Police Corruption

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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Yet another prison guard goes down, and a Georgia narc gets caught sleeping with his snitches. Let's get to it:

In London, Kentucky, a former guard got 6 ½ years in prison June 8 for smuggling drugs into the Big Sandy federal prison. Alice Marie Stapleton, 31, was charged last year with being part of a conspiracy to smuggle heroin, marijuana, and contraband cell phones into the maximum security prison. She admitted receiving $1,000 each of three times she smuggled contraband behind the bars. Her 78-month sentence was the maximum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines.

In Augusta, Georgia, a former drug squad supervisor pleaded guilty Monday to lying to an FBI agent about not sleeping with his informants. Mathue Phares, 38, an 18-year veteran of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office was forced to resign in December as an investigation into allegations of civil rights violations got underway. Having sex with one's informants could be a civil rights violation because an officer is in a position of power or authority over an informant. Phares initially denied sleeping with his snitches, but later admitted to one sexual relationship. Now the feds say there was more than one. Phares is free on his own recognizance pending sentencing. He faces up to five years in federal prison.

Crooked Cops Weaken Mexico's War on Drugs

Location: 
Mexico
Publication/Source: 
NPR
URL: 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10971880

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Well, thank goodness for crooked prison guards! If it wasn't for them, all we would have is a blank space here this week. Let's get to it:

In Michigan City, Indiana, a state prison guard was arrested Monday for bringing marijuana intended for an inmate to work in her lunch box. Indiana State Prison guard Joann Smith, 44, a 20-year veteran, was arraigned Tuesday in LaPorte County Superior Court on felony drug trafficking charges. Smith went down after a tip to the prison's Internal Affairs Department. When she was searched upon arrest, her lunch box contained a cell phone, rolling papers, and a package of pot hidden inside her food.

In Quincy, Massachusetts, a Suffolk County jail guard has pleaded not guilty to charges he was selling Oxycontin and steroids on the streets. Alexander Santarelli, 32, a two-year veteran at the House of Corrections, was arrested May 31 after Quincy police armed with a search warrant and drug sniffing dogs raided his home. In a locked safe in his living room closet, they found $7,009 in cash, 60 OxyContin pills, and three handguns and ammunition, according to Quincy police report filed in Quincy District Court. They also found "several types of steroids" and an unloaded .40-caliber Glock pistol in the closet. Santarelli's license to carry firearms has been suspended, and he has been placed on administrative leave without pay. Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral said police are investigating whether Santarelli also sold drugs inside the jail.

Everyone Profits at Helmand's Drug Bazaar--The poppy harvest is in and everyone from the Taliban to local government officials is cooperating to get the opium crop to market.

Location: 
HEL
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
ISN Security Watch
URL: 
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=17699

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Marijuana gone missing from the evidence room, a sheriff pleads guilty, a cop gets arrested for leaking an investigation, and a trooper gets oral sex but loses his job. Just another week of prohibition-related police misbehavior. Let's get to it:

In Nashville, a Tennessee state trooper has been fired for dropping a drug charge against a porn actress in exchange for oral sex. Trooper James Randy Moss was fired May 25 over the May 7 incident, which began when he pulled over 21-year-old Justis Richert, known professionally as Barbie Cummings. According to a citation issued by Moss, he pulled her over for speeding. But in a post on her blog that has since disappeared -- but not before someone reported it to police -- Cummings wrote that Moss discovered her illegal prescription drugs, she told him she was a porn star, they adjourned to his vehicle where they looked up web sites featuring her performing, he threw away the pills, and she provided him with oral sex. Moss faces possible charges for destroying the drug evidence as well.

In Richmond, Virginia, the former Henry County sheriff pleaded guilty May 24 to lying to authorities about widespread corruption in his department. Former Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell and 12 current or former deputies, as well as seven other people, were indicted last fall on charges they sold guns and drugs they had seized. All but three have pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy, narcotics distribution, and weapons counts in a conspiracy that lasted from 1998 until last fall's arrests. Cassell was not charged with participating in the conspiracy, but with ignoring it and lying to federal investigators about it. He pleaded guilty to making false statements and is expected to serve six to 12 months in federal prison.

In Fort Sumner, Texas, marijuana has gone missing from the police department evidence room. Chief Wayne Atchley reported that he spotted a trail of dried marijuana leaves leading out of the evidence room on May 10, and that an unknown portion of a 2,500-plant seizure was missing. There were no signs of forced entry, suggesting it could have been an inside job. It is unclear how many people had keys to the building. Atchley added that it appeared the thieves knew the marijuana was there because it was the only thing taken. He has asked the Texas Department of Public Safety to investigate.

In Hollywood, Florida, a fifth city police officer has been arrested in Operation Tarnished shield. Lt. Chuck Roberts, a 23-year veteran, was arrested at his home May 24 on charges he leaked word of the investigation, which has so far resulted in the guilty pleas of four other Hollywood officers on drug conspiracy charges for offering their services to protect drug shipments in an FBI undercover sting. According to an FBI affidavit, Roberts was told of the sting by a senior commander. He then told another officer, who told one of the officers being investigated, thus bringing the operation to a premature end. Roberts then allegedly lied to the FBI about it. He was charged with making false statements to the FBI. Roberts and two other officers were suspended two weeks ago because of their links to the leaks, but the other two have not been charged.

FEATURE-Police corruption undermines Mexico's war on drugs

Location: 
Tijuana
Mexico
Publication/Source: 
Reuters AlertNet (UK)
URL: 
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N15210940.htm

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

State troopers running Oxycontin rings, problem ex-cops running Oxycontin rings, and another conviction in the infamous Dallas "pool chalk" scandal. Let's get to it:

In Boston, a Massachusetts State Trooper was arrested May 15 on charges he ran an Oxycontin trafficking and extortion ring. Trooper Mark Lemieux, who had a long career arresting drug traffickers, was himself arrested along with a former state trooper, Joseph Catanese, and two other people, including Lemieux's girlfriend. Lemieux had been assigned to the Bristol County Drug Force, but that didn't stop him from allegedly arranging with a drug dealer to let his girlfriend courier Oxycontin from Florida to Massachusetts. Lemieux and company went down after the dealer got busted and turned state's evidence. He had been a snitch for Lemieux, but now he has snitched on him.

In London, Kentucky, a former local police officer was arrested May 18 on drug sales charges. Brad Nighbert, the son of state Department of Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, was an officer for the Williamsburg police for seven years. Things began to go downhill for him when he crashed his cruiser into a woman's car while on duty in 2006, and drug tests showed he had consumed oxycodone and cocaine. As the town board met to consider firing him for that, he resigned. He was later arrested on drug possession and other charges in that incident. While awaiting a September court date on those charges, Nighbert managed to get stopped for acting suspicious in the parking lot of a night club where a stabbing had occurred. Police found 14 Oxycontin pills and $32,000 in cash in his vehicle, and, after obtaining a search warrant, another $3,000 in cash, 57 methadone tablets, and ledgers. He is now charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, having prescription drugs in an improper container, tampering with evidence, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and impersonating a police officer.

In Dallas, a former Dallas police officer was found guilty in the "pool chalk" scandal last Friday. Former officer Jeffrey Haywood was convicted of lying on a police report by saying he field-tested a substance believed to be cocaine when it was seized in May 2001. The substance turned out to be pool chalk with a trace of cocaine. More than two dozen people, most of the Hispanic immigrants, were arrested, convicted and sent to prison as drug traffickers based on drug seizures that turned out to be pool chalk. Former officer Mark Delapaz has already been convicted in the scandal, and cases are pending against two other officers. Haywood was sentenced to two years probation.

OUR VIEW: Corruption exacts its toll in public funds and confidence

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Standard-Times (MA)
URL: 
http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070520/OPINION/705200318

Drug war has come under fire

Location: 
Apatzingan
Mexico
Publication/Source: 
Chicago Tribune
URL: 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0705170834may18,1,3948220.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Tarnished badges abound this week. We've got a cop who got too high on his own brownies, missing drug evidence, a head narc busted for ripping-off drug dealers, a cop busted for taking bribes from drug dealers, a couple more cops pleading guilty to protecting drug shipments, and the requisite jail guard dealing drugs. Let's get to it:

In Dearborn, Michigan, a Dearborn police officer resigned after admitting taking marijuana from a suspect and cooking it up into pot brownies with his wife. Former Cpl. Edward Sanchez went down after he got too high on his creation and called 911 to report he was afraid he and his wife were in danger of a fatal overdose. "I think we're dying," he said in the call. "We made brownies and I think we're dead, I really do," Sanchez continued. (Listen to the call here.) During a departmental investigation after that call, Sanchez admitted taking marijuana from suspects on previous occasions. Sanchez's wife, Stacy, admitted that on another occasion she had removed enough cocaine from her husband's patrol car to go on a three-week binge. The cocaine was purportedly in the car for drug dog training. Neither has been charged with a crime.

In Schenectady, New York, a Schenectady County grand jury is looking into missing drug evidence at the Schenectady Police Department. The probe into the city's vice squad comes after a State Police investigation found crack cocaine and marijuana evidence missing in 16 drug cases. The grand jury will reportedly look at departmental procedures for storing and tracking drug evidence. In the wake of the discovery of missing drug evidence, the department has already instituted some changes, including requiring that two officers be present whenever an officer enters the drug storage area.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the head of the narcotics division and one other officer are accused of ripping-off a drug dealer for thousands of dollars. The head narc, Sgt. Steve Altonji, and Officer Danny Ramirez were arrested by FBI agents May 11 and face a combined 24 federal counts. The FBI alleges that Altonji and Ramirez arrested a drug dealer in May 2006 and discovered marijuana, cocaine, and $180,000 cash. They are accused of taking $5,000 for themselves. Altonji faces additional charges that he stole money from another dealer and beat up a third man, while Ramirez continues to be investigated for several large cash bank deposits. Suspicions about Altonji have been going on for months, earlier prompting Santa Fe Police Chief Eric Johnson to shut down drug investigations while the city does an internal review.

In Lake City, Florida, a Lake City police officer was charged Tuesday with taking money from a drug dealer. Lake City Police Investigator Debra Williams, a seven-year veteran of the department, has been under investigation since December for allegedly taking the cash and telling the dealer she would have drug charges against him dismissed. She has been suspended since March. Now she faces one count of misconduct in office.

In Boston, a Suffolk County jail guard was arrested May 11 for selling drugs to inmates. Kenneth Nobile, 39, was arrested as he arrived at work at the South Bay Correctional Facility, and police allegedly found seven grams of heroin and 21 grams of marijuana packaged for sale in his car. He faces various drug charges, including possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Bail was set at $25,000.

In Hollywood, Florida, two more Hollywood police officers pleaded guilty last week to protecting heroin shipments. Officer Thomas Simcox pleaded guilty May 9 and Sgt. Jeffrey Courtney pleaded guilty May 11 to a single charge of conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute for their roles in protecting heroin shipments in what was actually an FBI sting. Two other officers have already pleaded guilty in the sting, known as Operation Tarnished Badge, in which the four also provided protection for shipments of stolen guns and jewelry. All four face mandatory minimum 10-year sentences, but all are seeking reductions for cooperating with investigators investigating who leaked the fact that there was an investigation.

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