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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #764)

A small-town Florida department run amok loses its chief -- at least temporarily -- an Alabama cop gets caught delivering weed, four South Texas cops get caught running cocaine, and a Camden, New Jersey, sergeant goes down for a dope squad run amok there. Let's get to it:

In Bal Harbour, Florida, the Bal Harbour police chief was suspended last Wednesday after a US Justice Department report said the department had misspent millions of dollars in drug money it had seized. Chief Thomas Hunker, 61, has been suspended with pay while an outside law enforcement agency investigates. The Bal Harbour police had developed the habit of conducting undercover operations all over the country to target drug dealers and their cash. Records show the agency doled out $624,558 in payments to informants in less than four years, and ran up $23,704 in one month for cross-country trips with first-class flights and luxury car rentals. The feds have frozen millions that Bal Harbour police helped confiscate, and the Justice Department now wants the village to return more than $4 million. The Justice Department also accused Hunker of professional misconduct for, among other things, conducting unauthorized checks of national criminal records databases for individuals who did not have access to those systems; receiving multiple gifts from people who may have benefited from his influence; allowing a drunk individual to drive a marked police vehicle on a beach, getting a "sweet deal" on his wife's car purchase after the department bought several vehicles from the same dealer; allowing inflated overtime on money-laundering investigations; and improperly paying informants.

In Montgomery, Alabama, a Montgomery police officer was arrested last Wednesday after he was caught delivering more than three pounds of high-grade marijuana to a home in Mobile County. Officer Lyvanh Ravasong is charged with marijuana trafficking. Ravasong went down when he arrived at the residence at the wrong time -- as Mobile County Sheriff's deputies were executing a search warrant at the address. Ravasong is also believed to be associated with a 16-acre pot farm discovered in October near Chunchala. Officer Ravasong is now former officer Ravasong.

In McAllen, Texas, four South Texas lawmen were arrested late last week on charges they accepted thousands of dollars in bribes to guard shipments of cocaine. Mission Police Officer Jonathan Trevino, 29, and Hidalgo County Sheriff's deputies Fabian Rodriguez, 28, and Gerardo Duran, 30, were arrested last Friday, while Mission Police Officer Alexis Espinosa was arrested a day earlier. All four were members of an anti-drug trafficking task force called the Panama Unit, but are accused of instead providing protection for traffickers. Trevino is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Hidalgo. Federal prosecutors said they received a tip in August that task force members had been stealing drugs and set up a sting. The sting resulted in Duran and another task force member escorting 20 kilograms of cocaine north from McAllen, for which they were paid $4,000. The other task force members earned thousands more dollars for escorting four more cocaine shipments in November. It's unclear what the actual charges are, but all four were being held on $100,000 bonds.

In Camden, New Jersey, a former Camden police sergeant was sentenced last Wednesday to eight months in federal prison for his role as the supervising officer of a corrupt anti-drug squad that stole cash, conducted illegal searches, planted drugs and falsified reports. Dan Morris, 49, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive others of their civil rights. He admitted that between May 2007 and September 2008, he conducted illegal searches without a warrant or consent, obtained coerced consents to search residences based on threats and undue pressure, stole money during illegal searches and arrests, and allowed officers he supervised to include facts in police reports that were false. Morris is the third Camden officer to plead guilty in the conspiracy, while a fourth was found guilty at trial, and a fifth was acquitted. The FBI probe of the conspiracy has resulted in the reversal of about 200 drug convictions of suspects arrested by the unit between 2007 and 2009, when the cops were arrested. Morris, a city officer since 1986, was the unit’s supervisor during the time of the investigation.

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.


Nedmorlef (not verified)

 I hope that every one of the victims of the drug war policies that, stole their money and their property become staunch advocates for freedom by becoming active against corruption at all levels of gov't.I know that my experiences in the drug war have forever changed me and how I look at elected and appointed officials,their powers and their activities within that power.

 Attacks on me happened in this fight for freedom that would have never, ever come my way had it not been for one corrupt individual that I VOTED FOR. The guy was my neighbor and turned into the most unholy,vile ,evil and destructive force to ever cross my path as an american citizen.My neighbor /former DA and the sheriff of my county have forever changed the way I vote. The way I see these ppl that are nobody and then they get an office and turn into the most vile of tyrants.

 I've endured pain and fear and loss that no american should ever endure inside the borders of a free nation. I have seen the atrocities committed that show up here in this section. They filled me with a furor that I had never known. I stood against their tyranny and I was punished even more severely and it did not humble me but, made my blood boil with hate I didn't know existed within me.

 I will never forget what was done to me and those inside these pages,what continues and probably will until this war is brought to a complete stop by all freedom loving people. I am more politically active today ,I write more everyday ,everywhere I can write and speak out against and educate my fellow americans.

  No one has ever doubted me in my entire life. I was known as a man of integrity. However, when I began to speak out against this war and it's tragic consequences the world turns against me. When I call out the dirty policing ,the stealing ,the murder I get judged . When I fought back against having my home attacked I was demonized by the police to my neighbors . Ppl that had known me for ten years and the cops turned them against me somehow. Ppl that knew I was no drug dealer or grower. I watched as ppl that smiled and were warm and welcoming start to avoid me and tell their kids to stay away from my property. It's shocking to see how they can influence ppl that actually know you.

 I will fight on because I was born free and I fully intend to die that way. I was groomed for military service most of my life because, I was born into the Vietnam war era. Very patriotic and visions of heroism and all that junk I had. I loved my country and thought we were the most just and right nation on the planet. Boy did I ever get a wake up call. My hope,my wish and my prayers that, you all will tirelessly fight evil in gov't office the rest of your life. I know I will. I love the Constitution more now than ever. That's the real american spirit. Not this Draconian Nation of Laws that murders it's citizens over kitchen herbs..

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 1:52am Permalink

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