Police Corruption

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Mexico’s Plague of Police Corruption

Location: 
Mexico
Despite millions in U.S. aid, forces continue to be outgunned, overwhelmed — and often purchased outright — by drug prohibition gangsters. Many in Mexico consider the American investment little help so far against the bloody tide wrought by drug prohibition gangs. Mexico's top federal policeman, Genaro Garcia Luna, has estimated gangsters pass out some $100 million each month to local and state cops on the take.
Publication/Source: 
The Houston Chronicle (TX)
URL: 
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/7251246.html

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A massive round-up of dirty cops in Puerto Rico, a massive drug conspiracy led by a South Carolina sheriff, and another greedy jail guard make the news this week. Let's get to it:

In Columbia, South Carolina, the former Lee County sheriff pleaded not guilty last Thursday to 47 new charges in what prosecutors are calling a complex drug conspiracy case. Former Sheriff EJ Melvin resigned in May after he and 11 others were charged with a drug distribution conspiracy. In an earlier indictment, witnesses accused Lee of dealing cocaine from his official vehicle and state police agents said that they had given Melvin a list of possible drug dealers, only to have him use it to tip off the dealers and plan to get money from other dealers in exchange for keeping agents away. The second indictment charges that Melvin abused his position as sheriff to enrich himself and others through drug dealing, extorted kickbacks, and money laundering. He is now facing one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of power cocaine, 20 counts of extorting kickbacks from drug dealers, three counts of money laundering, one count of taking more than $5,000 in victim assistance funds for personal use, three counts of lying to state and federal agents, and 18 counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. He faces up to life in prison for the drug conspiracy and between 20 and life for the racketeering counts. Amazingly, he has been allowed to remain free on bail.

In Puerto Rico, 133 police officers, prison guards, and US Army officers were arrested last Thursday in a series of FBI raids aimed at law enforcement officials helping drug traffickers. Some 750 agents were involved in the massive operation, which covered the entirety of the US territory. Those rounded up face charges conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and illegal firearms offences. Prosecutors allege the police officers provided security for drug dealers at up to $4,500 a pop. If convicted, the defendants face from 10 years to life in prison.

In Chicago, a Cook County jail guard was arrested October 4 after being caught on camera accepting marijuana and cocaine to be delivered to an inmate. Guard Timothy Fuller, 42, is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver after being caught by a sting investigation. Fuller went down after jail officials got suspicious and set up a sting. Fuller met with a woman who supplied him with 16 grams of cocaine and 135 grams of pot and paid him $400 to smuggle the contraband into the jail. But the woman was an undercover cop, the camera was rolling, and now Fuller is looking out from the wrong side of the bars.

Confessed Mexican Hitman Claims Torture

Location: 
Mexico
A man accused of being one of Mexico's most notorious hired killers says his confessions were false and extracted through torture. Soto Arias, 29, a junkyard owner, has been convicted of nothing, and his torture complaint is being investigated by Mexico's human rights commission. Many other crime suspects and ordinary citizens have made similar allegations about disappearances, extra-judicial killings and torture at the hands of the Mexican military and police.
Publication/Source: 
United Press International (DC)
URL: 
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2010/10/10/Confessed-Mexican-hit-man-claims-torture/UPI-32881286748076/

Mexican President Wants to Eliminate 2,000 Local Police Departments Corrupted by Drug Prohibition

Location: 
Mexico
Amid a bloody war against drug trafficking organizations, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said that he was sending Congress a plan to overhaul the country's police system by doing away with local forces. The idea, called "unified command," has been debated for months, as the death toll from the nearly 4-year-old drug prohibition war surpassed 28,000 and signs of police collusion with crime syndicates continued to pile up.
Publication/Source: 
Los Angeles Times (CA)
URL: 
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/06/world/la-fg-mexico-police-reform-20101006

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

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 Cop Stories

A massively crooked sheriff, a massively enraged DEA agent, a couple of greedy cops, and a woman police officer married to the wrong guy all made the news this week. Let's get to it:

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 23 for 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

More law enforcement pervs this week, as well as your run of the mill greedy narcs. But prison and jail guards must have been on good behavior. Let's get to it:

Where did the cash go?
In Miami, a Hialeah Gardens police detective was arraigned Monday on charges he conspired with a local drug dealer to rip-off a rival dealer's warehouse full of marijuana and cash. Detective Lawrence Perez planned to arrive at the warehouse and "tie up" or "scare off" the occupants so his co-conspirators could safely enter and make off with the goodies. But federal authorities were wiretapping Perez's phone calls and raided the warehouse themselves days before the planned robbery. Perez and the drug dealer are charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 plants, which could earn them up to 40 years in prison upon conviction. Two other men were also arrested in the bust.  Perez is free on a $50,000 bond.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a former Millington police officer was sentenced last Thursday to a year and a day in federal prison for scheming to sell 40 pounds of marijuana and one kilo of cocaine. Troy Hale, 43, was arrested in 2007 and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, but in a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to the marijuana count in return for dismissal of the cocaine count. He resigned from the force in 2009, citing "personal reasons."

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a Fort Lauderdale Police narcotics officer was fired last week for having a long-running sexual affair with a cocaine dealer turned snitch. Officer Jason Maldonado was fired after an internal affairs investigation concluded that he began having sex with the woman shortly after he arrested her in 2006 and continued to do so as she helped police set up other drug deals and was under house arrest. The woman told investigators they had sex at a police substation and near the main police station while Maldonado was on duty and that he would visit her for more sex while she was on house arrest. He would arrive in a police vehicle in uniform and leave his police radio on, the woman said, adding that Maldonado said her electronic-monitoring ankle bracelet was a turn-on. An eight-year veteran, Maldonado was a member of the department's "Raiders" dope squad. He had previously been disciplined on separate occasions for breaking into an apartment without a warrant, conducting a sloppy investigation, and crashing his cruiser. He was fired for violating departmental policies by regularly  associating with a criminal, using his position for personal gain, lying to investigators, and engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer. Irony of ironies, Maldonado went down after being snitched out by his own snitch.

In Danville, Virginia, a Danville parole officer was arrested September 15 on charges he forced a pre-trial defendant to have sex with him in order to get a clean drug test. Sean Gunn faces four counts of having a carnal relationship with someone under his supervision. He goes back to court on October 18.

In San Antonio, Texas, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office wants one of its own officers prosecuted for misconduct while working on the agency's dope squad. Deputy Anthony Alvarado, a 10-year veteran, should be charged with tampering with a government record and abuse of official capacity, the department concluded after an internal investigation. The case is now before Bexar County prosecutors. The department said the Alvarado case was about discrepancies in payments to snitches and whether money from a drug-buy fund was missing. Alvarado is also the focus of separate investigations by the sheriff's office and the FBI into whether dope squad deputies were stealing money or drugs. Both investigations are ongoing.

Police Corruption: Woman's Drug Conviction Overturned During Probe

Location: 
Tulsa, OK
United States
Drug prohibition-related police corruption stories abound. Court records indicate a Tulsa woman's drug conviction has been vacated, increasing to 19 the number of people either freed from prison or no longer facing charges because of an ongoing police corruption investigation.
Publication/Source: 
Northwest Arkansas Newspapers (AR)
URL: 
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2010/sep/20/womans-drug-conviction-overturned-during-probe/?nwa-news-national

Lawsuit Filed in Camden Police Drug Planting Scheme

Location: 
NJ
United States
Drug prohibition has long been corrupting law enforcement in many ways. Now, the ACLU has taken Camden County and New Jersey officials to federal court on behalf of a man who spent more than a year in jail on drug charges, which were dismissed after the cops who arrested him were charged with planting evidence on him and many others.
Publication/Source: 
KYW (PA)
URL: 
http://kyw.cbslocal.com/2010/09/17/lawsuit-filed-in-camden-police-drug-planting-scheme/

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

One narcotics supervisor sexually assaults a female snitch, another makes off with the drug buy money. A pair of jail guards go down after getting caught having sex in a car in a parking lot. And that's just for starters. Let's get to it:

where's the cash?
In Athens, Ohio, the head of the Athens County Narcotics Task Force was arraigned last Friday on charges he sexually assaulted a female undercover informant. Deputy Jerry Hallowell, 43, faces three counts of sexual battery and one count of attempted sexual battery. The sexual batteries occurred August 6, September 3, and September 5, while the attempted battery occurred on September 9. Hallowell is looking at up to 16 years in prison if convicted on all counts. He is out on $50,000 bond and has been suspended with pay pending further action by the department.

In Syracuse, New York, a former Syracuse police officer pleaded guilty Monday to charges he ran a drug trafficking operation from his home and sexually abused two teenage boys. Fredrick Baunee, 49, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one felony count of fourth-degree conspiracy. He was arrested in May for running a drug ring from his home and using the teens as dealers and for sexual activities. Braun was suspended from the police force in 2007 and retired after being convicted of giving alcohol to and inappropriately touching a 14-year-old boy. He will be sentenced to seven years in prison, but remains free on $100,000 bail until formal sentencing in November.

In Durham, North Carolina, a former Durham County narcotics supervisor was indicted September 7 for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 in sheriff's department funds for paying informants and making drug buys. Former Lt. Derek O'Mary faces 26 counts of embezzlement and one count each of obstructing justice and possession of cocaine. O'Mary, 43, was an 18-year veteran of the sheriff's office and had risen through the ranks to a lieutenant supervising the Sheriff’s Anti-Crime & Narcotics Unit. He was fired in April 2009 after his own narcs snitched him out.

In Gaffney, South Carolina, money from a recent drug bust has gone missing and the Cherokee County sheriff wants to know where it went. Sheriff Bill Blanton has called in the State Law Enforcement Division to try to find out what happened to the undisclosed amount of cash missing from the Cherokee County narcotics division

In Philadelphia, three former Philadelphia police officers already facing corruption charges were hit with new ones September 9. Robert Snyder, Jamez Venziale, and Mark Williams were charged in July with plotting with a suspected drug dealer to steal drugs in a staged traffic stop. Now the three face additional charges of possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school. Snyder and Williams were also charged with planning to rob a man they believed was a mobster collecting gambling proceeds. Authorities say that plot was never carried out. 

In Lebanon, Ohio, two former Warren Correctional Institution guards were indicted last Friday on drug charges after they were caught having sex in a vehicle with hundreds of pills and a note about inmates getting illegal drugs. Annika Skinner, 36, faces nine counts of deception to obtain drugs and a single misdemeanor drug possession count. Herbert Cook, 61, faces one count of drug trafficking. Skinner is looking at up to 19 years in prison and Cook is looking at one. Both had resigned as prison guards in July as authorities investigated after they were discovered going at it in May in a parking lot. Police recovered more than 100 pills, as well as plastic bags and the note indicating inmates were getting drugs. Both are free on bail.

In Sonora, California, a former prison guard at the Sierra Conservation Center was sentenced last week to a year in county jail for smuggling marijuana to an inmate. Matthew McCollum, 28, was convicted of bringing pot to an inmate in 2008 and 2009.

In Graceville, Georgia, a Graceville Correctional Facility guard was arrested September 8 on charges he planned to smuggle marijuana into the jail. Guard Brandon Sikora, 21, went down after agreeing to take a half-pound of pot into the jail and pocketing $2,000 for his efforts. The man who Sikora met with was a police informant. Now Sikora is charged with attempting to introduce contraband into a secure facility and possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute. He has also been placed on suspension from the correctional facility pending the outcome of an investigation.

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