Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories 5/13/05

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This week, we revisit some corrupt cops we've covered in the past as new developments unfold.

In Boston, fallout from the arrest and trial of former state narcotics officer Timothy White is now threatening to envelop other state narcotics officers, the Boston Herald reported. White is accused of stealing 27 pounds of cocaine and other drugs while assigned to the Narcotics Inspection Unit in 2002 and 2003. In testimony during his trial, the unit's former commander, Lt. Michael Kelly, said that he has been interviewed by state police investigators looking into the case, and the Herald reported that several other sources confirmed an internal affairs investigation of the unit is underway. The investigation will determine whether evidence handling and reporting procedures at the unit was so lax as to merit criminal charges for others, or whether it was merely sloppiness and incompetence. "It's going to be ugly," one source told the Herald. "They're waiting until White's trial is over," he said.

In Honolulu, police officer Harold Cabbab pled guilty May 5 to a one-count indictment charging him with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Cabbab, a former local star athlete, was nabbed in a sting operation in December after conspiring with an acquaintance for more than a month to steal a shipment of drugs in hopes of making $100,000 each. Cabbab and his buddy, both wearing shirts emblazoned HPD, broke into a storage locker and stole what they believed to be 20 pounds of meth and eight pounds of cocaine. But unfortunately for Cabbab, his buddy was actually a snitch working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Cabbab faces a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence, but prosecutors said he would be eligible for the "safety valve" for first offenders if he cooperated fully in the case.

In Dallas, a special prosecutor released a long-awaited report on the Dallas "sheetrock" scandal Monday. In that scandal, Dallas Police narcotics officers working with crooked informants arrested dozens of people, mostly Mexican immigrants, on drug trafficking charges although the alleged drugs turned out to be gypsum, the stuff used to make sheetrock and pool cue chalk. Dallas district attorneys prosecuted them and Dallas judges sent them to prison in an assembly line fashion showing that justice really is blind. Former Dallas police officer Mark Delapaz has been sentenced to five years in prison for lying in the case, and three other police officers and six paid informants have also been indicted.

Monday's report by special prosecutor Jack Zimmerman accused prosecutors of cozying up to police, but said he found no evidence they intentionally prosecuted cases they knew were bad. He did find cases of "inexcusable neglect," such as a case where prosecutor Vanita Budhrani White received a lab report saying a drug seizure did not contain real drugs, but filed the report without reading it, then told defense attorneys the drugs in the case were real. Also, Zimmerman found, prosecutors developed an "us versus them" attitude toward defendants and defense attorneys. "Many prosecutors came to view all defendants accused of drug offenses as being guilty," Zimmermann said at a Monday news conference. "The prosecutors were skeptical of any claim of innocence or police wrongdoing." But Zimmerman also had choice words for some public defenders, whom he accused of inadequately representing their clients and even failing to file motions for dismissal when prosecutors had suggested they do so.

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Issue #386 -- 5/13/05

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Editorial: Paying for Propaganda | Feature: Marijuana Remains Legal in Alaska | Feature: Major Russian Drug Reforms on Verge on Being Reversed | Feature: ONDCP Student Drug Testing Road Show Dogged by "Truth Squads" | Announcement: DRCNet/Perry Fund Event to Feature US Rep. Jim McDermott, June 1 in Seattle | Sentencing: House Passes Orwellian "Anti-Gang" Mandatory Minimums | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Cocaine: Connecticut House Passes Bill to Eliminate Crack/Powder Disparities | Pain: Boston Congressman Wants Nationwide Ban on Oxycontin | Pain: ABC's Nightline Gives Sympathetic Look at Pain Treatment vs. Prohibition | Prisons: Sex Abuse of Federal Inmates by Guards "A Significant Problem," Justice Department Says | Initiatives: Denver Marijuana Initiative Submitted for Approval | Initiatives: Michigan Marijuana Initiative Effort Gets Underway | Middle East: Lawless Iraq Becoming Key Drug Corridor, INCB Says | Asia: Taiwan Considers Syringe Access to Reduce AIDS Spread | Caribbean: "Ganja Planter" Lament Tops the Charts in Trinidad & Tobago | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Listing: Outreach Coordinator, Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (DRCNet) | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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