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. Let's get to it:
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.