Skip to main content

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cop Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #530)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues

A Pittsburgh cop rips off the evidence locker, and four Metro Detroit cops get indicted for slinging steroids, helping a biker gang, and lying to the feds. Let's get to it:

In Pittsburgh, a retired Penn Hills police lieutenant was charged last Friday with stealing thousands of dollars worth of heroin and cocaine from department evidence lockers. Former Lt. William Markel, 54, is charged with three counts of theft and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. Markel went down after narcotics detectives told the police chief 110 bags of heroin were missing from a locked evidence locker. Further investigation revealed that an additional $2,000 worth of crack and powder cocaine was gone, as was another heroin stash valued at between $200 and $2,000. According to an affidavit in the case, Markel first said he took the drugs to give to informants, but then admitted stealing heroin and cocaine for his own use on multiple occasions. He also came up dirty on a departmental drug test and was fired. Markel says he has completed in-patient drug rehab and is now undergoing out-patient therapy. He is due back in court June 2.

In Detroit, four Metro Detroit police officers were indicted last month on drug charges and for lying to federal agents and a grand jury in an FBI operation targeting the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, the Detroit area's largest outlaw biker gang. The feds were going after the Highwaymen for alleged drug dealing, murder for hire, interstate theft, acts of violence, mortgage and insurance fraud and police corruption. Although the March 13 indictments served up only one Highwayman (for marijuana and prescription pill peddling), they did get since-fired Garden City Police Officer David Tomlan for perjury and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and steroids. He had joined the biker gang and lied to agents about his contacts with club members. Brownstown Police Officer Michael Ramsey and former Detroit reserve officer Dennis Abraham are charged with lying to agents and a grand jury, and are accused of informing club members of an informant in their midst. Hamtrack Officer Randell Hutchinson, who was assigned to the DEA's Metro Detroit task force, allegedly told the Highwaymen the FBI was wiretapping a club member. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute steroids.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

"According to an affidavit in the case, Markel first said he took the drugs to give to informants, but then admitted stealing heroin and cocaine for his own use on multiple occasions."

This would almost give one the impression that cops routinely GIVE ILLEGAL DRUGS to informants to get information to ARREST OTHER PEOPLE FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS.

The mere fact that he offered that excuse up at first says a lot about the police tactics of today and how they are just creating a circle of law breaking with them as the ring leaders.

So now informants know they will be rewarded with DRUGS. Perhaps this is why so many informant tips are bad and lead to nothing. What is there to lose when you have a COP giving you DRUGS!

Lord save us all.

Fri, 04/04/2008 - 12:24pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Two plain clothes men approached my house.

I had been charged with a small amount of marijuana possession. (none the less, a vague drug possession charge on my record for the rest of my life.)

As it turned out they were under cover SSCENT team members, and they wanted entry into my house.

They said, won't you worry what your neighbors might think? (Being in plain clothes, how would MY neighbors know who they were?)

At the time, my reply was, ''I don't care what my neighbors think." ( I was under a great deal of pressure to rat out anyone, who in my community; is almost everyone, that smokes marijuana.)

I said, ''I will absolutely not do that!"
The undercover agents told me that if I were to tell, that they could see to it that my marijuana conviction just went away.

When I brougt this fact up to the judge, he said, "I am the only one with authority to do that."

Bottom line; police in Michigan, use illegal tactics and coersion to try to get more drug convitions.

Fri, 04/04/2008 - 5:16pm Permalink
Dawn Derus (not verified)

I Dawn Derus/Tomlan, Can't believe my husband Dave Tomlan got caught up in this, he's a wonderful husband and a great family man I could never ask or hope for a better Person to share my life with, I dearly deeply love him and always will 4 ever, along with his family!
Tue, 03/15/2011 - 3:43am Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.