This week we've got cops stealing drug dogs, cops cooking speed, soldiers running drugs, and soldiers who thought they were running drugs. Let's get to it:
In Monticello, Mississippi, a former Lincoln County Sheriff's Department auxiliary deputy was sentenced November 10 to one year of house arrest for stealing a Monticello Police Department drug dog and shipping it to Arizona to be sold. Claude Raymond Gatlin pleaded guilty two days earlier to making away with Orin, the drug dog. Orin disappeared on April 9 and was recovered a week later at a kennel in Bullhead City, Arizona. Kennel owners told the Southwest Mississippi Daily Leader Gatlin told them the dog had been eliminated from the K-9 program and he wanted to sell it. In addition to the year of house arrest, Gatlin was given a suspended four-year prison sentence and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
In Pittsburgh, former Ross Police Officer Michael Lance Baird, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Baird was busted in February, when federal drug agents raided an apartment building in search of meth labs. When agents arrested a pair of men on the third floor, the men asked if the agents were aware that Baird was cooking speed a floor below. When they searched Baird's apartment, they found chemicals and other materials used to produce the stimulant, as well as commercial scales. During his plea hearing Monday, Baird conceded he had conspired with the others to make meth, but denied ever having cooked it himself. Baird has been jailed until his sentencing date in March.
In Tucson, Monahan-Davis Air Force Base police officer Senior Airman Jareese Jones, 26, was sentenced November 10 to 18 months in confinement and a dishonorable discharge after being caught in an FBI drug sting, the Associated Press reported. He was one of three base police officers who agreed to transport what they thought was 15 kilos of cocaine from a Tucson parking lot to a Phoenix hotel. The cocaine turned out to be sugar, the smugglers turned out to be feds, and Jones and his buddies turned out to be in big trouble.
In El Paso, a US Army sergeant was sentenced to eight years in military prison Tuesday for participating in a drug smuggling ring that transported large amounts of cocaine and cash between a US military base in Colombia and Fort Bliss, just outside El Paso, the Associated Press reported. Staff Sgt. Victor Portales, who pleaded guilty, also saw his rank reduced to private and was given a dishonorable discharge. DEA agents testified that Portales and three others worked with Angel Gutierrez, a Colombian paramilitary and drug trafficker. Portales admitted as much in court Tuesday.