.

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a Scranton police officer charged with selling Oxycontin while in uniform pleaded guilty August 28 . Officer Mark Conway told the presiding judge he had been addicted to Oxycontin. His attorney made the strange remark that Conway "wasn't a drug dealer but he distributed." Corruption or addiction? In either case, he was peddling pills while in uniform. He faces up to five years in prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 26th 2007

 

More prison guards are in trouble. A Louisiana cop gets busted for pills -- corruption or desperation?

In Tallahassee, Florida, a Florida Department of Corrections officer was arrested last Friday on drug and other charges . Officer Terrance Ruffen, 31, faces charges of tampering with evidence and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. He was arrested after Gadsden County sheriff's deputies raided a home in Quincy in an investigation of crack cocaine sales there.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, a Shreveport police officer was arrested Tuesday on drug charges . Sgt. Thomas Morgan, a supervisor in the Uniformed Services Division, faces four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Morgan, 39, went down after Shreveport narcotics officers received a complaint a week ago that he was illegally obtaining prescription medications. He is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. (Is this corruption, or desperation? Hard to tell without more facts.)

In Elkhart, Indiana, an Elkhart County corrections officer was arrested Monday for taking home drugs seized from a prisoner after a visit . Mario Randle, 35, allegedly searched the inmate after a visit, finding a modified screwdriver containing at least two illegal drugs. Police said Randle did not report the incident, but instead took the items with him when his shift ended. He faces felony counts of drug trafficking and official misconduct and is looking at up to three years in prison. He has been fired.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 18th 2007

 

One of California's top narcs gets busted for peddling Cialis, another Florida cop goes to prison, and a pair of Florida prison guards gets popped for the usual.

In Long Beach, California, one of California's top narcs was arrested Saturday for selling prescription erectile dysfunction pills to undercover police . Special Agent Henry Kim, supervisor of the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement anti-gang team in Los Angeles, had advertised Cialis pills for sale on the Craigslist web site. Long Beach undercover officers responded to the ad, agreed to buy 50 pills for $250, and then arrested Kim when he met them to do the deal Saturday morning. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. But by Tuesday, prosecutors had downgraded the charges to four misdemeanor counts: dispensing drugs without a license, prescribing a controlled substance, unlawfully prescribing dangerous drugs without a prescribing physician, and unlawfully using dangerous drugs without a prescription. Kim has been released on his own recognizance pending trial. He is on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal affairs investigation.

In Hollywood, Florida, a fourth Hollywood police officer has been sent to prison for running drugs for supposed drug traffickers . Former Sgt. Jeffry Courtney was sentenced last Friday to nine years in federal prison after pleading guilty to heroin trafficking conspiracy charges. He accepted at least $22,000 to guard purported heroin shipments for New York mobsters, but the mobsters turned out to be FBI agents. Courtney is the fourth Hollywood Police Department officer to be sent to prison in the sting, known as Tarnished Bronze. A fifth is set to be sentenced in October for lying to FBI agents about letting word of the sting leak out.

In Naples, Florida, two Florida prison guards were arrested August 8 for arranging to smuggle cocaine to a prisoner . Guards Jawaan Rice, 21, and Modeste Pierre, 18, are charged with cocaine trafficking, smuggling a controlled substance into a correctional facility, and prison employee receiving a bribe. The pair, who were trainees hired in June, went down after prison officials overheard Rice and an inmate conspiring to bring a large quantity of coke into the prison. The prisoner turned informant and arranged a cocaine delivery with Rice and Pierre. An undercover police officer made the delivery and the subsequent arrests. The pair have been fired.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 21th 2007

 

Bad cops, bad cops, whatcha gonna do? A New York City cop helps drug dealers rip off other drug dealers, a North Carolina cop builds a really impressive bad cop resume, a former North Carolina sheriff can't account for much of his evidence, and an Indiana cop gets a slap on the wrist for stealing from a drug suspect.

In New York City, an NYPD officer faces federal drug conspiracy charges for allegedly helping a gang of drug dealers rip off other drug dealers . Officer Darren Moonan was arrested July 8 on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to commit robberies of drugs and drug money over a seven-month period beginning last December. Moonan and his five fellow co-conspirators allegedly netted at least $810,000 in cash and 200 pounds of marijuana in its robberies of competing drug dealers. Moonan is also accused of using his badge to avoid searches and driving stolen drug money away from the scenes of the crimes. He faces up to 60 years in prison.

In Edenton, North Carolina, an Edenton police officer was arrested July 10 for planting drug evidence on innocent people . Officer Michael Aaron Davidson was charged with altering evidence in a criminal investigation for repeatedly planting crack pipes on a man he arrested when a member of the Kinston Police Department back in 2000. Davidson was investigated but never arrested, and left the Kinston department during the initial investigation. According to the SBI, Davidson has been investigated numerous times over allegations of missing money, excessive use of force, and planting evidence (three other times). He was also investigated but not charged in a case where more than $2,000 in seized drug cash went missing. Davidson only went down now because another Edenton cop, Police Officer Nichole Gardner, got busted on Oxycontin charges and decided to mention that she had seen Davidson planting evidence.

In Asheville, North Carolina, a criminal investigation is underway into evidence handling in the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office after an audit showed that cash, guns, and drugs had gone missing. Former Sheriff Bobby Medford, who was in office for 12 years, is in the hot seat over either sloppy or crooked evidence handling during his tenure. According to an audit, at least $217,000 in seized cash could not be accounted for, nor could 337 firearms. In addition, marijuana, cocaine, and pills listed on 1,138 evidence entry sheets have gone missing.

In Evansville, Indiana, a former Evansville Police officer has been sentenced for stealing money from a drug suspect . Former officer Gerald Rainey, a highly decorated veteran, was charged in April after admitting to stealing money from a backpack seized during the arrest of a suspect on an outstanding drug warrant. He plea-bargained to one count of theft and was sentenced July 13 to 18 months probation and 80 hours of community service. The felony conviction means Rainey will not be able to work again as a police officer.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 13th 2007

 

The allure of Oxycontin (and its profits) snags two cops, a deputy can't keep his paws off the meth, and a South Carolina cop gets charged with drug dealing. Just another week in the drug war:

In Louisville, Kentucky, a Lebanon Junction police sergeant was arrested June 25 on charges he planned to sell Oxycontin . Sgt. Daniel Carr, 33, and his girlfriend were both arrested by DEA agents on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute the popular narcotic pain reliever. Federal officials said the arrests came after a months-long investigation that resulted in several purchases of the drug from an informant, culminating with a final buy attempt that ended with the pair going to jail. Carr, a career law enforcement officer, was fired immediately upon arrest. He and his girlfriend face up to 20 years in federal prison.

In Newark, New Jersey, a former Newark narc was sentenced to nearly seven years in federal prison June 26 for his role in an Oyxcontin distribution ring . John Fernandez, 37, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiring to possess the drug with the intent to distribute. According to federal officials, Hernandez sold more than 3,000 of the pills between September 2004 and September 2005. His defense attorney said Hernandez got the pills legally for injuries suffered on the job, but was persuaded to sell them by another Newark police officer who has also been charged in the case, but has been cooperating with authorities. Hernandez must report to federal prison by July 23.

In Deming, New Mexico, a former Luna County sheriff's deputy got a year's probation for stealing methamphetamine from a motorist . Former Deputy Tommy Salas pleaded guilty June 25 to a misdemeanor count of attempted possession of meth after being arrested in July 2006 for taking the dope off a driver at a traffic stop, but failing to log it in. Salas, who had been on leave since his arrest, resigned his position July 2 as part of the plea agreement, with his attorney saying "he needs to move on."

In Lake City, South Carolina, a Lake City police officer was charged July 2 with drug trafficking and other offenses . Officer Shanita McKnight, 34, went down after an investigation by the FBI, the State Law Enforcement Division, and the Florence County Sheriff's Office. She is also charged with extortion, and faces from 10 years to life in prison on the drug counts. Little other information has been forthcoming.

 

Drug War Bull Shit....

“The scientific and medical communities have determined that smoked marijuana is a health danger, not a cure, ... There is no medical evidence that smoking marijuana helps patients.”
Karen Tandy.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 30th 2007

 

A Virginia police chief gets caught selling speed, a New Jersey State Trooper gets arrested for stealing and re-selling seized drugs, a New Jersey prison guard gets nailed trying to smuggle prescription drugs into the prison, a former Schenectady narc pleads guilty to ripping off cocaine from the evidence locker, a former Border Patrol agent is going to prison for stealing a bale of pot he was supposed to be guarding, and a corrupt Milwaukee cop wants back pay.

In Damascus, Virginia, the police chief was arrested Saturday on charges he was selling methamphetamine . Chief Anthony Richardson faces seven felony counts of drug distribution and possessing a weapon while possessing drugs. He went down after an undercover investigation where a snitch bought speed off the chief on June 12. Richardson was arrested without incident at the city police department. Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman said there is now a federal investigation into Richardson.

In Elizabeth, New Jersey, a state trooper was indicted and arrested June 21 on charges he stole and sold drugs seized by police . Trooper Brian Holmes, 41, had been suspended without pay since May 2006, when his partner, Trooper Moises Hernandez, pleaded guilty to aiding members of a drug ring. Hernandez is now doing a 24-year state prison sentence. Holmes was indicted on 13 counts including official misconduct, theft, falsifying records and drug trafficking for, among other things, stealing more than 10 pounds of cocaine from a 123-pound seizure at a Newark warehouse in August 2002 and giving the stolen drugs to Hernandez to sell. He is also charged with stealing a thousand ecstasy tablets from a seizure in Elizabeth in 2004 and selling them with Hernandez.

In Fairton, New Jersey, a federal prison guard was arrested June 14 on charges he accepted bribes to smuggle contraband into the prison . Steven Harper, 32, a guard at the Fairton Federal Correctional Institution, is accused of taking money from a person he thought was an inmate's relative to smuggle in prescription drugs, protein powder, work-out supplements and cigarettes. That person was actually an undercover agent. Harper was snitched out by an inmate after agreeing to smuggle in the goods for $6,000. He is now out on $100,000 bond and faces up to 15 years in prison.

In Schenectady, New York, a former Schenectady narc admitted Monday that he stole crack cocaine from the vice squad evidence locker . The admission came as former narcotics officer Jeffrey Curtis pleaded guilty to drug possession and evidence tampering in a plea bargain that will limit his prison time to four years max. Earlier this year, an investigation into missing drug evidence found that cocaine had gone missing in 15 cases and marijuana in one. While Curtis confessed to taking some of the missing dope, he said he couldn't remember if he took all the cocaine State Police investigators said was missing. Curtis first came to investigators' attention after he failed a drug test given in connection with the investigation into the missing drugs. Police put him under surveillance and arrested him March 16 after they spotted him coming out of a suspected drug-dealing house. It's only the latest problem for a troubled department: Earlier this decade, four patrol officers went to prison for rewarding snitches with crack cocaine, another went to prison for giving a gun to a drug dealer, and earlier this year, another officer admitted tipping off a friend about a gambling investigation but was allowed to keep his job.

In Tucson, a former US Border Patrol agent is going to prison for stealing marijuana while on duty . Michael Carlos Gonzalez, 34, was found guilty in March of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense. Gonzales was on duty back on December 6 when an Arizona highway patrolman pulled over a vehicle and found 30 bales of weed. The patrolman left Gonzalez to guard the stash, but his dashboard camera showed Gonzalez taking one bale and putting in the trunk of his car. The weed was never recovered. Gonzales must now do 7 ½ years in federal prison.

In Milwaukee, a police detective fired for his involvement in the theft of drug money planted by the FBI is seeking back pay and benefits . Milwaukee Detective Philip Sliwinski was caught up in a sting aimed at another Milwaukee police officer, Edwin Bonilla, after reports that Bonilla had taken drug money from crime scenes. In August 2000, the FBI left a bag with $23,000 in a hotel room, where Bonilla found it. Bonilla testified that he, Sliwinski, and a third officer each took $1,000. Sliwinski was never charged, but he was fired. Now he is seeking back pay and benefits after the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled he was denied the right to fully question a federal agent involved in the sting. While the court upheld his firing, Sliwinski's lawyer is arguing that even though he was fired, he should be eligible for pay and benefits up until the state Fire and Police Commission rehears his case.

 

"Interesting facts"

"Cannabinoids can be administered by smoking, vaporizing, oral ingestion, transdermal patch, intravenous injection, sublingual absorption, or rectal suppository. Once in the body, most cannabinoids are metabolized in the liver, although some is stored in fat. Delta-9-THC is metabolized to 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC, which is then metabolized to 9-carboxy-THC. Some cannabis metabolites can be detected in the body after several weeks"

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 23rd 2007

 

A Puerto Rican narc gets caught robbing an armored car, a Mississippi cop gets nailed for selling and using speed, and a Toledo cop who liked to party too much cops a plea.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a Puerto Rican police officer working with the DEA was charged with robbing an armored car . Angel Fernandez Ramos, who worked as an anti-drug officer for the past four years, was one of five men arrested last Friday in the $515,000 heist. Among the others were Ramos' father and two uncles. The money has been recovered. FBI officials said they were looking into links between this robbery and other armored car robberies on the island.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, a former Moss Point police officer was sentenced June 14 to 41 months in prison for drug trafficking on the job . Wendy Peyregne was arrested in December 2006 and charged with six counts of methamphetamine trafficking after a two-year investigation by the FBI. She ended up pleading guilty to two counts. According to the FBI, Peyregne made drug deals while on duty at the Moss Point police station, dealt drugs from her patrol car, and used meth while on duty. She shared the meth she scored with, among others, an ex-boyfriend, who turned snitch and helped bring her down.

In Toledo, Ohio, a former Toledo police officer pleaded guilty June 14 to a drug misdemeanor . Former officer Bryan Traband was originally charged with felony drug possession, and three misdemeanors -- permitting drug abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of drugs -- but was allowed to plead guilty to a single charge of permitting drug use. Toledo police raided Traband's residence after a snitch twice told them in February he was selling, possessing, and using cocaine and marijuana and that he would be having a party on March 16. Police raided the home that night. Traband received a suspended six-month sentence at the Correction Center of Northwest Ohio.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 16th 2007

 

Yet another prison guard goes down, and a Georgia narc gets caught sleeping with his snitches.

In London, Kentucky, a former guard got 6 ½ years in prison June 8 for smuggling drugs into the Big Sandy federal prison. Alice Marie Stapleton, 31, was charged last year with being part of a conspiracy to smuggle heroin, marijuana, and contraband cell phones into the maximum security prison. She admitted receiving $1,000 each of three times she smuggled contraband behind the bars. Her 78-month sentence was the maximum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines.

In Augusta, Georgia, a former drug squad supervisor pleaded guilty Monday to lying to an FBI agent about not sleeping with his informants. Mathue Phares, 38, an 18-year veteran of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office was forced to resign in December as an investigation into allegations of civil rights violations got underway. Having sex with one's informants could be a civil rights violation because an officer is in a position of power or authority over an informant. Phares initially denied sleeping with his snitches, but later admitted to one sexual relationship. Now the feds say there was more than one. Phares is free on his own recognizance pending sentencing. He faces up to five years in federal prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 9th 2007

 

Well, thank goodness for crooked prison guards! If it wasn't for them, all we would have is a blank space here this week.

In Michigan City, Indiana, a state prison guard was arrested Monday for bringing marijuana intended for an inmate to work in her lunch box. Indiana State Prison guard Joann Smith, 44, a 20-year veteran, was arraigned Tuesday in LaPorte County Superior Court on felony drug trafficking charges. Smith went down after a tip to the prison's Internal Affairs Department. When she was searched upon arrest, her lunch box contained a cell phone, rolling papers, and a package of pot hidden inside her food.

In Quincy, Massachusetts, a Suffolk County jail guard has pleaded not guilty to charges he was selling Oxycontin and steroids on the streets. Alexander Santarelli, 32, a two-year veteran at the House of Corrections, was arrested May 31 after Quincy police armed with a search warrant and drug sniffing dogs raided his home. In a locked safe in his living room closet, they found $7,009 in cash, 60 OxyContin pills, and three handguns and ammunition, according to Quincy police report filed in Quincy District Court. They also found "several types of steroids" and an unloaded .40-caliber Glock pistol in the closet. Santarelli's license to carry firearms has been suspended, and he has been placed on administrative leave without pay. Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral said police are investigating whether Santarelli also sold drugs inside the jail.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 2nd 2007

 

Marijuana gone missing from the evidence room, a sheriff pleads guilty, a cop gets arrested for leaking an investigation, and a trooper gets oral sex but loses his job. Just another week of prohibition-related police misbehavior.

In Nashville, a Tennessee state trooper has been fired for dropping a drug charge against a porn actress in exchange for oral sex . Trooper James Randy Moss was fired May 25 over the May 7 incident, which began when he pulled over 21-year-old Justis Richert, known professionally as Barbie Cummings. According to a citation issued by Moss, he pulled her over for speeding. But in a post on her blog that has since disappeared -- but not before someone reported it to police -- Cummings wrote that Moss discovered her illegal prescription drugs, she told him she was a porn star, they adjourned to his vehicle where they looked up web sites featuring her performing, he threw away the pills, and she provided him with oral sex. Moss faces possible charges for destroying the drug evidence as well.

In Richmond, Virginia, the former Henry County sheriff pleaded guilty May 24 to lying to authorities about widespread corruption in his department. Former Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell and 12 current or former deputies, as well as seven other people, were indicted last fall on charges they sold guns and drugs they had seized. All but three have pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy, narcotics distribution, and weapons counts in a conspiracy that lasted from 1998 until last fall's arrests. Cassell was not charged with participating in the conspiracy, but with ignoring it and lying to federal investigators about it. He pleaded guilty to making false statements and is expected to serve six to 12 months in federal prison.

In Fort Sumner, Texas, marijuana has gone missing from the police department evidence room . Chief Wayne Atchley reported that he spotted a trail of dried marijuana leaves leading out of the evidence room on May 10, and that an unknown portion of a 2,500-plant seizure was missing. There were no signs of forced entry, suggesting it could have been an inside job. It is unclear how many people had keys to the building. Atchley added that it appeared the thieves knew the marijuana was there because it was the only thing taken. He has asked the Texas Department of Public Safety to investigate.

In Hollywood, Florida, a fifth city police officer has been arrested in Operation Tarnished shield . Lt. Chuck Roberts, a 23-year veteran, was arrested at his home May 24 on charges he leaked word of the investigation, which has so far resulted in the guilty pleas of four other Hollywood officers on drug conspiracy charges for offering their services to protect drug shipments in an FBI undercover sting. According to an FBI affidavit, Roberts was told of the sting by a senior commander. He then told another officer, who told one of the officers being investigated, thus bringing the operation to a premature end. Roberts then allegedly lied to the FBI about it. He was charged with making false statements to the FBI. Roberts and two other officers were suspended two weeks ago because of their links to the leaks, but the other two have not been charged.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 26th 2007

 

State troopers running Oxycontin rings, problem ex-cops running Oxycontin rings, and another conviction in the infamous Dallas "pool chalk" scandal.

In Boston, a Massachusetts State Trooper was arrested May 15 on charges he ran an Oxycontin trafficking and extortion ring. Trooper Mark Lemieux, who had a long career arresting drug traffickers, was himself arrested along with a former state trooper, Joseph Catanese, and two other people, including Lemieux's girlfriend. Lemieux had been assigned to the Bristol County Drug Force, but that didn't stop him from allegedly arranging with a drug dealer to let his girlfriend courier Oxycontin from Florida to Massachusetts. Lemieux and company went down after the dealer got busted and turned state's evidence. He had been a snitch for Lemieux, but now he has snitched on him.

In London, Kentucky, a former local police officer was arrested May 18 on drug sales charges . Brad Nighbert, the son of state Department of Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, was an officer for the Williamsburg police for seven years. Things began to go downhill for him when he crashed his cruiser into a woman's car while on duty in 2006, and drug tests showed he had consumed oxycodone and cocaine. As the town board met to consider firing him for that, he resigned. He was later arrested on drug possession and other charges in that incident. While awaiting a September court date on those charges, Nighbert managed to get stopped for acting suspicious in the parking lot of a night club where a stabbing had occurred. Police found 14 Oxycontin pills and $32,000 in cash in his vehicle, and, after obtaining a search warrant, another $3,000 in cash, 57 methadone tablets, and ledgers. He is now charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, having prescription drugs in an improper container, tampering with evidence, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and impersonating a police officer.

In Dallas, a former Dallas police officer was found guilty in the "pool chalk" scandal last Friday. Former officer Jeffrey Haywood was convicted of lying on a police report by saying he field-tested a substance believed to be cocaine when it was seized in May 2001. The substance turned out to be pool chalk with a trace of cocaine. More than two dozen people, most of the Hispanic immigrants, were arrested, convicted and sent to prison as drug traffickers based on drug seizures that turned out to be pool chalk. Former officer Mark Delapaz has already been convicted in the scandal, and cases are pending against two other officers. Haywood was sentenced to two years probation.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 19th 2007

 

Tarnished badges abound this week. We've got a cop who got too high on his own brownies, missing drug evidence, a head narc busted for ripping-off drug dealers, a cop busted for taking bribes from drug dealers, a couple more cops pleading guilty to protecting drug shipments, and the requisite jail guard dealing drugs.

In Dearborn, Michigan, a Dearborn police officer resigned after admitting taking marijuana from a suspect and cooking it up into pot brownies with his wife . Former Cpl. Edward Sanchez went down after he got too high on his creation and called 911 to report he was afraid he and his wife were in danger of a fatal overdose. "I think we're dying," he said in the call. "We made brownies and I think we're dead, I really do," Sanchez continued. (Listen to the call here .) During a departmental investigation after that call, Sanchez admitted taking marijuana from suspects on previous occasions. Sanchez's wife, Stacy, admitted that on another occasion she had removed enough cocaine from her husband's patrol car to go on a three-week binge. The cocaine was purportedly in the car for drug dog training. Neither has been charged with a crime.

In Schenectady, New York, a Schenectady County grand jury is looking into missing drug evidence at the Schenectady Police Department . The probe into the city's vice squad comes after a State Police investigation found crack cocaine and marijuana evidence missing in 16 drug cases. The grand jury will reportedly look at departmental procedures for storing and tracking drug evidence. In the wake of the discovery of missing drug evidence, the department has already instituted some changes, including requiring that two officers be present whenever an officer enters the drug storage area.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the head of the narcotics division and one other officer are accused of ripping-off a drug dealer for thousands of dollars . The head narc, Sgt. Steve Altonji, and Officer Danny Ramirez were arrested by FBI agents May 11 and face a combined 24 federal counts. The FBI alleges that Altonji and Ramirez arrested a drug dealer in May 2006 and discovered marijuana, cocaine, and $180,000 cash. They are accused of taking $5,000 for themselves. Altonji faces additional charges that he stole money from another dealer and beat up a third man, while Ramirez continues to be investigated for several large cash bank deposits. Suspicions about Altonji have been going on for months, earlier prompting Santa Fe Police Chief Eric Johnson to shut down drug investigations while the city does an internal review.

In Lake City, Florida, a Lake City police officer was charged Tuesday with taking money from a drug dealer . Lake City Police Investigator Debra Williams, a seven-year veteran of the department, has been under investigation since December for allegedly taking the cash and telling the dealer she would have drug charges against him dismissed. She has been suspended since March. Now she faces one count of misconduct in office.

In Boston, a Suffolk County jail guard was arrested May 11 for selling drugs to inmates . Kenneth Nobile, 39, was arrested as he arrived at work at the South Bay Correctional Facility, and police allegedly found seven grams of heroin and 21 grams of marijuana packaged for sale in his car. He faces various drug charges, including possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Bail was set at $25,000.

In Hollywood, Florida, two more Hollywood police officers pleaded guilty last week to protecting heroin shipments . Officer Thomas Simcox pleaded guilty May 9 and Sgt. Jeffrey Courtney pleaded guilty May 11 to a single charge of conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute for their roles in protecting heroin shipments in what was actually an FBI sting. Two other officers have already pleaded guilty in the sting, known as Operation Tarnished Badge, in which the four also provided protection for shipments of stolen guns and jewelry. All four face mandatory minimum 10-year sentences, but all are seeking reductions for cooperating with investigators investigating who leaked the fact that there was an investigation.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 13th 2007

 

A Boston cop gets busted, a Tacoma probation officer peddles meth, two former Memphis cops cop pleas, so does a former NYPD officer, and a small-town Texas lawman heads for federal prison.

In Boston, a Boston police officer was arrested May 2 for acting as a debt collector for major drug dealers . Jose Ortiz, a 21-year veteran of the force, faces federal attempted extortion and cocaine conspiracy charges for allegedly showing up in uniform at the workplace of his target and threatening to kill him and his family if he did not pay a pair of drug dealers $260,000 for a deal gone bad. Ortiz accepted partial payments and agreed to take cocaine in payment, although he did not want to touch it himself. Ortiz was arrested in Revere as he met with his target, who was cooperating with authorities. He was fired last week.

In Tacoma, Washington, a Washington Department of Corrections probation officer was arrested May 5 for selling meth . Cheri Lynn Cantrell, 38, went down after a former neighbor reported to Tacoma police that the pair used to do meth together and she bought meth from Cantrell. The former neighbor and speed sharer turned informant then set up a recorded buy from Cantrell. After the drugs tested positive for meth, Cantrell was arrested at the Department of Corrections office where she worked.

In Memphis, two former Memphis police officers pleaded guilty May 3 to conspiring with other officers to shake down drug dealers . Former officers Harold McCall, 35, and Trennis Swims, 34, acknowledged targeting drivers of older cars with expensive hubcaps and taking money from them during traffic stops. McCall pleaded to violating civil rights and faces up to 10 years in prison. Swims pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts and faces up to two years behind bars. At least four other Memphis police officers have been charged or convicted in the conspiracy, which continues to be investigated by the FBI and the Memphis Police Department Security Squad.

In New York City, a former NYPD officer pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal cocaine from drug houses . Former officer Kirsix De La Cruz admitted introducing two co-conspirators in a scheme to hit stash houses while she was an active NYPD officer in April 2005. De La Cruz pleaded to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit robbery. She was set to take the NYPD sergeant's exam when arrested, but now she is looking at a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.

In McAllen, Texas, a former Elsa police officer was sentenced to eight years in federal prison May 2 for taking bribes to protect drug shipments . Ismael Gomez, 27, pleaded guilty in December to pocketing $2,500 in return for protecting a vehicle he believed contained 22 kilograms of cocaine. It was actually an FBI sting. Gomez is the second Elsa police officer to go down for taking bribes to protect drug traffickers. Last August, Herman Carr pleaded guilty to taking a $5,000 bribe to protect a vehicle. He will be sentenced May 31. Gomez, meanwhile, is already in prison and serving his sentence.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 7th 2007

 

It's a real motley crew this week: a small-town police chief gone bad, cops escorting drug shipments, and, of course, more crooked prison guards.

First, a brief note about this weekly feature and what we are and are not trying to accomplish with it. Our purpose in publishing the corrupt cops stories is to make the points about how vast the problem of police corruption really is, how drug prohibition is a major cause of police corruption, and how much hypocrisy there is in the system.

What we're not doing is "gloating" over cops getting a taste of their own medicine or calling for harsh punishments for them. Some of the police officers mentioned here undoubtedly were unethical people when they took the job. Others either bent to temptations or pressures existing in their individual situations or gradually strayed down the wrong path. How harshly they deserve to be punished is an individual matter. Most of all want to end the drug war so that none of this happens at all.

In Cabot, Arkansas, the former Lonoke police chief and his wife were sentenced Tuesday for running a criminal organization dealing in drugs and jewelry . Former Chief Jay Campbell had been convicted on 23 counts, including conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and running a continuing criminal enterprise. His wife, Kelly Campbell, was convicted of 26 counts, including residential burglary and obtaining a controlled substance through theft or fraud. The ex-chief is going down for 40 years, while his wife got a 20-year sentence. Trials are pending for the former mayor and two others in this tale of small-town corruption writ large.

In Hollywood, Florida, two Hollywood police officers pleaded guilty April 25 on heroin trafficking charges . Detective Kevin Companion and Officer Stephen Harrison admitted running a protection racket and using police vehicles to escort heroin shipments for people they thought were traffickers, but who were really undercover FBI agents. According to court documents, they also transported stolen diamonds from New Jersey, protected an illegal card game on a yacht, and trafficked in stolen bearer bonds. The pair face 10 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on July 20. Two other Hollywood police officers involved in the racket, Sgt. Jeffrey Courtney and Detective Thomas Simcox, are expected to plead guilty as well, but no hearing dates have been set in their cases.

In Hartford, Connecticut, the New Haven Police Department's recently-fired head narc was formally indicted on corruption charges on April 25 . William White, 63, chief of the New Haven drug squad, narcotics detective Justen Kasperzyk, 34, and three bail bondsmen were arrested a month ago after an eight-month investigation by state and federal authorities. Now, White is charged in the indictment with two counts of theft of government funds and bribery conspiracy after he was videotaped stealing money planted by the FBI in what he thought was a drug dealer's car. Kasperzyk was not mentioned in the indictments. The bail bondsmen were indicted for paying White and other officers bribes of up to $15,000 to track down clients who had become fugitives. They face up to 20 years in prison.

In Clovis, New Mexico, a Curry County jail guard was arrested April 24 for smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the jail . Curry County Adult Center Officer Raul Lopez, 23, told investigators he needed cash when an inmate offered to pay him to bring in the goodies. He now faces three counts of bringing contraband into a place of imprisonment and three counts of distribution of a controlled substance. All the charges are felonies. He has now been fired and is being held on $30,000 bond in neighboring Pecos County. Lopez is the fifth Curry County jail guard to be arrested in the past year, on charges ranging from contraband to assaulting prisoners.

In Rutland, Vermont, a state prison community corrections officer was arrested April 27 for selling cocaine . Sheri Fitzgerald, 43, went down after selling coke to a confidential informant that same day and is accused of selling it to offenders she oversaw in the community corrections program. She faces felony charges of cocaine possession, cocaine distribution, distribution of narcotics, and a misdemeanor count of illegal possession of a narcotic. That could get her up to 19 years in prison. The 18-year veteran of the Vermont Department of Corrections employee is now jailed on a $250,000 bond.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 30th 2007

 

Three police officers and a prison guard arrested, and another prison guard gets sent to prison. Once again, we present the corrosive impact of the drug war on police ethics and morality in all its mundane banality.

In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the former police chief is charged with leaking word of an impending drug raid . Former Chief Rolf Garcia and his 17-year-old son were arrested April 19 on charges Garcia told his son about a looming raid in February 2006, and his son called four other people to warn them. As a result, two men escaped the residence that was the target of the raid before they could be identified. Garcia told a grand jury that while he never told his son the location of a planned raid, he might have warned him to stay away from a certain area. His son testified that he had provided false information about drug busts in the past to obtain marijuana, but he denied telling anyone about the raid in question. Garcia and his son are charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, while Garcia is also charged with obstruction of justice. A preliminary hearing is set for May 24. [Ed: Whether reformers should be upset about Garcia's actions in this case is another question.]

In Columbus, Ohio, a Columbus police officer has been arrested for cocaine trafficking .
Officer Larry Lightning, a 23-year veteran of the department, was arrested last Friday after a two-year investigation by the Columbus office of the FBI, the Columbus Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Metro Narcotics Task Force. He faces federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, extortion by a public official, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

In Evansville, Indiana, an Evansville police officer will soon face trial for allegedly stealing money from a drug suspect . Officer Gerald Rainey, 33, faces one count of felony theft for allegedly taking $1,000 out of a backpack containing $19,500, which he seized from a cocaine dealing suspect. The accused dealer cried foul, police investigated, and they found the missing $1,000 in Rainey's patrol car. He faces a June 27 court date.

In Garden City, New York, a New York City jail guard was charged with supplying heroin to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation . Gary Morton, 25, surrendered to state police last Friday as part of the roll-up of a drug distribution network on the reservation, which is on the eastern end of Long Island. Morton was one of more than a dozen people arrested. He is charged with second-degree conspiracy. Authorities planned to arrest him at his job at Rikers Island, but he didn't show up for work, instead turning himself in later that day.

In Sacramento, a former prison guard was sentenced to prison for smuggling methamphetamine in to inmates . John Charles Whittle, 47, a 22-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty last month. He was busted after internal affairs agents intercepted a package of meth sent to Whittle's home, then raided the residence after he accepted delivery. The former guard at Mule Creek State Prison admitted to receiving more than $5,000 to smuggle drugs into the prison. He will now serve two years himself.

 

Chain of Lies Led to Botched Raid
Cops admit planting marijuana to cover murder of 92-year-old woman
Marijuana Policy Project
April 28th 2007

According to federal documents released Thursday, these are the events that led to Kathryn Johnston's death and the steps the officers took to cover their tracks. Three narcotics agents were trolling the streets near the Bluffs in northwest Atlanta, a known market for drugs, midday on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Eventually they set their sights on some apartments on Lanier Street, usually fertile when narcotics agents are looking for arrests and seizures.
Gregg Junnier and another narcotics officer went inside the apartments around 2 p.m. while Jason Smith checked the woods. Smith found dozens of bags of marijuana — in baggies that were clear, blue or various other colors and packaged to sell. With no one connected to the pot, Smith stashed the bags in the trunk of the patrol car. A use was found for Smith's stash 90 minutes later: A phone tip led the three officers to a man in a "gold-colored jacket" who might be dealing. The man, identified as X in the documents but known as Fabian Sheats, spotted the cops and put something in his mouth. They found no drugs on Sheats, but came up with a use for the pot they found earlier. They wanted information or they would arrest Sheats for dealing. While Junnier called for a drug-sniffing dog, Smith planted some bags under a rock, which the K-9 unit found.

But if Sheats gave them something, he could walk. Sheats pointed out 933 Neal St., the home of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston. That, he claimed, is where he spotted a kilogram of cocaine when he was there to buy crack from a man named "Sam."
They needed someone to go inside, but Sheats would not do for their purposes because he was not a certified confidential informant.
So about 5:05 p.m. they reached out by telephone to Alex White to make an undercover buy for them. They had experience with White and he had proved to be a reliable snitch. But White had no transportation and could not help. Still, Smith, Junnier and the other officer, Arthur Tesler, according to the state's case, ran with the information. They fabricated all the right answers to persuade a magistrate to give them a no-knock search warrant.

By 6 p.m., they had the legal document they needed to break into Kathryn Johnston's house, and within 40 minutes they were prying off the burglar bars and using a ram to burst through the elderly woman's front door. It took about two minutes to get inside, which gave Johnston time to retrieve her rusty .38 revolver. Tesler was at the back door when Junnier, Smith and the other narcotics officers crashed through the front. Johnston got off one shot, the bullet missing her target and hitting a porch roof. The three narcotics officers answered with 39 bullets. Five or six bullets hit the terrified woman. Authorities never figured out who fired the fatal bullet, the one that hit Johnston in the chest. Some pieces of the other bullets — friendly fire — hit Junnier and two other cops. The officers handcuffed the mortally wounded woman and searched the house. There was no Sam. There were no drugs. There were no cameras that the officers had claimed was the reason for the no-knock warrant. Just Johnston, handcuffed and bleeding on her living room floor. That is when the officers took it to another level. Three baggies of marijuana were retrieved from the trunk of the car and planted in Johnston's basement. The rest of the pot from the trunk was dropped down a sewage drain and disappeared.

The three began getting their stories straight. The next day, one of them, allegedly Tesler, completed the required incident report in which he wrote that the officers went to the house because their informant had bought crack at the Neal Street address. And Smith turned in two bags of crack to support that claim. They plotted how they would cover up the lie. They tried to line up one of their regular informants, Alex White, the reliable snitch with the unreliable transportation. The officers' story would be that they met with White at an abandoned carwash Nov. 21 and gave him $50 to make the buy from Neal Street. To add credibility to their story, they actually paid White his usual $30 fee for information and explained to him how he was to say the scenario played out if asked. An unidentified store owner kicked in another $100 to entice White to go along with the play. The three cops spoke several times, assuring each other of the story they would tell. But Junnier was the first to break. On Dec. 11, three weeks after the shooting, Junnier told the FBI it was all a lie.

 

 

Houston drug reformer Dean Becker's Drug Truth Network is expanding its reach to encompass the popular video-posting and -viewing web site YouTube. The Drug Truth Network already gets its pro-reform message out via a web site, Internet radio, several dozen broadcast radio stations, and podcasts.

As of Tuesday, Drug Truth has a six-minute video on YouTube featuring Tommy Chong, among others. That video is designed to entice viewers to visit an hour-long video from a panel discussion including a federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) member, Marcia Baker of Phoenix House, and Becker himself, representing Law Enforcement Against Prohibition .

Becker's Drug Truth Network also includes the Cultural Baggage radio program and the 4:20 Drug War News. Check 'em out!

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 13th 2007

 

More cops arrested, a dispatcher, too, and yet another prison guard goes to prison.

In Wallace, North Carolina, a Wallace Police officer was arrested April 3 on a raft of drug and robbery charges. Officer David Brown Jr., 31, was charged with conspiring to sell cocaine, conspiring to deliver cocaine, conspiring to sell marijuana, conspiring to deliver marijuana, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiring to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. The following day, he was also charged with receiving a bribe. Brown was arrested after an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and the Wallace Police Department. At last report, he was jailed on bonds totaling $350,000 at the Duplin County Jail.

In Clarksville, Indiana, a Clarskville police officer was arrested April 3 for peddling morphine pills. Officer Franklin Mikel, 34, got busted after allegedly trying to sell 30 pills to an Indiana State Police undercover officer at a local skating rink. He was last reported to be in jail awaiting arraignment.

In Oglesby, Illinois, a police dispatcher faces charges she tipped off the suspect in a drug raid that police were on the way. Kara Kamin, 22, was fired and charged after a February 22 drug raid came up empty-handed. She faces a May trial date. The case was in the news this week because the man she allegedly helped elude police was arrested on more drug charges in Minnesota.

In Saranac Lake, New York, a state prison guard was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to selling heroin to inmates after he was busted on videotape. Michael Bradish, 43, a guard at the Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Malone, was sentenced to one-to-four years in prison after pleading guilty in February to first degree attempted promotion of prison contraband and fifth degree possession of a controlled substance. Bradish had small packets of heroin mailed to him, then took them into the prison and sold them. He was caught on tape receiving 37 bundles and arrested as he carried the drugs to work the next day.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
April 2nd 2007

 

Two cops get busted, a jail guard pleads guilty, a Border Patrol agent is found guilty, and a sheriff's deputy is sent to prison. Just your typical week of drug prohibition-related law enforcement corruption. Let's get to it:

In Indianapolis, an Indianapolis Police reserve officer was arrested for stealing drugs and money from undercover officers. Reserve Officer Chris Spaulding is accused of stealing $7,000 from one undercover officer during a sting and failing to turn in the evidence. He is also charged with using a Hendricks County hotel room to sell drugs, especially marijuana. Spaulding is in jail pending a bail hearing. His trial date is set for May 14.

In Deerfield Beach, Florida, a patrol deputy was arrested Tuesday for taking cocaine and prescription drugs from what he thought was an abandoned automobile. Patrol Deputy Robert Delaney is charged with possession of cocaine and oxycodone. Delanay came to the attention of superiors when a confidential informant reported that he bought and used cocaine. That led the sheriff's office to set up a sting, leaving four grams of cocaine and six oxycodone tablets in a vehicle, then calling Delaney to investigate. As officers watched, Delaney took the drugs for himself. He also admitted snorting some of the cocaine while on duty.

In White Plains, New York, a Westchester County corrections officer pled guilty March 21 for his role in a drug distribution network. Jail guard Michael Gray, 43, pled guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband for selling cocaine to another jail guard and bringing the drug into the jail in August 2005. He was part of a trafficking ring operating in the Bronx and Westchester County that was busted in a series of raids in December 2005. He will be sentenced in June.

In Tucson, a former Border Patrol agent has been found guilty of making off with a 22-pound brick of marijuana during a border bust. Former Agent Michael Carlos Gonzalez, 34, was convicted by a federal jury March 20 of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Gonzalez went down after a December 2005 traffic stop. An Arizona state trooper stopped a pickup, the passenger and driver fled into the desert, and the trooper pursued them. Gonzalez arrived on the scene, grabbed one of the numerous bricks of weed in the truck, moved the remaining bricks to cover up his theft, and put the brick in his vehicle. Unfortunately for him, the trooper's patrol car camera caught it all. Gonzalez is looking at up to 10 years in federal prison, five on each count.

In Winchester, Kentucky, a former Clark County deputy sheriff has been sentenced to prison on firearms and drug charges. Former Deputy Brad Myers was originally charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and two counts of carrying a firearm during the offense, but pled guilty to one count of distributing Lortab pills and one count of carrying a semiautomatic pistol. Myers' attorney argued that he developed an addiction to pain pills after being injured on the job, but he's still going to prison for three years.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 26th 2007

 

Just another week of drug prohibition-related law enforcement corruption. An NYPD cop gets caught with a stash in her undies drawer, an Ohio cop has some bad hits, more prison guards get greedy, and a former St. Paul cop goes to prison.

But before we get to it, we need to make a couple of corrections. Last week, we briefly included a former Wisconsin prosecutor who got busted with marijuana and grow equipment in our hall of shame. We shouldn't have. He was a prosecutor long, long ago and for only a brief period, and while he was charged with manufacture and delivery of marijuana, it's not clear that he was dealing. Our apologies to Gene Radcliffe.

More than a year ago, we included Arizona attorney William Reckling in the list of law enforcement bad boys. We shouldn't have. We saw him as a hypocritical prosecutor who used drugs himself, but that's not the case. After belatedly coming across our article, Reckling wrote to clarify that he was a city attorney, who, unlike district or county attorneys, don't prosecutions. Furthermore, Reckling wrote, he shares our views on the cruelty and futility of the drug war, and his experience getting busted has so soured him on his homeland that he is leaving for the more freedom-loving climes of Central America. Good luck to him.

The weekly rundown of corrupt cops is supposed to be just that. Sometimes it's pretty clear cut; sometimes it's more subjective. We don't generally include police who get caught using or possessing drugs. While people who arrest people for doing the same thing they do in their spare time may qualify as hypocrites, that doesn't make them corrupt. Where do you draw the line? This week, we include the Ohio cop who has so far only been arrested on possession charges on the basis of claims in the search warrant that he was dealing. At this point, that cop is a borderline case. Now, if we run into a judge or prosecutor who is persecuting drug offenders during the night but snorting lines at home, we'll probably include him too, just because of the unmitigated hypocrisy of it. I guess we hold them to a slightly higher standard than police and prison guards. These are judgment calls, but that's the way we've tried to make them so far. Okay, let's get to it:

In New York City, an NYPD rookie officer was arrested March 15 after police executing a search warrant on her home found a large stash of drugs in her underwear drawer. Officer Carolina Salgado, 30, was arrested after a month-long probe of drug sales near the home she shared with her boyfriend, Nelson Fernandez, a reputed Latin Kings gang member. During the search of her home, police found 150 small bags of marijuana, two bags of cocaine, $3,000, and a bunch of Latin Kings paraphernalia. Although Salgado and Fernandez were not home at the time, police found them in a car nearby. In the car, police found another 15 bags of pot and two more bags of cocaine. Salgado faces counts of endangering the welfare of a child (three children with no adults present were at the home when it was raided) and drug possession.

In Toledo, Ohio, a Toledo police officer was arrested Saturday on drug possession and related charges. Officer Bryan Traband, 36, and another man were arrested at Traband's home after police serving a search warrant found cocaine and marijuana. According to the search warrant, police received two confidential tips last month that Traband was involved in selling and using drugs, but authorities so far have only charged him with possession of cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia and permitting drug abuse. The 13-year veteran of the force has resigned and is now out on a personal recognizance bond.

In Amite, Louisiana, a Tangapahoa Parish sheriff's deputy serving as a county jail guard was arrested March 15 after agreeing to smuggle crack cocaine and vodka to an inmate. According to federal officials, Deputy Harris Robertson has confessed to smuggling banned items into the jail at least 10 times since September and receiving from $100 to $300 per delivery. Robertson went down after someone called in a tip that he was delivering drugs, alcohol, cell phones and food to prisoners, and the feds set up a sting. An agent posing as an inmate's friend gave Robertson 15 grams of crack, two bottles of Grey Goose vodka, and $300 for his efforts. Robertson was arrested after accepting the goods and cash. Now he faces up to 40 years in prison on federal possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine charges.

In Sacramento, California, a former state prison guard pleaded guilty last Friday to smuggling methamphetamine into a prison in Amador County. John Charles Whittle, 47, a 22-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, went down after internal affairs investigators intercepted a package mailed to Whittle's home and found it contained 10 grams of meth hidden inside a teddy bear. When agents arrived, Whittle had already removed the meth and secreted it in a stab-resistant prison guard vest. Whittle admitted that he was paid $5,150 by friends of inmates to smuggle drugs into the Mule Creek State Prison. He agreed to forfeit his profits and now awaits an April 19 sentencing date, when he faces up to two years in prison.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, a retired St. Paul police sergeant was sentenced to five years in prison last Friday on methamphetamine trafficking charges. Retired Sgt. Clemmie Tucker could have faced up to life in prison after he was caught picking up a meth shipment at the Greyhound Bus terminal in Minneapolis. He pleaded guilty in September to possession with the intent to distribute more than a pound of meth. US District Judge Joan Ericksen said she was going to give Tucker a "substantial break" in sentencing because he had no prior record and little likelihood of reoffending, but gave him a few years "because drugs are so harmful."

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 16th 2007

 

An Oregon parole officer, a former Wisconsin prosecutor, a Houston crime lab tech, and a pair of New Haven narcs have all crossed over to the dark side this week. Let's get to it:

In New Haven, Connecticut, the city's top narc was arrested Tuesday on charges he stole thousands of dollars on the job. Lt. William White, head of the New Haven Police Department Narcotics Division, was arrested by the FBI after it caught him on video transferring $27,000 in department cash to his car. White is charged with theft of government funds and criminal conspiracy. Also arrested was narcotics Det. Justen Kasperzyk, who was charged with stealing less than $1,000, and three local bail bondsmen, who are charged with bribing White and other police officers to recapture fugitives they were seeking. On Wednesday, New Haven police announced they were disbanding the narcotics unit.

In Houston, a former Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) lab technician was arrested last month on charges he stole more than 50 pounds of cocaine from the agency's Houston crime lab and sold it over a five-year period. Technician Jesus Hinojosa, 30, smuggled the stuff out a brick at a time, selling them for $11,000 to $13,000 each, according to authorities. In all, a DPS investigation has found 57 pounds of cocaine missing from the lab. Internal DPS audit reports show that the agency was aware of security breaches at the lab since 2003. Hinojosa is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and is jailed on a $1 million bond.

In Neilsville, Wisconsin, a former prosecutor is charged with growing marijuana . Gene Radcliffe, who served as Clark County district attorney from 1977 to 1979, went down in an Illinois traffic stop where police found a gun, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and hydroponic supplies. That led to Wisconsin charges of felony manufacture and delivery of marijuana, as well as two misdemeanor drug charges. A hearing is set for April 18; in the meantime, Radcliffe has checked in to a mental hospital for an evaluation.

In Portland, Oregon, a Multnomah County parole supervisor has resigned after admitting to stealing marijuana from a department property room and smoking it in front of coworkers at a holiday party. Shadman Afzal, 43, had been on leave since the December 9 party at his house, where he began hitting on a joint in front of his fellow parole officers. One of them recognized the container the weed came in as having been seized earlier and logged in at the department's north office. No criminal charges have been filed. Although Azfal hasn't worked since December and officially resigned in January, he is using up vacation time until March 19.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
March 9th 2007

 

Our "This Week's Corrupt Cops" feature may have been on hiatus while your editor was down South America way, but it's been pretty much business as usual. We're back now, and here's this week's edition with the usual cast of crooked cops and greedy guards. Let's get to it:

In Randolph County, North Carolina, a juvenile detention supervisor has been indicted on federal cocaine trafficking charges . James Ledwell, 37, who spent the last nine years teaching young people about the dangers of drugs, was arrested February 28 on federal charges. The indictment came three weeks after Ledwell was busted trying to sell more than a half-pound of coke to a Greensboro police officer.

In Hollywood, Florida, a veteran detective has surrendered after being charged along with three other officers in a sting where they thought they were protecting mob shipments of drugs and stolen art, diamonds, and watches. Hollywood Detective Thomas Simcox, 50, surrendered to federal agents February 28 and was released later that same day on a $350,000 bond. The four officers were charged with drug trafficking and other offenses after a two-year FBI sting in which they agreed to "protect and facilitate" criminal activities for what was supposed to be a "criminal organization based out of New York." Instead, it was feds posing as mobsters. Now the cops face up to life in prison.

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a Scranton police officer was arrested March 1 after allegedly dealing drugs while on duty. Officer Mark Conway, 36, was in uniform when Lackawanna County detectives found five Oxycontin tablets and 33 methadone tablets in his car. Conway went down after an informant told police Conway had been addicted to heroin for more than a year and the informant had scored for him numerous times. A second informant recorded a conversation with Conway in which the officer agreed to deliver Oxycontin and methadone for $780. Conway was charged with possession of methadone, possession of OxyContin, unlawful delivery of OxyContin and two counts of using a telephone for a drug transaction. He is out on $25,000 bail.

In Fishkill, New York, an Ulster County jail guard was arrested Monday after being caught with 10 ounces of cocaine. Shawn Forte, 30, faces a charge of first degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after he was stopped for "speeding" on Interstate 84 in Fishkill. According to state police, the charges stemmed from an investigation by the Ulster County Sheriff's Office and the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team. Forte was being held without bail at the Dutchess County Jail as of mid-week, and more charges could be pending.

In Beaver, Pennsylvania, an outside report has found that the Beaver County Jail is "tainted" with sex, drugs, and violence, and jail guards are involved . The report found guards having sex with prisoners, guards physically abusing prisoners, guards accused of providing drugs to prisoners, and nearly half of prisoners who had been in for at least 60 days and were tested for drugs came back positive. Beaver County Controller Richard Towcimak, who chairs the prison board, said board members were "completely disheartened" by the report, while Beaver County District Attorney Tony Berosh said he would turn it over to the state attorney general's office.

 

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Feb 23rd 2007

 

Ah, the drug war -- what a cornucopia of corruption it generates. Week in, week out, law enforcement officers fall prey to temptation. This week is no different.

In New York City, a former NYPD officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison for plotting to rob a drug dealer of hundreds of thousands of dollars . Former officer Porfirio Mejia, 31, was part of a six-man group who planned to rob a man they thought was a Colombian dealer in the Bronx of 10 kilograms of heroin and $450,000 in cash. At the time of the planned robbery, Mejia was in uniform. Mejia and the others were arrested by members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force. He was sentenced January 31.

In Roanoke, Virginia, the Henry County Sheriff's Department implosion into corruption-related scandal continues to work its way through the courts. In the latest news, a former department dog handler and two civilians charged in the case pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme involving the sheriff and 11 deputies to re-sell drugs seized from dealers. That makes 13 out of 20 defendants who have now copped pleas in a case where deputies are charged with peddling tens of thousands of dollars worth of seized drugs, along with stolen guns and other evidence. Department dog handler Walter Hairston pleaded guilty February 2 to one count of racketeering conspiracy. He was accused of passing along drugs he used for drug dog training to deputies who would then resell them. Former Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell, who is charged with covering up his deputies' misdeeds, is seeking to have his trial moved outside the Roanoke area.

In Youngstown, Ohio, a former Mahoning County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty last Friday to three counts of drug trafficking and three counts of drug possession. Michael "Beef" Terlecky, 51, was caught peddling Oxycontin tablets along US Highway 224 by undercover agents, and the cops found more Oxycontin and Valium at his home. Terlecky is in ill health and had been taking post-surgery pain medications, which prosecutors said could have affected his judgment. Prosecutors will recommend a two-year prison stretch at his March 29 sentencing. His defense attorney, who argued that Terlecky sold some of the drugs to pay his medical expenses, is urging probation.

In Saranac Lake, New York, a state prison guard pleaded guilty last Friday to trying to smuggle heroin into the prison where he worked. Michael Bradish, 34, pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband and attempted criminal possession of controlled substance, plus misdemeanor official misconduct. Bradish, who worked at Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Malone, is being held without bail at Franklin County Jail. He could receive up to four years in state prison when he's sentenced in March. He was caught on videotape in September being handed 37 bundles of heroin as part of an investigation into prison contraband by the state police, the state Department of Corrections, the Inspector General, and the Franklin County District Attorney's office. Police stopped Bradish on his way to work the next day and found the drugs. Two other prison guards, Lt. Timothy Flint, 40, and Daniel Oakes, 32, face criminal charges in the probe. An unknown number of other guards have quit or been fired.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, a prosecutor has been fired after evidence from a drug case was "mishandled." Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Jeff TeKippe was put on paid leave last week, but got the ax this week as an investigation by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation gets underway. They were called in by Council Bluffs police and County Attorney Matt Wilber after "they discovered evidence from a narcotics case appeared to have been mishandled," a terse DCI statement said. TeKippe was a 10-year veteran of the prosecutors office who handled primarily drug cases.

In Greenville, South Carolina, a former Anderson police officer has been charged with misconduct in office after making off with the evidence in drug cases . Former officer Clint Fuller, 31, was arrested Saturday for failing to log in evidence from twelve 2006 arrests he made where he seized "a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana." Some of Fuller's cases have been dismissed because of lack of evidence, others because he failed to show up for court, the department said. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Feb 5th 2007

 

Here's a new twist for you: This week, we have a prison guard charged with smuggling drugs OUT of a prison. Of course, there are several more charged with smuggling drugs in, as well as a teenage military policeman gone bad, a retirement age former cop gone bad, and yet another Nashville officer found guilty of drug corruption.

In White Plains, New York, a Yonkers Police Department jail guard was arrested January 25 for helping an inmate smuggle drugs out of the Alexander Street Jail. Patricia Streams-Correa, 39, is charged with sale and possession of drugs and promoting prison contraband in the first degree. When a new prisoner was brought to the jail for possessing eight bags of heroin, she allegedly had another 36 bags hidden on her. A friend brought a change of clothes to the jail, and Streams-Correa is accused of helping hide the 36 bags of smack in the prisoner's dirty clothing and letting the friend take the clothes and heroin from the jail. Streams-Correa was popped after the department's Narcotics Unit and Internal Affairs Division "developed information" about the incident. The heroin was recovered. Streams-Correa now faces nine years in prison.

In Phoenix, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detention officer is accused of smuggling drugs to two prisoners with whom she had a personal relationship. Officer Michele Samaniego, 27, faces charges of promoting prison contraband and possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia after Sheriff's officers found her with suspected marijuana, methamphetamine, and a needle and syringe. Detectives also searched Samaniego's home and arrested her roommate on related drug conspiracy charges.

In Darlington, South Carolina, a state Department of Corrections employee was arrested Saturday on drugs, contraband, and misconduct charges . Adrian Concepcion, 20, allegedly told an undercover agent he would bring marijuana to an inmate at the Lee Correctional Institution, where he worked. He is now being held at a different jail.

In Stateline, Nevada, a 17-year-old military police officer was arrested in a casino parking lot January 25 on charges he sold cocaine . Nevada National Guardsman Elliot Paul Liebowitz had his military uniform in his car at the time of his arrest. The Douglas County Sheriff Street Enforcement Team says Liebowitz sold at least 83 grams of cocaine during its month-long investigation of him. Authorities say they will seek to try him as an adult, and if convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison. Meanwhile, he has been booked into a juvenile detention facility.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, a former Long Beach (now Oak Island) police officer was arrested last Friday on drug sales charges after police executed a search warrant at his home. William Sisk Sr., 71, is charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver cocaine and other controlled substances as well as maintaining a dwelling to keep a controlled substance. He was raided after a year-long investigation, and police found crack cocaine, 109 hydrocodone tablets, 57 alprazolam tablets, 28 diazepam tablets, a .410-gauge shotgun and $6,277 in cash, as well as drug paraphernalia. Sisk, who retired in 1996, is a former candidate for sheriff and registrar of deeds in Brunswick County. He was out on bail as of last Saturday and denied any wrongdoing.

In Nashville, a Nashville Metropolitan Police officer who failed to report a fellow officer's involvement in a cocaine heist was found guilty in federal court January 29. Officer Charles Williams III, a 16-year veteran of the force, was convicted of misprision of a felony for conspiring with fellow officer Ernest Cecil and Cecil's nephew Corey to arrest a man carrying three kilograms of cocaine and allow Corey Cecil to get away with the stash. Officer Cecil is currently awaiting trial on drug trafficking and false arrest charges. Williams, who resigned from the force Wednesday, faces up to three years in prison.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Jan 13th 2007

 

Hiding marijuana inside cannoli, taking cocaine from a murder scene, and peddling cocaine are all on the radar this week. So is an investigation into drug smuggling at a US Air Force base in England.

At Lakenheath and Mildenhall US Air Force bases in England, a dozen US Air Force members are under investigation for alleged drug smuggling . Air Force officials have denied British newspaper reports that military planes were used to smuggle drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy, in military planes. The investigation began in September and first came to light in October. No one has yet been charged, but 11 servicemen from Lakenheath and one from Mildenhall are being questioned by the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations. Two British civilians have also been questioned. Some 27 servicemen and women were arrested in a drug investigation at Lakenheath in 2002.

In San Antonio, a city police officer is under investigation for taking cocaine from a crime scene . Officer Eric Rubio is accused of taking a bag of cocaine from the scene of a shooting. Rubio told investigators he forgot he had the drugs and took them home, then flushed them down the toilet. He has passed a voluntary drug test, the department reported. But the department's Internal Affairs unit is investigating whether he should be charged with tampering with evidence. Rubio is on desk duty until the investigation is completed.

In Hempstead, New York, a Nassau County jail guard was arrested January 4 after he tried to smuggle marijuana stuffed into cannoli into the jail . Rocco Bove, 24, was arrested after he dropped off a box for an inmate. When officers checked it, they found marijuana, rolling papers, matches, and a flint pad inside. Bove had removed the cream filling from the cannoli, stashed the marijuana inside in plastic bags, then refilled the tube-shaped shells of fried pasta. Bove has been suspended without pay and charged with promoting prison contraband and unlawful possession of marijuana.

In Orlando, a Florida prison guard went on trial last week over his role in arranging a 13-pound cocaine deal . Michael Wright, 29, a lieutenant at the Indian River Correctional Facility in Vero Beach, was indicted along with one other man on one count each of conspiracy to distribute narcotics after agreeing to sell 13 pounds of coke for $20,000. The deal never went down because Wright and his accomplice fled when they noticed a law enforcement helicopter circling the area, but they were soon arrested. Wright faces a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence if found guilty.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Jan 6th 2007

 

Drug War Chronicle may have taken a week off, but the corrupt cops didn't. There's continuing fall-out from the Henry County, Virginia, sheriff's office bust in October, another Tennessee cop running interference for drug dealers, a long-time fugitive INS officer caught, and, of course, a couple more jail guards bringing goodies to the prisoners.

In Roanoke, Virginia, two former Henry County sheriff's deputies pleaded guilty to charges they were part of a conspiracy to sell drugs seized from drug dealers . Former Deputy James Alden Vaught pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, while former Deputy David Allan King pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy. Both were among 20 people, including Henry County Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell and 12 other sheriff's deputies, who were indicted in October. Sheriff Cassell has resigned since being accused of turning a blind eye as his deputies sold drugs seized in investigations, as well as other misconduct. King faces up to 40 years in prison and Vaught up to 20 years, but their sentences will depend on how much they cooperate with the government in the cases against their colleagues. Meanwhile, another former Henry County deputy has been re-indicted in the case . Former Deputy Robert Keith Adams was originally charged with making false statements, but was hit with a new, six-count indictment December 21. Adams allegedly knew that Vaught had stolen two kilograms of cocaine and $40,000 in cash, but instead of turning him in, demanded $20,000. He is charged with concealing a felony, attempting to obstruct an official proceeding by encouraging a potential witness to withhold and/or present false evidence to federal investigators, making false statements and attempting to mislead federal investigators.

In Nashville, a city police officer was indicted by a federal grand jury December 21 for using his position to help his nephew distribute cocaine . Officer Ernest Cecil, 49, a 15-year veteran of the force, faces counts of conspiring to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute over 500 kilograms of cocaine, brandishing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, a federal law that prohibits extortion affecting interstate commerce. Cecil was a narcotics detective from 1997 through 2004. He is accused of, among other things, protecting his nephew's drug dealing operation by warning him about police investigations.

In El Paso, a fugitive former Immigration and Naturalization Service officer was captured December 22 . Jose Trinidad Carrillo, had been convicted of conspiracy to import marijuana, aiding and abetting the importation of marijuana, and bribery of a public official in 1994, but fled to Mexico. He returned to the El Paso area at an unknown date and someone informed US Marshals he was in the area. They arrested him without incident although he was armed. Carrillo was carrying false identification when he was arrested.

In Indianapolis, a Marion County Jail guard was arrested December 24 for trying to smuggle marijuana and cigarettes into the jail . Tacaria Eskew was arrested after jail supervisors told police she received a package containing 20 cigarettes and two small bags of marijuana hidden inside food containers. Eskew told the Indianapolis Star she was set up and didn't know who sent her the package.

In Albemarle, North Carolina, an Albemarle District Jail guard was arrested December 22 on charges he smuggled drugs into the jail . Ryan White, 25, had worked at the jail for about six months when she was arrested. She was in possession of the prescription drugs Flexaril and Darvocet when the bust went down. She was charged with possession with intent to sell/deliver a schedule IV controlled substance, selling/delivering a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in a prison facility and providing a controlled substance to an inmate. All four are felony charges. White was
released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 23rd 2006

 

A Virginia drug-fighter gets caught selling drugs, so does a retired NYPD officer, and yet another jail guard goes down. Also this week, an interesting update on Operation Lively Green, the FBI sting that nailed dozens of military and Arizona law enforcement personnel for protecting the drug trade. Let's get to it:

In Portsmouth, Virginia, a Portsmouth police lieutenant was arrested Tuesday on cocaine distribution charges . Lt. Brian Keith Muhammed Abdul Ali, a 21-year veteran of the force who heads the department's drug-fighting unit, was arrested along with his nephew, a civilian. Both face charges of felony conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Ali was in jail with no bond set as of Wednesday.

In New York City, a retired NYPD officer was one of nine men arrested on charges they peddled drugs at a city-owned Manhattan marina . The arrests last week at the Dyckman Street Marina were the culmination of a six-month investigation in which undercover officers purchased heroin, crack, ecstasy, and marijuana on at least 48 occasions. Jeremy O'Rourke, 42, who quit the department in the late 1980s, is accused of brokering deals between large-scale dealers and the buyers who turned out to be narcs. He faces multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy. His bail is set at $500,000.

In Albany, New York, two Montgomery County Jail guards have been arrested for selling marijuana to inmates . Luis Morales Jr., 26, was arrested last week, while Alvin Hoyt Jr., 20, was arrested earlier this year. Hoyt's arrest during the summer for promoting contraband led to an investigation that has now also netted Morales. Morales was arraigned December 13 on federal charges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute, but the charges against Hoyt were reduced and the judge has sealed his case. I wonder which one cut a deal to testify?

In Tucson, the Arizona Daily Star dug into the Operation Lively Green corruption scandal and found that a dozen US military recruiters were allowed to stay on the job, sometimes for years, after the FBI knew they were involved in drug-running . Operation Lively Green was the two-year FBI sting that has so far netted guilty pleas or verdicts from 60 members of the military and Arizona law enforcement agencies who took bribes from undercover agents to traffic cocaine. The ten recruiters who so far have pleaded guilty netted $180,000 between them.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 15th 2006

 

It's a week heavy with crooked guards peddling dope to prisoners, but we also have missing drug evidence in Boston, a cop marketing meth in Mississippi, and a Border Patrol agent headed for prison.

tempting evidence In Boston, all 10 Boston Police officers working in the department's central drug warehouse have been transferred because anticorruption investigators think someone is stealing evidence . The department has been aware of the missing dope, much of it Oxycontin, for several weeks, but only confirmed last week that it thinks the drugs have been stolen. It is seeking help from the State Police. The drug warehouse holds evidence from 190,000 cases, some going back 20 years. Police said it appeared many of the missing drugs were from cases that had been dismissed. The Boston Police said this week that "findings suggest that evidence tampering is not solely historical, but also current."

In Moss Point, Mississippi, a Moss Point Police officer was arrested December 7 on federal drug distribution charges . Officer Wendy Peyregne was on duty, in uniform, and holding six grams of methamphetamine when she was arrested in Pascagoula and charged with meth distribution. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the Moss Point Police Department, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County, and came after at least two snitches bought speed off Peyregne. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

In Houston, a former US Border Patrol agent was sentenced December 7 to 14 years in prison for taking bribes to help drug and immigrant smugglers and selling immigration documents . David Duque, 36, pleaded guilty to bribery and document counts in September. Prosecutors showed that he had accepted $5,000 to let a vehicle carrying 11 pounds of cocaine to go through the Falfurrias, Texas, highway checkpoint in June. FBI agents said Duque had been doing it for years, as well as selling passports, birth certificates, and other identification documents.

In Onslow County, North Carolina, a New Hanover County jail guard was arrested December 7 when he was caught with two pounds of cocaine . Thurston Miles, 33, went down after a two-month investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, the Onslow County Sheriff's Office and the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. He now faces cocaine distribution charges, and was last reported sitting in jail under a $500,000 secured bond.

In Oklahoma City, an Oklahoma County jail guard has been arrested for smuggling marijuana and other contraband into the jail . County detention officer Eddie Daniels was busted with a quarter-ounce of pot and 3 ½ pounds of tobacco when he reported for work at the jail. Jail officials also turned up a half-pound of pot in the jail they said was linked to Daniels' arrest. Investigators said they believed Daniels had made $5,000 working with an inmate to bring contraband into the jail. The inmate also faces drug and contraband charges. No word yet on the formal charges Daniels faces.

In Linton, Indiana, a Wabash Valley Correctional Facility officer was arrested December 8 and charged with financing the delivery of methamphetamine . Dustine LeDune, 24, was being held without bond. LeDune was arrested after making a deal to sell an eightball (3.5 grams) of meth in a Wal-Mart parking lot, but Linton Police said they had been investigating him for several months. Correctional facility officials said LeDune has been suspended pending the outcome of his trial.

In Hutchinson, Kansas, a prison contract worker was sentenced to 15 months behind bars for selling meth to prisoners . Joseph Delancy, who worked for Aramark Services at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility had pleaded guilty to trafficking in contraband in a correctional facility, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and unlawfully arranging a drug sale by a commercial device. He could have received almost 5 years in prison, but Judge Tim Chambers was apparently moved by his contention that he fell into drug use after the death of his 4-year-old son.

In East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested Sunday night for allegedly peddling drugs in the Parish Prison . Deputy Kendrick Jamond Lockett, 24, was arrested after an investigation by the sheriff's office, the Baton Rouge Police Department the Louisiana Office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and a snitch. Lockett is charged with attempting to enter contraband into a penal facility, malfeasance in office, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy, attempt to distribute marijuana and attempt to distribute Ecstasy. He was fired Monday morning as he sat in jail.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
December 10th 2006

 

Careful readers will have noted that there was no corrupt cops story in Drug War Chronicle last week. That's because we couldn't find any. One of our primary sources, Bad Cop News , had essentially gone silent, and my Google alerts on various drug-related words and phrases had turned up nothing. I appealed to my readers in a blog post on Friday, however, and thanks in part to their responses, we have more corrupt cops stories this week. I have revised and widened my Google alerts, but I'm still calling on readers to send me any local corrupt cops stories they come across. I may have seen them already, but maybe not. Just visit my contact page at http://stopthedrugwar.org/user/psmith and put "corrupt cops" in the subject line to send them along.

This week, it's a veritable potpourri of police misconduct with a heavy emphasis on the larcenous.

'robbing, kidnapping, and intimidating drug dealers'

In Chicago, three police officers were charged Monday in a widening probe into allegations Chicago police shook down drug suspects . Officers James McGovern, 40, Frank Villareal, 38, and Margaret Hopkins, 32, all members of the department's special operations section, are charged with official misconduct, and Villareal and Hopkins are also charged with home invasion. Four other Chicago police officers were arrested on similar charges in September. All are accused of robbing, kidnapping, and intimidating drug dealers and using their badges to gain access to homes. So far, the arrests have forced prosecutors to drop more than 100 drug cases.

'altering logs to hide his thievery'

In Norwalk, Iowa, an assistant fire chief is accused of stealing drugs and covering it up . Assistant Fire Chief Michael Wenger, 41, was arrested last Friday after admitting stealing opiate pain relievers used for EMS calls, including morphine, Tordal, and Fentanyl, and altering logs to hide his thievery. He is charged with fraudulent practices and two counts of possessing a controlled substance. Norwalk, which has been without a fire chief for the past year, now lacks an assistant chief, too.

'cocaine in purse'

In Las Vegas, New Mexico, a New Mexico Highlands University security officer has been charged with drug trafficking . Police allege they found cocaine in Officer Michelle Espinoza's purse last week. According to a university spokeswoman, Espinoza, 35, has been placed on leave pending resolution of the case.

'now faces up to life in prison'

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a Pittston Township police officer was charged in federal court last Friday with felony drug and weapons offenses . Officer Michael Byra, 28, recently testified he had made at least 60 drug busts, but it appears he had problems leaving the evidence alone. He is charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm during a felony drug trafficking transaction and possession of a stolen firearm. The charges came after the DEA investigated missing evidence -- heroin, cocaine, marijuana, guns, $10,000 in cash, files, and a log book. Byra now faces up to life in prison.

'money designated for drug buys'

In Ashland, Kentucky, a former state trooper pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges he stole $180,000 from police drug buy funds . Former trooper Louie Podunavac Jr., 41, was a sergeant responsible for the narcotics division in Boyd, Greenup, and Lawrence counties in eastern Kentucky until he retired in July upon being questioned by investigators hunting for missing funds. He admitted in court that he used his access to a state bank account to take money designated for drug buys and transfer it to an account in his own name. Podunavac will be sentenced March 12. He also faces six state charges of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance. Podunavac's attorney, David Mussetter, explained that Podunavac broke his ankle in 2003, got strung out on Lortab, and stole the money to buy painkillers.

'19 and 22 years'

Near Boston, a Malden Police officer was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on November 15 for ripping-off a drug dealer . Officer David Jordan, a 19-year veteran of the force, participated in a scheme with a local drug dealer to stop a rival dealer and steal three kilograms of cocaine valued at $81,000. Jordan's co-conspirator, Anthony Bucci, 43, of Wakefield, got 22 years the same day.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 26th 2006

 

A couple of unusual ones this week. We've got a coke-dealing former fire chief in Connecticut and a Texas cop whose wife has a bad passport and some very shady connections.

'merely delivering it'

In Dallas, a Dallas police officer is out on a personal recognizance bond after being arrested last week for conspiring to commit passport fraud with his wife, who is allegedly tied to Mexican drug traffickers . Senior Corporal Jose Luis Cabrera was indicted by a federal grand jury that accused him of helping his Mexican-born wife, Moraima Cabrera, commit passport fraud so she could she could stay in the US. According to FBI testimony at a Monday hearing, Mrs. Cabrera had "cooperated" with North Texas prosecutors in at least one drug case, and in April 2005, Cabrera offered her services to the DEA in a bid to help her remain in the country. He told the DEA his wife had worked for drug traffickers and could share information about them. But testimony also showed that another informant had warned the DEA there was "drug trafficking activity" at the Cabrera house months earlier. Although prosecutors say more charges and arrests are pending, neither Cabrera currently faces a drug charge. The two were charged for an incident when Mrs. Cabrera used a fake passport to carry more than $50,000 cash across the border to Mexico. She told agents at the time the money belonged to someone else and she was merely delivering it.

'said it was for his personal use'

In Easton, Connecticut, a former fire chief was busted November 16 for running a drug-dealing operation out of his home . Former Chief Ernest Ross, 60, was allegedly packaging cocaine for sale at his home and, with the help of a 24-year-old housemate, peddling it in bars in Bridgeport and Fairfield. He was charged with operating a drug factory, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 of a school, and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. After a two-month investigation by state authorities, Ross went down when police stopped him driving away from his home and found four bags of cocaine and $240 in cash. They then searched his home, found his young roommate's multi-container stash of weed and mushrooms, and then found a scale and "cocaine-processing material" in an office. Ross admitted having cocaine, but said it was for his personal use. He liked to do it when he went out to bars, he said.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 11th 2006

 

A quiet week on the drug war corruption front. A Kentucky deputy gets caught stealing from the office stash, so does a Cleveland court employee, and a Cleveland cop's husband's activities is raising eyebrows.

'tampering with physical evidence'

In Greensburg, Pennsyvlania, a Westmoreland County court employee was arrested for stealing cocaine to be used as evidence in an upcoming trial . Therece Lynn McCloskey allegedly made off with five grams of coke in October, and is now charged with theft by unlawful taking, tampering with physical evidence, and violating state drug laws. She is now also a former court employee. No word on whether some coke offender is now getting a free walk.

'operation that required pain pills'

In Richmond, Kentucky, a former Madison County sheriff's deputy is charged with stealing drugs from the department . Deputy James Fee, 37, allegedly took three hydrocodone tablets from an evidence locker and told investigators he was taking them for his wife, who had had an operation and wanted pain pills. He is charged with theft of a controlled substance, and faces one to five years in prison if convicted. Deputy Fee was first suspended, then became former Deputy Fee a few weeks ago when he resigned under pressure from his boss.

'shocked by her husband arrest and drug dealings'

In East Cleveland, Ohio, an East Cleveland police officer is being investigated by the feds to see whether she is involved in a drug conspiracy with her cocaine-dealing husband . Officer Tiffiney Cleveland has been reassigned from the department's detective bureau to a desk job in the wake of the July arrest of her husband, who was carrying seven ounces of crack cocaine, an East Cleveland Police detective badge, and his wife's business card when he was popped. The husband had been the object of a DEA investigation and had spent eight years in prison on drug charges since 1993. Cleveland maintains she is shocked by her husband's arrest and is not involved in his drug dealing.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
November 4th 2006

 

A Virginia sheriff and most of his department goes down for reselling seized drug and guns, a Border Patrol guard gets caught turning a blind eye in exchange for sex and cash, dope is missing from the Boston Police evidence warehouse, a small town police chief pleads guilty to protecting crack dealers, and two cops are going to prison for dealing drugs.

Two of our stories this week are from Mississippi, but there are a lot more crooked cops down in the Mudcat State, as the Jackson Clarion-Ledger noted last Friday in an article simply -- and aptly--titled "Accused-Lawmen List Grows."

 

'a date rape drug; money laundering; and obstruction of justice'

In Henry County, Viriginia, Henry County Sheriff Harold Cassell was indicted for covering up the sale of seized guns and drugs by 13 of his deputies . The sheriff's department crew made up 14 of 19 people indicted on charges including racketeering conspiracy, weapons offenses, narcotics distribution, obstruction of justice and perjury. The crew is accused of stealing drugs and guns being held by the department; distributing cocaine, marijuana, and "a date rape drug; money laundering; and obstruction of justice. Virginia state police have been sent in to patrol the county now that a substantial portion of the sheriff's department is behind bars. Cassell himself is out on $25,000 bond. He is accused of failing to take action after being notified of corrupt activities, helping to launder money, and lying to federal investigators.

'A review of border crossing records'

In Seattle, a US border guard made bail Tuesday after being accused of letting drugs get through the border in return for cash and sexual favors from a female drug smuggler . Desmone Bastian allegedly allowed the smuggler, who is also a brothel madam, to make repeated trips into the United States carrying marijuana and Oxycontin. He came under suspicion when he was observed leaving his post at the Blaine, Washington, border crossing to approach her car, which was found to contain 3,000 Oxycontin tablets when it was searched. A review of border crossing records revealed she had made repeated trips through the border checkpoint, often in Bastian's lane, but had never been subjected to close inspection.

'local prosecutors are pondering'

In Boston, the Boston Police Department's anti-corruption unit is investigating whether police officers stole drugs missing from an evidence warehouse . Earlier this month, police announced that some seized drugs could not be accounted for, but suggested they might only have been misplaced as they were moved from one section of the warehouse to another. Now, however, Boston police admit the drugs are missing, although they won't say which drugs or how much. As the investigation continues, local prosecutors are pondering how they will prosecute criminal cases without the evidence.

'faces up to 20 years in prison'

In Oxford, Mississippi, Ruleville Police Chief Ronald Durelle Robinson pleaded guilty October 26 to extortion for accepting cash payments to not file drug and gambling charges against a crack cocaine distributor . Robinson, 46, and Ruleville Assistant Police Chief Larry Mitchell, 33, were indicted by a federal grand jury in July on charges they provided protection to crack dealers and people they thought were crack dealers between December 2003 and June 2006. Robinson was originally charged with two counts of extortion and four counts of attempting to aid in the possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, but the feds dropped all but one extortion count in exchange for the guilty plea. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

'turn himself over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections'

In Biloxi, Mississippi, a veteran Biloxi Police Department officer was sentenced Monday to 5 years in prison for selling Ecstasy . Officer Darrell Cvitanovich Jr. pleaded guilty earlier this month after he was arrested when a June raid of his home turned up several Ecstasy tablets. Circuit Court Judge Robert Clark sentenced Cvitanovich to 15 years in prison, but suspended 10. Cvitanovich has until noon on November 15 to turn himself over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

'sob story'

In Milwaukee, a former Milwaukee Police Department detective was sentenced last Friday to four years in prison on federal cocaine distribution and conspiracy charges . Detective Larry White, a 10-year veteran of the force, transported cocaine from Illinois to Wisconsin for his then brother-in-law in 2004 and 2005, earning $1,000 per trip, according to court records. During sentencing, White's lawyers played for sympathy, arguing that White had become addicted to cocaine because of job stress and the killing of a nephew. The sob story must have worked because US District Court Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced him well below the advisory federal sentencing guidelines. Under the guidelines, he should be doing 5 ½ to 6 years.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 30th 2006

 

Ho-hum, the banality of drug war-related law enforcement corruption. More crooked cops trying to rip-off drug dealers, another one trying to rip-off his own department, and, of course, yet another prison guard trying to earn a few bucks on the side. Also notable this week is an overview of corruption along the US-Mexico border in the Los Angeles Times . It's well worth checking out, too.

'conspiring to steal government funds'

In Chicago, two Chicago police officers trying to rip off what they thought was a drug dealer's cash stash went down in a sting operation Wednesday, according to the Associated Press . Officers Richard Doroniuk, 30, and Mahmoud "Mike" Shamah, 27, used information from a co-defendant to obtain search warrants to search self-storage lockers. In two raids, they stole $31,100 in what they thought was drug money, reporting no cash seizure in the first raid and only reporting part of the cash in the second, but the money had actually been placed in the lockers by the FBI and Chicago police internal affairs investigators. Doroniuk, Shamah, and their co-conspirator have now been charged with conspiring to steal government funds.

'embezzlement of public funds and misconduct in office'

In Columbia, South Carolina, the Associated Press reported October 19 that a former York County deputy has been busted for ripping-off $1,200 in cash that was supposed to be used in undercover drug deals. William Graham, 37, worked in the county's special drug unit and was in charge of keeping track of those funds. Instead he pocketed them. Now, he has confessed and repaid the money, but still faces charges of embezzlement of public funds and misconduct in office.

'prisoner's mother delivered heroin and marijuana'

In Inez, Kentucky, a federal prison guard was indicted for taking $3,000 for smuggling drugs to a prison inmate, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Guard Alice Marie Stapleton, 30, now faces seven counts of drug possession and conspiracy to smuggle contraband into the prison. According to the indictment, a prisoner's mother delivered heroin and marijuana to Stapleton at a local motel and Stapleton smuggled them into the prison. The prisoner in question has already pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy, and his mother and her driver are preparing to do the same, so it looks like the state will have the witnesses it needs to convict Stapleton.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 21st 2006

 

Busy, busy, busy. Judges on cocaine, cops dealing cocaine, cops selling ecstasy, Air Force pilots smuggling ecstasy, police chemists pilfering from the evidence pile, and, of course, jail guards smuggling dope into prisons.

'removal of a Dona Ana County magistrate'

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, the state Judicial Standards Commission filed a petition last Friday seeking the removal of a Dona Ana County magistrate on the grounds he tested positive for cocaine, according to the Associated Press . Magistrate Carlos Garza, 42, has denied using drugs and vowed to fight the move. Garza has been suspended by the commission since September 20, when he failed to comply with a commission order he submit to a drug test. According to the commission, he has since failed another drug test. The commission also accused Garza of trying to pressure a Mesilla deputy marshal during a traffic stop where the judge was in a car with a woman "with whom he had a personal relationship" and asking a court clerk to clear the woman's license early in a drunk driving case. He was put on probation by the Judicial Standards Commission earlier this year in that case, and he said the charge he used cocaine was a continuation of a commission vendetta against him. He said the cocaine metabolites found in his system could have been received through "passive exposure." Garza is running unopposed for reelection in next month's elections.

 

[Ed: Whether to include mere drug use/possession by criminal justice personnel among the examples of corruption is a dilemma Drug War Chronicle routinely faces. We've opted so far to include them, because a judge who uses illegal drugs may also be a judge who presides over trials of, and pronounces sentences on, other drug users who have only done the same thing (hypocrisy); and because the judge is violating a law he has sworn to uphold (it being a law with which we disagree notwithstanding). Still, it bears reminder that there is a difference between drug use even by police or judges vs. profiting from the drug trade or other examples of official misconduct.]

'1.4 ounces of cocaine during the raid'

In Durham, North Carolina, a Durham County sheriff's deputy has been arrested in a drug raid at a local bar and two more deputies have been fired for working security there. Deputy Michael Owens, the owner of the raided bar, was charged along with four others with trafficking cocaine and conspiracy to traffic cocaine, and he faces the additional charge of maintaining a building for the purposes of distributing cocaine. Deputies Brad King and Keith Dotson, who worked off-duty as security for the club, were suspended that same night, the Durham Herald Sun reported, and fired early this week. Authorities reported seizing 1.4 ounces of cocaine during the raid.

'faces up to 30 years in prison'

In Biloxi, Mississippi, a former Biloxi police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to selling ecstasy, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported. Darrell Cvitanovich, who resigned from the force after his arrest, faces up to 30 years in prison after he admitted selling four ecstasy tablets to a friend. Cvitanovich, who is the son of a former Biloxi police chief, was arrested in June 2005 after an investigation into allegations he was involved in drug activities. During a search of his home, police found 11 ecstasy tablets and a small amount of methamphetamine. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and transfer of a controlled substance, but pleaded last week to the single sales charge. Cvitanovich is free on $50,000 bond pending sentencing.

'pilot who took an Air Force jet'

In New York City, a US Air National Guard pilot who took an Air Force jet to Germany and carried back 200,000 ecstasy tablets was sentenced last Friday to 17 ½ years in prison. Capt. Franklin Rodriguez, 36, and his coconspirator, Master Sgt. John Fong, 37, had pleaded guilty in federal court after being busted for the April 2005 flight. Fong awaits sentencing. The pair went down after federal law enforcement agents watched Fong load 28 bags into a BMW sedan and found them filled with ecstasy tablets, according to the Associated Press . Prosecutors said Rodriguez had repeatedly flown drugs on military flights, bringing hundreds of thousands of ecstasy tablets to the US. The feds found more than $700,000 cash in his apartment. They have it now.

' tampering with or fabricating physical evidence'

In Philadelphia, a former civilian chemist for the Philadelphia Police Department was arrested October 11 on charges she stole drugs for her own use, the Associated Press reported. Colleen Brubaker, 30, came under suspicion in April and resigned in May. Authorities now accuse her of grabbing pain-relieving opiates like Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin to feed her own habit. She is charged with drug possession, theft, receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence, obstruction, tampering with public records or information, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. Since Brubaker was the chemist responsible for hundreds of drug cases, public defenders are now looking into the possibility that some of them may have to be dismissed.

'officials are mum'

In Stillwater, Oklahoma, a Payne County sheriff's deputy has been suspended without pay pending an investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the Associated Press reported. Local officials are mum about exactly what Deputy Brooke Buchanan, a 13-year veteran of the department, is accused of doing, but they did confirm that a special prosecutor has been named in the investigation. The investigation could take several more weeks before any charges are filed.

'bringing the weed into the jail to sell it'

In Lubbock, Texas, a Lubbock County jail guard was arrested Sunday night as she arrived at work carrying marijuana, KLBK-CBS 13 TV in Lubbock reported. Renata Hernandez, 26, is charged with introducing a prohibited substance into a correctional facility. She faces between two and ten years in prison. While sheriff's office spokesmen said they believed she was bringing the weed into the jail to sell it, they have not been able to prove that yet.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 14th 2006

 

A tawdry tale out of Tulsa, a New York cop gets off easy, and the Boston Police aren't sure where all the dope went. Just another week of drug prohibition-related police corruption.

'text-messaged him, warning him to stay away'


Hot times in Tulsa In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the husband of an exotic dancer is shining a light on some sordid business involving a pair of Tulsa Police Department officers. The lawsuit was filed by Shannon Coyle, the husband of dancer Crystal Garr. Coyle was arrested on drug charges last year by Officer Travis Ludwig, after Coyle filed an internal affairs complaint against Ludwig because Ludwig was sleeping with Garr. Coyle was arrested first on marijuana possession charges, then again on methamphetamine and paraphernalia charges in raids led by Ludwig. When Coyle found out Ludwig was sleeping with his wife, he text-messaged him, warning him to stay away. Ludwig then took those messages to a deputy prosecutor who okayed another arrest for Coyle, this time for intimidating a witness -- Ludwig. All the charges were dropped once officials became aware of the affair, and Ludwig has been disciplined by the department, but he still faces Coyle's lawsuit. So does Officer Israel Rodriguez, whom Coyle also accuses of sleeping with his wife. Ludwig and Garr currently live together, although she remains married to Coyle, the father of her four children. Oh, by the way, the deputy prosecutor who okayed Coyle's third arrest? She had also been sleeping with the busy Ludwig. Read all about this Oklahoma law enforcement Peyton Place in the Tulsa World , which has in-depth coverage and a handy chart with all the players.

'among five NYPD cops arrested in the scheme'

In New York City, a former NYPD narcotics detective got off easy last week when he was sentenced for robbing more than $740,000 from drug dealers over an eight-year period, Newsday reported. Former detective Julio Vasquez, 46, was among five NYPD cops arrested in the scheme, which unraveled when federal agents staking out a drug suspect saw him robbed by Vasquez and fellow cop Thomas Rachko. All of the other cops have pleaded guilty, too. Vasquez got a sweet six-year sentence from federal Judge Carol Amon on October 5 after prosecutors filed a letter saying he had cooperated with investigators. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, he would have faced between 17 and 22 years.

'department cannot account for missing drugs'

In Boston, an audit of the Boston Police drug depository has revealed that the department cannot account for some of the drugs seized over the years, the Boston Globe reported Sunday. Police Commissioner Albert Goslin told the Globe it was too early to suggest corruption and that the drugs -- seized as evidence over the years -- may just be lost. As the audit continues, three officers are trying to track down the drug evidence in some 190,000 cases, some dating back more than 20 years.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 7th 2006

 

We have them at every stage of the criminal justice process this week, from arrest to guilty plea to sentencing. For a pair of greedy, wheeling-dealing cops in St. Louis and Miami, the ride through the criminal justice funhouse is just getting started. A former St. Paul cop has just copped a plea, and now former cops in Connecticut and Hawaii are heading to prison.

'selling 13 pounds of coke while in uniform'


In Miami, a Miami-Dade County police officer was arrested last Friday on cocaine trafficking charges, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida announced in a press release the same day. Officer Errol Benjamin is accused of selling 13 pounds of coke while in uniform. He is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and faces up to life in prison and a $4 million fine, the feds noted.

'indictment seeks the forfeiture of Cornell's property'

In St. Louis, a suburban Hillsdale, Missouri, police officer was indicted in an elaborate cocaine distribution conspiracy, the office of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri announced in a press release last Friday. Hillsdale Police Sgt. Christopher Cornell conspired with a tow truck company operator to rip off drug dealers and resell their cocaine, the feds charged. The tow operator would set up drug runners to deliver cocaine in Hillsdale and notify Cornell, who would stop and jail them for minor violations, leaving their cars at the roadside. The towing company would then tow the cars, steal the drugs, and resell them. US Attorney Catherine Hanaway estimated that the scheme had brought in $2.4 million in profits. The indictment seeks the forfeiture of Cornell's property, including a Mercedes Benz and other cars.

'Tucker was tearful and contrite during his plea'

In St. Paul, Minnesota, a retired St. Paul police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. Clemmie Howard Tucker, a 23-year veteran who retired in 1998, was busted trying to pick up 22 pounds of cocaine and 12 pounds of meth at the Greyhound Bus Depot in neighboring Minneapolis. Police put the value of the seized drugs at $4 million. Although Tucker was tearful and contrite during his plea, it doesn't matter: He faces a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence. Pending cocaine charges will probably be dropped at sentencing, Tucker's lawyer said.

'large-scale cocaine and marijuana trafficking'

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, a former Bridgeport police officer was sentenced to 45 months in prison for peddling oxycodone, the active ingredient in the popular pain reliever OxyContin. Former Officer Jeffrey Streck, 40, a 10-year veteran, pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to possess oxydone with the intent to distribute after being arrested by the FBI in 2005. According to the Associated Press , Streck was arrested as part of a three-month investigation into large-scale cocaine and marijuana trafficking and had arranged an Oxycontin buy.

'Judge David Ezra cut him some slack'

In Honolulu, a Honolulu police officer who pleaded guilty to selling more than $5,000 worth of methamphetamine to an undercover informant was sentenced to five years and five months in prison on September 28, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported. Robert Henry Sylva, 50, had faced three counts of distributing meth during 2004, but copped to one count in a December plea agreement. Although Sylva faced an federal advisory guideline sentencing range of 7 to 12 years, US District Judge David Ezra cut him some slack at federal prosecutors' request after they said he had cooperated with investigators after being busted.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
October 1st 2006

The lucrative cross-border drug traffic draws another Border Patrol agent into trouble, a New Jersey cop's forgetfulness gets him in trouble, and two more greedy prison guards get themselves in trouble. Nothing special here; it's just another week in the drug war.

'bribery, conspiracy, and knowingly distributing'

In El Paso, a Border Patrol agent was arrested September 15 on charges he accepted bribes to allow dope through a border checkpoint, the Associated Press reported. According to the criminal complaint, Arturo Arzate, a 21-year Border Patrol veteran, allegedly met with smugglers and agreed to take payments of $50 for each kilogram of marijuana and $1,000 for each kilo of cocaine he let get through. The feds have accused him of receiving $16,000 in bribes while he was under an investigation that began last fall. Arzate's downfall began when an informant told the FBI he had seen Arzate meeting with a known drug trafficker. He is charged with bribery, conspiracy, and knowingly distributing a controlled substance.

'five pistols, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana'

In Irvington, New Jersey, a police officer was arrested last Friday on charges he stole drugs, handguns, and case files from the departmental evidence locker, the Associated Press reported. Irvington Police Officer Frederick Southerland went down after he failed to pay rent on a storage unit. The items in the storage unit were sold at auction, and when the buyer discovered five pistols, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, he notified authorities, who soon swooped in on Southerland. The 18-year veteran officer is now charged with official misconduct and receiving stolen property and faces up to 10 years in prison.

'malfeasance in office'

In Homer, Louisiana, one Union Parish Detention Center guard was arrested September 21 and another was being sought on charges they smuggled marijuana in to a jail inmate, according to the Associated Press . Guard Nicholas Wilson, 21, was booked and bailed out pending trial, while guard James Webb, 23, was on the lam at last report. The pair went down after detectives found an ounce of weed in an inmate's cell, and Wilson admitted his involvement and ratted out Webb. The missing Webb faces charges of distribution of marijuana, malfeasance in office, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution. Wilson is charged with one count -- conspiracy to introduce contraband.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
September 22nd 2006

 

Thank goodness the prison guards are keeping up their end of the bargain, because the police have been pretty well behaved this week. The one bad cops story we have this week actually appeared last week and was based on events that occurred last month.

"Special Enforcement Teams"

In Baltimore, the Baltimore Police Department has for the second time this year disbanded one of its "Special Enforcement Teams" and launched an internal investigation into its activities, jeopardizing dozens of pending criminal cases, the Baltimore Sun reported last week. The department disbanded the squad last month, but didn't announce it until last week. According to department spokesman Matt Jablow, the investigation involves "allegations of misconduct." "Sources close to the investigation" told the Sun the officers are accused of lying in charging documents, mostly involving drug arrests. Baltimore's "Special Enforcement Teams" are supposed to be "deployed in a rapid manner to respond to emerging violent crime problems throughout Baltimore," according to the department's 2005 annual report, but of the more than 7,000 arrests made by the Southeast-side SET, most were drug and nuisance cases. At the end of last December and into January, a Baltimore police "flex squad" on the Southwest side was disbanded after allegations that a woman was raped by officers. Those officers were also accused of stealing and planting evidence. They face trial in December. No officers have yet been arrested in the latest emerging scandal.

'arrested for allegedly selling heroin to inmates'

In Malone, New York, a veteran prison guard has been arrested for allegedly selling heroin to inmates at the Bare Hill Correctional Facility, the North Country Gazette reported Monday. Michael Bradish, 43, a 16-year officer, went down after a months-long investigation by the state Department of Corrections Inspector General's Office. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance, receiving a bribe, attempted possession of prison contraband, receiving a reward for official misconduct, and conspiracy. He is in the Franklin County Jail until and unless he comes up with $100,000 bail.

'currently residing at the Cochise County Jail'

In Douglas, Arizona, an Arizona Department of Corrections officer was arrested last Friday on cocaine possession and sales charges. Prison guard Renee Dias, 29, was arrested at the Douglas Prison complex, the Douglas Dispatch reported. Officers serving a search warrant at Dias' home found a half-pound of cocaine valued at more than $5,000, according to the Douglas Police. Dias is charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is currently residing at the Cochise County Jail in nearby Bisbee, 'nice'

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
September 16th 2006

 

There is something rotten in the state of Tennessee, with the stench of police corruption stretching from the banks of the Mississippi to the hazy ridges of the Great Smoky Mountains, and this stuff is pretty rotten. Meanwhile, there's an apparent case of, er, overly aggressive policing in Florida and the mandatory prison or jail guard in trouble.

'robbery schemes, extortion, protection rackets, cockfighting and...'

In Cocke County, Tennessee, former Cocke County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Patrick Allen Taylor's guilty plea to conspiring to sell thousands of dollars of stolen NASCAR goods is only the tip of the iceberg of corrupt, criminal activities in the Cocke County Sheriff's Department, federal prosecutors alleged in a motion seeking a prison sentence far higher than federal sentencing guidelines call for, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Monday. According to prosecutors, Taylor was involved in robbery schemes, extortion, protection rackets, cockfighting, ripping off drug dealers, and tolerating drug use among department insiders. Taylor is the nephew of former Sheriff DC Ramsey, who resigned under pressure in the same federal corruption probe that has now brought down his nephew. Known as "Rose Thorn," the federal operation has led to the arrests of eight Cocke County lawmen and 170 other people, and has led to the closure of brothels, cockfighting pits, and a video amusement company. For more on the whole sordid affair, check out the News-Sentinel's special report, " Cocke County Confidential ."

'he has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors'

In Memphis, former Reserve Memphis Police Officer Andrew Hunt pleaded guilty last Friday to robbing drug dealers of cash, cocaine, and personal belongings. He could face up to life in prison, but that's unlikely since he has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. Three other Memphis police officers have already been indicted in the case, and more indictments could be coming, prosecutors warned. Hunt was part of "a gang of corrupt uniformed officers" who ripped off at least 20 drug dealers, prosecutors said. And these guys were really sleazy: In one case, Hunt stole drugs, cash, and a $15,000 watch from one dealer, then told him he could buy his drugs back. When the dealer came up with $9500 in cash, Hunt took the money and kept the drugs.

'keep his mouth shut about the bust'

In Westchester, New York, a Westchester County prison guard was sentenced to probation last week for interfering in a drug investigation, the North Country Gazette reported. Timothy Connolly, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of second degree hindering prosecution and one count of drug possession. He will be under supervision for the next five years. Connolly was arrested during a combined investigation by the Westchester District Attorney Narcotics Initiative (W-DANI), Yonkers Police, New York State Police and Westchester County Department of Correction Special Investigations Unit, and was told to keep his mouth shut about the bust. But he later warned one of the main targets of the investigation he was being watched, told him to "shut down" his cocaine sales operation, and advised him not to use his phone because it was being monitored. Connolly was fired from the Westchester County Department of Correction on September 7, the same day he pleaded guilty.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
September 9th 2006

 

The temptations of the border tarnish another Texas lawman's badge, a Tulsa cop is convicted of being too helpful to a drug dealer, and a pair of Newark's finest plea to a pill-pushing scheme.

'faces up to 20 years in federal prison'

In McAllen, Texas, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas issued a press release announcing the August 29 indictment of a former South Texas police officer for allegedly taking a bribe to protect what he thought was a cocaine shipment. Former Elsa City Police Officer Herman Carr, 45, is accused of taking a $5,000 payment from an undercover FBI agent to use his position as a law enforcement officer to protect a vehicle he was told contained five kilos of cocaine. He is charged with bribery and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

'had wiretapped the suspected dealer's phone'

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a federal jury last Friday found a former Tulsa police officer guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and providing unlawful notice of a search warrant. Former Officer Rico Yarbrough was convicted of informing a suspected drug dealer that a search warrant was about to be served at his residence, the Tulsa World reported. In February, Yarbrough called a Tulsa man and asked him to inform the suspected dealer of the impending raid. Unfortunately for Yarbrough, the conversation was being recorded. Federal investigators who had wiretapped the suspected dealer's phone overheard references to Yarbrough, then fed him information to see if he would leak it. He did. Yarbrough was found not guilty on two related counts, but still faces significant prison time when sentenced November 29.

'20 years in prison and $1 million in fines'

In Newark, two Newark police officers pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to charges they bought thousands of Oxycontin pills from a doctor and resold them, the Associated Press reported. Patrolmen John Hernandez and Ronald Pomponio face up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines when sentenced in December for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, the active ingredient in Oxycontin. The pair admitted in court that Hernandez purchased Oxycontin tablets valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, while Pomponio took prescriptions for the pills to pharmacies across the state. The doctor from whom they allegedly purchased the drugs has pleaded not guilty.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
September 2nd 2006

 

Another week, another set of bad apples. We see so many bad apples, we're beginning to wonder if there isn't something wrong with the barrel. In any case, this week we have an encore performance by an Alabama judge with a serious bad habit, some Chicago cops copping pleas for robbing drug dealers, a pair of US air marshals being sentenced for acting as drug couriers, and a small-town Texas police chief looking for work after there were too many questions about where some drug money went.

'but not unexpected, twist to the story'

In Carollton, Alabama, speed-freaking Pickens County District Judge Ira Colvin is in trouble again. Regular readers will recall that Judge Colvin was arrested just two weeks ago on meth and meth precursor charges in neighboring Lowndes County, Mississippi . He was arrested again Saturday morning on Alabama meth possession charges based on the discovery of meth in his office at the Pickens County Judicial Center on August 15. His office was searched at the orders of Circuit Court Judge James Moore the day after his Mississippi arrest. According to the Tuscaloosa News , Pickens County officials said they had been investigating Colvin's alleged drug use since May. He has been suspended as a judge, and is out on bond on both the Mississippi and Alabama charges. In a late, but not unexpected, twist to the story, Colvin resigned Wednesday.

(This is not necessarily an example of corruption -- it's a tough call sometimes to decide if any given case of legal trouble involving law enforcers should make this column -- Judge Colvin presumably sits in judgment on others accused of drug use, so we decided to include it.)

'thousands of dollars worth of marijuana'

In Chicago, two former Chicago police officers pleaded guilty this week to charges they robbed thousands of dollars worth of marijuana and cocaine from drug dealers, the Associated Press reported. Former officers Derek Haynes, a nine-year veteran, and Broderick Jones were part of a ring of five former Chicago police officers charged with stopping drug dealers and taking their drugs on the city's South Side. All five were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine; now Haynes and Jones two others who have already pleaded to those charges. They face between 15 and 40 years in prison.

'faced up to life in prison'

In Houston, two US air marshals caught plotting to smuggle cocaine by using their positions to get around airport security were sentenced to prison Tuesday, Reuters reported. Shawn Nguyen, 38, and Burlie Sholar, 33, were arrested in February in an FBI sting after agreeing to carry 33 pounds of coke on a flight from Houston to Las Vegas. They were to earn $75,000 for their efforts. The pair went down after an informant told investigators Nguyen, a former US drug agent, was involved in trafficking. Nguyen got seven years, while Sholar got nine. They faced up to life in prison.

'voted unanimously to fire him'

In Troy, Texas, Police Chief David Seward was fired at a Monday night city council meeting after being suspended July 11 because of an ongoing investigation into the handling of money seized after drugs were found in a vehicle during a traffic stop. According to KWTX-TV 10 in Waco, council members questioned how that money was spent. Seward admitted that some money was spent improperly, but argued he should not be terminated. The city council wasn't buying, though. It voted unanimously to fire him.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 18th 2006

 

We've got us a Southern trifecta this week, with missing evidence in Alabama, a rogue task force in Mississippi, and, of course, a drug-dealing prison guard in Louisiana.

'money allegedly missing from the evidence safe'

In Tuskegee, Alabama, agents with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation are sniffing around the Tuskegee Police Department to see what happened to drugs and money allegedly missing from the evidence safe. The cops were tight-lipped, but "sources close to the case" told WSFA-12 News $26,000 in cash and an unknown quantity of drugs seized from alleged drug dealers has gone missing. According to WSFA, at least four drug cases may be in jeopardy. The Alabama Bureau of Investigation told the station the investigation could take another month.

'Task Force planted evidence on suspects'

In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, at least 34 drug cases were dismissed last month because deputies with the Southeast Mississippi Narcotics Task Force planted evidence on suspects or otherwise planted evidence, the Hattiesburg American reported Tuesday. Those deputies have been charged with crimes and were expected to plead guilty this week to charges including assault, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. According to Parrish and Jones County Sheriff Larry Dykes, while the task force has been shut down, the drug problem remains, so he is forming a drug enforcement division in his department.

'now sitting in a different jail'

In Columbia,is now sitting in a different jail. "sweet" Louisiana, a former Caldwell Correctional Center guard was arrested Tuesday on charges he sold marijuana to jail inmates, KATC-TV reported. Dennis Cartridge, 23, was charged with possession of marijuana, malfeasance in office, introducing contraband into a correctional facility, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Cartridge, who had been a jail guard for only two months, is now sitting in a different jail trying to raise $15,000 to bond out.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 18th 2006

It's not your typical week of corrupt cops this week. We've got the usual prison guard in trouble, but not in the usual way; we've got an LAPD officer arrested for making bad arrests; we've got an Alabama narc busted for stealing; and we've got an Alabama judge with an apparent bad habit. In regard to the judge, we don't typically run stories of cops facing simple drug possession charges, but when it's a judge who regularly sentences drug offenders, we think it's worth notice. Also this week, a pair of links to longer investigative pieces down by local newspapers about festering local corruption scandals. Let's get to it:

'County District Judge Ira Colvin was arrested Monday'

In Lowndes County, Mississippi, an Alabama judge has been arrested on methamphetamine possession charges, the Tuscaloosa News reported. Pickens County District Judge Ira Colvin was arrested Monday by Lowndes County sheriff's deputies at the same time they arrested a 36-year-old woman (not his wife) on the same charges, but in a separate vehicle. According to the Associated Press , Colvin was arrested as deputies investigated people driving from store to store to buy meth precursor materials. Precursors, a gram of powder meth, and two syringes filled with liquid meth were allegedly found in his car. Colvin's wife, Christy Colvin, was arrested on meth possession charges four months ago in Columbus, Mississippi, as she drove around town purchasing ingredients that could be used to make meth. Judge Colvin, who was appointed to the bench in December 2002 to replace a judge who resigned after being accused of improper contact with females involved in cases before his court, was indicted on federal bankruptcy fraud charges in May 2004 for allegedly hiding assets for a client in 2001, but those charges were dropped after Colvin apologized. He was awaiting a bail hearing Wednesday.

" hid behind his attorneys"

In Dothan, Alabama, a former Houston County narcotics officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he stole property. Former Houston County Sheriff's Deputy Ricky Ducker was accused of stealing up to $30,000 worth of hunting equipment and accessories from Southern Outdoor Sports, where he once worked. Ducker pleaded guilty to first degree theft of property and faces from two to 20 years in prison when sentenced in October. According to WTVY-News 4 , Ducker, a 25-year veteran of the sheriff's office, "hid behind his attorneys" as he entered the court house and "ran out of the courtroom after entering his guilty plea."

' accused of planting a rifle on a suspect '

In Los Angeles, a veteran Ramparts Division LAPD officer was charged last Friday with making false arrests, the Los Angeles Times reported . Officer Edward Beltran Zamora was busted after he was caught in a sting by the LAPD Ethics Enforcement Section. The department says it has videotape of Zamora arresting two undercover officers posing as suspects on suspicion of drug possession when they did not possess drugs. Zamora, 44, has previously been accused of making false arrests, and the city of Los Angeles has already paid out $520,000 to settle two civil lawsuits filed against him. In one case, Zamora was accused of planting a rifle on a suspect, in the other, he was accused of planting drugs and a rifle. Zamora faces up to three years in prison on a felony count of filing a false police report. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of false arrest and false imprisonment. The 16-year LAPD veteran is free on bail.

' charges of transporting cocaine '

In Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, a Texas jail guard was arrested Monday morning with 30 pounds of cocaine. According to KGBT-4 TV in Brownsville, Texas, Hidalgo County detention officer Pedro Longoria was arrested by Louisiana State Troopers and now faces charges of transporting cocaine. Longoria has now been fired from his job and is jailed pending a bond hearing.

' a more in-depth look at drug war-related police corruption '

For those interested in a more in-depth look at drug war-related police corruption at the local level, two recent newspaper articles are worth a read. In North Carolina, the Fayetteville Observer has a lengthy piece on " Operation Tarnished Badge ," a federal investigation that has roiled Robeson County for the past few years, resulting in convictions of several officers and the dismissal or reversal of hundreds of drug cases. Meanwhile, in Mississippi, the Laurel Leader-Call has published an update on the ongoing investigation of the Southeast Mississippi Drug Task Force, which was shut down in April amid concern over "irregularities," with its story " Task Force Probe Nearly Complete ".

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 12th 2006

Another week, another set of corrupt cops. More problems in Memphis, a former cop in St. Paul gets indicted in a major coke and meth haul, and yet another prison guard gets caught smuggling dope behind the walls.

'faces a 50-count indictment'

In Memphis, three police officers have been indicted on charges they ripped off drug dealers and arranged to sell the drugs themselves. Memphis Police Officers Antoine Owens and Alexander Johnson joined with former officer Arthur Sease in setting up drug deals, then swooping in with uniformed officers, detaining the drug dealers, and stealing their drugs, cash, and jewelry. According to WREG-TV in Memphis, police are naming Sease as the ringleader. He faces a 50-count indictment with charges including conspiracy, extortion, possession of a controlled substance, and numerous civil rights violations. Officers Owens and Johnson are charged with two conspiracy counts.

'a suspicious package'

In St. Paul, Minnesota, a retired police officer was indicted on federal drug charges Tuesday, KSTP-TV reported. Former officer Clemmie Howard Tucker, 51, was identified as the man who tried to pick up a suspicious package at a Minneapolis bus depot. That package contained 22 pounds of cocaine and eight pounds of methamphetamine. The 25-year veteran faces one count each of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.

'held without bond'

In Richmond, Virginia, a Henrico County sheriff's deputy was charged last Friday with smuggling drugs, cigarettes, cigars, and other contraband into the Henrico County Jail. Deputy Ronald Washington, 23, allegedly made more than $1,000 for his efforts. Washington is charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance to a prisoner and misdemeanor delivery of articles to prisoners, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. He is being held without bond at the Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
August 4th 2006

Another sheriff who couldn't resist temptation, another drug-dealing cop, and something smells mighty bad in a Mississippi anti-drug task force. Just another week in the drug war.

'Sheriff Gilbert maintains his innocence'

In Adel, Iowa, the Dallas County sheriff was charged July 28 with stealing $120,000 in seized drug money. According to WHO-TV in nearby Des Moines, Sheriff Brian Gilbert is accused of pilfering one packet of cash in a $900,000 seizure. Gilbert took the cash from the scene and reportedly detoured to his home on the way to the station. When he got there, Deputy Scott Faiferlick noticed one of the packets was missing and told investigators. Sheriff Gilbert maintains his innocence, but now faces charges of first degree theft.

'took drugs from the police evidence room'

In Henrico, Virginia, a former city police officer is on the lam after police went public with two arrest warrants for him Monday. Former Officer Charles Harpster faces charges of obtaining drugs by fraud and marijuana distribution, Henrico police told WRIC-TV8 in Richmond. Police have released little other information, except to neither confirm nor deny allegations he took drugs from the police evidence room.

'questionable activities'

In Ellisville, Mississippi, prosecutors have dismissed at least three dozen drug cases because of an ongoing investigation into "questionable activities" by the Southeast Mississippi Drug Task force, according to a July 26 report by WDAM-TV7 in Hattiesburg. Jones County Assistant District Attorney Ronald Parrish told the station a number of other cases will not be presented to a grand jury. No specifics of the alleged police wrongdoing have been made public, but it must be pretty serious if prosecutors are already dismissing cases.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 29th 2006

Busy, busy. Cops getting arrested, cops pleading guilty, cops going to prison. And, of course, the ever-present drug-dealing prison guard. Let's get to it:

'parties with prostitutes'

In Miami, three Boston police officers were arrested last Thursday after taking $35,000 to protect a cocaine shipment in an FBI sting operation. Ringleader Robert Pulido, 41, and fellow officers Carlos Pizarro, 36, and Nelson Carrasquillo, 35, traveled to Miami to celebrate their drug protection deal and plot more deals with undercover narcs they thought were cocaine traffickers , the Associated Press reported. Pulido allegedly got into a variety of criminal activities, with his junior partners sometimes joining in. Those offenses include protecting drug shipments, identity theft, sponsoring illegal after-hours parties with prostitutes, money laundering and insurance fraud, according to prosecutors. They are in jail awaiting an August 2 removal hearing.

"discrepancies"

In Deming, New Mexico, a Luna County Sheriff's Deputy was arrested Tuesday on methamphetamine possession charges after he took the dope off a man during a traffic stop, but never turned it in as evidence , the Luna County Sun-News reported. Deputy Tommy Salas, 33, turned himself in Tuesday afternoon and was release on $7,500 bail on one count of meth possession. Salas had been on paid administrative leave since June 9, when the sheriff's office and local prosecutors opened an investigation into "discrepancies" in the traffic case. Another officer at the scene had watched Salas take the drugs from the driver and heard him vow to turn them in, but it never happened.

'mandatory incarceration'

In Lebanon, Ohio, a Warren County prison guard was arrested Monday for accepting drugs and money to be smuggled in to a prison inmate , Cincinnati's Fox19-TV reported. Corrections Officer Michael Miller, 37, went down after accepting marijuana and $600 from an undercover agent, capping what local police said was a three-month investigation. Miller is charged with two felony counts of conveyance of drugs and is in "mandatory incarceration" because he is a corrections officer.

'providing sensitive police information to traffickers'

In Laredo, Texas, a former drug task force deputy commander pleaded guilty last Friday to extortion charges for accepting tens of thousands of dollars from drug dealers to protect their operations. According to the Associated Press , Julio Alfonso Lopez, 45, accepted at least $44,500 from his middleman with the traffickers, Meliton Valadez, who has already been convicted for his role in the scheme. The pair were also accused of providing sensitive police information to traffickers and providing storage spots for cocaine shipments. Lopez pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

'working as snitches for police'

In St. Louis, a former St. Louis police officer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in a drug conspiracy , the Associated Press reported. Former officer Antoine Gordon was convicted in an April trial of checking police databases to see if people buying heroin from the drug ring leader were working as snitches for police. Gordon was one of 19 people who have pleaded guilty to drug or weapons charges in the case.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 22nd 2006

A former Massachusetts State Police sergeant goes to prison, a former Milwaukee detective cops a plea, a Virginia sheriff's deputy gets busted, and so do a pair of would-be drug-dealing prison guards. Just another week in the drug war.

'assaulted his now former wife in the middle of cocaine binge'

In Norfolk, Massachusetts, a former Massachusetts State Police sergeant was sentenced to 15 years in prison July 12 after pleading guilty to one count of trafficking more than 200 grams of cocaine and one count of larceny of more than $250. Sergeant Timothy White, who had worked at the Framingham State Police barracks Narcotics Inspection Unit, had been stealing cocaine from the unit to sell and use. White went down in flames in 2002, when he assaulted his now former wife in the middle of cocaine binge, and his troubles only deepened when police raiding his home in 2003 found a pound of missing cocaine there. He has already been sentenced to 2 ½ years for the assault.

'extorting money from drug dealers'

In Greensville County, Virginia, a Greensville County Sheriff's deputy was indicted July 12 on federal drug dealing charges. Deputy Timothy Williams, 35, is charged with conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana. According to the indictment, Williams used his position to seize drugs from dealers and then handed them over to his co-conspirators to be resold on the street. He is also accused of extorting money from drug dealers by threatening to arrest them if they didn't pay up.

In Milwaukee, a former Milwaukee Police detective agreed to plead guilty July 12 to federal cocaine distribution charges , the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Former Detective Larry White, 35, was charged with ferrying drugs from Illinois to Wisconsin for his brother-in-law on several occasions. According to an FBI affidavit in the case, White made $1,000 a trip. He now faces a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.

'furnishing contraband to a prisoner'

In Kershaw, South Carolina, a Lancaster County prison guard was charged with taking what he thought was Ecstasy from undercover agents to sneak into the prison, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division announced in a July 12 press release. Joseph Sanders, 29, was arrested the night before and charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to possess and distribute controlled substances and attempting to furnish contraband to a prisoner. According to the arrest warrant, Sanders took the fake drug from the SLED narc with the intention of smuggling it into the prison.

'attempting to obtain the medication'

In Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a Franklin County Prison guard was arrested July 7 in a state police sting aimed at preventing the illegal delivery of Oxycontin to inmates, according to the Cumberland Sentinel. The unnamed guard faces charges of attempting to obtain the medication for sale at the prison, but those charges had yet to be filed.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 15th 2006

Some New Jersey cops got too friendly with drug dealers, while a Pennsylvania park ranger and a New Mexico jail guard got caught trying to be drug dealers.

'faces charges including conspiracy'

In Newark, New Jersey, six police officers were indicted Tuesday on charges they warned a drug ring about police raids in exchange for drugs . The six were arrested over the last 18 months, but officials only took the case public upon their indictment. Passaic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jay McCann said what began as "a social relationship" between the officers and their drug-dealing contemporaries escalated into law breaking and corruption. Those arrested were Pompton Lakes officers Dennis DePrima, 30, Robert J. Palianto, 29, and Michael Megna, 34; West Milford Officer Paul Kleiber, 26; West Paterson Officer Richard Beagin, 26; and Passaic County Sheriff's Officer Gerry Ward, 46. Each was suspended and faces charges including conspiracy to commit official misconduct; conspiracy to possess narcotics; official misconduct; witness tampering and hindering apprehension. The conspiracy unraveled after authorities figured out a suspect in a 2004 drug raid had been tipped off and investigated. The drugs involved included the prescription sleeping pill Ambien, cocaine, Oxycontin, and anabolic steroids.

'police seized a pipe bomb'

In Altoona, Pennsylvania, a part-time state park ranger was arrested Saturday on meth dealing and related charges . William Ickes, 61, a ranger at Blue Knob State Park was charged with three counts each of possession and delivery of drugs, as well as additional drug and weapons charges. State officials allege that Ickes sometimes sold drugs in the park while in uniform. During an April raid on Ickes' residence, police seized a pipe bomb and various guns, plus methamphetamine, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and drug paraphernalia. Ickes is jailed on a $150,000 bond.

'jailed and fired'

In Albuquerque, a Metropolitan Detention Center guard was arrested Monday night on charges he conspired to smuggle heroin into the jail . Guard Marcus Urias, 19, went down after accepting a pack of tobacco, a gram of heroin, and his $150 fee from a man who turned out to be an undercover agent for the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department. Urias faces charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy to traffic drugs, and conspiracy to bring contraband into a prison. Urias was jailed and fired.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
July 7th 2006

This week, we have a pair of missing Border Patrol agents and a pair of drug-smuggling prison guards.

'tipped off and fled to Mexico'

In San Diego, two US Border Patrol agents under investigation for smuggling people and drugs into the country have vanished, the Border Patrol announced June 30 . Brothers Raul and Fidel Villarreal resigned earlier in the week, and federal law enforcement officials said they feared the pair were tipped off and fled to Mexico. The pair are suspected of working for Mexican-based smuggling organizations. The Border Patrol is now investigating who leaked news of the investigation to the brothers.

'agreed to deliver the bag of weed'

In Baltimore, a prison guard was arrested June 23 on charges he smuggled marijuana into his place of employment for an inmate, the Baltimore Sun reported . Antwan Black, 22, an employee of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, was arrested at the Metropolitan Transition Center and charged with possession and possession with intent to sell marijuana, and two counts of intent to deliver to an inmate, after he was searched and found to be holding a bag of "a greenish brown leafy material," according to charging documents. Blackwell admitted that he had agreed to deliver the bag of weed for $100. He was charged and released pending further proceedings.

'30 bags of marijuana'

In Essex County, New Jersey, a former Essex County prison guard has pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs and other contraband into the county correctional facility last summer. According to the Maplewood and South Orange News-Record , Jay Griggs, 35, copped the plea week before last. He was arrested last summer carrying 30 bags of marijuana, five bindles of heroin, three bottles of cocaine, rolling papers, cigarettes, cigars, a cell phone, and a phone charger into the prison. Jail officials charged Griggs conspired with a jail inmate and his wife to smuggle the contraband into the prison. That couple have since pleaded guilty to drug possession charges. Griggs pleaded to four counts of official misconduct and faces up to three years in prison. He will be sentenced September 15 in Newark.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 30th 2006

 

A pair of crooked Baltimore cops are going to prison for a long, long time, while in two separate incidents down in Louisiana, two deputies get busted on drug and gun charges. Just another week of drug war corruption. Let's get to it:

'robbing drug dealers'

In Maryland, two former Baltimore police officers received centuries-long prison sentences last week for robbing drug dealers, using their informants to resell heroin on the streets of the city, and running their drug dealing sideline from their squad car. Former officers Antonio Murray and William King were sentenced separately to 139 years and 315 years respectively and got most of their time for federal gun charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences, prompting US District Judge Frederick Motz to complain about mandatory minimum sentencing and call the sentences "grossly disproportionate to the crime." [Editor's Note: Just because the people committing these crimes are cops doesn't mean they deserve to spend literally the rest of their lives in prison, even if some of the crimes are serious in their own right. This weekly feature is not intended to be "anti-cop," but rather to raise awareness of the consequence prohibition has of corrupting our institutions.

'Sheriff'

In Louisiana, an Orleans Parish sheriff's deputy was arrested June 21 in Harvey along with three other men in a car that also carried a four-year-old child, a high-powered rifle, and seven grams of heroin. Deputy Brandon Banks, 20, and the three other men were all charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. At the time of the arrest, Banks was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word "Sheriff," and law enforcement officials charged it was in an effort to ward off unwanted attention. But unfortunately for Banks and his cohorts, they were being watched by a new drug task force alerted to an impending heroin transaction. Banks has been suspended from his job.

'Unfortunately for Wright, the informant was wired'

In Louisiana, an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy was arrested June 22 for allegedly trying to shake down a federal informant for drugs and money. Deputy Larry Wright, 25, was in uniform and carrying his weapon when he took $2,500 and a half-pound of fake cocaine from the informant and promised to contact an FBI agent to "get rid of" charges pending against the informant (which is undoubtedly why the guy became an informant). Unfortunately for Wright, the informant was wired, and he was immediately busted by federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents. He now faces federal charges of attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. He has been fired from the sheriff's department and at last report was being held in a jail outside the parish. He faces up to 20 years on the drug count and a mandatory minimum five years on the weapons count.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 24th 2006

 

A federal prison contraband-for-sex scandal exploded into lethal violence Wednesday. And then there's the run of the mill: A one-time Wisconsin deputy goes down in a major marijuana bust, a former Mississippi deputy goes down for meth, a San Francisco prosecutor goes to prison for taking Ecstasy bribes, and a former Alabama deputy gets ready to go to prison for providing a gun and some crack rocks to an ex-con.

' federal prison guard and a Department of Justice officer are dead'

In Tallahassee, Florida, a federal prison guard and a Department of Justice officer are dead, a second officer was wounded, and five more prison guards were arrested Wednesday when federal agents showed up to arrest the six guards on charges they smuggled contraband -- alcohol, marijuana, cash, and messages -- into the prison in exchange for sexual favors from inmates at the 1,400-woman facility. Federal Bureau of Prisons guard Ralph Hill opened fire when the feds arrived inside the prison, killing Justice Department Office of the Inspector General agent William Sentner and wounding an unnamed, uninvolved prison guard before being killed by other federal agents. Guards Alfred Barnes, Gregory Dixon, Ralph Hill, Vincent Johnson, Alan Moore and E. Lavon Spence face charges of engaging in a conspiracy to commit acts of bribery, witness tampering, and mail fraud; and interstate transportation in aid of racketeering. They could face up to 20 years in prison.

'also seized 52 dogs, including 50 pit bulls'

In Dunn, Wisconsin, a former Dane County sheriff's deputy was arrested June 14 on federal marijuana distribution conspiracy charges. Robert Lowery, 57, is accused in federal affidavits of employing a young Genesee, Wisconsin, couple to bring hundreds of pounds of pot to Wisconsin from Arizona. During a raid on his home by state Department of Criminal Investigation and Dane County deputies, the cops seized 15 pounds of pot, 25 ounces of cocaine, five guns, and $47,000 cash. They also seized 52 dogs, including 50 pit bulls, and arrested Lowery's wife on weapons and cocaine possession charges. Lowery was fired as Dane County deputy in 1981 after being accused of seeking information to provide to drug dealing associates, and charging documents allege he has been in the business ever since. The young couple has also been charged.

'being held without bond in a neighboring county jail'

In Hancock County, Mississippi, a former constable and Hancock County deputy sheriff was arrested June 14 on methamphetamine possession and sales charges. Danny Hamby, 38, was one of three men arrested in a drug raid that netted a half-ounce of speed following an eight-month investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team, the DEA, and the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. Hamby was elected constable in 1999, but resigned two years later as part of a plea agreement in a domestic violence case. He then went to work briefly as a Hancock County deputy. He is being held without bond in a neighboring county jail.

'former city assistant district attorney is going to prison'

In San Francisco, a former city assistant district attorney is going to prison for six months after pleading guilty to accepting drugs in exchange for leniency for two defendants he was prosecuting. Robert Roland, 35 was sentenced June 14 after a pleading guilty in February to three counts of Ecstasy possession and one count of using a telephone in a felony drug transaction. In one case, Roland dropped a felony drug count to a misdemeanor for a high school buddy, who repaid him with Ecstasy the next day. In a second case, another acquaintance supplied him with Ecstasy after he discussed diverting that case into treatment. Both of those cases occurred in 2002. Roland reports to prison August 1.

'and to supplying him with crack'

In Montgomery, Alabama, a former Houston County deputy pleaded guilty Monday to selling a gun to a convicted felon and supplying him with cocaine to sell. Michael Shawn Campbell, 27, who was working for the Houston County narcotics unit at the time, admitted selling the gun to Joshua Whigan, who he knew to be a felon, and to supplying him with crack. Whigan ratted him out. Both men await sentencing, and Campbell faces up to 40 years on the drug charge and another 10 for the gun charge.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 16th 2006

 

Three bad apples from North Carolina, a former Minnesota cop dealing powder, a Connecticut cop passing on favors, another Border Patrol officer goes down, and so does yet another prison guard.

'led to one assault on a snitch'

In Connecticut, a former Vernon police officer has copped a plea in a case where he was accused of using law enforcement databases to pass information about drug investigations on to his former girlfriend and her family, who in turn passed it on to the targets of the investigations. Former officer John Troland, a seven-year veteran of the force, pled guilty last Friday to one count of computer crime and one count of interfering with a police officer and faces up to two years in prison. Prosecutors claimed Troland's misdeeds led to one assault on a snitch and to police targets dumping their drugs to avoid arrest.

'government wants to seize his house'

In Florida, a US Border Patrol officer was arrested June 7 on a single charge of marijuana distribution. Thomas Henderson, 45, of Macclenny, allegedly arranged marijuana transactions over the phone, quoting prices, and arranging a deal there. He faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The government wants to seize his house, too.

'suspicious Greyhound employees'

In Minnesota, a former St. Paul police officer was charged last Friday with possessing 22 pounds of cocaine and 13 pounds of methamphetamine with intent to distribute after he tried to pick up a package without proper ID at the Minneapolis Greyhound Bus terminal two days earlier. Suspicious Greyhound employees notified police and took down the man's license plate number. When the police opened the package, they found the drugs. Former St. Paul police officer Clemmie Tucker, 55, turned himself in later the same day. Tucker is currently out on $25,000 bail.

'smuggle marijuana into state prison'

In Montana, a former Montana State Prison guard was sentenced last Friday to three years and one month in state prison for trying to smuggle marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine into the joint. Michael Short, 50, was arrested in July 2005 after two sting operations where he agreed to smuggle drugs into the prison for money. Short pleaded guilty to attempted possession with intent to distribute marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine, as well as being a drug user in possession of a firearm. The state also seized his pickup truck.

'provided drugs to a DEA snitch'

In North Carolina, three former Robeson County deputies who worked the Sheriff's Office Drug Enforcement Division were arrested last Friday on racketeering and theft charges. Roger Hugh Taylor, 39, Charles Thomas Strickland, 39, and Steven Ray Lovin, 36, all of Lumberton, are accused by federal prosecutors of engaging in a criminal conspiracy for nearly decade involving arson, assault, theft of public funds, drug dealing, and money laundering, and were indicted two days earlier. According to the indictment, the crooked cops used marijuana to pay an arsonist, stole thousands of dollars from suspected drug dealers in traffic stops, and provided drugs to a DEA snitch. Robeson County District Attorney told the Fayetteville Online between 200 and 300 cases were dismissed because of the deputies' involvement and at least one innocent man had been convicted and imprisoned because of their actions.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 9th 2006

Even the corrupt cops seem to be going on summer break. This week, we have only three to report: A pot-dealing border guard, a drug-dealing prison guard, and a coke-dealing airman. Let's get to it:

'faces up to five years in prison'

In Florida, a US Border Patrol officer was arrested Wednesday on marijuana distribution charges. Jacksonville-based officer Tony Henderson, 45, conspired to sell the drugs over the telephone from his home, according to court papers. Henderson went down after an investigation by the DEA, FBI, immigration agents, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's office, and the Suwanee and Columbia county sheriff's departments. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine -- and the feds want to seize his house.

'she smuggled drugs into the prison'

In New Jersey, a senior corrections officer at Bayside State Prison in Maurice River Township was arrested May 30 on charges she smuggled drugs into the prison and worked with a network of eight inmates to distribute them. Susan Ferrari, 42, a 17-year-veteran of the department earning $66,000 a year, is charged with four counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, one count of possession with intent to distribute and two counts of official misconduct. Officials have released no information on the type or quantity of drugs involved. The eight inmates have been transferred to other prisons. Ferrari and her crew went down after a months-long investigation by a swarm of agencies, including the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division, assisted by the New Jersey State Police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and US Postal Inspectors.

'despite cooperating with the government'

In Montana, a US Air Force airman was sentenced last week to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a count of cocaine distribution conspiracy count and a count of violating the Arms Export Control Act. Kellen Johnson, 24, was accused of selling cocaine and smuggling guns into Canada. The man who sold him the cocaine and later snitched him off, Jominique Johnson, 36, was rewarded with a six year prison sentence for his role in the case despite cooperating with the government. A third defendant in the case was set to be sentenced this week.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
June 2nd 2006

 

A trio of meth-dealing cops get federal prison in two separate cases, a pot-slinging policeman gets state prison in Texas, another prison guard with a sideline has gone down, and another cop can't keep his hands out of the evidence room cookie jar. Let's get to it>

'former officer Terry Don Sizemore 10 years'

In Muskogee, Oklahoma, two former Sallisaw police officers, including a former police chief, were sentenced to federal prison May 23. Former Sallisaw Police Chief Billy Sizemore, 67, got five years, while his son, former officer Terry Don Sizemore, 40, got ten. The pair had pleaded guilty in February to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The Sizemores went down in December, after Sallisaw police detectives called in the feds upon developing evidence the pair were dealing. The feds seized more than 250 grams of speed, as well as more than $3,000 cash Billy Sizemore had on him when he was arrested.

'manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine'

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a former police officer was sentenced May 24 to 27 months in federal prison on meth charges. Kevin Schlosser, 36, who worked as a part-time police officer for the Ulster Township, Athens Borough, and South Waverly police departments, pleaded guilty last July to conspiracy to manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Schlosser went down as part of a DEA and Pennsylvania State Police investigation into meth trafficking in Bradford County.

'never submitted any marijuana as evidence'

In Troup, Texas, a former police officer pleaded guilty May 24 to tampering with marijuana police seized as evidence from drug suspects. Former Troup Police Sgt. Samuel Turner, 47, faces two to 10 years in prison. He and ex-chief Chester Kennedy were arrested March 2 after investigators noticed that despite numerous pot busts, the force never submitted any marijuana as evidence or for testing. Turner confessed to using some of the marijuana himself and giving some to a confidential informant. He will be sentenced July 21. Kennedy has not yet been indicted.

'he grew pot for profit since 2003'

In Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, a Dodge Correctional Institution officer was arrested May 22 on four felony drug counts after he was found growing 130 marijuana plants at home. Officer Paul Krumweide's charges included manufacturing marijuana and maintaining a place for drug trafficking. In addition to 132 pot plants, police seized more than a pound of psychedelic mushrooms and three pounds of dry marijuana. Krumweide has allegedly told investigating officers he grew pot for profit since 2003. He awaits a July 7 preliminary hearing.

'drugs have gone missing from the evidence room'

In Melrose, Massachusetts, drugs have gone missing from the evidence room and a detective is under suspicion, the Boston Globe reported. Melrose Police Detective Kevin Stanton has been suspended with pay since January 26, when he failed a polygraph test about missing drug evidence. According to a march police report, Stanton has admitted stealing and consuming narcotic Percocet tablets and marking them as destroyed. Stanton, a 12-year veteran, is now under criminal investigation and is not cooperating with police.

 

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
May 26th 2006

Two stories from New York City, a cop peddling "cocaine cookies" in Alabama, a Delaware State Trooper with a drug problem, and a very, very ugly recording are on tap this week. Let's get to it>

'potential robbery targets to her con-conspirators'

In New York City, an NYPD officer was indicted May 18 on charges she conspired to rip off cocaine from stash houses in Manhattan, federal prosecutors announced. Officer Kirsix De La Cruz faces up to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit robbery. Two others, including her uncle, are also charged in a series of robberies where De La Cruz pointed out potential robbery targets to her con-conspirators. The officer became involved in the scheme after borrowing money from her uncle, who asked her if she knew someone who could help rob drug dealers. De La Cruz allegedly put her uncle in contact with a dealer who knew where the dope houses were, and the rip-off crew hit a house last July and made off with seven kilos of coke. But a snitch heard about it, the uncle went down, and he turned snitch on De La Cruz.

'both men face up to 20 years in prison'

In New York City, two members of the New York Air National Guard pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan last Friday to conspiring to distribute Ecstasy. They admitted flying a US Air Force jet from New York to Germany to pick up 300,000 hits of the popular club drug. Capt. Franklin Rodriguez, 36, and Master Sgt. John Fong, 37, detoured from an official mission to the republic of Georgia in April 2005, to go to Germany to pick up the stash, but were arrested on landing at Stewart Air National Guard base near Newburgh. As part of his plea agreement, Rodriguez forfeited $726,000 cash found in a safe in his apartment, a 2001 BMV, and $49,000 he had put down on a property in Mt. Vernon. Both men face up to 20 years in prison.

'cocaine cookies'

In Dothan, Alabama, a Houston County Sheriff's Department narcotics officer was arrested May 17 on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and selling a firearm to a convicted felon. Michael Campbell, 27, was arrested by FBI agents after an undercover investigation. He is accused of providing "cocaine cookies" to the same ex-felon to whom he sold a semi-automatic pistol. The ex-con was to sell the cookies, and he and Campbell were allegedly plotting for Campbell to provide him with more cookies and 1,500 hits of Ecstasy for sale. Houston County District Attorney told WTLV News 4 in Dothan that drug cases in which Campbell was involved might have to be thrown out. He faces up to 50 years in prison.

'removed 'drug evidence'

In Camden, Delaware, the unnamed trooper mentioned here last week in connection with an investigation to thefts of drugs from an evidence locker has been identified. He is State Police Sgt. Charles Mullett, who was suspended after officials learned he tried to obtain syringes at a Milford hospital on April 23. Mullett, a 19-year veteran of the force, also removed "drug evidence" from the Troop 3 evidence locker at the barracks south of Camden, the State Police announced last Friday. Mullett has not been arrested, but his case is set to go before a grand jury June 5. By Saturday, the Delaware State Troopers Association was saying Mullett had chronic service-related pain and may have become dependent on prescription drugs. (This case, depending on the facts, may make a good example of how the line between corruption and personal problems or habits can sometimes be hard to define.)

'this is nasty, sadistic stuff

In Memphis, a remarkably disturbing audio tape has been made publicly available. Back in February 2005, we reported on the terrible ordeal of Lester Siler, a convicted drug dealer who was brutalized and tortured over the course of an afternoon by a crew of sadistic Tennessee cops . Those cops have now all gone to prison for the assault, and the tape that sealed their fate is now available. Be warned: This is nasty, sadistic stuff. Listen here if you dare.

 

Another week, another batch of crooked cops
May 20th 2006

Another week, another batch of crooked cops: A missing evidence investigation in Delaware and a missing evidence sentence in California; more sticky-fingered cops in Tennessee; a would-be porn king with a bad temper in Denver, and some perverse traffic cops in Baltimore, and the beat goes on.

'what evidence is missing or where it went'

In Camden, Delaware, state police are busy auditing evidence storage rooms this week after allegations an unnamed state trooper had tampered with drug evidence. The trooper was suspended with pay April 23, but the investigation did not come to light until a trooper on the stand in a marijuana case responded "yes" to a defense question about whether there was an investigation into missing evidence. No word yet on what evidence is missing or where it went. In Baltimore, three male strippers are suing the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department for $5 million. The men were stopped for a speeding violation as they traveled from a show in Philadelphia to one in Washington, DC, and charged with misdemeanor drug possession offenses. But in their lawsuit, the strippers allege that transit police forced them to strip naked and pose for pictures. They also allege that police took nearly $10,000 in cash from them. The department had no comment.

'he would steal from any drug dealer'

In Cocke County, Tennessee, a former sheriff's deputy was sentenced to probation Tuesday for his role in stealing cash from a drug suspect. Former Deputy Christopher Smith had pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor count of deprivation of civil rights and could have faced six to 12 months in prison. He is one of at least eight Cocke County law enforcement officers to be arrested on corruption charges in an ongoing FBI investigation. Former Deputy Smith and former Deputy Larry Dodgin stopped a car and seized $4,815 in cash and some drugs. They turned in that cash, but pocketed more money found in the car. During the FBI investigation, Smith confessed that he would steal from any drug dealer if given the chance.

'served the public very well'

In Oakland, California, a former sergeant on the Berkeley Police narcotics squad who stole and used heroin and cocaine from the evidence room was sentenced to one year in jail May 10, but will not serve a day behind bars. Instead, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Don Clay gave former sergeant Cary Kent home detention. "I think he's earned it," Clay said, noting that -- other than ripping off dope -- Kent had "served the public very well." Kent, a 20-year veteran, pleaded guilty in April to grand theft, possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine after an investigation revealed he had tampered with scores of evidence envelopes he'd taken from the drug investigation unit's evidence locker.

'I'll have my motherfucking cousin come over there'

In Denver, a Denver Police undercover narcotics officer has resigned from the department and is facing arrest after threatening to hurt his ex-girlfriend when she refused to let him post pornographic pictures of her on the Internet. Former narc Damon Bolden made the imprudent move of leaving threatening messages of the ex-girlfriend's answering machine: "I don't even need the DPS! I'll have my motherfucking cousin come over there and cut your back through the motherfucking fat meat!" he said in one message. Bolden apparently wasn't busy enough working undercover as a narc; 7 News in Denver reported that he was also making nude photos for a fledgling porn site. He was angry because the ex and one of her friends had let him do a photo shoot, but then decided they didn't want their pictures on the Internet.

 home cannabis seeds

 

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