Three police officers and a prison guard arrested, and another prison guard gets sent to prison. Once again, we present the corrosive impact of the drug war on police ethics and morality in all its mundane banality. Let's get to it:
In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the former police chief is charged with leaking word of an impending drug raid. Former Chief Rolf Garcia and his 17-year-old son were arrested April 19 on charges Garcia told his son about a looming raid in February 2006, and his son called four other people to warn them. As a result, two men escaped the residence that was the target of the raid before they could be identified. Garcia told a grand jury that while he never told his son the location of a planned raid, he might have warned him to stay away from a certain area. His son testified that he had provided false information about drug busts in the past to obtain marijuana, but he denied telling anyone about the raid in question. Garcia and his son are charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, while Garcia is also charged with obstruction of justice. A preliminary hearing is set for May 24. [Ed: Whether reformers should be upset about Garcia's actions in this case is another question.]
In Columbus, Georgia, a Columbus police officer has been arrested for cocaine trafficking.
Officer Larry Lightning, a 23-year veteran of the department, was arrested last Friday after a two-year investigation by the Columbus office of the FBI, the Columbus Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Metro Narcotics Task Force. He faces federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, extortion by a public official, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
In Evansville, Indiana, an Evansville police officer will soon face trial for allegedly stealing money from a drug suspect. Officer Gerald Rainey, 33, faces one count of felony theft for allegedly taking $1,000 out of a backpack containing $19,500, which he seized from a cocaine dealing suspect. The accused dealer cried foul, police investigated, and they found the missing $1,000 in Rainey's patrol car. He faces a June 27 court date.
In Garden City, New York, a New York City jail guard was charged with supplying heroin to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. Gary Morton, 25, surrendered to state police last Friday as part of the roll-up of a drug distribution network on the reservation, which is on the eastern end of Long Island. Morton was one of more than a dozen people arrested. He is charged with second-degree conspiracy. Authorities planned to arrest him at his job at Rikers Island, but he didn't show up for work, instead turning himself in later that day.
In Sacramento, a former prison guard was sentenced to prison for smuggling methamphetamine in to inmates. John Charles Whittle, 47, a 22-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty last month. He was busted after internal affairs agents intercepted a package of meth sent to Whittle's home, then raided the residence after he accepted delivery. The former guard at Mule Creek State Prison admitted to receiving more than $5,000 to smuggle drugs into the prison. He will now serve two years himself.