Drug War Issues
Bad cops pay out big in New York, a sheriff cleans house in Florida, a sticky-fingered cop gets in trouble in North Carolina, and a California cop gets caught with his fingers in the dope jar. Let's get to it:
In New York City, two Brooklyn undercover officers have been hit with a huge judgment for falsely arresting two brothers for selling cocaine. Brothers Jose and Maximo Colon were at a nightclub in Elmhurst in 2008 when plainclothes Officers Henry Tavarez, Steven Anderson and Alan Figueroa arrived. They were shortly joined by Det. Miguel Caraval, who told the Colon brothers they were under arrest. But security video footage from the club showed that the brothers had never talked to any of the police, and the charges were dismissed. Attorneys for the city suggested that one of the officers had planted cocaine on the pair. The brothers filed a civil rights lawsuit, which the city settled by paying them $150,000 each. Figueroa paid a nominal payment to the brothers for their settlements and charges were dismissed against Caraval. But Officers Tavarez and Anderson did not respond to their complaints, and were slapped last week with default judgments of roughly $210,000 each.
In Carlsbad, California, a Carlsbad police detective has been charged with two felony counts after being arrested in January. Detective Michael Koch, an 18-year-veteran, got caught stealing drugs from the evidence room by coworkers. He had heroin in his pocket when he got busted. He faces one count of felony burglary and one count of felony drug possession at his March 16 arrangement and is looking at up to 3 ½ years in jail. But he's still on paid leave, and still drawing his $72,000 a year salary.
In Smithfield, North Carolina, a former Benson police officer pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he'd stolen $850 cash that was evidence in a drug investigation. Randall William "Randy" Beasley, 43, was charged in January with obstructing justice and altering, destroying or stealing evidence of criminal conduct. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor larceny and obstructing justice, and the other charge was dropped. Beasley got sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation and ordered to perform 24 hours of community service. He also received two 45-day suspended jail sentences, so he won't serve time unless he violates probation.
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