Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story 9/17/04

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Boy, let this feature slide for one week and we hear it from the readers. Not to fret -- there is always more coming down the pike -- prohibition ensures it. While last week we came up empty, we make up for it this week with a double dose of corrupt cops.

This week's runner-up is former Massachusetts corrections officer Christine Callahan of Weymouth. While employed at the Norfolk County House of Corrections, Callahan smuggled in heroin to inmate Anthony Marchetti, who overdosed and died inside the jail. Last week, the Associated Press reported, Callahan pled guilty to distribution of heroin and distribution of heroin in a jail. On Tuesday, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara sentenced the ex-guard to 2 ½ years in prison.

Callahan's acts were corruption of the most venal and banal sort; the acts of which Lumberton, North Carolina, police Lt. Leon Oxendine stand accused threaten to corrupt the workings of the criminal justice system itself. Again according to the Associated Press, Oxendine is currently in federal court facing charges of witness tampering, lying to the FBI, and five counts of lying to a grand jury. He stands accused of conspiring to plant evidence at the home of a man he suspected of being a drug dealer. Another Lumberton officer involved in the case, James Jordan, has already pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge after originally facing similar charges and will be sentenced after testifying against Oxendine.

In court testimony Tuesday, Oxendine faced the ironic situation of having his own informant rat him out. Scott LaClaire, an ex-con seeking to avoid going back to the pen, testified that he went to the Lumberton police looking to cut a deal. He knew a drug dealer who had a computer disk with an image of $100 bill, he testified he told Oxendine. But the disk was really in LaClaire's possession, and when Oxendine found out, he told LaClaire to go to the house and plant the disk. "It was his intention to arrest [the drug dealer] for the disk and get him on federal [counterfeiting] charges," LaClaire said.

Oxendine is charged with lying to the FBI and the grand jury about his role in planting the disk, as well as denying that he had conspired with LaClaire to commit the deed. LaClaire has pled guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges and will be sentenced after testifying against Oxendine. The trial continues this week.

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Issue #354, 9/17/04 Editorial: What Is It About Opium? | Canada Cannabis Cauldron Bubbling Again | DEA Brings Traveling "Drugs = Terror" Exhibit to NYC as City Commemorates 9/11 Anniversary | Drugs and Sports: A New Arena for Drug Reformers? | Newsbrief: In Gotham Shocker, New York Post Calls for Repeal of Rockefeller Laws | Newsbrief: Drug Reformer Challenger Defeats Hard-Line District Attorney in Albany, New York | Newsbrief: Yes, Four Ounces of Marijuana at Home is Legal, Says Alaska Supreme Court | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Attacks Oregon Medical Marijuana Initiative | Newsbrief: Oakland Poll Shows Strong Support for Legalization of Marijuana | Newsbrief: South Africa to Reject Marijuana Decriminalization | Newsbrief: More Drug Executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Mexico Shuts Down Three "Youth Treatment" Centers, Deports Kids Back to US | The Reformer's Calendar

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