Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story 11/29/02

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This week's honors go to a set of sheriff's deputies in Davidson County, NC, in a scandal that should have ended in July, but just keeps on giving. Last December, a federal grand jury indicted three of them and an Archdale patrolman for participating in a ring that sold and used steroids, cocaine and ecstasy. A later indictment charged the men with various civil rights violations for using illegal searches and seizures against local drug dealers.

By July, all had been found guilty and sentenced to federal prison terms ranging from two years and seven months for the "cooperating witness" to 27 years for undercover sheriff's narc David Scott Woodall. In the months since then, more than 30 drug defendants have had their charges dismissed or convictions overturned.

But a motion filed this week by convicted crack dealer Terrence Maurice Barriet broke new ground in the scandal. The motion to vacate his sentence included an affidavit from Woodall, now serving time in the same prison, in which Woodall confesses to having framed Barriet by planting drugs on him. "Terrence Maurice Barriet did not have drugs on his person or property on May 22, 1999," Woodall said in the affidavit. "The crack cocaine was provided... in order to facilitate an arrest... that would result in a prison sentence for Terrence Maurice Barriet." Woodall added that he threatened Barriet "to not give trouble to the case, or his wife would be victimized also."

The US Attorney's office handling the case against Barriet has requested a 30-day extension to respond to the affidavit, but local newspaper the High Point Enterprise didn't need a month to figure out something fishy was going on. In a Tuesday editorial, the paper wrote that Woodall's affidavit "should prompt more investigation," and wondered aloud about others who had been framed. "That's vicious behavior by officers who were supposed to be enforcing the law," the paper opined. "Authorities must find out whether it happened to other people who have not yet received justice."

At Woodall's sentencing in July, his attorney attempted to explain that Woodall didn't do it out of greed, but that the conspiracy "revolved around friendship, and around the climate that evolved in that vice-narcotics department."

That's the problem.

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Issue #265, 11/29/02 DRCNet Needs Your Help! | Editorial: Going Out of Business | Pressure on Prisons: State Budget Crises Begin to Hit Home, Moves Afoot in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia to Set Some Free | Weitzel Acquitted in Utah Pain Treatment Manslaughter Case Retrial | The Horrors of War: Forgetting the Occupation Through Obliteration | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Plan Colombia Foe Wins Ecuador Presidency -- Legalization Talk Among Gutierrez Supporters | Newsbrief: Brazil Set to Become World's Biggest Cocaine Consumer | Newsbrief: Colombian Leader Wants Drug Tests for Americans, Europeans, and Revival of Drug Plane Shootdown Program 265/sweetruling Newsbrief: A Sweet Decision -- Federal Judge Tells New York Cops to Quit Hassling Needle Exchange Participants | Newsbrief: DEA to Double Ecstasy Investigations | Newsbrief: ACLU to Hire Bob Barr as Privacy Issues Consultant | Correction/Retraction: NORML Did Help the Marijuana Reform Party | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar
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