Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories 3/18/05

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Another slow week on the corruption front -- nothing spectacularly evil, just the same old banal personal corruption of cops and jailers who either couldn't resist temptation or let their habits get on top of them. But the taint of drug law-related corruption is cumulative, and each story like this adds to the general impression of police run amok. Here we go:

In another apparent case of jailers gone bad, KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City reported Wednesday that three current and one former Lincoln County jail guards have been arrested on various charges, including rape and distributing marijuana within the jail. All of the jailers are women, and three of them have been accused of having consensual sex with male prisoners, but that is still rape in the eyes of Oklahoma authorities. "It can be consensual," said Lincoln County Sheriff A.T. Brixey, "but the fact of the matter is the custodial people in a penal institution cannot have sexual relations with the inmates. When they do, that's second-degree rape." Former jailer Misty Simon is also charged with introducing contraband into the jail, based on allegations she sold and delivered marijuana to prisoners.

In Fostoria, Ohio, former police sergeant Nicholas Portentoso, 43, is sitting in jail after being hit with six charges, crack cocaine possession among them, related to his stormy relationship with his ex-wife. He is also charged with felonious assault, two counts of disrupting public services, menacing by stalking, and intimidation according to the Seneca County Advertiser-Tribune. The charges stem from a 2003 incident when Portentoso accosted his ex-wife, Kathy Portenoso and allegedly threatened both her and his own life while he was under a restraining order to stay away from her. The pair are involved in an ongoing custody battle over their two children, the newspaper reported. After being arraigned on the charges, Portentoso was denied bail and sits in jail awaiting a March 31 hearing.

And in Springfield, Georgia, an Effingham County Sheriff's deputy was arrested March 8 after buying marijuana from an undercover officer, the Savannah Now web site reported. Melinda Stewart Johnson of Statesboro was in the Effingham County Jail facing charges of marijuana possession, criminal solicitation, and possession of a firearm during a crime, Sheriff Jimmy Duffie said. The sheriff focused in on Johnson only days earlier after receiving reports she had previously bought marijuana. Duffie set up a sting operation in a local parking lot and snared the errant deputy, who was still on probation as a new employee. She probably shouldn't count on keeping her job.

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Issue #379 -- 3/18/05

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Editorial: How to Launch a Nationwide Drug Menace | Alaska Measure to Recriminalize Marijuana Headed for Hearings Next Week | The UN Vienna Meeting: Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full? | Marijuana Regulation Efforts Moving Forward in Nevada and Vermont | Marijuana Law Enforcement Costs More than $7 Billion a Year -- and Doesn't Work, Says New Report | Coasters to Stop the Drug War | Events and Conferences Coming Up for Drug Reformers -- Come Out and Be a Part of It | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: US Drug War Hurts Women, Says New Report | Newsbrief: Welfare Bill Amended to Cut Funding to States That Fail to Drug Test Welfare Recipients, But None Currently Do | Newsbrief: Police in Missouri Town Seek to Overturn Marijuana Reform Ordinance | Newsbrief: Heroin Maintenance Study Now Underway in Vancouver | Newsbrief: Vancouver Sun Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: UN Predicts Cocaine Price Increase, Cites Colombia "Success" | Newsbrief: European Drug Think-Tank Calls for Legalizing Afghan Opium Crop -- Afghan Government Reaction Mixed | Newsbrief: Crackdown in Sao Paulo's "Crackland" Stirs Criticism | Media Scan: Tony Papa on Artists Against the Drug War for Alternet, Slate on the WTO and Marijuana Laws, Vancouver Sun on Marijuana Legalization, UK Overdosing on Opiates Article | This Week in History | MAPS Benefit Auction | The Reformer's Calendar


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