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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #580)
Drug War Issues

Another crooked judge, another dirty border guard, more problems for Philly's narcs, and a guilty plea in Detroit. Let's get to it:

drug prohibition money causes border corruption
In El Paso, Texas, a Texas district court judge was indicted last week on charges he took cash bribes and asked for sex from defendants in exchange for his help making felony cases go away. State District Court Judge Manuel Barraza was indicted on four counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and lying to a federal agent. Local prosecutors are now reviewing about 100 drug cases he dismissed. Barraza is out on bail pending trial, but has been suspended from his $140,000 a year job.

In Brownsville, Texas, a US Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested April 2 on charges he took bribes to allow vehicles carrying drugs and illegal immigrants to pass through his border checkpoint. Officer Raul Montano Jr., 34, faces charges of bribery, conspiracy and smuggling illegal immigrants and conspiracy to import and possession of cocaine. According to a criminal complaint filed the same day, Montano would tell another person when he would be inspecting a certain lane on the Brownsville Gateway bridge and that person would relay the information to waiting smugglers on the Mexican side, who would pass through with people and cocaine.

In Philadelphia, two Philadelphia police narcotics squads are being reorganized as part of an effort to better supervise the officers involved. The move comes as one of those squads, Squad 9, is the subject of ongoing federal and local investigations after the Philadelphia Daily News ran a series of articles exposing numerous allegations of illegal acts by Narcotics Officer Jeffrey Cujdik and his cronies. Squad 9 is being dissolved, with its members being dispersed among the 10 remaining dope squads. Cujdik was first accused of lying on search warrant applications to gain access to suspected drug houses and of becoming too close to his snitches. Then, last month, the Daily News ran articles from 14 immigrant convenience store owners alleging Cujdik's squad ransacked their stores, ate food, stole goods and cash, then arrested them for selling small plastic bags that could be used to hold drugs. The Cujdik gang would typically cut the wires to surveillance cameras at the beginning of those raids.

In Detroit, a Detroit police officer pleaded guilty April 2 to tax evasion in the theft of more than $2 million worth of cocaine from a police evidence room. Officer Vincent Crockett, 50, had faced more serious charges of cocaine possession and embezzlement, but a police chemist who would have been a key witness in the case died last year, leaving federal prosecutors with a weak case. In his plea bargain, Crockett admitted to evading 2007 income taxes on $72,000 he received as the result of "an illegal act."

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)

On Friday, April 3rd, 2009 the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion demanding the Jewel v. NSA “warrantless spying” lawsuit be dismissed based on the Bush administration's prior position the "state secrets Privilege" bars lawsuits against the executive branch for illegal spying. DOJ for Obama additionally went further than Bush to claim "sovereign immunity" in the Patriot Act bars lawsuits against the government for illegal surveillance, unless there was "willful disclosure" of the illegally intercepted communications. In effect, DOJ speaking for the Obama Government has taken the position U.S. Citizens can’t sue the U.S. government for illegal spying.

Where Did Government Put Your NSA-Wiretapped Phone, Fax and Private Email Communications?

Neither Congress nor the courts—determined what NSA electronic surveillance could be used by police or introduced into court by the government to prosecute Citizens.

In 2004, former Attorney General John Ashcroft asked government prosecutors to review thousands of old intelligence files including wiretaps to retrieve information prosecutors could use in “ordinary” criminal prosecutions. That was shortly after a court case lowered a barrier that blocked prosecutors from using illegal-wire tap evidence in Justice Dept. “Intelligence Files” to prosecute ordinary crimes. It would appear this information, may also be used by government to prosecute civil asset forfeitures.

Considering this court case, it might be possible for NSA to share its “recent” electronic-domestic-spying with countless U.S. police agencies; including government contracted--companies and private individuals that have security clearances to facilitate seizing Americans’ property—-to keep part of the bounty. Police too easily can take an innocent person’s hastily written email, fax or phone call out of context to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause an arrest or asset forfeiture.

There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture.” Under federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property.

In the U.S. private security companies and their operatives work so closely with law enforcement to forfeit property—providing intelligence information, they appear to merge with police.

Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 passed, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” and effectively eliminated the “statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. The statute now runs five years from when police allege they “learned” that an asset became subject to forfeiture. With such a weak statute of limitations and the low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property “A preponderance of Evidence”, it is problematic law enforcement and private government contractors will want access to telecom-NSA and other government wiretaps perhaps illegal, to secure evidence to arrest Americans and or civilly forfeit their homes, inheritances and businesses under Title 18USC and other laws. Of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in America if police become dependent on “Asset Forfeiture” to help pay their salaries and operating costs?

Under the USA Patriot Act, witnesses can be kept hidden while being paid part of the assets they cause to be forfeited. The Patriot Act specifically mentions using Title 18USC asset forfeiture laws: those laws include a provision in Rep. Henry Hyde’s 2000 bill HR 1658—for “retroactive civil asset forfeiture” of “assets already subject to government forfeiture”, meaning "property already tainted by crime" provided “the property” was already part of or “later connected” to a criminal investigation in progress" when HR.1658 passed. That can apply to more than two hundred federal laws and violations.

To help protect Americans from continuing police forfeiture abuse, Congress should pass legislation that raises the standard of evidence Government uses for Civil Asset Forfeiture from a mere “Preponderance of Evidence”, to “Clear and Convincing Evidence.

Fri, 04/10/2009 - 3:32pm Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

Government, at any level, should be barred from taking ANY property until AFTER a conviction is obtained which PROVES beyond a shadow of a doubt the property was gained from a CONSTITUTIONALLY illegal activity. Since the vast majority of laws on the books in this nation are unconstitutional, conviction under any of those laws should NOT grant government the ability to take property from those so convicted.

Only when government is again Constitutional should asset forfeiture be allowed to be utilized, and then only for crimes which are truly crimes under the Constitution.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Sun, 04/12/2009 - 3:36am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)


North Portland Police- They file false Police reports and thrash on you, they also deceive and claim you where resisting arrest, when you complied completely. It is so unfair. Their lies believed, over the complete truth. I wanted to take a polygraph and have the Police officer also take a polygraph, but the state rather convict innocent people than see their cops are corrupt. Therefore, the Judges are corrupt also. I am a law-abiding citizen, never arrested before; this conviction was and is unjust. Now I have a misdemeanor on my record. If convicted on every false charge, he said I did. I would now be a felon, which he tried hard to convict me of his lies. The Good Lord above and I know I am innocent of the charge convicted of, and I do not understand how this happens.

Thanks North Portland Police, I used to trust and respect the Police. Now I get happy if an Officer gets hurts, "well that's karma, they probably was a lying rogue cop I say to myself" Before my encounter with this immoral so-called Peace Officer, I used to think, "Oh no why would this happen. Now what is their poor family going to do"? That thought no longer enters my mind anymore, and that is sad. For a few bad cops, I now no longer trust any.

Known Corrupted Cops
Officer Bacigalupi #30878
Officer Sery #36878
All officers that worked or collaborated with Bacigalupi #30878.
Officer John Hughes #45063
However, I would bet there are so many more.

I wish my jurors were informed. Not my luck I had idiots.


• Personal Defense
• It is above question that each individual holds the unalienable right to completely own and manage his or her body. No one is more qualified than you to manage your body responsibly and with dignity. The silly assumption that government personnel, who make as many mistakes as everyone else, can successfully manage their bodies AND yours shows the unmatched ignorance of government officials, especially judges and prosecutors.
• Constitutional Defense
• The Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights make it clear that government has no authority to own or manage our bodies. Individual ownership rights extend to decisions for your body, defense of your body, health care choices, privacy, gun possession on your person, body decoration, alternative medicines and supplements, vaccinations, and more. Laws claiming government ownership of your body demonstrate that the greatest threat to human rights is always from one’s own government.
• Jury Defense
• You, as one individual, cannot do much to effect legislation. However, as a juror, YOU can effectively defend each person’s absolute ownership of his or her body. One person can “hang” a jury by refusing to convict. If you are called to serve on a jury, do so! In turn, if your individual management of your body is ever described as a crime, because the government claims ownership of your body, wouldn’t you want a member of your jury to know that was a fraud? You want jurors who understand that they can hang a jury by simply stating that the prosecutor failed to prove the government case. Or you can state no reason for your verdict, as is your right.
• Defense with Knowledge
• More information on defending this absolute right to own and manage your body, which gives you the knowledge to defeat the lies of lawyers and judges, is available at You and your family and friends will want to learn and share this priceless knowledge about jury authority. It is the best peaceful means to protect us all.
• The History and Effect of Jury Nullification
• Liberty exists only among reasoning people who are tolerant of human diversity. Tyranny thrives on intolerance. Conscientious jurors defend liberty when they refuse to convict fellow citizens maliciously accused of crimes. Reasoning jurors stopped the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and freed tax protesters after the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. Juries refused to convict under the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, during Prohibition 1920-30, Vietnam War objectors, tax protesters, medical marijuana users, peaceful gun owners, and others.
• The last peaceful defense of our liberties is the jury. Writers of our Constitution understood that power always corrupts. The people must retain, understand and use all the processes to defend themselves from the greatest threat to liberty: one’s own government. Informed grand jurors and trial jurors can protect you from bad government laws.
• There are countless inferior laws, based on government’s assumed ownership of our bodies that contradict the superior laws of our Constitution and common law. With all the bad laws on the books, it is only a matter of time before you, your family, or friends are accused of some crime. Your last peaceful line of defense is informed jurors who refuse to convict under bad laws based on government’s assumed ownership of your body. You hold all rights to completely own and be responsible for your body.
• Corrupt prosecutors and judges are common. Anyone can easily go through the process to become a lawyer or judge. The US is overrun by them. They are common people, who hold no more intelligence or reasoning ability than any other common person, and often less because of their egos and craving for more power. The duty and design of the citizen juror is to apply reasoning devoid of any craving for power. Lawyers and judges literally cannot understand that concept, even if they read these words, which is why wise people instituted the citizen jury system. Jurors hold the authority to render a verdict against the demands of power-hungry lawyers and judges.
• Today, your understanding of the authority for juror nullification is critically important due to increasing numbers of fear-based laws. These laws are supported by both political parties, by politically appointed government judges and prosecutors, and by United Nations leadership.
• Jurors can nullify bad laws by refusing to convict people being tried under those laws. When jurors refuse to convict, legislators and prosecutors know the law is NOT supported by the community. Acquittals and hung juries are politically embarrassing to legislators, power craving prosecutors, bureaucrats, and most judges.
• It cost many lives to establish a jury system designed to protect our individual rights. One informed person on each jury can regain these rights.
• Defending Body Ownership Creates an Alliance of Traditional Opponents
• Many favorite rights of conservatives, and other favorite rights of liberals, have been reduced to privileges, granted or denied at whim of government officers, by the same flawed process. That process assumes government ownership of individual bodies, and implies the willful surrender of that right by the individual.
• As an adult, if you willfully surrendered your right to ingest substances of your choice, or to have a gun on your person, which are actions of the body that damage no other person, by not expressly objecting to gun and drug laws, you do not own your body. The government owns it. That concept in law has voided human rights, replacing them with privileges, because uninformed jurors have not protected the absolute right of all conservatives and liberals to own and manage their own bodies.
• Juror nullification occurs when a juror refuses to convict a person because of bad or misapplied law. Many bad laws are based on government’s falsely assumed ownership of your body. Refusing to enforce bad laws by nullifying them is the highest duty of a juror. Jurors can defend your ownership and management of your body, and thus all of your other rights. Jurors have the authority to judge the law and its application, and to veto bad laws by “not guilty” verdicts. Jurors cannot be punished for their verdicts.
• If you want to defend an individual’s ownership of his or her body, you must first get on the jury. During jury selection, lawyers and judges try to remove informed people from juries. Power-corrupted lawyers and judges depend on seating jurors who will do whatever they are told by government, even in violation of good conscience, reasoning, common sense and constitutional law.
• When called for jury duty and questioned about your understanding of the law or issues, consider stating that you do not keep track of political issues, and that you can apply the law as instructed by the court. If asked, suggest that you do not remember if you belong to any particular organizations because you get too many junk mail organizational solicitations. Imply an impartial attitude.
• You may be the only informed person on the jury. The judge’s instructions and oaths to the jurors are designed to fool jurors and protect the raw power of judges. Despite their official-sounding nature, these instructions to jurors cannot be legally binding, or there would be no need for the authority of independently thinking jurors.
• You hold the absolute right to vote your conscience. If the accused did not identifiably damage an actual person, you can find him or her not guilty. Regardless of other jurors, you cannot be forced to change your verdict. You can state that the government prosecutor did not prove the government case. Or you can state no reason for your verdict, as is your right.
• Your body and minds right of: expressions thoughts possessions medicines recreation and work
• Government judges and prosecutors crave raw power beyond the legal limit to their authority. That power can only exist if the person brought before the court is deceived by process into surrendering ownership of his or her body, and responsibility for individual decisions about that body, to government and the courts. Informed jurors, who do not seek any power, can defend the right of individual ownership of the body for everyone, equally. Jurors can refuse to convict if the government’s case is based on the concept of government owning an individual’s body, or if the government judges or prosecutors pretend to have any right to make or enforce any decisions about an individual’s body.
• “The right of the people to be secure in their persons ... against unreasonable searches and
Seizures shall not be violated ...”
• The human right that controls all other rights is the absolute ownership and management of one’s own body. Without complete ownership of your body, you cannot hold rights.
• Throughout history, kings and dictators claimed ownership of everyone’s body as a way to control all people and their actions. The U.S. Constitution reversed that flawed form of government. But now, government again claims the power of kings, seizing ownership of your body. Their actions, rather than their lies, prove that the government holds no compassion or respect for you. To government, your body is merely a working device it owns, to be taxed.
• The Jury is your defense.


Tue, 04/21/2009 - 3:41am Permalink

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