Police Corruption

RSS Feed for this category

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Pretty quiet on the corrupt cops front this week. There's the daily litany of cops get busted for assaults, sex crimes, drunk driving, and the like, but we could only find one cop in trouble for drug-related corruption. Not to worry -- we're quite sure this is an anomaly. Let's get to it:

In Boston, a retired state trooper was sentenced Tuesday to 25 months in prison and two years supervised release for tipping off dealers to an ongoing investigation and threatening people who owed drug debts. Former Trooper Joseph Catanese earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion and obstruction of justice. He was originally arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute Oxycontin along with another state trooper, Mark Lemieu. Lemieu is already doing a 70-month prison sentence.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A sheriff shaking down motorists under the guise of asset forfeiture gets a slap on the wrist, and so does a narc who stole the cash from a drug raid. A drug investigation nets two New Jersey cops -- among others -- and another Florida deputy goes down for extorting a pot grower. And sometimes, a cop may not be as corrupt as she first seems. Let's get to it:

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/evidenceroomcash.jpg
cash in the evidence room -- who's counting?
In Rochester, Minnesota, two of five charges against a Rochester police officer charged with drug corruption were dismissed on October 8. Officer Vanessa Mason was accused in April of tipping off drug dealers and taking money to deliver drugs, and was put on administrative leave then. The two charges were dismissed after a jailed Rochester man said he lied when he told investigators he helped Mason transport drugs last year -- he said he felt pressured by investigators. She still faces one felony count of warning a subject of a surveillance operation and two misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a police officer.

In Jersey City, New Jersey, a Hoboken police officer and a Jersey City police officer were among 17 arrested over the past month in a year-and-a-half long joint operation by the DEA and Jersey City police against a local cocaine trafficking organization. Jersey City Police Officer Mark Medal, 52, who was already suspended for problems with a drug test, was charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, as was a ranking Hoboken Fire Department official, Battalion Chief Henry Setkiewicz, 59. Both were described as regular customers of the network, although it is not clear if it was for personal use or to resell. Hoboken Police Officer Ralph Gallo, 25, was charged with computer theft -- criminal computer activity -- and official misconduct for allegedly checking a license plate against a law enforcement database for one of the network members. A Hoboken Parking Utility employee, Monica Thorpe, 42, faces similar charges for doing the same thing.

In Miami, another Broward County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday in a drug extortion scheme against a marijuana grower that saw Deputy Manuel Silva arrested Oct 2. This week, it was Deputy Fausto "TJ" Tejero's turn. He is accused of acting as Silva's accomplice in offering to ignore the grow in return for cash payments. Tejero was at the scene with Silva when Silva searched the grower's home, found the pot, and offered silence for cash. He is charged with extortion, attempted bribery, burglary and unlawful compensation and is being held without bail.

In St. Louis, a former St. Louis police detective was sentenced last Friday to one year and one day in prison for stealing money seized during a June 2008 drug raid along with two other officers. Vincent Carr, 47, also has to pay back $28,000. He pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy, wire fraud, making false statements, and obstruction of justice. The two other police detectives involved in the theft have also pleaded guilty. Leo Listen was sentenced in September; Bobby Lee Garrett will be sentenced next month.

In Muskogee, Oklahoma, the former McIntosh County sheriff and undersheriff were sentenced September 23 to 27 months in federal prison for stealing money from motorists under the guise of asset forfeiture and keeping it for themselves. Former Sheriff Terry Jones, 36, and Undersheriff Mykol Brookshire, 38, pleaded guilty to "conspiracy under color of law to interfere with interstate commerce" for repeatedly seizing money from drivers under threat of arrest and then keeping either all or part of it for themselves. They went down in May of this year when the driver they pulled over and shook down turned out to be a federal agent in a sting directed at them. They found six bundles of cash, but when they called in the "bust," they only reported five.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories--October 13

A sheriff shaking down motorists under the guise of asset forfeiture gets a slap on the wrist, and so does a narc who stole the cash from a drug raid. A drug investigation nets two Jersey cops--among others--and another Florida deputy goes down for extorting a pot grower. And sometimes, a cop may not be as corrupt as she first seems. Let's get to it: In Rochester, Minnesota, two of five charges against a Rochester police officer charged with drug corruption were dismissed on October 8. Officer Vanessa Mason was accused in April of tipping off drug dealers and taking money to deliver drugs, and was put on administrative leave then. The two charges were dismissed after a jailed Rochester man said he lied when he told investigators he helped Mason transport drugs last year—he said he felt pressured by investigators. She still faces one felony count of warning a subject of a surveillance operation and two misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a police officer. In Jersey City, New Jersey, a Hoboken police officer and a Jersey City police officer were among 17 arrested over the past month in a year-and-a-half long joint operation by the DEA and Jersey City police against a local cocaine trafficking organization. Jersey City Police Officer Mark Medal, 52, who was already suspended for problems with a drug test, was charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, as was a ranking Hoboken Fire Department official, Battalion Chief Henry Setkiewicz, 59. Both were described as regular customers of the network, although it is not clear if it was for personal use or to resell. Hoboken Police Officer Ralph Gallo, 25, was charged with computer theft—criminal computer activity—and official misconduct for allegedly checking a license plate against a law enforcement database for one of the network members. A Hoboken Parking Utility employee, Monica Thorpe, 42, faces similar charges for doing the same thing. In Miami, another Broward County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday in a drug extortion scheme against a marijuana grower that saw Deputy Manuel Silva arrested Oct 2. This week, it was Deputy Fausto "TJ" Tejero's turn. He is accused of acting as Silva's accomplice in offering to ignore the grow in return for cash payments. Tejero was at the scene with Silva when Silva searched the grower's home, found the pot, and offered silence for cash. He is charged with extortion, attempted bribery, burglary and unlawful compensation and is being held without bail. In St. Louis, a former St. Louis police detective was sentenced last Friday to one year and one day in prison for stealing money seized during a June 2008 drug raid along with two other officers. Vincent Carr, 47, also has to pay back $28,000. He pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy, wire fraud, making false statements, and obstruction of justice. The two other police detectives involved in the theft have also pleaded guilty. Leo Listen was sentenced in September; Bobby Lee Garrett will be sentenced next month. In Muskogee, Oklahoma, the former McIntosh County sheriff and undersheriff were sentenced September 23 to 27 months in federal prison for stealing money from motorists under the guise of asset forfeiture and keeping it for themselves. Former Sheriff Terry Jones, 36, and Undersheriff Mykol Brookshire, 38, pleaded guilty to "conspiracy under color of law to interfere with interstate commerce" for repeatedly seizing money from drivers under threat of arrest and then keeping either all or part of it for themselves. They went down in May of this year when the driver they pulled over and shook down turned out to be a federal agent in a sting directed at them. They found six bundles of cash, but when they called in the "bust," they only reported five.

Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year trafficking illegal 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 12,000 people, with a death toll of over 5,000 so far in 2009. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of several 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:

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/drugpatrols.jpg
Mexican army anti-drug patrol
Wednesday, September 23

Nine people were killed in a nine hour span in Ciudad Juarez. The dead included a beheaded man, and bullet-riddled bodies of three men and a woman found in a car. Additionally, another gunshot victim was found by the side of a road, and two bodies -- one beheaded -- were found wrapped in a blanket. The ninth victim was found dead inside a car.

Four people were killed after a gun battle in La Crucita, Durango. The four dead, all men, were killed during a firefight between two groups of rival drug traffickers in a hillside community. Three bullet-riddled SUVs were left at the scene.

Thursday, September 24

At least three US citizens were killed when gunmen attacked a motel in Ciudad Juarez, along with a Mexican man, whom police believe was the intended target. The two women who were killed were sisters.

A high-ranking police official was ambushed in Sinaloa. The official, Jesús Adolfo Fierro Bojórquez, had called his wife to pick him up after his car broke down. She arrived to find him dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. Additionally, a police radio operatior was shot and killed in Ecatepec, near Mexico City, and 18 people were killed across Ciudad Juarez in a 24 hour period. Two men were killed in Tijuana, and three in Guerrero.

Friday, September 25

Five suspected Sinaloa cartel assassins were arrested by the Mexican army in Ciudad Juarez. The men are thought to be involved in at least 45 murders, including the two recent attacks on drug rehabilitation centers in which 28 people were lined up against a wall and executed.

Monday, September 28

In the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, two Canadian men were shot and killed in execution-style slayings. Gunmen attacked Gordon Douglas Kendall and Jeffrey Ronald Ivans outside an apartment building, chasing them to the pool area before finally killing them. Canadian law enforcement officials were apparently aware of the two men, and believed they were deeply involved in the British Columbia cocaine trade.

A former Juarez police officer was arrested over the weekend, and is suspected of taking part in at least 18 killings in the city. He was one of several arrests made by Mexican military and police forces in Juarez over the weekend. The ex-officer, Miguel Angel Delgado Carmona, 39, was captured with an accomplice following a vehicle chase after an aborted extortion attempt at a Juarez funeral home. He is also suspected of taking part in locating another 80 homicide victims, and was captured with two AK-47s.

Mexico's foreign minister, Patricia Espinosa, said that the high death toll of the Mexican government's war on drug traffickers is a sign of its success. "This is a very ugly statistic," she said, "but a good percentage of those killed never have their bodies claimed, their families never go and get them... that is a very clear indicator that these people were involved in drug trafficking." She added that some 60,000 drug traffickers have been arrested since president Calderon took office, and 50,000 weapons have been seized.

Tuesday, September 29

In Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexican army elements took over police stations and surrounded a stadium where municipal vehicles are kept. They also interrogated local police officers about an incident that occurred on the 3rd of September, in which it is suspected that local police leaked information to drug traffickers who killed at two police officers and a fireman who were travelling unarmed.

Wednesday, September 30

Army troops seized $7.3 million in cash from a house in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state. The raid came after soldiers received a tip from local residents who said they had seen several armed men at the house. Four handguns and four vehicles were also seized in the raid on the home, which is thought to have been a Gulf Cartel safe house.

Three civilians were wounded when soldiers at a military checkpoint shot at the car in which they were travelling. The incident took place in Morelia, Michoacan. The three men in the car were apparently drunk, and security in the area was high because of a visit to the city by President Calderon. This is the latest in a series of shootings at road blocks set up by the military to stem the flow of drugs and arms moving along Mexico's roads.

Body count for the last two weeks: 275
Body count for the year: 5,411

Read the last Mexico Drug War Update here.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

We've got two weeks worth of corrupt cops again: dope-peddling cops, dope-stealing cops, cops who rip off motorists, cops who rip off their departments, cops who take bribes, cops who squeal to dealers. Let's get to it:

In Weston, Missouri, a Weston police officer was arrested September 22 on two drug-related charges. Officer Kyle Zumbrunn, 26, was arrested by officers of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Atchison Police Department. He went down after selling a suspected controlled substance to a KBI undercover officer. Zumbrunn now faces charges of sale of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and using a telephonic device to facilitate a drug transaction.

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/evidenceroom2.jpg
Is something amiss in the evidence room?
In Watertown, Connecticut, a Waterbury police officer was arrested September 24 on a variety of drug charges. Officer Francis Brevetti, 29, was injured in a traffic accident the previous weekend, and when police towed his vehicle, they found drugs inside. He is now charged with possession of cocaine, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In Baltimore, a Baltimore police officer assigned to a federal drug task force was arrested September 24 on charges he stole money and jewelry from houses targeted in drug raids and embezzled funds used to pay snitches. Officer Mark Lunsford, a six-year veteran, had been assigned to the Baltimore DEA, which conducts large-scale drug investigations. Now he's been assigned to a federal detention facility pending a bond hearing.

In Lyndhurst, Ohio, a former Lyndhurst police officer was arrested Thursday for allegedly stealing drugs from the evidence room and replacing them with rock salt. Former officer Robert Colombo, 40, is charged with drug possession, tampering with evidence, and theft in office. Colombo responded to a May traffic accident, found heroin, arrested two people, and took the evidence to log it in to the evidence room. But instead, he replaced the heroin with rock salt. The heroin was found at his home the next day.

In West Columbia, Texas, a former West Columbia police detective pleaded guilty September 21 to five felony charges, including two counts of tampering with physical evidence and theft of a firearm by a public servant. Former officer Joseph McElroy, 33, admitted to stealing a gun and cocaine from the department evidence room, forging signatures on department checks, and falsely signing a collection book receipt saying he had returned money to someone when he hadn't. In exchange for pleading guilty, McElroy gets one year in jail and 10 years on probation.

In Miami, a former Miami-Dade County police officer pleaded guilty September 24 to stealing marijuana and cash from a driver during a traffic stop. Jesus Rodolfo Hernandez will do 30 days in jail for pulling over a confidential informant, arresting him for a traffic offense, and stealing marijuana and $575 in cash he found in the driver's back pocket. He pleaded guilty to grand theft, possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence. He will also spend two years on probation and must pay back the nearly $25,000 it cost to investigate and prosecute the case.

In Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia police officer was convicted September 24 of tipping off a friend about an impending drug raid. Former Officer Rickie Durham, 44, was found guilty of two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of lying to investigators for tipping off a cocaine kingpin hours before a raid four years ago, while he was working as a member of an FBI drug-gang task force. Durham now faces 12 to 15 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 6.

In Glendora, California, a former Glendora police officer pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he stole drugs and money on the job. Former officer Timothy Radogna, 33, was charged in May with grand theft, possession of drugs for sale, and possession of drugs with a firearm. Radogna went down in an "integrity investigation" in December 2008, when he stole $1,000 and a small amount of methamphetamine from a car he was asked to book into evidence.

In Springfield, Massachusetts, the former Holland police chief was sentenced September 18 to two years in prison for ripping off the town in various ways, including stealing seized drug money. Former Chief Kevin Gleason pleaded guilty to larceny by scheme of more than $250 and two counts of larceny of more than $250. He admitted to selling town-owned guns and rifles and pocketing the money, receiving $655 in reimbursements for a conference he never attended, and stealing $2,190 in seized drug money from a locker to which he had the only key.

In Indianapolis, a former Indianapolis police officer was sentenced September 23 to 25 years in federal prison for using false search warrants or breaking into homes in order to steal drugs and cash. Former Officer Robert Long, 35, and two other now-convicted former officers were tracked by the FBI as they did their misdeeds. Long was found guilty in June of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 kilograms of marijuana, three counts of possession with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana and attempt to possess with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana. One of his comrades in crime took a plea deal and got the minimum 10 years in prison. A third renegade officer awaits sentencing.

In New York City, a former Customs and Border Protection supervisor was sentenced September 24 to 10 years in federal prison for turning a blind eye to drug trafficking through JFK Airport. Walter Golembiowski, 66, a former Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer at JFK, pleaded guilty in March to narcotics conspiracy and two counts of bribery conspiracy. He must also pay $10,000 in fines and more than $2.5 million in asset forfeiture.

Latin America: Mexican Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr. Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year trafficking illegal 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 12,000 people, with a death toll of over 5,000 so far in 2009. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of several 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, September 23 Nine people were killed in a nine hour span in Ciudad Juarez. The dead included a beheaded man, and bullet-riddled bodies of three men and a woman found in a car. Additionally, another gunshot victim was found by the side of a road, and two bodies-one beheaded-were found wrapped in a blanket. The ninth victim was found dead inside a car. Four people were killed after a gun battle in La Crucita, Durango. The four dead, all men, were killed during a firefight between two groups of rival drug traffickers in a hillside community. Three bullet-riddled SUV's were left at the scene. Thursday, September 24 At least three US citizens were killed when gunmen attacked a motel in Ciudad Juarez, along with a Mexican man, whom police believe was the intended target. The two women who were killed were sisters. A high-ranking police official was ambushed in Sinaloa. The official, Jesús Adolfo Fierro Bojórquez, had called his wife to pick him up after his car broke down. She arrived to find him dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. Additionally, a police radio operatior was shot and killed in Ecatepec, near Mexico City, and 18 people were killed across Ciudad Juarez in a 24 hour period. Two men were killed in Tijuana, and three in Guerrero. Friday, September 25 Five suspected Sinaloa cartel assassins were arrested by the Mexican army in Ciudad Juarez. The men are thought to be involved in at least 45 murders, including the two recent attacks on drug rehabilitation centers in which 28 people were lined up against a wall and executed. Monday, September 28 In the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, two Canadian men were shot and killed in execution-style slayings. Gunmen attacked Gordon Douglas Kendall and Jeffrey Ronald Ivan’s outside an apartment building, chasing them to the pool area before finally killing them. Canadian law enforcement officials were apparently aware of the two men, and believed they were deeply involved in the British Columbia cocaine trade. A former Juarez police officer was arrested over the weekend, and is suspected of taking part in at least 18 killings in the city. He was one of several arrests made by Mexican military and police forces in Juarez over the weekend. The ex-officer, Miguel Angel Delgado Carmona, 39, was captured with an accomplice following a vehicle chase after an aborted extortion attempt at a Juarez funeral home. He is also suspected of taking part in locating another 80 homicide victims, and was captured with two AK-47’s. Tuesday, September 29 In Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexican army elements took over police stations and surrounded a stadium where municipal vehicles are kept. They also interrogated local police officers about an incident that occurred on the 3rd of September, in which it is suspected that local police leaked information to drug traffickers who killed at two police officers and a fireman who were travelling unarmed. Wednesday, September 30 Army troops seized $7.3 million in cash from a house in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state. The raid came after soldiers received a tip from local residents who said they had seen several armed men at the house. Four handguns and four vehicles were also seized in the raid on the home, which is thought to have been a Gulf Cartel safe house. Three civilians were wounded when soldiers at a military checkpoint shot at the car in which they were travelling. The incident took place in Morelia, Michoacan. The three men in the car were apparently drunk, and security in the area was high because of a visit to the city by President Calderon. This is the latest in a series of shootings at road blocks set up by the military to stem the flow of drugs and arms moving along Mexico's roads. Body count for the last two weeks: 275 Body count for the year: 5,411

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops busted for testilying, a deputy arrested for demanding a bribe from a pot grower, a jail guard arrested for smuggling pot into the prison, and a Michigan town still doesn't know who stole drug buy money from the police department. Let's get to it:

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/prisonguard.jpg
If we can't keep drugs out of the prisons, how can we keep them out of the country?
In Los Angeles, three LAPD officers were charged Wednesday with lying under oath in a drug possession case that was dismissed last year after a videotape contradicted their testimony. Officers Richard Amio and Even Samuel testified that they chased a man into an apartment building and saw him throw away a black object. They testified that Samuel picked it up and found $260 worth of powder and crack cocaine in it. But videotape from the apartment building showed the officers searching for more than 20 minutes before producing their "evidence." A third officer, Manuel Ortiz, also testified about the case at a preliminary hearing. The judge in the drug possession case dropped the charges against the defendant at prosecutors' request. The three officers all face perjury and conspiracy charges.

In Lebanon, Ohio, a Lebanon Correctional Institution guard was arrested last Friday on charges he was trying to bring drugs into the prison. Guard Dennis O'Rourke, 25, was arrested by state troopers as he met his contact to pick up marijuana. He is charged with attempting to convey drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility, a third-degree felony, and child endangerment, a first-degree misdemeanor, because he had his two-year-old daughter with him during the drug transaction.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a Broward County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday for accepting money from a marijuana grower not to arrest him. Deputy Manuel Silva, a nine-year department veteran, allegedly showed up at the grow house last week in plain clothes, but carrying a badge and a gun. He was arrested after picking up an unspecified amount of cash. Silva went down after the grower told someone else about the incident, who in turn went to the authorities. He is now charged with burglary, armed extortion, and drug possession -- he happened to be carrying some oxycodone not prescribed to him when he was arrested. No word on what happened to the grower.

In Troy, Michigan, Troy police still can't find $40,000 that went missing from a police safe in January. The money was earmarked for narcotics investigations. The Oakland County Sheriff's Department has not closed its investigation, but admits it is at a standstill. The Troy police say they have changed policies and procedures regarding funds and restricted the amount of cash on hand for special investigations.

This Evening's Corrupt Cops Story

Here's one from Michigan that's making a lot of people look bad:

BENTON HARBOR — Berrien County Prosecutor Arthur Cotter has dismissed 40 drug convictions since members of Benton Harbor’s police narcotics unit pleaded guilty to federal charges that they made up evidence, conducted illegal searches and wrongfully arrested people.

Cotter said that he is continuing to review the many cases that involved the two officers who comprised the city’s entire narcotics unit.

"They didn’t engage in misconduct in every single case they did," Cotter said. "The problem is that everybody who had a case now wants review." [Michigan Messenger]

No, people who want their cases reviewed are not the problem. The problem is that "the two officers who comprised the city’s entire narcotics unit" were lunatics. And it didn’t help that the department brushed citizen complaints under the rug.

It's hardly a unique or unusual story amidst the rich history of gratuitous civil rights abuses in the war on drugs. But it does provide a helpful illustration of the far-reaching consequences of drug war corruption: the police chief is being forced out, the city will have to pay huge sums to victims, the prosecutor's office is now preoccupied with freeing the innocent instead of jailing the guilty, and the public has one more reason not to trust or cooperate with police.

You can't possibly calculate how much damage is caused by just a handful of bad cops, which is exactly why so many departments bend over backwards to prevent this stuff from ever seeing the light of day. For every wretched episode of extreme police misconduct that gets exposed, far more remain buried beneath false reports, perjured testimony and broken accountability mechanisms.

We'll never know the true dimensions of the problem, but we know its origins. Police corruption emerges first and foremost from the enforcement of our filthy drug laws. Does anyone really need to read past the headline to find out which law enforcement activity it was that turned cops into criminals? It's the same story every time.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

We've got two weeks worth of corrupt cops again: dope-peddling cops, dope-stealing cops, cops who rip off motorists, cops who rip off their departments, cops who take bribes, cops who squeal to dealers. Let's get to it (although a few more may dribble in by Friday): In Weston, Missouri, a Weston police officer was arrested September 22 on two drug-related charges. Officer Kyle Zumbrunn, 26, was arrested by officers of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Atchison Police Department. He went down after selling a suspected controlled substance to a KBI undercover officer. Zumbrunn now faces charges of sale of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and using a telephonic device to facilitate a drug transaction. In Watertown, Connecticut, a Waterbury police officer was arrested September 24 on a variety of drug charges. Officer Francis Brevetti, 29, was injured in a traffic accident the previous weekend, and when police towed his vehicle, they found drugs inside. He is now charged with possession of cocaine, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia. In Baltimore, a Baltimore police officer assigned to a federal drug task force was arrested September 24 on charges he stole money and jewelry from houses targeted in drug raids and embezzled funds used to pay snitches. Officer Mark Lunsford, a six-year veteran, had been assigned to the Baltimore DEA, which conducts large-scale drug investigations. Now he's been assigned to a federal detention facility pending a bond hearing. In West Columbia, Texas, a former West Columbia police detective pleaded guilty September 21 to five felony charges, including two counts of tampering with physical evidence and theft of a firearm by a public servant. Former officer Joseph McElroy, 33, admitted to stealing a gun and cocaine from the department evidence room, forging signatures on department checks, and falsely signing a collection book receipt saying he had returned money to someone when he hadn't. In exchange for pleading guilty, McElroy gets one year in jail and 10 years on probation. In Miami, a former Miami-Dade County police officer pleaded guilty September 24 to stealing marijuana and cash from a driver during a traffic stop. Jesus Rodolfo Hernandez will do 30 days in jail for pulling over a confidential informant, arresting him for a traffic offense, and stealing marijuana and $575 in cash he found in the driver's back pocket. He pleaded guilty to grand theft, possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence. He will also spend two years on probation and must pay back the nearly $25,000 it cost to investigate and prosecute the case. In Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia police officer was convicted September 24 of tipping off a friend about an impending drug raid. Former Officer Rickie Durham, 44, was found guilty of two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of lying to investigators for tipping off a cocaine kingpin hours before a raid four years ago, while he was working as a member of an FBI drug-gang task force. Durham now faces 12 to 15 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 6. In Springfield, Massachusetts, the former Holland police chief was sentenced September 18 to two years in prison for ripping off the town in various ways, including stealing seized drug money. Former Chief Kevin Gleason pleaded guilty to larceny by scheme of more than $250 and two counts of larceny of more than $250. He admitted to selling town-owned guns and rifles and pocketing the money, receiving $655 in reimbursements for a conference he never attended, and stealing $2,190 in seized drug money from a locker to which he had the only key. In Indianapolis, a former Indianapolis police officer was sentenced September 23 to 25 years in federal prison for using false search warrants or breaking into homes in order to steal drugs and cash. Former Officer Robert Long, 35, and two other now-convicted former officers were tracked by the FBI as they did their misdeeds. Long was found guilty in June of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 kilograms of marijuana, three counts of possession with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana and attempt to possess with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana. One of his comrades in crime took a plea deal and got the minimum 10 years in prison. A third renegade officer awaits sentencing. In New York City, a former Customs and Border Protection supervisor was sentenced September 24 to 10 years in federal prison for turning a blind eye to drug trafficking through JFK Airport. Walter Golembiowski, 66, a former Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer at JFK, pleaded guilty in March to narcotics conspiracy and two counts of bribery conspiracy. He must also pay $10,000 in fines and more than $2.5 million in asset forfeiture.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More fun for the Philly narcs, a New Jersey ICE employee goes down, and a Brooklyn drug squad supervisor gets off easy. Let's get to it:

In Brooklyn, New York, the former supervisor of an NYPD narcotics team was sentenced last Friday to 160 hours community service for stealing $40 from a drug dealer and giving it to an informant who turned out to be an undercover cop. Michael Arenella was arrested in 2007 and charged with conspiring with corrupt cop Jerry Bowers, who agreed to testify against him. But Bowers flipped-out, allegedly killed his girlfriend, and wounded another woman. Bowers is doing time for the corruption case and faces trial for the attacks. Arenalla was acquitted by his trial judge of drug possession and sales charges, and has continued to deny significant involvement in a corruption scandal that put hundreds of cases against drug dealers at risk.

In Newark, New Jersey, a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employee was arrested last Friday after allegedly trying to steal what he thought was a 110-pound shipment of cocaine. Valentino Johnson, 25, who worked for ICE's Detention and Removal Operations, was instead busted by federal agents and a New Jersey State Police SWAT team in a sting operation. He and two codefendants are charged with conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine. They face between 10 years and life in prison. Johnston and his pals went down after one of the pals bragged to an ICE informant that the trio had been robbing drug dealers. The informant set up a meet and told Johnson a cocaine shipment would be arriving. Johnson and pals went for the bait. Now, they're in jail.

In Philadelphia, another victim of a Philadelphia police drug squad run amok has filed a federal lawsuit against the city. Jose Duran, owner of Super One Market is suing over a September 2007 raid in which members of the Narcotics Field Unit entered the store, arrested Duran for selling small plastic baggies sometimes used by drug dealers, then proceeded to take what they wanted and trash the place. Part of the raid was captured on store video cameras -- before one of the officers was seen climbing toward a camera and grabbing the wires before the screen went black. The lawsuit contends police destroyed video equipment to "cover up illegal search and seizures" and that the narcs "intentionally and maliciously destroyed property, consumed food and beverages, stole money and merchandise, and deliberately caused food and other items to spoil by their illegal search practices." Duran said $15,000 worth of video equipment was destroyed and that the narcs stole or ruined another $10,000 in cash and merchandise. The Duran case is only one of many being investigated by a joint police Internal Affairs-FBI task force after one drug officer's former snitch publicly alleged that some officers made up information to get judge's to approve search warrants. Four veteran drug officers -- Jeffrey Cujdik and his brother Richard, Robert McDonnell, and Thomas Tolstoy -- have been put on desk duty pending the outcome of the inquiry. Both Cujdiks, Tolstoy, and three other police drug officers are named as defendants in the Duran suit. Jeffrey Cujdik, McDonnell, and two others are named in a separate lawsuit.

Read last issue's corrupt cops stories here.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School