Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories 4/14/06

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Whew! Busy, busy, busy. We've got something for everybody this week. A pair of big city narcs and a small-town drug task force commander go down hard, an FBI secretary is accused of aiding meth dealers, a cop in Florida grows pot and one in Indiana slings crack, evidence walks out of two small-town departments, another prison guard goes down and so does an associate warden. Let's get to it:

In Baltimore, former Baltimore Police Detectives William King and Antonio Murray were convicted April 7 of multiple federal drug sales conspiracy and carrying a weapon during a robbery charges, the Baltimore Sun reported. The pair could spend the rest of their lives in prison. Prosecutors convinced a jury that King and Murray used their guns, badges, and unmarked cars to steal drugs and money from dealers and provide heroin, cocaine, and marijuana to their stable of snitches, who sold it on the streets and split the proceeds with the detectives. King and Murray both testified in their own defense, saying it was all part of their effort to collect information on powerful drug dealers, but the jury didn't buy it. King is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 305 years on 13 gun charges alone, and Murray is facing a mandatory minimum 130 years for six gun charges. Both were also convicted on multiple drug dealing conspiracy and robbery charges.

In Plaquemine, Louisiana, the former commander of a drug task force is going to prison for 35 years for orchestrating a scheme to rip off an evidence room and then burn it to the ground, the Associated Press reported. Twenty-year Iberville Parish Sheriff's Deputy Gerald Jenkins and his cousin, John Jenkins, stole pot worth $130,000, cocaine worth $600,000, $150,000 in cash, 18 guns, and more than 700 case files. Cousin John pleaded guilty to possessing more than 400 grams of cocaine in March and got 13 years. Gerald Jenkins pled guilty to the possession charge and an arson charge. He won't be eligible for parole for 15 years.

In Honolulu, a federal grand jury has indicted an FBI secretary on charges she leaked sensitive information to drug dealers, the Honolulu Advertiser reported. Charmaine Moniz, the FBI secretary, was indicted with eight others, including her husband, Eric, on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Moniz is accused of disclosing "sensitive" law enforcement information from FBI computers to help the meth ring avoid detection. One of the suspects in the meth ring was also under investigation for cock fighting, and four current and one former Honolulu police officers were indicted for protecting that operation. The meth conspiracy involved about two pounds of the drug in 2004, according to the indictment. Moniz and her alleged co-conspirators face from 10 years to life in prison.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, Lighthouse Point Police Officer Michael Bollon pleaded guilty in federal court April 7 to operating a marijuana grow house, the North Country Gazette reported. The guilty plea means Bollon faces up to 20 years in prison and will forfeit his house to the government. According to court testimony, Bollon grew about 20 pounds of pot before he shut down his operation after some of his co-conspirators were arrested by the DEA. Bollon resigned from the force earlier this year when he became aware he was about to get busted.

In Nashville, Indiana, a former police officer was indicted April 7 on seven drug-related charges, including dealing crack cocaine, possession of cocaine, attempted distribution and possession of psyilocybin mushrooms, maintaining a public nuisance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Martinsville Reporter-Times. Robert Easterday, 32, a seven-year veteran, was suspended for dereliction of duty in February after reporting his service revolver missing. He recovered it the next day with its serial number filed off. One of his neighbors was subsequently charged with being a violent felon in possession of a firearm. The same neighbor is mentioned in the indictment as the person Easterday asked if he knew anyone who would buy psilocybin mushrooms. Easterday was being held on $20,000 bond at last report.

In West Des Moines, Iowa, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office is the subject of an investigation by state authorities into what has happened to nearly $2 million in cash seized by the department in the last five years, the Des Moines Register reported Monday. The investigation came after a Dallas County deputy charged that part of $800,000 in suspected drug money seized last month never made it to the evidence room. State crime agents searched the home of Sheriff Brian Gilbert March 30, but have not said what, if anything, they found, and no arrests have been made. Ironically, control over the sheriff's department evidence room has temporarily been turned over to the West Des Moines police, whose former evidence room technician, Charles Graham, was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for stealing drugs and $10,000 in cash from the evidence room.

In Greenwood, Mississippi, 90 pounds of pot has gone missing from the Greenwood Police Department, the Associated Press reported April 6. The chief is investigating, the mayor told the AP, and the Mississippi Narcotic Bureau and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation have been brought in as well. Keeping control of the goodies seems to be a perennial problem at the department. In January, "an undisclosed number" of guns went missing. They have yet to turn up.

In Columbia, South Carolina, state Department of Corrections Associate Warden Matthew Golden was charged April 5 with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, the US Attorney's Office announced. Matthew Golden, 43, and his brother Alphonso, 47, were being held at the Lexington County Detention Center. They face a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence if convicted. Federal prosecutors said there was no evidence that Golden was distributing drugs into the prisons, but not to worry: At least three other Corrections employees have been arrested so far this year on drug charges.

In Denver, a former Denver County deputy sheriff was sentenced to four years in prison April 7 for smuggling marijuana and other contraband into the Denver County Jail, according to a report from TV 7 News in Denver. Solomon Mikael, 35, originally faced three counts each of bribery and introduction of contraband, but pleaded guilty to one count of each in January. The seven-year sheriff's department veteran had been under investigation since April 2005, when the department's internal affairs unit heard allegations inmates were buying contraband from a deputy.

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Issue #431 -- 4/14/06

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

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Feature: ACLU Seeks Dismissal of "Operation Meth Merchant" Cases for Racial Bias | Feature: Marchers Take to the Streets to Demand Legal Needle Exchanges in North Carolina | Guest Editorial: Injustice in Massachusetts -- Two Years in Jail for One Joint | Offer: Important New Legalization Video Available | Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle? | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Marijuana: Alaska Governor's Effort to Recriminalize Marijuana Passes One More Hurdle | Law Enforcement: In Widely Criticized Sting, Undercover Blonde Cop Snares Massachusetts High School Boys | Treatment Not Jail: California Saving Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Thanks to Proposition 36, Reports Say | Europe: Scottish Cops Say Legalize It All | Law Enforcement: Agent Who Shot Himself in Foot Sues DEA for Making Him Look Silly | Marijuana: Nevada Initiative Faces Uphill Battle, Poll Says | Drugged Driving: British Study Finds One-Third of Drivers Who Test Positive for Drugs Pass Roadside Impairment Tests | Asset Forfeiture: Feds Try to Seize Drug Suspects' Dental Work | Latin America: Coca-Friendly Candidate Wins First Round of Peru Presidential Election | Web Scan: Delaware's Former Top Cop Asks the Legalization Question, Cato's Radley Balko on SWAT Dog Killings | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Field Director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington, DC | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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