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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #653)
Drug War Issues

A massive round-up of dirty cops in Puerto Rico, a massive drug conspiracy led by a South Carolina sheriff, and another greedy jail guard make the news this week. Let's get to it:

In Columbia, South Carolina, the former Lee County sheriff pleaded not guilty last Thursday to 47 new charges in what prosecutors are calling a complex drug conspiracy case. Former Sheriff EJ Melvin resigned in May after he and 11 others were charged with a drug distribution conspiracy. In an earlier indictment, witnesses accused Lee of dealing cocaine from his official vehicle and state police agents said that they had given Melvin a list of possible drug dealers, only to have him use it to tip off the dealers and plan to get money from other dealers in exchange for keeping agents away. The second indictment charges that Melvin abused his position as sheriff to enrich himself and others through drug dealing, extorted kickbacks, and money laundering. He is now facing one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of power cocaine, 20 counts of extorting kickbacks from drug dealers, three counts of money laundering, one count of taking more than $5,000 in victim assistance funds for personal use, three counts of lying to state and federal agents, and 18 counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. He faces up to life in prison for the drug conspiracy and between 20 and life for the racketeering counts. Amazingly, he has been allowed to remain free on bail.

In Puerto Rico, 133 police officers, prison guards, and US Army officers were arrested last Thursday in a series of FBI raids aimed at law enforcement officials helping drug traffickers. Some 750 agents were involved in the massive operation, which covered the entirety of the US territory. Those rounded up face charges conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and illegal firearms offences. Prosecutors allege the police officers provided security for drug dealers at up to $4,500 a pop. If convicted, the defendants face from 10 years to life in prison.

In Chicago, a Cook County jail guard was arrested October 4 after being caught on camera accepting marijuana and cocaine to be delivered to an inmate. Guard Timothy Fuller, 42, is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver after being caught by a sting investigation. Fuller went down after jail officials got suspicious and set up a sting. Fuller met with a woman who supplied him with 16 grams of cocaine and 135 grams of pot and paid him $400 to smuggle the contraband into the jail. But the woman was an undercover cop, the camera was rolling, and now Fuller is looking out from the wrong side of the bars.

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.


Giordano (not verified)

 The GOP’s new contract on America gives support to corruption in the ‘Justice’ Dept:

A proposal in the “Contract With America” released recently by the GOP would make it much easier to succeed with false arrests by permitting police to utilize illegally seized evidence in courts.”

This and more information on perjured police testimony, false evidence, etc., can be found in the following excellent piece by Linn Washington, Jr:


Wed, 10/13/2010 - 4:48pm Permalink
Rwolf (not verified)

In reply to by Giordano (not verified)

Americans to protect their freedoms, should immediately address GOP’S dangerous proposal in the “Contract With America” that would “make it much easier” for police to succeed with false arrests allowing illegally seized evidence in courts.

Republican Senator Hatch slipped this nightmare into The Crime Control Act of 1993 that failed to pass that attempted to add: Section 3509 Admissibility of Evidence Obtained By Search or Seizure(a) Evidence Obtained By Objectively Reasonable Search or Seizure (b) Evidence Not Excludable By Statute or Rule:” That provision would have laid the groundwork for Government/police to conduct illegal searches of Americans, their homes and offices with little or no probable cause as follows: “Government need only assert that "a search and seizure was carried out in circumstances justifying an objectively reasonable belief that it was in conformity with the Fourth Amendment." Had the Hatch bill passed it would have opened the door for government/police to conduct mass civil asset forfeiture using (illegally obtained evidence) because police would only have to assert, "A search and seizure was carried out in circumstances justifying an objectively reasonable belief that it was in conformity with the Fourth Amendment." There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture. Under federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property. US private contractors and their operatives (people/asset bounty hunters) work so closely with police exchanging information to arrest Americans and or share in the forfeiture of their assets, they appear to merge with police. Former Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 passed, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” and effectively eliminated the “statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. The statute now runs five years from when police allege they “learned” that an asset became subject to forfeiture. Obviously if Congress approves GOP's proposal to admit illegally seized evidence into court, joining that with Rep. Hyde's passed forfeiture bill's low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property “A preponderance of Evidence”, will allow police and government contractors to utilized government illegal wiretaps,  including Citizens’ Internet activity and email to forfeit Citizens' homes, businesses and other assets; utilize illegally obtained evidence to arrest Americans. Most property and business owners that defend their assets against Government Civil Forfeiture claim an “innocent owner defense.” This defense can become a criminal prosecution trap for both guilty and innocent property owners. Any fresh denial of guilt to the government when questioned about committing a crime “even when you did not do it” may “involuntarily waive” your right to assert in your defense—the “Criminal Statute of Limitations” past for prosecution: any fresh denial of guild, even 30 years after a crime was committed may allow Government prosecutors to use old and new evidence, including information discovered during a Civil Asset Forfeiture Proceeding to launch a criminal prosecution. For that reason many innocent property and business owners are reluctant to defend their property and businesses against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. Re: waiving Criminal Statute of Limitations: see USC18, Sec.1001, James Brogan V. United States. N0.96-1579. U.S.  No doubt government is sitting on a ton of illegally obtained evidence. The GOP's proposal to allow government to use illegally seized evidence against Citizens could be used to selectively target citizens in a flood of prosecutions and forfeitures. One can envision police and government contractors drooling over the prospect GOP might succeed getting Congress to pass a law allowing prosecutors to use illegally obtained evidence against Citizens.

To stop GOP’s “New Contract With America” proposal that would permit law enforcement to use illegally obtained evidence in court against Citizens, Americans need to publicly protest this GOP proposal.

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 12:05pm Permalink
GLKing (not verified)

Yes, there are bad apples in every line of business.  I would have to say that for every 1 bad cop there are 10,000 good ones.  One bad apple does not mean EVERYONE is bad.  I know PLENTY of Officers that are not corrupt and would bend over backwards to help out.  I won't make excuses, but with the low pay of MOST Officers and the allure of money that is confiscated from illegal drugs, one can see why corruption happens.  IF there was a department that handled the confiscation aspect that are non-law enforcement personnel this might be different.


Giordano don't believe everything you read.  I am a Paralegal and there is a Doctrine that is followed in EVERY legitimate Court in the Nation, it's called the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree.  This means that any evidence, and any outcome from that evidence, is not permissible in a Court of Law, PERIOD.  If a Judge is allowing this, and a Prosecutor entering it into evidence, those Officials need to be dealt with and removed from their respective positions, period.

I read that article on Truth Out and what I find interesting is where is their evidence?  HOW did they determine this?  WHAT in the "Contract With America" says this?  They did not provide ANY information to support their claim.  This is typical Anti-Republican spin.  I can say ANYTHING I want to about Democrats, but without presenting the proof to back it up it's just words.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 2:23pm Permalink

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