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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A crank-dealing Kansas sheriff cops a plea, an LA narc gets a case of sticky fingers, an Arkansas narc develops a fondness for dope, and a North Carolina parole officer gets caught forcing his parolees to supply him with drugs. Let's get to it:

In Los Angeles, an LA County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Wednesday on charges she stole thousands of dollars confiscated in drug raids. Sgt. Bonnie Bryant III, a 28-year department veteran, allegedly was stealing the cash during investigations, not from evidence lockers. Bryant went down after a two-week investigation by the department's internal criminal investigators. Bryant was in charge of a narcotics investigative team, but the department said it believes she was acting alone.

In Stockton, Kansas, a former Rooks County sheriff pleaded guilty last Friday to four felony counts of distributing methamphetamine. Randy Axelson was the sheriff of Rooks County when he was arrested in December 2011 following an investigation by Kansas authorities. He was accused of distributing meth over a period of four months at the Rooks County Fairgrounds and within 1,000 feet of Stockton High School. Prosecutors dropped five counts in exchange for the guilty pleas and recommended that he serve five years and four months in prison. No sentencing date has yet been set.

In Rogersville, Arkansas, a former Hawkins County sheriff's narcotics detective pleaded guilty Monday to repeatedly burglarizing the department's evidence locker in March and April 2011 to steal drugs. Former Detective Brad Depew copped to 75 counts related to those burglaries and drug thefts -- as well as drug possession including 26 grams of cocaine, digital scales, a wide variety of pills, and a small amount of methamphetamine that was discovered during an April 21, 2011, search of his home. Prosecutors are recommending a 10-year prison sentence, but defense attorneys said the drugs were for his personal use -- not for sale -- and will seek judicial diversion. Narcotics found missing after one of Depew's evidence locker break-ins included 175 oxycodone pills, 79 grams of methadone, and 84.5 methadone pills from one specific criminal case. The defendant who those drugs were originally seized from pleaded guilty in March to reduced charges attributed directly to Depew's thefts.

In Asheville, North Carolina, a Western North Carolina prison official awaits sentencing on charges he extorted drugs from parolees under his supervision. James David Franklin, a surveillance officer for the North Carolina Department of Corrections, was originally arrested on drug trafficking charges for trying to sell 100 hydrocodone tablets in July 2010, but was indicted by a federal grand jury last August on four counts of extortion under color of official rights and one count of possession with intent to distribute drugs. Franklin copped a plea to two of the counts in December and had been free on bond until his judge revoked it in April. Franklin is accused of pressuring parolees to supply him with drugs, including methamphetamine and crack cocaine. He also provided hydrocodone to a parolee in exchange for cocaine. He went down after a parolee reported him to his federal probation officer and the feds set up a sting, which he walked right into, delivering 120 hydrocodone tablets to a mailbox in exchange for $375. His judge is considering a defense motion for a mental evaluation prior to sentencing. He's looking at up to 20 years in federal prison on the extortion charge.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad cop, no donut for a Miami sergeant, two more TSA screeners cop pleas in LA, and a Phoenix detective couldn't keep his paws off the evidence room goodies. Let's get to it:

In Phoenix, a former Phoenix police detective was extradited back home last Wednesday from Pittsburgh, where he had been arrested June 27 for alleged evidence tampering and theft of narcotics from the department's property room. William McCartney, 37, was indicted June 19 on a 40-count felony indictment obtained by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. He's accused of multiple counts of tampering with evidence, possession of narcotics, possession of dangerous drugs, computer tampering, felony theft and fraudulent schemes. He went down after a quarterly audit discovered some Oxycontin tablets had been replaced with over-the-counter medications.

In Miami, a Miami police sergeant was indicted last Thursday on charges he planted and stole drugs and lied about it. Sgt. Raul Iglesias was in charge of the Central District's Crime Suppression Unit, which targeted drug traffickers. He is accused in a series of 2010 incidents, including one in which his officers searched a man, but found no drugs. Iglesias asked for and received "throw-down dope" from another officer to plant on him, then arrested him. In another incident, he is accused of stealing money and property from a man. In a third incident, he is accused of stealing marijuana and cocaine from an auto tint shop. And he is accused of lying about it all. He faces nine counts that include violating suspects' civil rights, conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, obstruction of justice and making false statements, according to a press release from the US attorney's office in Miami. The 18-year veteran faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

In Los Angeles, two former TSA screeners pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges they helped a drug trafficker move contraband through security checkpoints at LAX. Dianna Perez, 28, and Randy Littlefield, 29. A third person also pleaded guilty Tuesday and two other drug courtiers entered guilty pleas earlier. The couriers offered to pay Perez $500 for each bag of marijuana she let get by and she in turn paid Littlefield $200 for each bag he let go by. Perez let bags pass on at least nine occasions; Littlefield on two. Both pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. They're looking at up to five years in federal prison.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More trouble on the border, more prison guards get caught, and a Puerto Rican cop goes away for a long, long time. Let's get to it:

In Rio Grande City, Texas, two South Texas deputies were charged last Friday with trying to swap automatic weapons to be sent to Mexico in exchange for cocaine and marijuana. They are also charged with taking more than $10,000 in bribes from an underground casino owner. Starr County Sheriff's Deputy Nazario Solis III and the as yet unnamed second deputy face six drug, bribery, and extortion counts. Solis and the other deputy are charged with one count of attempting to possess cocaine for distribution and two counts of attempting to possess marijuana for distribution. They're looking at up to 40 years on the cocaine charge.

In Carlisle, Indiana, a state prison guard was arrested Monday on drug charges. Jon Dobbins, 37, was arrested on the job at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and faces preliminary charges of possession of a controlled substance, trafficking and three misdemeanors relating to paraphernalia, resisting law enforcement and battery. He was being held on a $57,000 bond and has been suspended from his job.

In Southington, Connecticut, a state prison guard was arrested Tuesday as he bought drugs in a commuter parking lot on his way to the prison. Arcolain Fountain, 46, went down after corrections officials initiated an investigation in March into reports a guard was trying to smuggle drugs into the Cheshire Correctional Institution. Fountain is charged with criminal attempt to convey unauthorized items into a correctional facility, criminal attempt to possess narcotics, and criminal attempt to possess a hallucinogenic. He was being held on $100,000 cash bond pending a Wednesday hearing in Meriden Court.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former Puerto Rico police officer was sentenced last Thursday to 40 years in federal prison for his role in providing security for drug deals in an FBI sting in which he received $2,000 per transaction. Javier Diaz Castro, 30, was convicted in December of two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, two counts of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug transaction.. Diaz was one of 88 other law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico and 44 other people indicted in October 2010 as part of the FBI's Operation Guard Shack, which targeted public corruption and cocaine trafficking.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A former Missouri sheriff heads to federal prison, a former Kansas City cop is headed there, too, and a former South Carolina deputy is looking at drug charges. Let's get to it:

In Greenville, South Carolina, an Anderson County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Monday on official misconduct charges after the sheriff and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division charged he "did engage in numerous drug transactions" and "provided sensitive information to individuals not authorized to receive that information. Deputy Shane Thompson, 34, was booked into the Anderson County Detention Center upon arrest. He is now ex-Deputy Thompson.

In St. Louis, a former Carter County sheriff and one of his deputies were sentenced Monday to 10 years and five years, respectively, in prison on federal firearms theft charges. Ex-Sheriff Tommy Adams, 32, also is facing state charges accusing him of distributing cocaine and methamphetamine. A trial date has not been set on those charges. Adams and then-Deputy Steffanie Kearbey, 24, were arrested in April 2011 on state charges they sold meth to a confidential informant. Adams is also accused of snorting some in front of the snitch, and faces cocaine sales charges as well. The state charges against Kearbey have been dropped.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a third member of a Kansas City police unit was sentenced Tuesday for stealing electronics from houses they were searching on drug warrants. Dustin Sillings, 34, got eight months in federal prison and a year's probation for violating federal civil rights law. Sillings and his partners in the Selective Crime Occurrence Reduction Enforcement (SCORE) Unit went down in an FBI sting after complaints percolated up to the feds. One of his partners got eight months like Sillings; the other got 12 months. Sillings admitted to ripping off $340 in cash during the sting and a handful of video games during other searches.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A crooked narc scandal in Florida just keeps on giving, a sticky-fingered Kansas City cop goes to jail, a former Arizona cop is in trouble for stealing pain pills, and an Arizona ICE agent cops to providing info to the cartels. Let's get to it:

In Largo, Florida, a criminal investigation has been launched into the actions of four Pinellas County sheriff's narcotics unit members. They have been accused of trespassing to gather evidence against indoor marijuana growers. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the criminal investigation after three of the narcs resigned and he fired one last Thursday, capping a departmental internal investigation. The scandal around the narcs' behavior has become a major issue in Gualtieri's re-election campaign, where he faces challengers in the Republican primary as well as a highly critical Democratic candidate.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a former Phoenix police detective was arrested last Wednesday on evidence tampering and narcotics theft charges. William McCartney, 37, was indicted days earlier on a 40-count felony indictment accused of multiple counts of tampering with evidence, possession of narcotics, possession of dangerous drugs, computer tampering, felony theft and fraudulent schemes. McCartney went down after a quarterly audit of items cleared for destruction from the evidence room found that Oxydocone tablets had been replace by over-the-counter medications. McCartney was originally arrested in March 2011, but quit the force and left the area. He was re-arrested in Pittsburgh after he was indicted.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a former Kansas City police officer was sentenced last Wednesday to a year and a day in prison for stealing electronic goods from homes where he and his team were serving drug search warrants. Darrell Forest, 32, was a member of a special unit that served search warrants, and went down in an FBI sting operation after authorities received complaints. Two other members of the squad have also pleaded guilty to theft and await sentencing.

In Tucson, Arizona, a former ICE agent was sentenced last Friday to 30 months in federal prison for accessing law enforcement data bases and passing sensitive information on to family members with ties to Mexican drug cartels. Jovana Deas went down after some of the information she passed turned up on the computer of a Mexican drug trafficker arrested in Brazil. Among the seven felonies and 14 misdemeanors she pleaded guilty to are illegally obtaining and disseminating classified government documents, obstruction of justice, and perjury. She is the 138th ICE or Border Patrol officer arrested on corruption charges since October 2004.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A scandal that keeps on giving in Florida, a pair of bad apple deputies in LA get their just rewards, a crooked NYPD cop gets his, too, and much, much more. Let's get to it:

In Largo, Florida, three Pinellas County narcotics deputies have resigned in an ongoing investigation of misconduct around their techniques for tracking down marijuana grows. The deputies have been accused of trespassing, passing themselves off as utility company employees, and monitoring customers at a Largo hydroponics store, among other things. Paul Giovannoni, 31, resigned Friday after reading evidence against him collected by the Internal Affairs Division, while Detective Michael Sciarrino and Sgt. Christopher Taylor, the other members of the grow house team, resigned earlier this week. One narcotics deputy and two patrol deputies are still under investigation. The narcs arrested dozens of store customers after using a surveillance camera to capture their auto tag numbers, then getting search warrants and busting down doors. They claimed in most warrant applications they could smell marijuana from public sidewalks or neighbors' yards, but defense attorneys dug up evidence they were actually trespassing and lying about it. No one has faced criminal charges yet.

In Philadelphia, a Philadelphia police officer was arrested last Tuesday on charges he sold heroin to an FBI confidential informant. Officer Jonathan Garcia, 23 faces four counts of distribution of heroin and two counts of carrying a firearm during drug trafficking. He allegedly sold the snitch a bundle of 14 heroin packets twice in April and May, but the snitch returned the dope, saying the quality was bad. Garcia then made two more sales, thus the four counts. He was being held at the Federal Detention Center in Center City pending a bail hearing. Garcia has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

In Clinton, South Carolina, a former Clinton police officer was arrested last Wednesday on charges he stole pain pills from the inmate medication storage area at the Clinton Public Safety Department. Clarence Lewis III, 36, is accused of making off with 116 hydrocodone tablets and faces one count each of misconduct in office and theft of a controlled substance. Police noticed discrepancies in the drug logs at the end of last month, identified Lewis as the culprit and suspended and then fired him earlier this month. He's now out on a $5,000 bond.

In Lumberton, North Carolina, a Lumberton police office was arrested last Friday on charges he was involved in drug trafficking. Officer Jason Walters, 35, is charged with attempted trafficking in opium by possession. (North Carolina law calls any opioid "opium"). He has been suspended without pay and was jailed on $20,000 bond. No further details were available.

In New York City, a former NYPD police officer was sentenced last Friday to nearly five years in federal prison for falsely arresting and trumping up drug charges against a man in a case that has fueled criticism of the department's stop-and-frisk program. Michael Daragjati, 33, pleaded guilty in January to violating the man's civil rights after he was caught on a wiretap boasting that he had "fried" the man, whom he referred to using a racial slur. The unnamed man spent nearly two days in jail after being stopped and frisked and then falsely arrested by Daragjati.

In Los Angeles, a former LA County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Monday to six months in jail and five years probation for stealing hash and marijuana from a person he had arrested. Deputy Rafael Zelaya copped to felony counts of receiving stolen property and filing a false police report and agreed to resign from the department as part of the plea deal.

In Los Angeles, a former LA County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail for trying to smuggle 24 grams of heroin into a county jail facility inside a burrito. Henry Marin, 27, went down after undercover deputies watched him pick up a bean-and-cheese burrito filled with 24 grams of black tar heroin at the Los Angeles Airport courthouse where he worked. Marin said he was duped into accepting the doped delight, but copped to a plea deal rather than fight it out in court.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Just another run of the mill week of drug war law enforcement corruption, except having a state trooper involved in a major pot grow is fairly unusual. Let's get to it:

In Clearwater, Florida, a Pinellas County narcotics detective resigned Monday amid charges he broke the law busting marijuana grow houses. Mike Sciarrino, a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's office is one of four detectives accused of falsifying evidence and lying to get search warrants. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is investigating the detectives' techniques, which included presenting themselves as power company employees to gain access to homes. No charges have been filed yet.

In Guayama, Puerto Rico, a prison guard was arrested June 8 on charges that he smuggled drugs into the facility. Ruben Rodriguez Colon is accused of smuggling 400 capsules of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana into the prison named Institucion Guayama 500. Rodriguez Colon went down after another guard spotted him delivering drugs to an inmate. He is charged with introducing illicit drugs into a correctional facility and has a preliminary hearing next week.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, a former Duval County sheriff's deputy was charged Tuesday in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy case. Victor Carillo, 27, had been fired last month, a week after another deputy, Ruben Silva, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 13 pounds of cocaine, and the sheriff said the firing was related to that case. Now, he faces the same charge. He is accused of helping Silva and others smuggle cocaine past a Border Patrol checkpoint in Mission. When the charges were announced, Carillo was already being held in the Duval County Jail on suspicion of theft by a public servant charges because he had pawned his assault rifle instead of turning it in.

In Charleston, South Carolina, a former state trooper was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for his role in a commercial-scale marijuana growing operation. Kurt Steffen, 30, must also do four years of supervised release. Steffen, who joined the state Highway Patrol in 2007, at some point thereafter decided along with others to do the grow to make more money. He bought a property in Ridgeville in May 2008, and he and his partners produced crops there until the grow was raided in January 2010. Prosecutors said the grow yielded thousands of dollars in profits. In his plea agreement, Steffen forfeited the property and admitted transporting weed in his Highway Patrol vehicle.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad deputy! We have three cases of misbehaving sheriff's deputies this week, plus the mandatory crooked prison guard. Let's get to it:

In Newark, Ohio, a Licking County Sheriff's deputy has resigned, just hours before he was to be interviewed in an internal investigation about allegations he let a woman inject him with stolen narcotics. Although Deputy Nicholas Pearce resigned in May, the news wasn't announced until last Thursday. He resigned 10 days after being placed on administrative leave because a woman he knew told investigators she injected him with narcotics she stole from her employer, Genesis-Bethesda Hospital in Zanesville, according to an internal affairs investigation.

In Michigan City, Indiana, an Indiana Department of Corrections officer was arrested last Thursday for allegedly smuggling drugs to prison inmates. Tracey Young, 38, is recreational director at the Indiana Department of Corrections Juvenile Facility in South Bend, but had previously worked at the Michigan City State Prison. It is unclear at which prison she is alleged to have done the drug smuggling. She was being held without bond pending arraignment.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a suspended Broward County's Sheriff's detective was arrested Monday after repeatedly violating the conditions of his bond. Brent Woodell had been arrested in a September 2011 sting operation for stealing $1,340 in cash from an Oxycontin dealer he arrested, but had been out on bail. Prosecutors had twice earlier tried to have his bond revoked, once for intimidating a witness and again after he fled the scene of an accident while on his way to a court appearance. This time, Woodell removed his court-ordered GPS monitor and went to a strip club, where deputies found him. In addition to the grand theft and official misconduct charges, Woddell is accused of tampering with evidence, falsifying records and delivery of steroids. If convicted of all charges, he faces more than 30 years in prison.

In Memphis, a former Arkansas sheriff's deputy was sentenced last Thursday to nearly seven years in federal prison for his role in an eastern Arkansas corruption and drug trafficking ring. Winston Dean Jackson is the third law enforcement officer to be sentenced in an investigation the feds dubbed Operation Delta Blues. He pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to distribute and possession of a controlled substance. One more officer awaits sentencing and one more officer awaits trial in the operation.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

What's the matter with Kansas? Two corrupt cops stories out of the Jayhawk State this week, but also tales out of Arkansas, New York, and Pennsylvania. Let's get to it:

In Stockton, Kansas, the Rooks County sheriff resigned last Thursday after being on administrative leave since being charged in January with nine felony counts of methamphetamine distribution. Randy Axelson presented his resignation to the county clerk in the morning, to take effect at noon that day. He had been continuing to collect his salary while on leave. Five of the charges against him involve meth sales within a thousand feet of a school, which carries a stiffer penalty than the four remaining sales charges.

In Holton, Kansas, a former Sabetha police officer was arrested last Thursday on charges he stole methamphetamine from the department evidence room and resold it. Ryan Bruggerman went down after an investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. He is charged with one felony count each of distribution of meth and official misconduct. He was jailed in Holton on $5,000 bond.

In Buffalo, New York, a Buffalo police officer was arrested last Thursday on charges he was involved in running a marijuana grow-op. Officer Jorge Melendez, 41, and another man were caught on federal surveillance videos attending a 100-plant grow in a warehouse, and Melendez was captured on video driving up to the warehouse in his police car. Both men face charges of conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 marijuana plants, maintaining a premises for manufacturing marijuana, and manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, a fine of $4,000,000 or both.

In Hatboro, Pennsylvania, a former Hatboro narcotics detective was charged last Friday with various counts related to alleged thefts from the department's evidence locker and using his informants to buy drugs for his own personal use. John Becker, 42, had worked for the department for 17 years before a 16-month investigation resulted in his suspension, resignation, and arrest last month. Becker is accused of stealing at least 10 firearms and $18,000 cash from the evidence locker during a six-month period in 2010 and 2011. He is also accused of using snitches to buy OxyContin, Percocet, and cocaine for him to use throughout 2010.

In New York City, a former NYPD narcotics detective was acquitted last Wednesday of charges he planted drugs on bar patrons. Adolph Osback walked after a jury acquitted him of multiple charges of falsifying police reports, perjury and official misconduct after deliberating for only 90 minutes. He was indicted based on testimony of his former partner, Stephen Anderson, who testified that Osback "flaked" people by planting drugs on them. Anderson has already pleaded guilty to flaking after being caught on surveillance video. Osbach was fired when he was arrested back in December 2010.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, a former Marvell police officer was sentenced last Wednesday to two years in federal prison for accepting bribes to look the other way as drug traffickers transited the region. Robert Wahls was one of five law enforcement officers and 66 other people who were indicted in an investigation called Operation Delta Blues, which focused on drug trafficking and corruption in the Mississippi Delta towns of Helena and West Helena. He pleaded guilty in January to extortion and money laundering, and admitted he took money for escorting someone posing as a drug trafficker.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Don't give joints to snitches you're having an affair with -- that's the lesson one California cop learned last week. There are more crooked cops for us this week, too. Let's get to it:

In New Bern, North Carolina, a New Bern police officer was arrested last Wednesday on charges she was stealing pain pills from the evidence room. Officer Frances Sutton went down after the department reviewed drug cases in which she was the charging officer and found oxycodone tablets seized as evidence had gone missing. She is charged with four felony counts of obstruction of justice and three felony counts of altering, destroying, or stealing evidence of criminal conduct. She was placed in the Craven County Jail under a $35,000 secured bond.

In LaGrange, Georgia, a Troup County jail officer was arrested last Thursday on charges he snuck marijuana, cell phones, credit cards and other items to inmates. Officer Angel Vargas, 38, went down after an eight-month investigation by the sheriff's office. He is charged with violating Georgia's controlled substance act, prohibited possession of inmate contraband and crossing the guard line of the jail with contraband. Vargas is the 78th Georgia correctional officer to be charged with smuggling contraband to inmates in the last four years.

In Hayward, California, a former San Leandro police detective pleaded no contest last Wednesday to charges he gave marijuana to a police informant with whom he was having an extramarital affair. Jason Frederikkson, 39, copped to a misdemeanor count of possession of more than an ounce of marijuana after prosecutors agreed to drop a felony count of transporting and furnishing marijuana to an informant. He got a 30-day jail sentence, but will be able to serve the time on work release. He was also sentenced to five years probation.

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