This week there are new developments
in a pair of nasty stories previously mentioned here, as well as a motley
collection of cops and prosecutors who probably don't qualify as corrupt,
but who have the sort of bad habits for which they usually arrest or prosecute
others. While one may have been doing a bit of low-level wheeling
and dealing, there is no evidence to suggest the others are guilty of anything
more than hypocrisy and, in the last case, extreme bad judgment in picking
But before getting to the
new cases of poor judgment, it is worth noting that a man featured here
just two weeks ago, former Campbell County, Tennessee, Sheriff's Department
head narcotics officer David Webber, is now behind bars awaiting sentencing
after pleading guilty to beating and torturing an alleged drug dealer.
Webber was the leader of a five-man sheriff's squad whose two-hour terrorization
of Lester Eugene Siler was
partially recorded by Siler's wife, revealing a remarkable display
of thuggish brutality.
In the face of the damning
recorded evidence, Webber pled guilty in US District Court in Knoxville
Tuesday to conspiring with the rest of his squad to violate Silers' rights.
He admitted in court that he led the attack, in which Siler was handcuffed
and beaten at gunpoint, and convincingly threatened with death. Three
of his cohort, former deputies Samuel Franklin, Joshua Monday, and Shayne
Green were scheduled to plead guilty this week as well. A fourth
deputy, William Carroll, will proceed to trial.
All face up to ten years
in federal prison. Monday faces a separate charge of brandishing
a firearm during the crime and faces a seven-year mandatory minimum sentence
on that count. There is no information yet on whether Monday's plea
bargain will result in the dropping of that charge. Webber's plea
bargain granted him immunity from prosecution for any other crimes, leading
one to ask: what other crimes?
Down in Dallas, Big D taxpayers
will shell out $5.7 million to settle lawsuits stemming from the "sheetrock"
scandal, where police informants planted "cocaine" and "methamphetamine"
on people that turned out to be nothing more than gypsum powder.
The settlement covers 16 of the 24 people, mostly Mexican immigrants, who
sued over their 2001 arrests and imprisonment, according to a report in
the Dallas Morning News. One plaintiffs' attorney, Tony Wright, told
the newspaper settlements for his clients ranged from $120,000 for a man
jailed for a day to $480,000 for a man jailed for months. Settlements
for the 12 clients of attorney Don Tittle averaged $370,000, he said.
Three informants have been
sent to federal prison for their roles in the scheme, while two former
Dallas Police Department narcotics officers, Mark Delapaz and Eddie Herrera,
await trial on evidence tampering charges.
And now, on to the cops on
Bernard was ratted out by his
wife, with whom he is in divorce proceedings. Donna Bernard called
police to the family home on November 30 and directed them to a bag of
weed in the master bedroom and a roach on a shelf in the basement.
Ms. Bernard also volunteered to police that Bernard smoked two joints a
night during the week and four a day on the weekends. She admitted
to smoking pot with her husband in the past, but also said she was concerned
about his ability to care for their children once she saw the baggie in
his dresser drawer. She thoughtfully videotaped the marijuana, called
her divorce attorney, then called the police.
-- END --
In Texas, a former Denison police
officer was arrested February 17 on charges of possessing more than an
ounce of methamphetamine, the Denison Herald Democrat reported. David
Wayne Stanley was arrested by police in Sherman after he consented to a
search of his vehicle during a traffic stop. The search uncovered
meth, ecstasy, digital scales, baggies, a cell phone, $1500 in cash, "drug
notes," and a handbook on how to stash and hide drugs in automobiles and
This is Stanley's second crank bust in recent months. In October,
he was arrested in Denison and charged with meth possession. He was
out on bond when arrested in Sherman. During his first arrest, Stanley
refused to consent to a search of his vehicle, so Sherman police sicced
a drug dog on it. The dog alerted, the police searched, and Stanley
was arrested. Stanley had a nine-year history of police work when
he resigned from the Denison department in 2001.
A Michigan State Police trooper
was arraigned Saturday on charges of conspiracy to possess less than 25
grams of cocaine, according to a statement from the Michigan State Police.
Trooper Todd Cardoza of Flint, a 17-year-veteran, was one of four people
arrested two days earlier by members of the Michigan State Police Emergency
Support team. State officials refused to release any further details
on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, but Cardoza spent two days
at the Genesee County Jail before bailing out Monday.
And in New Hampshire, Manchester
city prosecutor has been charged with three counts of marijuana possession
and is out on bail awaiting a March 10 arraignment, the Manchester Union
Leader reported. City prosecutor Kenneth Bernard, 34, will be arraigned
in Manchester District Court, where he used to prosecute people charged
with violations and misdemeanors, including marijuana possession.
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