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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #655)
Drug War Issues

A Kentucky sheriff gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, a Texas deputy gets busted for protecting a drug dealer, two Southern California cops get nailed for doing robberies disguised as drug busts, and a small-town Wisconsin cop lets her crack habit get the best of her. Let's get to it:

too much cash can corrupt cops
In Carlisle, Kentucky, the Nicholas County sheriff was indicted October 18 for stealing $43,000 in cash from the department's drug asset forfeiture account. Sheriff Leonard "Dick" Garnett was indicted by a Nicholas County grand jury on charges of unlawful taking of more than $300 and abuse of public trust of more than $10,000. He is also accused of spending more than $10,000 in federal asset forfeiture funds for his own personal use. Garnett, who used some of the money to make car payments on a vehicle not owned by the county and some to buy exercise equipment, went down after a state auditor checked the county's books. He is out of jail and running unopposed for reelection as sheriff next week.

In Houston, a Harris County sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday for allegedly accepting bribes to access confidential law enforcement data bases and providing protection for an ecstasy dealer. Deputy George Wesley Ellington, 38, is accused of twice receiving $500 for accessing the data bases and providing protection for a person he believed to be possessing and transporting ecstasy. He is looking at up to 20 years of prison on the two counts.

In Los Angeles, two former Southern California police officers were convicted Wednesday of participating in a robbery ring that disguised home invasions as drug raids. Brothers William and Joseph Ferguson, the former an ex-LAPD officer and the latter an ex-Long Beach officer, were convicted of various charges, including conspiracy to deprive people of their rights under color of law and conspiracy to possess marijuana and cocaine. William Ferguson was convicted on 13 counts and acquitted on five more, while his brother was convicted on three counts. They were part of a ring that conducted about 40 robberies from 1999 to 2001 in which members would steal cash and drugs, then sell the drugs on the street. Fifteen people have pleaded guilty in the investigation, including the gang's ringleader, former LAPD officer Ruben Palomares, who worked with William Ferguson at the scandal-plagued Rampart Division until both were fired in 2003.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a former Platteville police officer pleaded guilty October 20 to maintaining a drug house. Michelle Salentine, 29, was arrested in April over allegations she was using drugs while in uniform and again in October as she and her brother sat and argued in a parked car. In that bust, police found heroin, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a kit to defeat drug tests. Salentine admitted being strung out on crack and allowing about a pound of cocaine to be stored at her home. She's looking at up to 20 years in federal 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.


FRANCISCO LOPEZ (not verified)

The former Director of the DEA said our guys are all legit, it's the Mexicans that are corrupt. Bullshit!

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 1:13pm Permalink
joebanana (not verified)

The entire LA county superior court has been taking bribes from the county, for over 20 years now. for purposes of winning lawsuits, and it worked. They also manipulate court documents, falsify court records, violate the law to protect their criminal brothers, and more. Richard Fine is out of solitary for contempt by exposing the bribery scandal, so things may get interesting  in California. The entire state government is involved in trying to grant retroactive immunity to these judges for all the felonies they've committed for 20 years. Look up SBx2-11 calif. code for an idea of how far our government will go to prevent, obstruct, and avoid,  justice.

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 8:36pm Permalink
hinderbinder (not verified)

In reply to by joebanana (not verified)

joebanana, thanks for sharing the info.  It's information they don't want the little people to know about, because it's so goddamn pervasive.  The corruption, I mean.  Just finished reading a highly informative book, 'Joining Club Fed' (available from amazon).  It's by Nancy Tatum, the wife of a (now dead) former CIA operative Chip Tatum.  I had no idea how naive (sp) I was about our supposed Justice system 'til I read this book.  Anyway I'll look up SBx2-11.  People wake up!

Fri, 10/29/2010 - 10:01am Permalink
hinderbinder (not verified)

Thanks for sharing the info.  I don't think people realize how pervasive abuse is in the so-called US Justice system.  Well on second thought, t-v brainwashing has been entirely successful - 'NCIS' for example is a top-rated t-v show, for starters.  Cops, Special Agents, whatever, as heroes..... *sigh*.

Fri, 10/29/2010 - 10:05am Permalink
Rwolf (not verified)

Police and prison guards are paid well by taxpayers, especially in large cities like LA. Nonetheless reports almost every week show police officers risking and losing their careers and going to prison for taking small bribes ($500) to protect drug-dealers and other criminals including accessing police databases for illegal purposes. Highly paid prison guards are continuously caught smuggling drugs to inmates: one has to wonder what the IQ Scores are of police and prison guards that get caught, lose their careers for taking bribes that amounted to peanuts; or the police who were discovered misappropriating forfeiture monies when it was obvious their would be a clear paper-trail of their wrongdoing.  Increasingly it is reported higher ups in police departments are involved in illegal-drug distribution and robbing drug dealers. It would be interesting to conduct a poll in large cities like LA to survey residents what percentage trust and fear police.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 11:43am Permalink

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