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. Let's get to it:
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.