Police Corruption

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Dirty cops go down in Miami and New York, so does a jail guard in DC, and a Long Island dope squad's problems continue to mount. Let's get to it:

In Southampton, New York, drugs have gone missing from the police department evidence room. Crack cocaine, prescription pain pills, marijuana, and other drugs tied to a now disbanded Southampton Police Department drug unit are gone. An internal investigation is now underway. The drug unit was disbanded after unit supervisors, including current Police Chief Robert Pearce, allowed a member addicted to pain pills to return to duty with only a doctor's note. Prosecutors have so far dropped three cases where the evidence has gone missing.

In Washington, DC, a DC jail guard was indicted last Friday for smuggling marijuana and other drugs into the jail. Guard Jonathan Womble was arrested last month after a police dog detected the scent of marijuana inside his work locker while the dog's handler was going to the bathroom. Upon investigation, local authorities found that Womble had been working with another man, who supplied with drugs to be delivered to a prisoner. That man has been arrested, too. Womble faces charges of distribution of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

In Detroit, a former Highland Park police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to taking money from people he thought were drug dealers to protect their shipments. Craig Clayton, 55, is one of four Highland Park officers charged last year with accepting bribes, conspiring to distribute cocaine, and carrying a firearm in the furtherance of a drug crime. In a plea bargain, he copped only to a single count of conspiracy to commit extortion. He's looking at up to 20 years in federal prison when sentenced. The case against the rogue cops began in August, when two of them arrested a man for carrying a firearm. They beat him and stole his money and jewelry, then told him if he paid them money, they could make the charge go away. The Highland Park police chief received a complaint, and the man agreed to work with investigators. He then delivered $10,000 in cash to the two officers, who then failed to show up for his arraignment. Then, the officers agreed to help the man with drug trafficking, and that's when Clayton entered the picture. In January, he drove a car containing what he thought was two kilos of cocaine and accepted $1500 cash from an undercover FBI agent for his services.

In Miami, a former Miami police sergeant was sentenced last Friday to four years in federal prison for planting cocaine on a suspect, stealing drugs and money from other suspects, and lying about it to investigators. Raul Iglesias, 40, was convicted in January of eight counts, including two civil rights violations, conspiracy to possess and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, obstruction of justice, and making false official statements. He must also do three years probation when he gets out of prison.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Customs agent, a Texas deputy, and a small-town California cop all go down this week. Let's get to it:

In Yuma, Arizona, a US Customs and Border Patrol officer was arrested last Thursday on money laundering charges. Officer Lauro Tobias, 59, went down in a sting operation last August in which he transported a bag containing a large amount of cash he believed to be drug profits from Las Vegas to Phoenix. He was snared by the Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force, made up of numerous federal agencies and prosecutors.

In Fresno, California, a former Hanford police officer was sentenced last Wednesday to six months in jail for selling drugs while in uniform. Ernesto Servin went down after prosecutors received an anonymous tip he was selling drugs on the job, and undercover investigators found drugs in his patrol car. During his trial, prosecutors said he was stealing drugs from dealers and selling them to addicted women with whom he hoped to have relationships.

In Houston, Texas, a former Harris County's sheriff's deputy was sentenced Monday to 46 months in federal prison for conspiring to steal drug loads from dealers and split the proceeds with others. Richard Nutt, 45, had pleaded guilty last month. He went down in a 2010 sting after the Houston Police heard that members of law enforcement were robbing drug shipments in the area. Nutt agreed to conduct a bogus traffic stop of what he thought was a drug dealer's car and pretend to arrest him, while his co-defendants took the vehicle with the drugs. He was arrested after the rip-off went down and found with the package of fake cocaine stolen in the rip-off.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops growing pot, cops stealing pain pills, cops doing rip-offs, and narcs up to shady doings. Just another week on the corrupt cops beat. Let's get to it:

In Wilmington, North Carolina, the State Bureau of Investigation has agreed to look into potential criminal activity by Wilmington Police during a botched undercover drug sting. A Hanover County investigation had found that officers acted "outside of acceptable standards," but did not break any laws with their use of alcohol during the undercover drug and prostitution sting. But the investigation revealed several irregularities, including the disappearance of a video camera with critical information about the sting. Its disappearance was not reported until nine months after the fact. The murky scandal has already led to the reorganization of the department's drug squad and the transfer of its commander.

In Mobile, Alabama, a former Montgomery County police corporal was charged last Thursday with federal marijuana offenses. Lyvanh Rasavong had previously been charged in state court, but Alabama prosecutors dismissed those charges in deference to the federal charges. Rasavong is accused of conspiring with another man to sell four pounds of marijuana late last year. The indictment also alleges he sold an ounce to an undercover cop in December. He is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. Rasavong was caught with three pounds of pot during a raid on a home in December and has also been implicated in a 100-plant grow bust in October. He is free on bail pending trial and is looking at up to five years in federal prison.

In Shinnston, West Virginia, a Shinnston police officer was arrested Tuesday for stealing pain pills. Officer Charles Roscoe Henning III is accused of repeatedly making off with hydrocodone pills in incidents stretching back over the past two years, including incidents where he took pills he claimed were needed for investigations, where he confiscated pills after warrant searches, and where he confiscated pills during a traffic stop and then took more when the driver brought in his prescription pill bottle as proof of innocence. He faces seven counts of unlawfully acquiring controlled substances by fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge. He's looking at one to four years on each count. Henning has now been fired.

In Jackson, Mississippi, three former Jackson area police officers pleaded guilty last Thursday to stealing federal property -- $23,000 in cash that they thought belonged to drug dealers, but was actually federal sting money. Kent Daniels of Byram, a former Jackson police detective; Zack Robinson, former deputy with the Hinds County Sheriff Department; and Watson Lee Jackson Jr. of Ridgeland, a former Madison County deputy, all copped to plotting to rip off a supposed drug dealer at a Jackson hotel room in September 2011. The former officers pleaded guilty to one count of the two-count indictment. A plea agreement says the penalty could be up to 10 years in prison with three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The Tulsa police corruption scandal is the gift that keeps on giving, Jackson, MS, cops head to prison, and more cops want pills too badly for their own good. Let's get to it:

In Boston, a former Watertown police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges he stole a drivers' license and used it to fraudulently obtain oxycodone and other controlled substances. Joseph Deignan, 57, is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance by fraud and fraud in connection with identification documents. Deignan was working as the Watertown Police traffic supervisor when he allegedly stole the drivers' license. He's looking at up to 15 years in federal prison on the identity theft count.

In Stillwater, Minnesota, a now former Washington County deputy was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly stealing drugs deposited in a drug "take-back bin." Ricky Gruber, 43, is charged with drug possession, theft, and misconduct of a public officer. He went down after a sheriff's sergeant noticed the bin had been tampered with, and subsequent video surveillance caught him opening the bin and removing drugs. Gruber admitted he took the drugs for "personal use" and said he had been researching a medical condition present during "sexual intimacy." He said he took the drugs to help with his medical condition.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a former Tulsa police officer was held in contempt last Wednesday for giving false testimony related to a Tulsa police corruption case. Jeff Henderson got an additional three months added to his 42-month sentence after being convicted in 2011 on six counts of perjury and two counts of civil rights violations. He had been brought back to Tulsa in June to testify in the case of one of the people railroaded into prison by corrupt Tulsa police, but was found to have lied about who his informant was in that case. Two other Tulsa police officers and a federal agent have been convicted in the Tulsa corruption case, 46 wrongfully convicted people have been released from prison or had their cases modified, and at least 14 lawsuits have been filed against the city and individual police officers.

In Jackson, Mississippi, three former Jackson police officers were sentenced last Friday for accepting bribes from FBI undercover agents posing as drug traffickers. Monyette Quintel Jefferson, 27, and Terence Dale Jenkins, 25, got 10 years each, and Anthony Ricardo Payne, 25, got nine years. All three pleaded guilty last fall. They had accepted bribes ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 to protect what they thought were cocaine shipments.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Suspected dirty cops are under investigation in Texas and Alabama, a light-fingered (and well-connected) Philly cop gets suspended, a Texas cop gets in trouble for trying to set up the -ex, and an Indiana cop sells weed and guns to the wrong guy. Let's get to it:

In Dallas, two Dallas police officers are under criminal investigation after a judge determined that they repeatedly perjured themselves in testimony they gave about a 2011 drug arrest. The two officers, Randolph Dillon and John Llewellyn, claimed they were sitting in their squad car when they saw Melvin Williams get into a vehicle and hand the driver something. They then arrested Williams and searched his apartment, then claimed in court that Williams told them there were more drugs and guns in the apartment. An apartment manager who witnessed the search testified that the drugs were actually found in the bushes outside. After listening to other witnesses, the judge ruled, "there is doubt as to whether any illicit drugs that were alleged to have been found belonged to Williams, as opposed to having been planted."

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force is under investigation by the FBI over its accounting practices. The probe began late last year, after discrepancies were found during a November audit. The previous task force commander, Captain Jeff Snyder of the Tuscaloosa Police, has been reassigned and a new commander named. The FBI has refused to comment on what it says is an ongoing investigation.

In Philadelphia, a Philadelphia police narcotics officer was suspended without pay last Friday for 30 days with the intent to fire him after that. Officer Gerold Gibson, the son-in-law of Gov. Tom Corbett (R), was suspended after an internal investigation that ended in a sting where he allegedly took $140 from a car wired with surveillance cameras. The investigation began last fall, when some of Gibson's colleagues voiced suspicions that he was stealing clothes, jewelry, and shoes from the homes of suspected drug dealers during raids.

In Madisonville, Texas, a Madisonville police officer was indicted Monday on charges that he planted drugs in his ex-wife's vehicle during a 2011 child custody dispute. Sgt. Jeffrey Covington is accused of planting methamphetamine in the vehicle, then informing a state trooper that the vehicle was carrying drugs. Covington's ex-wife was arrested by the trooper, who had no knowledge of the domestic dispute, but the charges were later dropped. Covington is charged with delivery of a controlled substance, obstruction or retaliation, and official oppression. He resigned last week and is free on a $5,500 bond.

In Hammond, Indiana, a former Gary police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to selling drugs and a gun to a felon. David Finley Jr. went down when the felon, who was a snitch for the FBI, made a deal with Finley to buy him a gun. He pleaded guilty to lying during the purchase of a gun, selling a gun to a known felon, and delivery of marijuana. He had additionally faced four more drug charges, but those were dropped when authorities discovered the drugs were actually lawful synthetic stimulants.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A North Carolina narc gets canned and so does a Florida patrol officer, and an Ohio evidence room supervisor gets busted after drugs walk away. Let's get to it:

In Cincinnati, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office property room supervisor was arrested last Wednesday, along with his wife and her son, for stealing "various drugs" from the facility. Michael Esposito, 71, went down after "a source" tipped off authorities six months ago that drugs were walking out of the property room. Officials are being tight-lipped, and have refused to reveal what items were taken, what type, or their value. The investigation is ongoing, and more charges are pending they said. The Esposito clan bailed out of jail shortly after being arrested.

In Greenville, North Carolina, a Greenville narcotics officer was fired last Friday for "serious policy violations" and "criminal misconduct." Rose Edmonds, a 20-year veteran and narcotics detective got canned for as yet unspecified offenses after the county prosecutor and police chief requested a probe of her actions in December. The State Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate.

In New Port Richey, Florida, a New Port Richey police officer was fired Monday after being arrested on drug charges in Hernando County. John Nohejl was arrested on charges of trafficking drugs, tampering with evidence, fleeing or attempting to flee law enforcement, possession of drug paraphernalia, and cocaine possession. He had been on administrative leave since last April for unacceptable conduct and had come under investigation again in November for allegedly making false statements and reporting for duty under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was fired for failing to cooperate with Internal Affairs and failing to tell his bosses about his drug bust. At last report, he was in the Hernando County Jail.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A major police drug corruption bust in the Atlanta metro area, an Alabama deputy keeps the goodies he got doing drug buys, and an Ohio officer cops to helping launder money for a pot ring. Let's get to it:

In Atlanta, 10 current and former metro area police officers were arrested Tuesday in a federal sting operation targeting cops who would run interference for presumed drug traffickers. Those arrested include one Atlanta police officer, two current and two former DeKalb County police officers, two Forest Park police sergeants, a MARTA police officer, a Stone Mountain police officer, and a contract Federal Protective Services officer. The officers charged are alleged to have taken thousands of dollars in pay-offs. They have been charged with crimes including assisting with drug trafficking, receiving illegal payments and using firearms during the commission of a crime.

In Greensboro, Alabama, a former Hale County deputy was indicted last Friday on charges he kept drugs recovered during investigations. Darrell McGuire, 37, faces 16 counts of second-degree theft of property. McGuire went down after his boss, the sheriff, realized that he had given McGuire money for drug buys, but the purchases hadn't shown up in the evidence room. The missing drugs include marijuana, cocaine, and crack cocaine. McGuire has posted $80,000 bond. He's looking at up to 10 years in state prison.

In Cincinnati, a North College Hill police officer pleaded guilty last Thursday to helping a marijuana-smuggling operation launder money. Bryan Roos, 43, had been charged with money laundering, illegally structuring financial transactions, and conspiring to bring hundreds of pounds of pot from Texas to Ohio, but copped to a single count of illegal structuring. The pot operation began in 2006, when another of the 11 people indicted in the scheme, began receiving shipments hidden in the gas tanks of vehicles at a local auto business. He and Roos, 43, would operate used-car businesses to launder illegal drug proceeds. No date for sentencing has been set yet.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Massachusetts cop had his own informal prescription drug take-back program, but that was pretty innocuous compared to some of this week's other entries. Let's get to it:

In Somerset, Massachusetts, a Somerset police officer was arrested last Thursday for tricking elderly residents into giving him prescription drugs. Ricardo Pavo went to a senior retirement home asking residents about their emergency contact information, whether they had any guns or vicious dogs, or any unused prescription pills. Residents reported handing over drugs like tramadol and hydrocodone to Pavo, who was caught with the drugs in his patrol vehicle after someone called the police department. He has already been charged, but the local reports don't make clear exactly what the charge is.

In San Luis Obispo, California, a San Luis Obispo narcotics officer was arrested Tuesday for providing fake pain pills to a snitch in exchange for cash. Corey Pierce, 39, is now charged with bribery. The snitch was going to sell the bogus pills to a third party, who would then peddle them to unwitting customers. The fake pills are often used in drug enforcement operations, the police said. He had been assigned to the California Bureau of Narcotics Task Force until it was dissolved and was a member of the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit. He has been suspended with pay.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a former Cherryville narcotics detective pleaded guilty last Thursday to receiving stolen goods, taking bribes, and stealing money. Frankie Dellinger, 41, was one of several men, including three other police officers, caught up in a federal undercover sting. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and two counts of extortion. No word on how many years he's facing.

In Atlanta, two former TSA agents were sentenced last Wednesday for a scheme to smuggle drugs through Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Richard Cook, 28, and Timothy Gregory, 26, got 11 years and six years, respectively. They went down in a sting after authorities received information that Cook was willing to be corrupted. Undercover officers posing as Mexican drug cartel representatives met with Cook and provided him with three kilograms of what he thought was heroin and $3,500 in cash in partial payment for his services. After repeated deliveries of fake drugs, Cook enlisted Green, and he similarly ensnared himself.

In Camden, New Jersey, a former Camden narcotics officer was sentenced last Thursday for his role in a corrupt dope squad that has already seen three other officers either convicted or pleading guilty of various charges. Jaston Stetser, 34, admitted to planting drugs on suspects, carrying out illegal searches, and stealing drug money along with the rest of his crooked crew. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive others of their civil rights. The dirty narcs forced prosecutors to dismiss some 200 drug arrests and convictions.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Narcs gone bad, evidence gone missing, cops gone over to the other side, and another jailer in trouble. Just another week in the drug war. Let's get to it:

In Pontiac, Michigan, prosecutors have dismissed 16 drug cases after an investigation determined a deputy on the county's narcotics enforcement team falsified a search warrant and lied under oath. Deputy Marc Ferguson, 47, a 24-year law enforcement veteran who was fired in December, opened a shipping container without a warrant in June 2011 and discovered 78 pounds of marijuana. He then resealed the container and sought a search warrant from a Pontiac magistrate, signing a sworn affidavit under oath that asked for permission to open the container. Ferguson later denied on the witness stand that he opened the container without a warrant. Drug charges against the defendant in that case were dropped in September, and since then, prosecutors have been sifting through other cases involving Ferguson and have dismissed 15 more in which he was central to the investigation. No word yet on any possible perjury charges.

In Quantico, Virginia, the town's acting police chief and sole other full-time officer resigned last Tuesday in the wake of an audit that found the department had missing drugs, guns, and cash. At least $1,080 in cash was missing from the evidence room, along with an unknown quantity of marijuana and four handguns. Acting Police Chief Howard Castle and Officer Daryl Robinson resigned at a city council meeting. Three of the four handguns have been recovered, and the state continues to investigate. The town has also ordered polygraph tests for its department, which includes four certified volunteer officers.

In South Lake Tahoe, California, a former South Lake Tahoe police officer was arrested last Thursday on charges he tipped off drug traffickers to upcoming busts, tampered with witnesses, and had sex with underage students at a Lake Tahoe high school. John "Johnny" Poland had been on administrative leave for the past year after an investigation that began in March 2010, when he was observed associating with suspects tied to a plot to kill a gang investigator on the police force. He is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a 17-year-old high school student when he was school resource officer from 2003 to 2006, and since then, engaging in a pattern of behavior using his position of power to groom underage girls for sex, leak confidential police information to gang members and intimidate potential witnesses. His charges include two counts for corruptly persuading a person to alter, destroy or conceal an object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding, and attempting to do so; and three counts for corruptly persuading another person with the intent to influence the testimony of any person in an official proceeding, and attempting to do so. He is portrayed as being in a love triangle with the girlfriend of a gang leader and as making calls on his personal cell phone to methamphetamine dealers before execution of federal search warrants. At last report, he was being held without bail in the Sacramento County Jail.

In Putnamville, Indiana, a Putnamville jail guard was arrested last Saturday for smuggling drugs in to an inmate. Andreas Kirby, 20, went down after setting off the alarm on a metal detector at work at the jail, and after being interviewed by a police officer, surrendered three packages that were concealed in his groin area. He is charged with trafficking with an inmate, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He had only been on the job since September.

In Houston, two Houston police officers were arrested Sunday on charges they took bribes and allowed cocaine to be smuggled and distributed in the Houston area. Officers Emerson Canizales and Michael Miceli allegedly conspired in December to possess cocaine and received payments of $1,000 each for providing protection. They are charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and accepting bribes for protection services.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

There's something fishy in a Virginia evidence room, a Louisiana deputy gets in trouble for peddling fake weed, three suburban Chicago cops were running a dirty racket, an NYPD cop gets himself arrested, and a Miami cop gets himself convicted. Let's get to it:

In Quantico, Virginia, evidence has gone missing from the police department evidence room, an outside audit revealed. Among the missing items are $1,000 in cash, marijuana, and a Sig Sauer handgun. The audit also showed a 12-gauge shotgun and a .45 caliber pistol in evidence, but no documentation telling from where they came. The town council has required some police to take polygraph tests, and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations is investigating.

In Jefferson, Louisiana, a Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputy was fired last Thursday when a Sheriff's Office investigation determined that he had been selling synthetic marijuana online after it was outlawed in Louisiana. Scott Sigur is alleged to have made at least three sales of the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018 after it was banned in August 2010 and to have profited to the tune of $50,000 to $80,000. The sheriff said that the results of the investigation had been forwarded to the district attorney's office and that criminal charges were pending.

In Schaumberg, Illinois, three Schaumberg police officers were arrested last Wednesday on charges they robbed drug dealers and sold their wares. Officers John Cichy, 30, Matthew Hudak, 29, and Terrance O'Brien, 47, are accused of stealing dealers' stashes while executing search warrants, then reselling the cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, and pocketing the cash. The dirty trio went down in a DEA investigation that included an informant who wore a wire. They were caught on surveillance video and audio recordings robbing local dealers of drugs and cash as they executed search warrants on homes and cars. They would take the drugs to a storage locker, where a fourth man would pick them up and sell them. Police recovered 275 grams of cocaine from the locker. All three are on leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. They are charged with a string of crimes, including burglary, manufacturing or delivering between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, official misconduct and theft between $10,000 and $100,000 in a school or place of worship. At last report, they were all behind bars on $750,000 cash bail.

In New York City, an NYPD officer was indicted last Thursday on charges he falsified paperwork to cover up his involvement in an illegal search and arrest. Officer Isaias Alicea is charged with 10 counts of offering a false instrument for filing and two counts of official misconduct. According to the District Attorney's Office, the charges result from a February 2012 drug sales case in which the charges have been dismissed.

In Miami, a Miami police officer was convicted last Friday of planting drugs on suspects, stealing money from drug dealers, and lying to investigators. Sgt. Raul Iglesias, 40, was convicted of eight charges following a two-week jury trial. Evidence at his trial showed that he planted cocaine on one suspect and stole drugs and money from others. Other evidence showed that $800 went missing from a box of money Iglesias thought was drug profits. In fact, the money was an FBI plant. Four detectives in his unit testified against him. He's looking at up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in March.

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