A Texas probation officer gets busted, a Baltimore cop gets caught beating on a suspected drug buyer, a Virginia cop gets popped for meth, a slew of prison guards get busted in Florida, and another in New Mexico. Just another week in the drug war. Let's get to it:
In Big Sandy, Texas, an Upshur County juvenile probation officer was arrested last month on drug possession charges after police raided the home she shared with her boyfriend. Probation officer Jessica Hill is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a dangerous drug. The raid came down after an intoxicated man was arrested and said he bought the methamphetamine found in is sock at Hill's home. The police affidavit for the search warrant said officers suspected cocaine, marijuana, meth, and pills were being sold out of the home. Cops found scales, baggies with residues, marijuana, white powders, various pills, and a 9 mm handgun, among other items. According to a later report, Hill's boyfriend moved out some months ago, leaving her as the probable drug seller, assuming in fact drug sales took place. Hill has been freed on bond, but now has to find a new job -- she was fired shortly after her arrest.
In Baltimore, a Baltimore police officer was arrested last Friday for assaulting a man he thought was a drug buyer. Instead, the victim was an undercover detective posing as a drug customer in a sting set up by detectives investigating a citizen complaint against the officer. Now that officer, Jerome Hill, 35, has been suspended without pay and faces second-degree assault charges. He was under investigation because of a prior "serious allegation" made by a citizen. Charging documents described how one undercover detective stood on a street corner while another called in a complaint of a suspicion person who seemed to be looking for drugs. In a few minutes, Officer Hill arrived, got out of his car, and punched the undercover detective in the face without provocation. Hill and another officer then attempted to handcuff the undercover detective, but his colleagues arrived on the scene and took Hill to headquarters for questioning. Residents on North Clinton Street, where Hill was arrested, said he had a reputation as a tough officer and that police routinely rough up local youths.
In Abingdon, Virginia, a former Saltville police officer was convicted on two drug charges last Friday. Former Police Investigator Gary Ray Call was convicted of attempted possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. Call went down after a cooperating witness said she had sold him meth on previous occasions and then set him up to buy four bag of fake meth for resale. According to trial testimony, Call had been using meth for three years and had begun using it with a Smyth County deputy while he was working as a DARE officer. Call is looking at 18 to 24 months in federal prison.
In Sumter County, Florida, nine federal prison employees were indicted last Friday on charges they smuggled contraband -- mostly tobacco, but also marijuana and heroin -- into the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman. Most were accused of receiving bribes of up to $20,000. The charges were filed against seven correctional officers, a cook and a drug-treatment counselor who worked at the five low-, medium- and high-security prison facilities at Coleman.
In Clovis, New Mexico, a Curry County jail officer was arrested January 22 and charged with smuggling marijuana to inmates. Guard Carsten Douglas, 23, admitted smuggling in packages of marijuana, but said he was blackmailed by inmates. According to Douglas, an inmate stole his handcuff keys, and he agreed to carry in packages in return for the inmate not telling authorities about the incident. He admitted to delivering four packages in a one week period. He now faces four counts of bringing contraband into a jail and four counts of conspiracy.