A Boston cop gets busted, a Tacoma probation officer peddles meth, two former Memphis cops cop pleas, so does a former NYPD officer, and a small-town Texas lawman heads for federal prison. Let's get to it:
In Boston, a Boston police officer was arrested May 2 for acting as a debt collector for major drug dealers. Jose Ortiz, a 21-year veteran of the force, faces federal attempted extortion and cocaine conspiracy charges for allegedly showing up in uniform at the workplace of his target and threatening to kill him and his family if he did not pay a pair of drug dealers $260,000 for a deal gone bad. Ortiz accepted partial payments and agreed to take cocaine in payment, although he did not want to touch it himself. Ortiz was arrested in Revere as he met with his target, who was cooperating with authorities. He was fired last week.
In Tacoma, Washington, a Washington Department of Corrections probation officer was arrested May 5 for selling meth. Cheri Lynn Cantrell, 38, went down after a former neighbor reported to Tacoma police that the pair used to do meth together and she bought meth from Cantrell. The former neighbor and speed sharer turned informant then set up a recorded buy from Cantrell. After the drugs tested positive for meth, Cantrell was arrested at the Department of Corrections office where she worked.
In Memphis, two former Memphis police officers pleaded guilty May 3 to conspiring with other officers to shake down drug dealers. Former officers Harold McCall, 35, and Trennis Swims, 34, acknowledged targeting drivers of older cars with expensive hubcaps and taking money from them during traffic stops. McCall pleaded to violating civil rights and faces up to 10 years in prison. Swims pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts and faces up to two years behind bars. At least four other Memphis police officers have been charged or convicted in the conspiracy, which continues to be investigated by the FBI and the Memphis Police Department Security Squad.
In New York City, a former NYPD officer pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal cocaine from drug houses. Former officer Kirsix De La Cruz admitted introducing two co-conspirators in a scheme to hit stash houses while she was an active NYPD officer in April 2005. De La Cruz pleaded to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit robbery. She was set to take the NYPD sergeant's exam when arrested, but now she is looking at a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.
In McAllen, Texas, a former Elsa police officer was sentenced to eight years in federal prison May 2 for taking bribes to protect drug shipments. Ismael Gomez, 27, pleaded guilty in December to pocketing $2,500 in return for protecting a vehicle he believed contained 22 kilograms of cocaine. It was actually an FBI sting. Gomez is the second Elsa police officer to go down for taking bribes to protect drug traffickers. Last August, Herman Carr pleaded guilty to taking a $5,000 bribe to protect a vehicle. He will be sentenced May 31. Gomez, meanwhile, is already in prison and serving his sentence.