Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story 7/9/04

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Two nominees this one, and since it is difficult to measure their respective offenses on the odiousness meter, we present them in no particular order.

First up is former Washington, DC, police officer Shawn Verbeke. He has been indicted by a Washington grand jury on charges he shook down dealers at nightclubs, stole their drugs, and sold them, splitting the profits with an informant. Sadly for Verbeke, his informant buddy behaved as informants do and snitched him out to avoid trouble for himself.

Verbeke, a former Marine and former member of the US Capitol Police, served on the DC Metro Police force from 1999 to 2002. He is being held without bond until trial in September, according to a report from local TV station NBC4.

Next in this week's spotlight is former Charlotte, North Carolina, police detective Wyatt Henderson. He remains free despite having been convicted and sentenced to federal prison for pistol-whipping a teenage suspect during an alleged marijuana buy in 2002 and then lying to his superiors about it.

He remains free because US District Court Judge Anne Conway is unhappy with the federal Bureau of Prisons' decision to send him to a medium security prison. The judge is concerned about the safety of the 6'5", 250-pound ex-cop, the Charlotte Sun Herald reported. Conway wants Henderson sent to the minimum security prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, but federal prosecutors object, saying it would not be appropriate to place a violent felon at a prison "where there are high-ranking military officers." (Prosecutors did not elaborate on why it was wrong to subject incarcerated military officers, who are professionally trained for combat, to the presence of a common thug.)

Although prosecutors noted that the federal Bail Reform Act requires that those convicted of "crimes of violence" should be jailed during appeals, Judge Conway has freed him indefinitely. At this writing, it is unclear if, when, or where Henderson will serve his time.

Henderson resigned his position just in time to avoid additional charges relating to a fake college diploma and the $1,300 in education incentive funds he improperly took for "earning" the degree. Actually, Henderson is a serial credential faker. After being caught once in degree fraud, he did it again, purchasing two more degrees from "St. Regis University," whose campus is in an unnamed African nation. "I wanted to prove to myself I could get a real college degree," he said in a non sequitur during cross-examination in court.

Now, let's see if he gets the prison sentence he really earned.

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Issue #345, 7/9/04 Editorial: Time for Congress to Get Real | In the Wake of Blakely: Federal Sentencing Chaos as Defense Attorneys, Prosecutors, Lawmakers Ponder How to Respond | House Votes Down Medical Marijuana Bill -- Election Year Politics, Organized Opposition Cited | International AIDS Conference Puts Focus on Thai War on Drugs | Making it Official: More Initiatives Move Toward November Ballot | ALERT: "Thank or Spank" Your Congressman for This Week's Medical Marijuana Vote | Newsbrief: Rep. Ron Paul Brings Pain Doctor Prosecution Issue to House | Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects DEA Motion for New Hemp Hearing | Newsbrief: Kansas Supreme Court Says Cut Methamphetamine Sentences | Newsbrief: Tommy Chong Walks Out of Prison | Newsbrief: Iranians Protest US, UK Blind Eye to Afghan Opium Crop | Newsbrief: United Arab Emirates Ponders First Step Toward Harm Reduction | Newsbrief: Head of National Drug Intelligence Center Fired | Newsbrief: Prohibition as a Marketing Tool -- Camel Ad Campaign Touts "Forbidden Fruit" Appeal | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: California Prisons "Dysfunctional," State Report Concludes | Movie Opening: Maria Full of Grace | Media Scan: New CSDP Ad -- Richard Paey and Rush Limbaugh | This Week in History | Psilocybin Cancer Research Study Still Seeking Participants | The Reformer's Calendar

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