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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Busy, busy, busy. Take a week off, and look what happens: Cops peddling pills, guards stealing pills, cops shaking down housing project residents, jail guards smuggling drugs, a DEA agent giving information to suspected mobsters, and more. Let's get to it:

In Cleveland, Ohio, a Cleveland police officer was arrested August 25 for his role in a cocaine distribution ring. Officer Zvonko Sarlog, a six-year veteran now faces a federal indictment for conspiracy to distribute cocaine along with six other people, none of them police officers. The arrests came after a nine-month investigation by the Cleveland police internal affairs unit, which eventually called in the FBI. Sarlog is accused of having a relative in Mexico smuggle cocaine into the country for sale in the Cleveland area.

In Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, 10 police officers have been arrested on charges they planted drugs as evidence against poor islanders. The Puerto Rican Civil Rights Commission is planning hearings into allegations these arrests are only the tip of the iceberg. Eight officers were arrested August 23, and raiding FBI agents found a safe containing drugs held in reserve to plant on people. Two more officers turned themselves in days later. They are accused of using marijuana, cocaine and heroin to frame residents of housing projects between 2004 and 2007. They also made up elaborate details on arrest and search warrants, according to police. If convicted, they face 10 years to life in prison.

In Detroit a Flat Rock police officer was among five people indicted August 29 on federal prescription drug distribution charges. Officer David Dewitt is accused of conspiring with a local physician, Dr. Paul Emerson, and three other people in a ring that allegedly circulated a million pills a year. Dewitt and the other three acted as Emerson's patients, filled the prescriptions he wrote, then allegedly sold them on the black market, according to the indictment. Dewitt, 37, is charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drugs with the intent to distribute several controlled substances and with being an unlawful user of some of the drugs while possessing his department-issued firearm. His status with the department was not known. [Ed: The question has to be asked in cases like this whether the doctors knew what the patients were doing -- often they don't, and such prosecutions are a major cause of the national problem of under-treatment of pain.]

In Gulfport, Mississippi, a jail guard was arrested and fired after being accused of smuggling drugs into the county jail. Harrison County Adult Detention Center guard Laquita Allen now faces up to five years in prison if convicted of introducing contraband into a jail. No word yet on details of the allegations against her. She is free on $25,000 bond.

In Portsmouth, Virginia, the former head of the Portsmouth police drug squad was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for participating in a drug distribution conspiracy that prosecutors said brought more than $5 million worth of crack cocaine to the area. Former Lt. Brian Keith Muhammad Abdul-Ali was found guilty of warning his nephew, convicted crack distributor Gregory Elliott, of upcoming raids, thus allowing him to sell 110 pounds or more of crack cocaine in the area between 2001 and last December, when Abdul-Ali and his nephew were arrested. Abdul-Ali faced up to 10 years on drug conspiracy charges, but the judge suspended 5 ½ years.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, a jail guard was arrested August 22 for repeatedly stealing prescription pain medications from prisoners. Western Worcester District Court jail guard Francine Melanson, 46, faces one count of larceny under $250 dollars, even though jail officials have her on videotape stealing pills on several occasions. She came under suspicion when a woman arrested by Leicester police in October 2006 claimed some of her hydrocodone pills were missing. The prescription drug is used for pain management. State police installed a camera in the court's cell area and subsequently caught Melanson in the act. Her lawyer said she is in treatment for a "substance abuse problem." The 11-year veteran guard is on unpaid leave from her $64,000 a year job.

In Boston, a DEA agent admitted in federal court August 23 that he used a government law enforcement computer to help targets in a mob investigation learn whether they were being investigated. The admission from DEA agent Louis Angioletti came as he pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of intentionally accessing a government computer in a manner that exceeded his lawful authority. Angioletti faces up to six months in federal prison. He also agreed to resign from the DEA. Angioletti got caught up in an FBI investigation of a conspiracy by mob-backed trash haulers to drive out the competition. While working at the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center, Angioletti was approached by an old friend who worked for the mob-connected trash haulers, and he agreed to run the friend's boss's name through the federal Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Information System database. He later reported that the boss's name didn't show up. He will be sentenced November 9.

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a Scranton police officer charged with selling Oxycontin while in uniform pleaded guilty August 28. Officer Mark Conway told the presiding judge he had been addicted to Oxycontin. His attorney made the strange remark that Conway "wasn't a drug dealer… but he distributed." Corruption or addiction? In either case, he was peddling pills while in uniform. He faces up to five years in prison.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Jail guards have always

Jail guards have always smuggled drugs, how do you think inmates them? Duh!

Jail guards have always

They are called "Horses"-Thats what we called them "back when" anyways-AND know someone who HAS Participated in such activity. Dirty, DIRTY Gaurds, Most ARE, in one form or another! Wardens-GET WISE OR your PArt of it!
Anny' in the 'Sota

Cops destroyed my medicine

Last week, while away from my home, the Glendora, CA police entered my property, and removed two large plants which were growing in my back yard. They were concealed inside of a camping tent, and I had attached a copy of my prescription to the entrance. I used tie-wraps to secure the tent zippers together.
The police said that the prescription was expired and tried to call the number on the prescription. (I carry the up-to-date copy with me). When nobody answered, to verify my prescription, they pulled up my plants. Now I will need to spend approx. $3000 or more in the future, to buy my cannabis at the store. Those plants would have yielded close to 2 lbs.
The cops didn't have a warrant, and I told them that they were operating outside of their jurisdiction. And that they stole my property. They told me that I could pick up the dead plants at the police station the next They were about 3 weeks away from harvesting, and just starting to bud.

Law enforcement...

how the system works is a mystery to us all. One thing that should be clear to any literate person and anyone around them is that addiction is a problem mainly when the addict has trouble with supply.
Mind you, workaholics don't face jail for working overtime, fanatic inventors have broken amazing ground in the sciences, and doctors who have been extremely dedicated to their work have changed the course of life for many people.
Addiction is addiction, no matter the substance, the person, place or thing.
The law is indeed an ass when it comes to drugs. There seems to be little recourse when someones' life is ruined because of an arrest and conviction for small amounts of pot. There are other substances that remove us from gainful employment and a reasonable social life, and the need has driven people to crime.
The police know this, and sociologists have said for years that poverty is the root cause of most dysfunctional behaviour.
So long as the truth is ignored and goods and services are disproportionately available, there will be those who need a crutch, and those who will gladly make a buck supplying it.
The broken lives are casualties of the greed, ignorance and prejudice within the power structure.

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