Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The Chronicle may have taken a week off, but corrupted law enforcers didn't take time off from their illicit enterprises, and there was no letup in corrupt cops stories. Here's this week's motley crew.

In Verona, Virginia, an Augusta County Correctional Center guard was arrested August 1 for smuggling in marijuana for inmates. Guard April Hogsett, 26, faces a Class 5 felony charge and is looking at up to 10 years in prison. A Virginia Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General agent executed a search warrant on Hogsett's vehicle the previous day and seized a phone, plastic baggies, and letters -- but no marijuana. That search came after an informant told authorities Hogsett was to supply marijuana to an inmate known to be dealing in the jail. Authorities said cell phone and inmate money order records backed that story.

In Clatskanie, Oregon, a Clatskanie police officer was arrested August 5 for burglarizing a home to steal prescription drugs. Officer Joseph Lee Harrison, 35, was charged with burglary, theft, and official misconduct for the late July burglary. He was accused of stealing prescription painkillers, and the victims told deputies they believed he was addicted to the drugs. Harrison is out on bail.

In Crossett, Arkansas, a Crossett police officer was arrested Sunday for selling drug investigation information and other files to the target of that investigation and conspiring with him to invest in the crack cocaine trade. Officer Darrell Webb is now a former officer, having been fired immediately after being charged with second degree forgery, theft of property, conspiracy to deliver cocaine and laundering criminal proceeds. Last July, Webb stopped a vehicle driven by the drug suspect, set up a meeting at a remote location, showed him a case file on him, and offered to sell it to him for $800. The suspect gave Webb $600 and agreed to meet later to pay the balance. The next day, the suspect called Webb at work and asked him if he wanted the rest of the money. The suspect recorded that call. The pair met, the suspect paid, and again recorded the conversation, with Webb saying he had deleted the damaging information. Webb then asked if he could make a profit investing in drugs for retail sale. The drug suspect then went to the department's top brass with his information, and Webb went down. He's now in jail trying to raise $50,000 bond.

In Zanesville, Ohio, a former Zanesville police officer was sentenced July 30 to 20 years in prison for teaming up with two other former local cops to rip off drug dealers. Former officer Sean Beck and his co-conspirators Trevor Fusner and Chad Mills had all originally been charged with six felony counts after being arrested in October 2007 in the act of ripping off a drug dealer at gunpoint in a local cemetery. All three eventually pleaded to one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count each of having a weapon while committing a drug trafficking offense. The trio went down after a local drug dealer went to the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office to complain they were shaking him down, making him sell drugs for them, and splitting the proceeds. He then became a confidential informant, recording various conversations, and informing authorities so that deputies and FBI agents were waiting when Beck and buddies tried their cemetery heist.

In San Diego, a former San Diego police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for giving inside information to drug traffickers. Former officer Juan Hurtado Tapia, 39, had admitted informing drug traffickers about an ongoing investigation and lying to federal officials about it. He pleaded guilty to obstructing an official investigation, making false statements, and a misdemeanor count of misusing a computer. Hurtado provided traffickers with background check information about a person they suspected of being an informer.

(Read last issue's corrupt cops compilation here.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Bigg picture add-up

Is it possible to go through all the corrupt-cop stories of the last ten years or so and add up the total amount of drugs they have distributed, cash stolen, criminal cases dismissed, etc. I think it would be interesting to keep a running tallys. I'd also like to get a Google map and place all the corrupt cop stories on the map. Doing these two things would give an annualized picture of how much corrupt-cops do to un-do the work of their fellow cops. I'm amazed by how many bad cop stories there are each week. It looks like at least 100 per year. Let's put this info into a format that gives you a picture of it all at once. [email protected]

I'm not very computer savvy, but I'd like to work with someone to get this done. I'd like it to be researched and authoritative so that others could use it as another reason "here's why the drug war will never work".

If you contact me, please put corrupt cops in the subject heading.

Corrupt cops

Carmen; There are several drug reform organizations and, they all have achives for the period of their existence. The Media Awareness Project probably has the largest archive but, Stop The Drug War, Drug Reform and Drug Sense are all active in the anti-prohibition field.I agree that drug prohibition breeds law enforcement corruption from bottom to top. I also support the efforts of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). I'd love to help with this project but, I have my hands full just struggling to remain free. Don't let your compu-shortcomings stop you. You got this far, right? Good luck citizen.

Why such low penalties for such high crimes?

Police corruption is so common the judiciary has come up with a new term to discribe their illegal conduct: called 'Testilying'. How is it that a cop that commits perjury only gets 30 months instead of the 5 yrs. that perjury demands? I find it disgusting that gun toting thugs that grossly violated our rights aren't made examples of. Personally I think those that work in the public trust and then grossly violate that trust should have their sentences doubled... not reduced! A thief is a thief and a home invader is a home invader... costumes and pretenses mean nothing!

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