Drug War Chronicle may have taken a week off, but the corrupt cops didn't. There's continuing fall-out from the Henry County, Virginia, sheriff's office bust in October, another Tennessee cop running interference for drug dealers, a long-time fugitive INS officer caught, and, of course, a couple more jail guards bringing goodies to the prisoners. Let's get to it:
In Roanoke, Virginia, two former Henry County sheriff's deputies pleaded guilty to charges they were part of a conspiracy to sell drugs seized from drug dealers. Former Deputy James Alden Vaught pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, while former Deputy David Allan King pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy. Both were among 20 people, including Henry County Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell and 12 other sheriff's deputies, who were indicted in October. Sheriff Cassell has resigned since being accused of turning a blind eye as his deputies sold drugs seized in investigations, as well as other misconduct. King faces up to 40 years in prison and Vaught up to 20 years, but their sentences will depend on how much they cooperate with the government in the cases against their colleagues. Meanwhile, another former Henry County deputy has been re-indicted in the case. Former Deputy Robert Keith Adams was originally charged with making false statements, but was hit with a new, six-count indictment December 21. Adams allegedly knew that Vaught had stolen two kilograms of cocaine and $40,000 in cash, but instead of turning him in, demanded $20,000. He is charged with concealing a felony, attempting to obstruct an official proceeding by encouraging a potential witness to withhold and/or present false evidence to federal investigators, making false statements and attempting to mislead federal investigators.
In Nashville, a city police officer was indicted by a federal grand jury December 21 for using his position to help his nephew distribute cocaine. Officer Ernest Cecil, 49, a 15-year veteran of the force, faces counts of conspiring to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute over 500 kilograms of cocaine, brandishing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, a federal law that prohibits extortion affecting interstate commerce. Cecil was a narcotics detective from 1997 through 2004. He is accused of, among other things, protecting his nephew's drug dealing operation by warning him about police investigations.
In El Paso, a fugitive former Immigration and Naturalization Service officer was captured December 22. Jose Trinidad Carrillo, had been convicted of conspiracy to import marijuana, aiding and abetting the importation of marijuana, and bribery of a public official in 1994, but fled to Mexico. He returned to the El Paso area at an unknown date and someone informed US Marshals he was in the area. They arrested him without incident although he was armed. Carrillo was carrying false identification when he was arrested.
In Indianapolis, a Marion County Jail guard was arrested December 24 for trying to smuggle marijuana and cigarettes into the jail. Tacaria Eskew was arrested after jail supervisors told police she received a package containing 20 cigarettes and two small bags of marijuana hidden inside food containers. Eskew told the Indianapolis Star she was set up and didn't know who sent her the package.
In Albemarle, North Carolina, an Albemarle District Jail guard was arrested December 22 on charges he smuggled drugs into the jail. Ryan White, 25, had worked at the jail for about six months when she was arrested. She was in possession of the prescription drugs Flexaril and Darvocet when the bust went down. She was charged with possession with intent to sell/deliver a schedule IV controlled substance, selling/delivering a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in a prison facility and providing a controlled substance to an inmate. All four are felony charges. White was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.