We have cops and prison guards getting into drug war trouble from coast to coast this week, from San Diego to Chicago and from Florida to Maryland. Let's get to it:
In San Diego, a San Diego police officer was arrested September 2 for allegedly tipping off drug dealers about an ongoing investigation. Officer Juan Hurtado Tapia, whom traffickers allegedly called "El Corrupto," was charged in federal court with obstruction, fraud and making false statements. A federal complaint said Tapia ran criminal history checks on a police computer for members of a drug trafficking ring and warned at least one suspect not to try to cross the border from Mexico on a particular night. Tapia is now on unpaid leave.
In Hagerstown, Maryland, a rookie prison guard was arrested September 4 for smuggling pot and cigarettes into the Roxbury Correctional Institution. Rookie Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Officer Krista Blank is charged with possessing marijuana and contraband, and with possessing the materials with the intent to distribute them inside a place of confinement. That is four separate charges -- two each for the pot and the cigs -- for which she faces up to 10 years in prison.
In Lakeland, Florida, a Polk County detention deputy was arrested September 4 for selling Oxycontin tablets to undercover detectives. Deputy Shawn Thomas Lucas, 30, was arrested after detectives received information he was selling pain pills and set up a buy, where he sold them six whole Oxycontin tablets and nine half-tablets, for a total of 4.4 grams, or about $200 worth. During a post-arrest search of his vehicle, detectives recovered a load .45-caliber handgun. Now, he is charged with armed drug trafficking. Lucas told detectives the pills had been prescribed to his deceased father and he was peddling them because he and his family were having financial difficulties. Lucas has now resigned from the sheriff's office.
In Jacksboro, Tennessee, two Campbell County law enforcement officers were arrested September 5 for allegedly stealing drugs from the Jacksboro Police Department and trading them for prescription drugs. Jacksboro Police Officer Ancil Parker, 30, and Campbell County jail guard Tonya Robinson, 34, are both charged with delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and official misconduct. Robinson also was charged with one count of theft under $500. The pair are being held responsible for marijuana and cocaine that went missing from the police department last year.
In Chicago, a Chicago police officer and another man were arrested Monday for plotting to set up the man's estranged wife on drug and firearms charges. Bogdan Mazur, 47, tried to set up his wife by scheming to deliver 44 grams of cocaine, 62 grams of marijuana and a gun with a defaced serial number to his wife, and enlisted Officer Slawomir Plewa, 30, to help him out. Mazur allegedly arranged with Plewa to have him detain and arrest his wife even though both knew the charges were false. The woman was acquitted of the gun and drug charges in January. Now Plewa is charged with official misconduct, perjury, obstruction of justice, unlawful restraint and false reporting. Mazur faces charges of filing a false police report, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to manufacture or deliver cocaine and cannabis, and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to police reports.