This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories 2/25/05

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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 a wife.

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 dope:

  • 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 homes.

    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.
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.

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Issue #376 -- 2/25/05

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Editorial: PROOF | Campaign Against "Souder's Law" Progresses Forward and Outward in DC and the States | Ohio Drugged Driving Bill Hits Speed Bumps in House After Quick Senate Approval | Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse 2005 -- An Overview of Progress So Far | DRCNet Book Reviews: "Drugs and Democracy" and "Dangerous Harvests" | DRCNet/Perry Fund Event to Feature Rep. John Conyers and Kemba Smith, March 9 in Washington, DC | This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: Bush All But Admitted Past Drug Use in Secretly Recorded Tapes | Newsbrief: Pushing National Drug Control Strategy, Drug Czar Calls for Drug War to Emulate Terror War | Newsbrief: Parents More Chill About Teen Drug Use, Study Frets | Newsbrief: In Latest Border Killing, Agent Shoots Unarmed Marijuana Mule | Newsbrief: More Meth Madness -- Iowa School District to Ban Homemade Goodies for Fear of Crank Contamination | Newsbrief: Marijuana Legalization to be Debated at Canadian Liberal Party Meet | Newsbrief: Singapore's First-Ever Cocaine Bust Prompts Ad Campaign Aimed at Elite | Newsbrief: Counterculture Icon Hunter Thompson Dead By His Own Hand | This Week in History | Job Openings with MPP Nevada Campaign, and Other Opportunities | The Reformer's Calendar

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