Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories 4/7/06

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We have two stories out of Baltimore this week, as well as a pair of greedy air marshals, an upstate New York cop with a bad habit, a Florida deputy with sticky fingers, and a Memphis cop who thought he was protecting drug dealers, but is instead going to prison.

In Baltimore, Baltimore City Police Officer Walter Jackson-Hill, 35, was arrested Saturday on charges he took bribes from a drug suspect in return for failing to appear at the man's criminal trial. He is alleged to have agreed to try to get the suspect sentenced to probation instead of prison time in return for bribes totaling $1,150. Questioned in another investigation, the drug suspect told police Jackson-Hill had arrested him in September and told him he would let him go for $400. The suspect then got $750 more from investigators, which he gave to Jackson-Hill in return for the promise of probation. That transaction was recorded. Jackson-Hill is charged with theft, bribery, extortion, and obstruction of justice. A police spokesman told the Baltimore Sun Jackson-Hill would probably be suspended without pay this week.

In Baltimore, the trial of Detectives William King and Antonio Murray on charges they robbed drug dealers of dope and cash continues in federal court. King shocked the courthouse when he testified last week that he routinely supplied informants with drugs to sell and took money from informants who thought they were sharing their illicit profits with him. King said he had been taught such off-the-books measures during training from narcotics officers in New York City. King defended his practice of seizing drugs from one suspect only to pass them on to his informants to sell them on the street. "The more a snitch interacts with people, the more arrests I get," he testified.

In Houston, two federal air marshals pleaded guilty Monday to drug trafficking and bribery charges. Burlie Sholar III, 38, and Shawn Ray Nguyen, 32, admitted to charges they agreed to accept $15,000 to use their official positions to bypass airport security and smuggle 15 pounds of cocaine onto a flight to Las Vegas. The pair also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, raising the possibility that more air marshals could be under investigation. They were caught in a sting after a federal informant recorded conversations with Nguyen and delivered the cocaine to Nguyen's home. They face a minimum of 10 years in prison each and could get up to life.

In North Tonawanda, New York, former police officer Patrick Daly pleaded guilty March 29 to stealing $40,000 from the North Tonawanda Police Benevolent Fund in order to feed his crack and powder cocaine habit. Daly, 44, was the fund's treasurer. In his plea agreement, Daly admitted he bought and used drugs while on duty. Daly faces four years in prison when sentenced in July, and has agreed to make restitution for the stolen money.

In Punta Gorda, Flordia, Charlotte County Sheriff's Deputy was charged March 29 with petty theft for stealing money from the scene of a drug raid. Gerald Chapdelaine, 34, was part of a drug squad that raided a Port Charlotte home March 23. According to an internal investigation, Chapdelaine was searching a bedroom and another officer saw him place two stacks of cash behind a television. When the officer returned to the room, one of the stacks of money was missing. The investigation determined that Chapdelaine had stolen $60 in cash. He has been fired.

In Memphis, the last of three Memphis police officers convicted on corruption charges for accepting bribes to provide security for a drug deal was sentenced March 28. Now former Memphis police Officer John Vaughan was sentenced to 4 ½ years, but was allowed to defer beginning his sentence until January 2007 because his wife is pregnant and the judge wanted him to have an opportunity to bond with the child before he went to prison. The other former officers in the case, Billy Scott and David Tate, were sentenced to seven and 14 years respectively.

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Issue #430 -- 4/7/06

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Editorial: Stopping Bongs, Not Bombs (Evidently) | Feature: Measure to Make Drug Czar Research "Frankenstein Fungus" to Destroy Drug Crops Heads to the Senate | Feature: Pittsburgh Needle Exchange Under Attack, But May Come Out Ahead | Feature: As the Well Runs Dry, Texas Drug Task Forces Ride Off Into the Sunset | Offer: Important New Legalization Video Available | Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle? | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Law Enforcement: NYPD Shuts Down Chelsea Clubs Over Drug Violations | Search and Seizure: Cops, School District to Pay Students $1.2 Million in Goose Creek Raid Settlement | Paraphernalia: ICE Raids South Florida Head Shops | Pain Medicine: Ohio Doctor Freed on Bail During Appeal of Drug Trafficking Conviction | Pregnancy I: Cocaine Use is Not Child Abuse, New Mexico Appeals Court Says | Pregnancy II: Expectant Mothers Who Expose Fetuses to Drugs Can't Be Convicted as Drug Dealers Under Fetal Rights Law, Texas Appeals Court Rules | Medical Marijuana: Reagan Aide Lyn Nofziger Dead at 81 -- Supported Patients' Rights | Europe: Italy Sets Quantity Guidelines for Tough New Drug Law | Latin America: Pro-Coca Upstart Poised to Win First Round of Peruvian Presidential Election | Web Scan: WOLA at House Andes Hearings, Mycoherbicides Again, Broken Windows Debunked, CBC on Coca and Peru's Election, Denver Post, Meth Legalization | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opportunities: System Administrator and Grassroots Organizer at MPP | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar


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