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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #536)
Drug War Issues

The evidence goes missing in Galveston, a pill-hungry cop goes down in Oklahoma, a pill-peddling cop gets popped in New Jersey, and another pill-peddling cop goes to prison in Indiana. Let's get to it:

In Galveston, Texas, large amounts of cash and drugs have gone missing from the Galveston Police Department evidence room, prompting the dismissal of 16 cases and a Texas Rangers audit of more than 2,000 other cases. Some $18,000 in cash, as well as undisclosed amounts of cocaine, Ecstasy, and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) disappeared from the evidence room last month. One civilian employee has been fired, but no one has yet been charged with a crime. Charges could be filed once the state investigation is complete, city officials said.

In Trenton, New Jersey, a Trenton police officer was arrested May 7 on charges of distribution of prescription drugs and official misconduct. Officer Nicholas Fratticioli, 24, is accused of selling more than 100 doses of muscle relaxants. Fratticioli graduated from the Trenton Police Academy in August, but has now been suspended without pay. He is currently out on $25,000 bail awaiting trial.

In Durant, Oklahoma, a Durant police lieutenant was arrested May 8 after breaking into a pharmacy in an alleged attempt to steal prescription drugs. Lt. Johnny Rutherford has admitted he was the person shown in a surveillance video breaking into the pharmacy, according to an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation affidavit in the case. Rutherford, who was due to retire this year after 20 years on the job, was on personal leave when he was arrested. He is now on administrative leave.

In Clarksville, Indiana, a former Clarksville police officer was sentenced May 8 to 10 years in prison for dealing drugs. Former office Franklin Mikel had pleaded guilty to selling morphine tablets to a police informant three times in March and April 2007 at a roller rink he owned in Clarksville. The eight-year veteran officer was running for a town judge position at the time of his arrest. He was suspended from the force and later left the department.

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.


Anonymous (not verified)

Does anyone have data on crime rates for cops? Perhaps we should!

Seems to me that COPS have a much higher crime rate then the general public!

If this is true I'm sure their rational is just as ridicules & delusional as the drug war rational.

Billy B. Blunt
Tacoma, WA

Fri, 05/16/2008 - 1:49pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Criminal On Prowl: The big thing about crime statistics on cops is that so many are missing or, nonexistent. After all, with a very few exceptions, other cops are their only friends and, consider each other as family. Nobody rats on family; not in that one.

Randall St Jacques
Windsor Ontario Kanada

Tue, 05/20/2008 - 3:16am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This just demonstrates (again) the costs associated with attempting to legally regulate people's consciousness:

- officials in all levels of govt corrupted by the incredible potential profits that are a product of prohibition,

- well-armed, violent, powerful, inner-city gangs supported by drug profits which are in turn a product of prohibition.

- prisons that are not able to properly handle the violent offenders because they are full of typically non-violent drug users.

- drug users that we might actually be able to rehabilitate don't seek treatment because of a figurative (or in some cases literal) death penalty.

It was clear during alcohol prohibition, and it is clear now. Prohibition causes more harm than good.

You tight-asses need to get over your need to control others! *You* are destroying society with your hopeless belief that everyone should think and act like you or be beaten into submission.

Here is the truth.
If people want to use a drug they will. You can not stop them. Its been proven over and over throughout recorded history.

Its true that some drugs are really pretty dangerous but no matter how dangerous, that does not mean that the well intentioned idea of preventing access is a good one. If you could *prevent* access, it might be a great idea, but you can not.

Indeed, prohibition is particularly laughable when you realize that we are surrounded by "dangerous" drugs naturally occurring in foods and other plants and animals. Today, any reasonably intelligent and motivated fifteen year old kid can from natural sources, in their own kitchen/backyard produce any or all of the following: alcohol, opium/morphine, LSA (a close cousin of LSD), 5-meo-dmt, DMT, mescaline, salvinorin, psilocin, as well as number of other psychedelic, sedative and narcotic drugs. Very soon, most of those 15 yos will actually *know* that they are able. For example, DMT alone, one of the most powerful and useful/interesting of psychedelic drugs, can be extracted from many hundreds of different plants and animals with little or no special equipment. (incidentally, all these assertions are easily verifiable fact)

So, since it is impossible to prevent access what happens when you try anyway? Well, what happens is that since it is available, people who want it try to obtain it. i.e., a market. Since its illegal its a "black market". That means high prices, dangerous quality misinformation and assorted other crime and disease. Prohibition is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Even among most of the zealots, the issue is supposedly one of reducing harm. (protect the children, cost to society, etc) and in that context the idea that we allow people to use some substances and not others seems on the surface to be rational. But then we see alcohol and tobacco, either of which are more harmful than many of their illegal brethren and we see that there is a great hypocrisy at work. We see that society says yes, "it is ok to alter your mind, even to harm or poison yourself and others" as long as you use an accepted poison. Now, of course they don't want to admit that, because the supposed health risks are one of the ways that they rationalize the prohibition of cannabis and a number of other beneficial substances.

However, the facts are clear. For example, look at the the legal status of alcohol vs. cannabis I won't even have to enumerate all the ways that this is backwards, I will pick just one: There are millions of people who have died from abusing alcohol. There is NOT ONE documented death attributable to cannabis alone.

Why then is alcohol legal? Because they already discovered that they *CAN NOT STOP PEOPLE FROM USING ALCOHOL, AND THAT THE DEATH AND CRIME CAUSED BY PROHIBITION WAS GREATER THAN THE DEATH AND CRIME CAUSED BY PEOPLE USING IT LEGALLY AND AT LEAST IF ITS LEGAL AND REGULATED, THERE'S MONEY TO PAY FOR/MITIGATE THE REAL ISSUES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH ITS USE.* YEAH ! They figured that out more than 70 years ago. Unfortunately, they forgot it almost immediately or didn't realize perhaps that alcohol was actually a drug just like all the others and they immediately started prohibition all over again with various other drugs.

When will they make that same discovery with cannabis whose cost of legality is much lower than alcohol's? Hell, cannabis has been medicine and food and clothing and technology for humans for all of recorded history and into archaeological history as well. Even if cannabis is discovered to be mildly harmful its is obviously far less harmful than alcohol (looking even at death rate alone).

Perhaps sometime they will realize that this is probably true for every drug that people might abuse: i.e., prohibition not only does not work, it actually causes much more harm than doing nothing, and is literally nonsense compared to education/treatment in terms of actually reducing the net harm to society.

I get all the drugs I want or need directly from god in the form of numerous plants and animals that he gave us, so I am near to the point that don't care if they ever figure it out. However, I just hate to see people suffer needlessly, so I hope for their (and their kids) sakes that they figure it out soon.

Love and Light

Fri, 05/16/2008 - 7:51pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Everyday, LEO's are being given more power, almost absolute power. They are human beings. Though we would like to think of them as some superior race of mankind who's only goal is to protect us from the "bad men". The police see criminals getting filthy rich from dealing drugs. They see uncounted gobs of money from drug busts. They see drug dealers getting away with murder. LEO's don't earn an incredible amount of money. So, they get disillusioned, tempted, corrupted, militant, begin planting evidence, and become everything they started out to combat. Just look at the DEA. Totally omni-potent. Does all this power really make LEO's happy? I doubt it. They know in their heart's that it perverse. That's why the suicide rate for LEO's is one of the highest for any profession. Leo's see mothing but the worst side of man, day in, and day out. This would make anyone mental ill. They too, are victims of drug prohibition. I'm not crying for them though. If they want to be effective & effect real change. Then they have an avenue to become a force for positive outcome in the so called "war on drugs." It's called L.E.A.P., Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. They & many LEO's who are fearful of speaking out, know that prohibition is an endless exercise in futility. It's time they spoke out for an end to prohibitions dehumanization of all parties involves. No one should give their life or limb for prohibition. Not even LEO's. So, let's encourage all LEO's to join L.E.A.P., By ending prohibition, LEO's can create lasting change through law enforcement, like arresting Rapists, Child molesters, Murderers, and Identity Thieves. All crimes with appalling low clearance rates. This is partly due to chasing after non-violent marijuana users. When enough LEO's speak up, they will shake the system to the core. Yes, the LEO's can be the good guys most of them started out to be. Then, we'll begin to trust them again. That would be very nice, indeed.

Signed, M. Minter

Fri, 05/16/2008 - 9:10pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

There's another agenda. Too many people are making too much money fighting "The War on Drugs". Private prisons are a huge moving stock. The stake holders require a constand flow of prison fodder. Then there's prison industries, our very own slave labor system, also a money maker for corporations and stock holders. It's endless. Social workers, cops, lawyers, police equipment sales... It about money, not drugs.

Mon, 05/19/2008 - 1:28pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

It isn't just corruption in Durant's police; the court is deeply involved, too. I lived out there 31 years, and I know. The following is an update from what I sent to the Oklahoma AG, and my letter to that office never was replied to (if you want to see the original account, mail to me at P.O. Box 4, Cotter AR 72626-0004. I've updated the account because of new information - notably the ME Report.):

Office of the Attorney General of Oklahoma
Attention to: Joel-lyn McCormick
313 NE 21st Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear Ms. McCormick,

I lived in Oklahoma for 31 years, employed as a professor of chemistry at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. I retired in 2004, and now I live fully retired in Cotter, Arkansas (403 Combs Ave., P.O. Box 4, Cotter AR 72626-0004).

Part of my family still lives in Durant. On December 15, 2007 my grandson, Faron Dean Wright was shot dead in a private home in Durant. Statements coming from Tim Webster, Assistant DA and the Durant Police Department indicate that my grandson’s death will be attributed to a homicide in self defense on the part of Tres Church Tinsley, who resided where the shooting occurred. The feeling I have is that all of the Durant officials, including OSBI, are eager to sweep Faron’s death under the rug, but you need to know the full details of this case.

In May of 2007 Faron and his common law wife, Anna Bowles, witnessed the murder of Tristan York at 202 Meadowlark Lane (that’s across the street from where I used to live). This was a drug related murder, with connections to Mineral Wells Texas. Faron was subpoenaed to testify for the OSBI case against Charles Bussey, who has been charged with the murder. Bobby Mullinix should have been charged because he was the one who actually mortally wounded York by clubbing; however he had been ILLEGALLY released from the Durant jail and recaptured by US Marshals in Mineral Wells Texas. You get the feeling that the Texas officials don't want to release Mullinix to Oklahoma, because they might let him go again. It may be that Mullinix has never been charged with the murder. His earlier warrants included assault, drug trafficking and drug manufacture.

It happens that Faron was killed on December 15th, his funeral was on December 19th, and he had been scheduled to testify in the Bussey preliminary hearing on December 20th, 2007. I have to tell you that the timing of events is a very red flag to me. I have read the police report, and it doesn’t look thorough. Tinsley was released without even being tested for alcohol or drugs and has not been charged. Faron was shot four times, and at least one bullet was found in the floor. Those who know Tres Tinsley have come forward to tell us that he is very abusive, but the court and police are ignoring all of that. I even found a criminal record for him in Denton Texas (Marijuana) - a public record for a crime as an adult. But DPD cited the applicability of Section 1289.25 concerning “intruders” (see below). One of the detectives told me that Tinsley did not have a criminal history.

Anna was in the residence, along with her daughter Alexia (Faron’s child) when the shooting took place. (In other words, she has witnessed two homicides in less than a year!) Here is another red flag, because the officials are ignoring what the applicable statute states:

Oklahoma Statutes Citationized
Title 21. Crimes and Punishments
Chapter 53 - Manufacture, Sale, and Wearing of Weapons
Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971
Section 1289.25 - Physical or Deadly Force Against Intruder

Quoting the statute:

“C. The presumption set forth in subsection B of this section does not apply if:
2. The person or persons sought to be removed are children or grandchildren...”

I read through this statute, and it seems clear that the use of deadly force against Faron was not warranted because the presence of his child at 820 N 10th Street makes his case an exception. It looks like a case of baiting.

This was told to me by my daughter, who went to the scene of the shooting while her son’s body was still there:

“His body lay right beside the entry door. And here is something that will chill your blood: Anna had the baby (Alexia, Faron's child) with her. The baby is walking now, and she came into the room, went over and laid down over Faron's lifeless body, to hug him, and got bloody. “

Tinsley had also been taunting Anna and Faron at their 207 Meadowlark Lane place of residence. That is being ignored. Faron was not armed; Tinsley shot him four times with a .45 ACP, I’m told. I sense very strongly that Faron was lured there with the intent to kill him, and that his death is related to the previous murder. If so, that would be corrupting the “make-my-day” law to cover a premeditated murder. The setting is very similar to the earlier murder of York, who was invited into a private home and killed there, although in that case the body was dumped in Lake Texoma.

There are still two more red flags: York was released on a technicality by a Durant judge last May and walked into his own death two days later (this happened in a house across the street from where I used to live). But here is the worst part: Bobby Mullinix, Bussey’s cohort, was illegally released from the Durant jail, i.e., allowed to simply post bond and walk out the front door, possibly as the result of a communication between the DA and a judge (aren't judges and DAs the ones who haggle about bonds?)! Mullinix made a bee-line to the murder scene and mortally wounded York by clubbing. But Mullinix had already been remanded to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections! You simply cannot post a bond in that situation. Sheriff Sturch has been investigating the latter incident. I'm sure there will be a convenient explanation, but no matter what it is, the stink of this is not going to come off of their system. Everything about this situation is suspicious. I lived in Durant for 31 years, and I can remember earlier jail walk-outs. I don't think they were accidents.

I believe that my grandson was murdered, and that it was not a simple case of the homicide of an intruder. There are numerous citizens in the Durant area that think its courts are just another face of the drug syndicate. I was one of those citizens, but I don’t live there anymore, thank God. Just look at it: Durant is on US 75 coming NE out of the Dallas narcotics hub. That's the path to Kansas City and points further north; it's a drug traffic route. The pharmacy break-in was a relatively minor thing, and much worse is going on in Durant.

Sincerely yours,

John R. Wright, Ph.D. (retired)
Cotter, Arkansas

Wed, 06/04/2008 - 10:44am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I need to add something to what I've said above about two very suspicious murders in Durant Oklahoma. Personally, I've never used drugs other than the kind MDs prescribe. For me right now it's just two prescription items: a cholesterol statin and a beta blocker. There is risk even in those two drugs, but my doctor believes my life will be cut short if I don't use them. I submit to you, however, that the risk to users of methamphetamine or cocaine or hallucinogens goes well beyond the boundary of common sense. While I can see that the drug war is failing - that's so evident - what are you trying to say? Do we simply tuck our tails and let everyone who wants to to zonk out on whatever they please - i.e., to snort, smoke or shoot up - just do their thing? People who indulge in chemical dependencies end up with mental and physiological problems, and they burden everyone else in one way or another. But I see the users and those close to them as victims. I do not see the makers of illicit drugs and those who traffick those drugs, along with public officials who help them on the sly, for compensation, as innocent in any way. I really wouldn't care if we went back to public hangings of such human trash.

I lived in Durant for 31 years, and I left Oklahoma in 2004 with a great deal of bitterness. I helped raise Faron, and his death only deepens the bitterness. There is no closure in this tragedy. The actual killers - Mullinix and Tinsley - are literally getting away with murder, for now. But I believe they will repeat as murderers, which has the potential to further tarnish the image of the system of justice in Durant Oklahoma.

I remember Lt. Rutherford, and he came from a good family. How did he ever get caught up in such a mess?

John R. Wright, Ph.D.
Cotter, Arkansas

Sun, 06/08/2008 - 8:37am Permalink

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