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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It was judgment day for two cops and a jail guard this week, and another jail guard just found out his judgment day is coming. Meanwhile, new corrupt cop cases showed up at a rate of one a day this week. Let's get to it:

In El Paso, a US Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested Monday on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Officer Daniel Ledezma, 33, is accused of knowingly allowing trucks filled with marijuana to pass through the Bridge of the Americas. He was in the El Paso County Jail pending a hearing this morning.

In Los Angeles, an LAPD officer was charged Tuesday on federal methamphetamine distribution charges. Officer Yoshio Romero, 28, a five-year veteran, is accused of arranging to sell 111 grams of meth last December for $42,000. He allegedly placed the drugs in a box in a pick-up truck, then told the buyer where the truck could be found.

In Providence, Rhode Island, a fourth Providence police officer has been arrested in a massive drug sting that in March resulted in the arrest of three more Providence police officers. The fourth officer, whose name was not revealed, turned himself in Wednesday. Twenty people have been indicted so far in "Operation Deception," with two still being sought on warrants.

In McAllen, Texas, the Sullivan City police chief was indicted Thursday on federal drug and conspiracy charges as part of the massive "Project Deliverance" sweep that netted more than 2,200 people nationwide. Police Chief Hernan Guerra had been arrested by FBI agents the day before the indictment was unsealed. He is accused of being part of a conspiracy that moved at least two tons of marijuana through the Rio Grande Valley in the last year. The chief is now on administrative leave.

In Franklin, Indiana, two Franklin police officers have been hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former informant. The lawsuit claims Franklin Detective Bryan Burton made a deal with the victim to help with her DUI and child custody problems in exchange for her help busting drug dealers. She wore a wire and a concealed camera, but Burton began behaving inappropriately, the lawsuit alleges. It says he entered her home, photographed a sex toy, put it in her car when she didn't know it was there so she would sit on it. The lawsuit also claims Burton exposed himself to her and that his partner, Officer Ryan Mears, went along with it. Burton was already in trouble this year, having been demoted in March for drinking on duty, providing alcohol to minors, and making suggestive remarks to female informants.

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DRUGS INSIDE: Baltimore City Detention Center
In Craig, Colorado, a former Craig Police detective was sentenced Tuesday in Moffat County District Court to serve 60 days in jail for his corrupt relationship with a Craig woman with past convictions for drug distribution and possession. Former detective Ken Johnson was arrested last September for providing the woman information about ongoing police investigations and helping her break probation. He also gave her a laptop belonging to the department. He was originally charged with embezzlement of public property, and accessory to a crime -- both felonies -- as well as attempting to influence a public servant, a lesser felony. He copped to the latter in return for a plea agreement where prosecutors stipulated no more than 60 days in jail. Johnson will do all but a week on work release. He must also do 150 hours community service, pay $1700 in fines and costs, undergo psychotherapy and DNA testing, and write letters of apology to the department, the Moffat County Drug Court and the All Crimes Enforcement Team of which he was a member. He starts his sentence today.

In Baltimore, a former Baltimore City Detention Center guard was sentenced Monday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling drugs and a cell phone to a prisoner there. Lynae Chapman, 21, went down last October after prison officials found her DNA on drugs and a cell phone discovered during the search of a prisoner's cell. She was convicted of six charges, including conspiracy to distribute marijuana and professional misconduct in office.

In Platte City, Missouri, a former Weston police officer was sentenced June 3 to four years in prison for stealing drugs from the department's evidence room. Kyle Zumbrunn, 27, had pleaded guilty to stealing a controlled substance. He had already pleaded guilty in Atchinson County, Kansas, to selling the dope he stole and was sentenced to 16 months there. The four-year Missouri sentence will run concurrently with the Kansas sentence. He had been looking at up to seven years in prison.

In Paterson, New Jersey, a former Passaic County Jail guard was convicted last Friday on charges he smuggled heroin and homemade weapons into the jail. Former guard Marvin Thompson was acquitted of bringing escape implements into a jail, but convicted of heroin possession and filing false police reports. Thompson went down in a bizarre effort at self-aggrandizement: He smuggled the contraband into the jail with plans to then "discover" it and blame it on a gang leader in a bid to earn a permanent position, but an inmate snitched him out, and instead of a permanent job at the Passaic County Jail, he is now a temporary resident of a nearby county jail awaiting a probable transfer to the state pen. He faces five to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced July 9.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

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. Let's get to it:

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.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Oh, lord, where to begin? The tweaker deputy sheriff stealing his supply from the evidence room? The sticky-fingered narc who got stung? The cop so cozy with his informant he was providing her with drugs he stole from his own wife? There's all that and more, this week -- including, of course, a crooked jail guard. Let's get to it:

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Is something missing from the evidence room?
In Chaska, Minnesota, a Carver County sheriff's deputy was charged Tuesday with stealing methamphetamine from the department's evidence room for his own use. Daniel David Kahlow, 47, is charged with removing evidence and second degree drug possession of six grams or more of meth. He was arrested after being videotaped entering and leaving the evidence room on May 9, a day he was not scheduled to work. Kahlow admitted dressing in baggy clothes in a bid to hide his identity and that he had been using for about a year. Police found 23 grams and a glass pipe on him when he was arrested. The 18-year-veteran deputy is now sitting in the Wright County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.

In Norristown, Pennsylvania, a Montgomery County jail guard was arrested last Saturday along with a prisoner and the inmate's mother for delivering drugs to the inmate. Guard Mathew Knowles, 31, and the mother and son all are charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal attempt, criminal use of a communication facility, conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia, controlled substance contraband to confined persons, and several other charges -- as if the first batch weren't enough. Prosecutors said Knowles got Oxycontin from the inmate's mother on several occasions and began smuggling it and other contraband into the jail in February. He went down after another inmate snitched the operation out and authorities listened in to phone and visitation calls between the inmate and the mother that confirmed the snitch's tale. Further confirmation came when prison officials searched the inmate's cell and found Oxycontin. Knowles has not made bail and is on the other side of the bars at the Lehigh County Prison.

In Manhattan, Kansas, a Riley County Police narcotics officer was arrested May 20 on official misconduct and theft charges. Officer Mark Bylkas, a four-year veteran, is charged with of two felony counts of official misconduct and two felony counts of theft. He was released on $10,000 bond. The County Police provided no information on the specifics of what Bylkas is alleged to have done, except to say that the arrest came as part of an ongoing investigation involving the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the state attorney general's office.

In Pass Christian, Mississippi, a Harrison County sheriff's deputy was arrested May 20 on what look to be drug-related charges, although the sheriff's office is staying mum. Deputy Ronald Roach, 34, was charged with felony counts of extortion and hindrance of prosecution by rendering criminal assistance. He went down after an investigation by the department, the Harrison County Narcotics Unit, and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Roach was jailed on a $50,000 bond pending an initial appearance.

In Duncan, Oklahoma, a former Marlow police officer was indicted May 20 on two counts of perjury by a multicounty grand jury. Rodney Richards, who was fired in February, is charged with lying in an affidavit and on the witness stand in a methamphetamine trafficking case last October. Prosecutors accuse Richards of lying about facts involving jurisdictional issues, allegations a police radio had been tampered with, and confiscated meth that had gone missing. He's now out on a $10,000 bond.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a state Justice Department narcotics officer pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to taking the bait in an FBI sting operation. Johnny Santiago stole about $1,100 that FBI agents had planted in a vacant Milwaukee storefront that he was sent to search, then led FBI agents on a chase to the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Task Force building, where he was arrested. That was in March, he resigned as a narc in April, and now, he's copped a plea. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In Boulder, Colorado, a former Longmont police officer was sentenced last Friday to probation for giving prescription drugs to an informant. Jack Kimmett, 54, has to report to authorities for two years, perform 80 hours of public service, pay a $750 fine, write a letter of apology to the Longmont Police Department, and obey a "no contact" order regarding the informant. The informant, a separated married woman, denied a sexual relationship with Kimmett, but later acknowledged that he paid her rent and bills. Fellow officers watched Kimmett give Vicodin to the informant, then arrested him. He was originally charged with two counts of felony drug possession, two misdemeanor theft counts and first-degree official misconduct. Those charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, which also stipulated he would not serve jail time.

Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debussman, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed over 20,000 people, with a death toll of nearly 8,000 in 2009 and over 4,000 so far in 2010. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Wednesday, May 19

In Chihuahua, police discovered five mummified bodies in the bed of a truck. The five, two women and three women, were left in a pickup truck alongside a desert highway south of Ciudad Juarez, and were mummified by the desert conditions. In Ciudad Juarez itself, a local university student was discovered murdered and wrapped in a blanket at the fairgrounds.

Thursday, May 20

In Tamaulipas, four gunmen were killed and four arrested after a raid by elements of the Mexican Navy. Three of the detainees were Guatemalan nationals. In Torreon, Coahuila, two police officers and three gunmen were killed in a firefight.

Outside Culiacan, Sinaloa, police announced the capture of the Sinaloa Cartel's operations chief for the greater Mexico City area. Jose Manuel Garcia is also being accused of coordinating cartel operations with local officials.

Sunday, May 23

In Tijuana, soldiers discovered $729,000 dollars during a raid in La Libertad neighborhood of northwest Tijuana. No arrests were made during the operation.

In Jalisco and Zacatecas, the army and gunmen fought six gun battles in 12 hours. No casualties were reported in the fighting, which was nonetheless described as "intense." According to the army, the gunmen used large caliber Barrett sniper rifles and fragmentation grenades and the engagement. At least 50 gunmen fled into nearby mountains on vehicle and on foot.

In Sinaloa, a federal police agent and his drug-sniffing dog are missing after being kidnapped alongside four other men and a woman near the town of Los Mochis. Three of them, including the woman, were later found dead. Afterwards, police searched for men traveling in three vehicles in relation to the incident. The area around Los Mochis is a known drug trafficking area.

Nine people were murdered in the city of Chihuahua, and a man was killed in the city of Durango. Three young women who were traveling in his car were wounded after being ambushed by gunmen wielding high-powered weapons. In Tampico, two gunmen were killed after a shootout with the army. In Morelos, gunmen forced a man out of a bar and shot him just outside. One person was killed in Tabasco.

Monday, May 24

In Zapopan, Jalisco, the operations chief of the municipal police was shot and killed. Witnesses told police that Jose Nicolas Araujo Baldenegro ran out of his house after hearing a truck smash into his car, only to be gunned down when he stepped onto the street. The truck used in the attack was later found abandoned.

Tuesday, May 25

In a suburb of Monterrey, an ex-police officer from an elite unit of the municipal police was killed in a shootout between gunmen and soldiers. The incident, which took place in the affluent suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia, took place in the early morning after the army received reports of armed men at a party. After a brief firefight, soldiers discovered the body of ex-municipal police officer Pedro Valezquez Amador. It was later reported that he is a high-ranking member of the Beltran-Leyva organization, although the organization has been split in recent months.

Wednesday, May 26

In Cancun, the mayor was arrested on suspicion of protecting the Beltran-Leyva and Zetas organizations. Gregorio Sanchez now faces charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, a year after a Cancun police chief and several deputies were taken into custody. High-level corruption is rampant in many parts of Mexico.

In Chihuahua, a large group of armed men took over a small village near Ciudad Juarez. Reports indicate that a group of at least 60 men traveling in 16 vehicles took over the small town of El Porvenir and executed two people before withdrawing. The local headquarters of a police intelligence unit was also burned. Several police were reported to have fled into nearby forests.

In Culiacan, three people were executed, including a woman who was thrown into a canal after being shot. Two murders occurred in Ciudad Juarez.

Thursday, May 27

In Ciudad Juarez, two policemen were shot dead in the parking lot of a shopping center. Five people were shot in different incidents across the city of Chihuahua, and two people each were killed in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Durango.

In the Durango incident, two suspected drug traffickers were killed after being stopped at a fake checkpoint. A four year old child was left alive in the backseat.

Total Body Count for the Week: 405

Total Body Count for the Year: 4,357

[Editor's note: We have decided to no longer include the overall death toll since Calderon began his drug war. There are too many problems of definition to be confident of any exact tally. We will, however, note when the official tally clicks over another thousand dead. Currently, it's at 23,000.]

Read the last Mexico Drug War Update here.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

We've got a trifecta of dirty NYPD cops this week, as well as snakepit full of crooked jail guards down in Florida, another one in St. Louis, and a pill-peddling court officer in Massachusetts. Let's get to it:

In New York City, an NYPD narcotics detective was arrested Tuesday for forcing the girlfriend of a drug suspect to have sex with him in a police station bathroom by threatening to lock her up. Detective Oscar Sandino, a 13-year veteran, allegedly arrested a drug suspect in Queens in 2008 and ordered the suspect's girlfriend to take off her clothes at the residence. Once at the station house, he told her she would be jailed and would lose custody of her children, but that he "would prevent those things from happening if she had sex with him.'' She complied, but reported him upon her release the next day. He is also accused of extorting sexual favors from two other women. He is charged with three misdemeanor counts of violating the civil rights of the three women. He is looking at up to three years in prison.

In New York City, a former NYPD officer pleaded guilty May 13 to robbing drug dealers at gunpoint and restraining them with his police handcuffs. Jorge Arbaje-Diaz, 31, admitted to being part of a crew that ripped-off dealers in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. He even left his post patrolling the transit system to carry out one robbery while in uniform. Arbaje-Diaz resigned from the force after his 2008 arrest. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

In New York City, a fomer NYPD officer was convicted last Friday of conspiring to rob a drug dealer, attempted theft, and unlawful use of a bullet-proof vest, but acquitted of armed robbery charges. Hector Alvarez, 28, and his partner, Officer Miguel Castillo had received a tip that a drug dealer kept loads of cash at his Rutherford, New Jersey, home and decided to shake him down to the tune of half a million dollars. In May 2007, the pair drove to his home and flashed a fake search warrant in a bid to get in, but the dealer refused to let them in and scuffled with them. They left empty-handed, but not before attracting the attention of a neighbor who called police. They were picked up as they headed for the Lincoln tunnel. Castillo, 31, pleaded guilty in December to armed robbery and is now serving a seven-year sentence. Alvarez is looking at five to ten years, but he has already served three awaiting trial.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, 11 state prison guards and five others have pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and conspiracy charges after a two-year state and federal investigation into corruption in Palm Beach County prisons. The defendants were caught in an FBI sting operation in which they were recruited to run loads of what they thought were cocaine out of Miami-Dade County. The guards worked at the Glades Correctional Institution, South Bay Correctional Institution and the Florida Road Prison. Another, parallel probe by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office resulted in the arrests of six more prison guards on charges of bribery, introduction of contraband into a correctional institution and conspiracy.

In St. Louis, a former jail guard was sentenced last Friday to 30 months in prison for smuggling what she thought was heroin for an inmate who was working with authorities. Peggy Lynn O'Neal, 49, had pleaded guilty in August to a felony charge of attempting to distribute heroin and admitted accepting money to smuggle it into the jail. O'Neal is one of three guards originally charged in the sting; all have pleaded guilty. One got two years, another awaits sentencing.

In Andover, Massachusetts, a former Massachusetts Trial Court officer was sentenced May 13 to three years in prison on federal drug distribution charges. Eric Bevilacqua, 28, was arrested in October when DEA agents searched his home and found $40,000 in a safe. He admitted selling a thousand 30-milligram oxycodone tablets a week to various customers and pleaded guilty to distributing it in February.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The beat goes on. This week, we have a trio of ethically-challenged cops, and, of course, a crooked jail guard. Let's get to it:

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If we can't keep drugs out of the prisons, how can we keep them out of the country?
In Newark, New Jersey, a Newark police officer was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for being part of a ring of people who were "stealing money and narcotics from narcotics dealers and their associates," according to the indictment. Sgt. Michael Lalley is charged with obstructing an FBI investigation and witness tampering. He is accused of asking one person to lie about a sexual relationship they had when that person was a minor. He is also accused of paying that person $60 for sex acts at his home and at a Newark police station and giving her cocaine and marijuana. He is accused of similar offenses with another woman, as well. The offenses all occurred in the 1990s.

In Salt Lake City, a former West Jordan police sergeant was arrested last Friday on charges he dealt drugs and stole seized money. Aaron Jensen, 34, is charged with distribution of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, and two counts of misuse of public money, a third-degree felony. In one incident, Jensen was given $1,239 in cash that was seized during an arrest, but when the man was released, Jensen returned only $583. In another, he allegedly bought cocaine and heroin from two men in 2008. The two men later told investigators Jensen had contacted them earlier and said he would not arrest them if they worked as snitches for him. When Jensen was fired as a police officer, other officers cleaning his desk found several balloons of heroin and cocaine, as well as copies of the drivers' licenses for the two men from whom he bought drugs.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a state Justice Department narcotics agent pleaded not guilty last Friday to stealing drug money in an FBI sting. Agent Johnny Santiago was charged in March with theft of government property. He allegedly stole $1,100 that FBI agents planted in a vacant store he was sent to search.

In Albuquerque, a Metro Detention Center guard was arrested Tuesday after he was caught carrying heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and tobacco as he showed up for work. Guard Anthony Kennedy went down following a two-week investigation after jail administrators got a tip he might be bringing contraband into the jail. It is unclear what the formal charges will be at this point.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A South Carolina sheriff gets busted for cocaine trafficking, and so does a Texas border town cop. And, as always, we have a couple of misbehaving jail guards, too. Let's get to it:

In Florence, South Carolina, the Florence County sheriff was arrested Saturday along with six other people for operating a cocaine trafficking ring. Sheriff EJ Melvin and the others face federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. He is also accused of extorting money from drug dealers for protection or to reduce the charges against them. Melvin, who had been sheriff for a decade, resigned Monday morning. He and the others face up to life in prison if convicted.

In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer was arrested April 28 on federal drug charges. Orland Jesus Hale, 27, is charged with conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a fire arm during the commission of a drug crime. Hale is alleged to have participated with another indicted Laredo police officer, Pedro Martinez, in a scheme to use police cars to protect drug shipments. He faces up to life in prison on the conspiracy charge and a mandatory minimum of five years on the gun charge.

In Port St. Joe, Florida, a Gulf County Detention Center guard was arrested April 30 for allegedly smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the jail for prisoners. Guard John Pritchard, 24, is charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband and unlawful compensation. Also busted were a 24-year-old woman and a 24-year-old prisoner.

In Pocomoke City, Maryland, a Wiconomico County jail guard was arrested Saturday for selling cocaine on the streets. Jeremy Dashawn Moore, 29, faces 15 counts of cocaine possession and distribution. He went down after an eight-month investigation by local law enforcement, which included the use of a confidential informant who repeatedly bought cocaine from Moore. He is now out on $90,000 bail.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

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. Let's get to it:

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prohibition testing the crime labs
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.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A coke-peddling NYPD cop cops a plea, a Florida deputy provides a favor to the wrong woman, and a New Orleans jail guard gets caught peddling pot to a prisoner. Let's get to it:

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If we can't keep drugs out of the prisons, how can we keep them out of the country?
In New York City, a former NYPD officer pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to his role in a large-scale drug-selling ring. Former officer Juan Acosta, 34, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs, extortion, and illegal use of a firearm. He and a partner were accused of selling cocaine throughout the city since 2005, and Acosta was also accused of using his position as a beat cop to rip-off a drug courier in 2005. He went down after getting caught in a sting last November where he took $15,000 from a government witness to transport 10 kilos of cocaine from a Long Island warehouse to the Bronx. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced July 22.

In Lake Wales, Florida, a Polk County deputy sheriff was arrested last Friday on charges he provided confidential information to a woman who was being surveilled as part of an investigation into a local drug trafficking operation. Deputy Sheriff Joseph Murphy, 41, a 16-year-veteran, admitted to accessing the state Driver and Vehicle Information Database to run a license tag for the girlfriend of the drug ring leader, who said she was being followed by a vehicle. That vehicle turned out to be an undercover police vehicle indeed following the girlfriend, and her call to Murphy was recorded as part of the investigation into the ring. He is charged with unauthorized use of a computer, a third-degree felony, and has been suspended without pay pending termination.

In New Orleans, an Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested Wednesday for selling contraband to an inmate. Deputy Joel Johnson, allegedly gave an inmate at the Templeman 5 unit a cell phone and marijuana in exchange for $500. Johnson was a recruit in the deputy training program, but now he will have to find a new career. He was fired upon being arrested. He is charged with one count of malfeasance, as well as drug possession and contraband charges.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's a veritable potpourri of prohibition-related police misconduct this week. Let's get to it:

In New York City, an NYPD auxiliary officer and a retired NYPD officer were arrested Tuesday after being indicted for helping protect drug shipments. Auxiliary NYPD Police Officer Rafael Jimenez and retired NYPD Officer Alfredo Rivera. The pair went down after meeting with a confidential informant and agreeing to transport a 10-kilogram load of drugs from Long Island to Brooklyn. They are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. They are looking at a 10-year mandatory minimum if convicted and up to life in prison.

In Altamonte Springs, Florida, an Altamonte Springs police officer and his wife were arrested April 5 on drugs and weapons charges. Officer Clay Adams and his wife Robyn are accused of operating a marijuana grow-op and trafficking in Oxycontin. They are also accused of threatening to kill an informant and a former narcotics unit chief. They are being held without bond at last report. They face up to life in prison if convicted.

In Beeville, Texas, a Beeville Police detective was arrested April 8 for allegedly peddling prescription drugs. Detective Victor Gonzales, 31, is charged with possession of a prescription drug with intent to distribute. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Gonzales has been released on bond and is suspended from his job with pay.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent was indicted last Friday for allegedly participating in a drug distribution ring. Former agent Brandon McFadden, 33, is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. He is also charged with possessing meth with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense and money laundering. The indictment alleges that while McFadden was an ATF agent in Tulsa and participating in drug sales, he also planted false drug evidence on suspects, stole drugs and money from suspects, and perjured himself testifying in court. Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson, who worked with McFadden, is now on leave amid accusations that he and McFadden gave false testimony in a drug case. He has not been charged with any crimes.

In Marietta, Georgia, a Fulton County Sheriff's deputy was indicted Tuesday on federal charges for allegedly protecting suspected drug dealers in January and March. Deputy Anthony Atwater, 32, is charged with five counts, including extortion and aiding and abetting cocaine distribution. He is accused of protecting drug dealers on two different occasions and of receiving $4,000 for his efforts. He is being held pending a bond hearing next week and is indefinitely suspended without pay.

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