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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #623)

Bad cops, bad cops, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Although the Chronicle took a week off last week, corrupt cops didn't. Here are two weeks' worth of rogues and villains. Let's get to it:

evidence room of opportunity
In Providence, Rhode Island, three Providence police officers were arrested March 4 on charges they helped in a cocaine-dealing operation. Narcotics Detective Joseph Colanduono, Sergeant Steven Gonsalves, and Patrolman Robert Hamlin have been suspended without pay. The trio went down after a four-month investigation whose primary target was Hamlin's brother, Albert, who is described as a major cocaine dealer. Robert Hamlin, a school resource officer at a Providence high school, is accused of helping his brother avoid arrest by giving him the names of narcotics detectives and descriptions of their cars. Hamlin is charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, while Gonsalves is charged with soliciting another to commit a crime and Colanduono is charged with conspiracy to deal cocaine and compounding and concealing a felony.

In San Francisco, drug cases are being dismissed after a police department crime lab tech admitted stealing cocaine being tested there. Debbie Madden, 60, who recently retired from the job, is accused of stealing small amounts of cocaine from evidence containers, but she has not been charged yet. San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon announced this week that the crime lab's drug testing was temporarily suspended pending an internal investigation and an outside audit of the lab. Twelve cases involving evidence tested or reviewed by Madden were dismissed Wednesday morning, and many more could follow. Local news reports Thursday night put the number of cases dismissed at "near 100." New drug cases may also be dismissed because the evidence will have to be sent to outside labs and will not be returned within the 48 hours required for the filing of charges.

In Weston, Kansas, a former Weston police officer was charged March 3 with stealing drugs from the police department evidence room. Kyle Zumbrunn, 27, is accused of stealing a controlled substance. He's already behind bars, serving a 16-month sentence for selling drugs to a Kansas Bureau of Investigation undercover agent. The new charge came after an investigation into evidence handling procedures at the Weston police department. After Zumbrunn was originally arrested for selling pills, Weston police did an inventory of their evidence room and discovered 28 morphine tablets, 45 Oxycodone pills, and 37 morphine sulfate pills were missing. Zumbrunn faces up to seven more years in prison if convicted on the latest charges.

In Lubbock,Texas, a former Hockley County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced February 27 to 36 months in federal prison for his role in a massive motorcycle gang methamphetamine operation. Former Officer Jose Quintanilla admitted using his position to supply sensitive law enforcement information to the gang and to deter law enforcement efforts to investigate the ring. Another Hockley County deputy, Gordon Bohannon, pleaded guilty to similar charges in December. He awaits sentencing.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a former Benton Harbor Police narcotics supervisor was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for conspiring to violate the civil rights of the residents of Benton Harbor. Bernard Hall, 33, was accused of a pattern of falsifying police reports, committing perjury, falsifying affidavits in support of search warrants, stealing money and property from citizens, and embezzling funds from the police department. Along with former Officer Andrew Thomas Collins, whom he was supposed to be supervising, Hall embarked on a "pervasive pattern of corruption." Collins is already doing 37-months for his role in the rogue operation.

In Crespatown, Pennsylvania, a dietary officer at the Western Correctional Institute was arrested February 12 after attempting to smuggle heroin in for an inmate. The arrest wasn't announced until late last month. Justin Wayne Smith, 27, went down after a drug-detecting dog alerted on his vehicle. During a subsequent search of his vehicle, officers found a balloon containing heroin and a syringe. Smith admitted to using heroin earlier in the day and said he was attempting to smuggle the rest to an inmate. He faces six charges, including intent to distribute, possession and intent to deliver drugs into an area of confinement. Combined, the charges could bring incarceration of more than 30 years and fines in excess of $65,000.

In Baltimore, Maryland, a Baltimore City Detention Officer guard was arrested February 21 for trying to smuggle an ounce of pot and a cell phone in to the prison for an inmate. Officer Shanika Johnson went down when her bag was searched as she arrived at the prison. She admitted being paid $1000 to make the contraband delivery. She is now out on $35,000 bond, with trial set for later this month.

In Oklahoma City, an Oklahoma County jail guard was arrested March 4 on charges he smuggled contraband, including marijuana, into the jail. Detention Officer Okello Adenya, 25, went down after a confidential informant told the sheriff's office Adenya was providing contraband to inmates over a two-month period in December and January. Prison guards recovered tobacco, marijuana, and a cell phone charger. Adenya admitted to the crimes and said he earned $1,100 in bribes for his efforts. He faces three felony counts of bringing and possessing contraband in a prison.

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.


Anonymous9098 (not verified)

Barry Cooper, the ex-narc turned marijuana activist just had his house raided last week in deliberate retaliation for his exposure of police corruption of inTexas. Cooper has all the corny bluster you would expect from a southern cop,but he's a smart guy after all, with some rare skills, and he makes some very entertaining videos. His first came into prominence a few years ago with his "Never Get Busted Again" videos detailing all the dirty tricks he used on drug users when he was a cop, and how people can avoid those particular pitfalls.

Mon, 03/15/2010 - 3:03am Permalink
Mr.Ocampo (not verified)

Do you think there's any corrupt cops helping to push drugs and working in a team with the drugdealers and prostitutes and people that work on some government benefits office.
Such as : Welfare offices,La Familia.

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 11:19pm Permalink
Preacher (not verified)

In reply to by Mr.Ocampo (not verified)

I can show you a place in Spring Texas where drugs and more run free protected by local Police. There is a place that operates out front as a video store and has for over 7 years now. They buzz you in the front door, and then you gain entry into an illegal gambling hall with slot machines. We operated an undercover sting, we thought, catching Cops and Airport Police and Security as well as Baggage Handlers, selling them crack pipes, bongs, and Salvia.

Mon, 12/13/2010 - 6:34am Permalink
Preacher (not verified)

I have in my possession the written and video taped confession of a hired hit man, who states Police in Humble, Texas hired him to Murder me and my 2 young children, and they did give him drugs. I wa s a former Police Officer and I witnessed Police Officers sell and keep confiscated drugs as well as use them to frame young girls from the Humble High School, giving them the option of sex with Police Officers or going to jail and ruining their lives. I witnessed much more that goes beyond drugs. The F.B.I. tipped them off when I went to them for help and I was framed. Even with the hit man's statement nobody will prosecute the people involved to include a Texas State Judge and Harris County Commissioner. My home was fire bombed with me and my children inside. You have no idea how bad it is.......

Mon, 12/13/2010 - 6:28am Permalink

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