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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.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Philadelphia pays for police misbehavior, more cops get caught pilfering the evidence, one gets caught helping a heroin dealer, and another goes down hard for helping drug traffickers. Let's get to it:

In Philadelphia, the city has quietly settled 21 lawsuits filed by shop owners after members of the Narcotics Field Unit stole cash and merchandise when ostensibly raiding the places in search of small plastic bags used to sell drugs. The unit's actions exploded into a major scandal in 2009 when a security camera unit members thought they had disabled recorded their actions on a computer hard drive. The result was an FBI investigation of the officers, dropped charges against some defendants, and numerous federal civil right lawsuits filed by people who said they were abused or framed by the squad. The 21 who have settled so far have received an average pay out of $40,000. No officers have yet been charged, but the FBI continues to investigate.

In Baltimore, a Baltimore police sergeant was arrested last Wednesday on charges he made up information to obtain a drug search warrant. Sgt. Dennis Workley, a 16-year veteran of the force, is charged with perjury and misconduct over a December drug raid. Baltimore police investigated after receiving a citizen's complaint, and it is alleged discrepancies in his warrant application for that raid showed he "cut and pasted" text from another case. Workley has been suspended.

In Hatboro, Pennsylvania, a former Hatboro police detective-sergeant was arrested last Thursday on charges he stole guns, drugs, and cash from the department evidence room and used a police informant to buy drugs for him. John Becker, 42, was the evidence room custodian and is accused of stealing 10 guns between 2003 and 2011, along with $18,000 in cash, and more than $2,000 in drugs. Prosecutors said it was to feed his opiate pain pill habit, and that he also "convinced or coerced several individuals to make numerous drug purchases on his behalf, including powerful prescription pain medications such as OxyContin and Percocet, along with cocaine" under the pretense that he was doing undercover drug investigations. Numerous items missing from the evidence room were found during a search of his home last year. He faces numerous charges.

In Suffield, Connecticut, a Suffield police officer was arrested last Friday for stealing cash from a drug bust. Jeremy DePietro was the arresting officer in a March 2011 call where officers found narcotics and $332 in cash. After the case was disposed of, the court ordered the drugs destroyed and the cash placed in the court's general fund, but the cash was gone. An investigation pointed to DePietro. He is now charged with tampering with evidence and sixth degree larceny. He was also fired. He is out on $24,000 bond.

In New York City, a Queens-based NYPD officer was arrested Tuesday on charge he used his position to gain access to sensitive computer records and pass them on to a convicted heroin dealer. Officer Devon Daniels, 30, went down in a DEA investigation that included wiretaps after agents found evidence he used an NYPD database to look up license plate numbers and check the status of criminal warrants for heroin traffickers in Jamaica, Queens. He is heard on wiretaps asking the dealer for money, "any working revolver," and the use of one of his cars. On one occasion, while driving the dealer's car, he stopped at the scene of an arrest of one of the dealer's crew, quizzed police about what was going on, and immediately reported back to the dealer. He has not yet been formally charged and is out on $150,000 bond awaiting arraignment.

In Carlsbad, California, a Carlsbad police officer pleaded guilty last Thursday to stealing heroin from the department evidence room. Officer Michael Koch, 44, was arrested in January after two employees saw him stealing the dope. Prosecutors said Koch was strung out and stole the drugs for personal use. He entered rehab after being arrested. He will be sentenced June 20 and is expected to receive probation. In the meantime, he's still collecting his $86,000 annual salary while a departmental internal investigation continues.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former Arecibo police officer was sentenced last Friday to 24 years in federal prison for his role in a drug ring. David Gonzalez-Perez was indicted with 16 other people in a 70-count drug trafficking indictment in September 2010 and was found guilty of 28 counts of conspiracy and attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine after a two-week trial in August 2011. He participated in 15 drug transactions, which totaled over 200 kilograms of cocaine and received $36,000 in payments for his security services during the drug transactions. He also recruited 15 others to provide armed security with him during these drug transactions, including his brother and sister-in-law.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

We inadvertently missed a week last week, but the corrupt cops didn't. Let's get to it:

In Hanford, California, a Hanford police officer was arrested May 3 on drug charges. Officer Ernesto Servin, 30, was arrested when he arrived for work at the police department and police found Oxycontin, methamphetamine, and marijuana in his car. Authorities suspect he got the drugs from arrests he made and cases he worked as a Hanford Police officer. He is charged with falsifying police reports and drug possession. He resigned from the department the same day.

In Newark, New Jersey, a former Newark police officer was convicted last Friday of shaking down drug dealers for cash, guns, and dope. Darious Smith was indicted in 2004 along with half a dozen other Neward police officers, and a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit official misconduct, official misconduct and theft. Five witnesses, including a former patrol partner, testified that he stole cash from dealers and planted guns and drugs on them.

In Miami, a former Hialeah Gardens police officer was convicted Monday of ripping off marijuana dealers and selling their stashes. Lawrence Perez, 44, and four other area men stole 10 pounds in one faked traffic stop and 14 pounds in another. They were also plotting to hit a major marijuana grow, but the FBI, DEA, and Miami-Dade police were onto them by then. Perez, a former detective, is looking at up to 40 years in federal prison. He will be sentenced July 26.

In Hartford, Connecticut, a former New York police officer was sentenced last Friday to 37 months in federal prison for taking bribes to let a drug courier go unmolested through a New York airport. Former Westchester County police officer Michael Brady, 36, took $20,000 in payoffs from drug dealers. He had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of extortion and receiving a bribe. Brady had been assigned to the Westchester County Airport, where a drug dealer regularly passed traveling between Connecticut and Florida. Brady went down after the dealer got caught up in a federal investigation of his oxycodone smuggling ring.

In Brownsville, Texas, a former reserve law enforcement officer was sentenced Monday to 13 year in federal prison after he was caught coming over a bridge from Mexico with 20 pounds of cocaine and heroin. Mercedes Perez, 55, was a Nueces County Constable's reserve officer when he got caught. He was convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A pot-growing prosecutor, a heroin-filled burrito-smuggling deputy, and a cop who made a habit of ripping off drug dealers at a nightclub all made the news this week. Let's get to it:

In Ukiah, California, a Mendocino County prosecutor was put on paid leave April 26 while sheriff's deputies investigate his connection to a marijuana garden found at his home. Deputy District Attorney Sergio Fuentes has not been arrested, nor has his mother, with whom he shares the home. Sheriff's deputies said they found 150 plants growing there. Fuentes works in the District Attorney's criminal division.

In Los Angeles, an LA County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Monday to smuggling heroin-filled burritos into a courthouse jail. Deputy Henry Marin, 27, got caught bringing the burritos into an airport-area courthouse where he worked. He pleaded guilty to bringing drugs into a jail and conspiracy to commit a crime. Sentencing has been set for June 25. Sawyer has been relieved of duty.

In Savannah, Georgia, a former Savannah-Chatham police officer was sentenced Monday to 18 months in federal prison for ripping off drug dealers at a night club where he worked private security and reselling the drugs himself. Floyd Sawyer was originally charged with drug trafficking conspiracy, extortion, possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, and lying to federal agents, but copped a plea to a single count of extortion. He and another Savannah-Chatham police officer worked security at the night club while in uniform and carrying their department-issued weapons. Sawyer was arrested in May 2010 and fired the following September. He has to report to prison by June 1.

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