A top narc admits he was dirty, a border drug squad deputy commander goes to prison, a deputy police chief is under investigation, and yes, another prison guard gets busted. Let's get to it:
In New Haven, Connecticut, the former head of the New Haven police drug squad admitted last Friday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars left by the FBI in a corruption sting and taking thousands more in bribes from bail bondsmen. William White, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of conspiracy to take bribes. The flamboyant White, a 39-year veteran, was New Haven's top narc throughout the 1990s and collected much of the evidence used by federal anti-crime task forces to break up drug dealing organizations in New Haven and Bridgeport, but was always shadowed by allegations of evidence-fixing and missing drug money. He went down when the FBI caught him on video stealing $27,500 from the trunk of a car he was told belonged to a drug dealer. During the investigation, White also boasted that he had made a lot of money off bail bondsmen by accepting bribes to help them find fugitives -- a service police should provide in the normal course of business. That led to the bribery conspiracy charge. Legal documents introduced in court also show at least one case of detectives manufacturing evidence to bolster a potential drug prosecution. Charges were dropped in that case. White was fired after his arrest. Police Chief Francisco Orti later disbanded the narcotics unit. Some of its cases were turned over to the state police pending a review of the unit's performance.
In San Antonio, a former deputy commander of the Laredo Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force was sentenced to eight years in prison last Friday for taking bribes from drug traffickers to let their loads pass unmolested. Julio Alfonso Lopez, 46, had pleaded guilty in July 2006 to extorting $44,500 from dealers to protect loads coming though Zapata County on the Texas-Mexico border. An FBI investigation found that Lopez had taken money from traffickers on four occasions in 2005 and 2006. He had been deputy commander of the task force for about a year when he was arrested in April 2006.
In Lynnwood, Washington, the deputy police chief is under investigation over missing cash, guns, and drugs. Deputy Chief Paul Watkins has been questioned by the FBI about his tenure as commander of the Investigations Division, where he oversaw property seized from suspects. The Lynnwood Police called in the feds after an internal audit showed that cash released to him could not be accounted for. In one case, Watkins allegedly signed for a package containing $14,000 cash, two handguns, and two grams of cocaine. That package never made it to the evidence room, and efforts to find it have been fruitless. He is also accused of at least five other instances of pocketing cash seized from suspects, and a federal grand jury in Seattle will look at the case shortly. Watkins is now on paid administrative leave from the department.
In El Dorado, Kansas, a prison guard was arrested October 24 for trying to smuggle contraband into the prison. Nikkia Shanae Abrams, 27, a guard at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, was busted carrying marijuana, tobacco, and vodka into the prison. She faces three counts of trafficking and contraband at a correctional institution. Each count carries a sentence of up to 11 ½ years in prison. Abrams was last reported in jail trying to make a $30,000 bond. She'll be back in court November 19.