Jail and prison guards gone bad! Evidence gone missing! Narcs gone to prison! Just another week on the corrupt cop front. Let's get to it:
In Laurel, Mississippi, three former members of the Southeast Mississippi Drug Task Force have been sentenced following guilty pleas in a drug corruption scandal. The task force commander, Roger Williams, and agents Randall Parker and Chris Smith pleaded guilty in August to a variety of crimes including conspiracy to falsely and maliciously arrest another, simple assault, obstruction of justice, and embezzlement. Those charges emerged from a 2006 investigation that led to drug charges being dropped in at least 34 cases. Williams got 15 months, Smith got 12 months, and Parker got house arrest because he was the first to come forward and cooperated with authorities.
In Schenectady, New York, 85 rocks of crack have gone missing from the police department evidence room. Police believe the crack was taken and not mislabeled. The missing rocks came to light after a state judge dismissed felony charges against a Schenectady man when the crack couldn't be produced for his trial. Police are now trying to determine if the drugs were stolen or mistakenly thrown away. While they're at it, they're checking to see if anything else is missing. The investigation could take a week or more, police said.
In Bartlesville, Oklahoma, an investigation is underway into drugs missing from the police department evidence room. The opioid pain reliever hydrocodone and methamphetamine seized in a June 2006 raid in Bartlesville turned up missing in January, when prosecutors prepared to prosecute the case (although police officials maintain they told prosecutors about the missing drugs in September). Prosecutors brought in the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to look around, but the bureau says the investigation could take months. The department is also undertaking an investigation. The Bartlesville Fraternal Order of Police said bravely in a statement last week it welcomed the investigations.
In Texarkana, Texas, a guard at the Bowie County Correctional Center was arrested Sunday after being caught trying to smuggle marijuana, tobacco, and cigars into the jail. James Porter, 18, was a four-month employee of Civigenics, a private company that operates the jail. His supervisor saw him acting nervously as he entered the jail, searched him, and found the contraband items wrapped in three bundles. He faces state charges of bringing prohibited substances into a correctional facility. He was also fired.
In DeKalb, Georgia, a county sheriff's office jail guard was arrested on January 19 for allegedly sneaking drugs and tobacco into the jail for an inmate. Raymond Green is charged with violation of oath by a public officer and drug trafficking by bringing contraband into a correctional facility. He faces up to five years in prison. He was arrested and fired after a three week investigation by the Sheriff's Office of Professional Standards.
In Miami, a Miami-Dade Correction and Rehabilitation officer was arrested on bribery charges for accepting gifts from an accused drug dealer and allowing him to escape. Shynita Townsend, 43, is accused of accepting diamond earrings, video games, and more than $5,000 cash from an accused dealer who was supposed to be wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. As a result, the feds say, the dealer was able to continue dealing and, ultimately, able to flee. He remains a fugitive. Townsend is looking at up to 10 years in federal prison.
In Clovis, New Mexico, a former Curry County jail guard was convicted January 18 of smuggling drugs into the jail. Damian Pardue, 30, got into trouble after an inmate told Clovis Police detectives Pardue was delivering drugs to inmates. The drugs would be left in a crumpled bag near Pardue's vehicle, and Pardue would pick them up, take them into the jail, and then deliver them to inmates. Pardue was convicted of conspiracy to commit trafficking by distribution and bringing contraband into the jail. He will be sentenced in March, when he could get up to 18 months on the other side of the bars.
In Cape Coral, Florida, a guard at the Charlotte Correctional Institution was arrested January 19 for allegedly trying to sell two ounces of marijuana to an undercover sheriff's deputy. Sabrina Rose Brownlee, 24, and her roommate arranged to meet the Lee County Sheriff's Department narc at BA Hustler's Bar and sold him 58 grams of weed in the parking lot for $245. The two were arrested shortly afterward. Brownlee is charged with possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana and selling marijuana within a thousand feet of a school. She posted a $13,000 bond last Friday morning.
In Des Moines, Iowa, a former state prison guard was sentenced last week to nearly six years in federal prison for cooking and selling methamphetamine. Milton Ringgenberg, 50, pleaded guilty to charges of manufacturing five grams or more of meth and conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five grams or more of meth in October. He admitted that he and his wife, Brenda, cooked and sold meth in the Webster County area. Brenda was sentenced earlier to five years in prison. There is no indication the Ringgenbergs sold their speed inside the prison at Fort Dodge, where he had been employed.