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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #860)
Drug War Issues

Busy, busy. A crooked FBI agent is wreaking havoc with drug cases in DC, rip-off cops get busted in Chicago and Philly, an Alabama cop gets nailed for making a woman cook meth for him, and more. Let's get to it:

In Washington, DC, a federal judge threw out 13 more tainted drug cases last Friday. US District Judge Reggie Walton dismissed 13 criminal indictments against defendants in major drug cases as a scandal around FBI agent Matthew Lowry, 33, continues to unravel. Lowry is accused of tampering with drugs, guns, and other evidence seized in the cases, but he has not yet been charged with any criminal offenses. A day earlier, prosecutors dropped charges against 10 other defendants, some of whom had been serving lengthy prison sentences.

In Chicago, a Cook County sheriff's deputy was arrested on drug corruption charges last Monday. He killed himself the next day. Officer Stanley Kogut apparently hanged himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he was being held. He and his partner, Robert Vaughan, had been arrested in an FBI sting after they robbed an agent posing as a drug dealer of 70 pounds of marijuana.

In Salem, West Virginia, a Salem Correction Facility guard was arrested last Wednesday after she was caught bringing pills, powders, and paraphernalia into the jail. Guard Philomena Liberty got caught during a random pat down at the start of her shift. Officers found she had six different types of pills, a cardboard envelope containing a white powder, and drug paraphernalia. She denied that she intended to traffic the drugs, saying she was going to crush and snort them herself. She is charged with transporting drugs into a correctional facility.

In Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia police officer was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly ripping off drug dealers and buyers along with three middlemen. Christopher Saravello is accused of using the middlemen to buy or sell drugs to others and then providing him with information on their locations. Saravello would then show up in uniform in his police vehicle, pretend to lock up his middlemen, and then let the buyers and dealers go, but only after stealing their cash and drugs. Saravello had resigned from the department in 2012, as it prepared to fire him for being strung out on prescription drugs.

In Mt. Vernon, New York, a former Mt. Vernon police officer was arrested Monday for illegally obtaining nearly 4,000 hydrocodone pills. Joseph Russo used forged prescriptions in his and his wife's name to obtain the pills. He also filed fake insurance claims to pay for the prescriptions. He is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and first degree scheming to defraud, but, oddly enough, not drug possession.

In Colchester, Vermont, a Colchester police detective was arrested Tuesday after a gun that was supposed to be in the department's evidence room turned up at a house in a Burlington drug raid. Corporal Tyler Kinney, 38, is now accused of taking drugs and the gun from the evidence room. He was expected to be charged in federal court today with drug distribution and gun trafficking offenses. The Colchester Police say they have now ordered an external audit of the evidence room and procedures for handling evidence.

In Birmingham, Alabama, a former Winston County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges that he forced a woman to cook meth for him. Grady Concord, 42, had been hit with a single count of meth manufacture in June, but prosecutors added new counts of extortion under color of law, meth manufacture, and meth distribution where children are present. The woman said Concord threatened her with arrest if she didn't cook for him and provided pseudoephedrine tablets for her. Some of them were stolen from the department evidence room. Concord copped to the three later counts Monday and is looking at up to 20 years in prison at sentencing.

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.



Turns out Colchester, VT. Police officer Kinney is a junkie who had, a year ago, arrested a Burlington man-Peter Burnett-also a junkie who has about two-dozen convictions in Vermont including at least two felonies. Kinney and Burnett struck up a friendship that included hanging out and doing heroin together. Kinney provided Burnett with pure heroin used to train drug dogs along with pain pills turned in to the Colchester police department's used medication collection box to sell on the street. Burnett, a convicted felon could not legally possess a gun and wanted one for protection so Kinney provided him with a .38 caliber handgun he stole from the Colchester Police Departments evidence locker. After Burnett was arrested in a drug raid by Burlington Police Kinney made threats to Burnett (presumably death threats) to keep his mouth shut, instead he named Kinney as the source of the pistol and the heroin. Somehow despite a severe shortage of treatment beds in Vermont and strong opposition from the prosecution Kinney was released from prison to be fitted with a GPS monitoring bracelet and driven down to southern Vermont to begin drug treatment at Serenity House in Wallingford. As a result, several criminal cases where Kinney was involved in the investigation or handling of evidence are in jeopardy of being dismissed.

Kinney is a twelve-year veteran of the Colchester Police Department and was put in charge of the evidence locker in February 2012. I can only imagine what wearing a badge at the age of twenty-six can do to a young mind. It is clear that in this case it severely clouded this man's judgment to the point that he was (presumably) ready to commit murder to keep his little world from collapsing around him. One thing is clear to me, it's amateur hour in the State of Vermont. Vermont has had three children who were being monitored by the VT Department of Children and families killed by their parent or step-parent in as many months. In one case a DCF worker had visited the child one hour before the child was killed. In my eyes Vermont is a great state to live in if you are a bad cop. I can't blame Officer Kinney for thinking he could get away with killing Burnett as there have been many officer involved shootings in the state and Attorney General William Sorrel won't do a thing about it. In one case a man entered the Barre Police Department because he heard he was wanted by police and was killed IN the police station. The Barre cops claim he pulled a knife but to date NO SURVEILLANCE VIDEO????????????????

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 5:32pm Permalink
Richard James … (not verified)

I guess the real question that the average working man asks these days. What do you do when your home is being broke into by people wearing blue suits & badges? while your at work? I tried calling the pennsylvania state police & explaining the situation, and they did, indeed tell me, that if I gave them absolute proof. They would come down and clean the police force in Union City, Pa out. Well, I did have proof that the chief of police Kevin Jones was indeed a heroine dealer, this was related to me on tape by a relative of his, Phillip Jones. and of course his dad Duane Jones, kicked my doors in and stole $1200 worth of video equipment, while I was at work. So, I bought a 9mm & although I grew up with guns, I never had any intention of owning one. It only took 9 days for the Jones to break In steal that. now I'm filling insurance forms out, getting more guns. installing steel doors & padlocks on everything I own. Why are they picking on me? I emancipated my mother when I was 19 years old for reasons I don't care to go into, her name is Judith Diane Jones. One big happy family of heroine addicts from the religious cult. I have hated all of them since I was seven when they murdered my father. a Staff Sargent who served in the USAirforce. It was 1970  when they rigged his car, a corvair, no brakes, full throttle. I suppose choosing the 'tree' instead of the innocent bystanders crossing the road infront of him, was the kind of guy he was. he might have even survived, if it hadn't have been a rear motor car...maybe I'll just find a better country to live in.

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 9:59am Permalink

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