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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #621)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues

It's prison guards gone wild this week, with 16 going down in one Florida sting alone, and one in New York City busted with a half-pound of smack. A crooked Texas border town cop cops a plea, too. Let's get to it:

In Belle Glade, Florida, 16 Florida state prison guards were among 22 people arrested February 11 in a two-year FBI undercover sting targeting drug smuggling into two Florida prisons. Eleven of the guards worked at the Glades Correctional Institution in Belle Glade. They are charged with attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. The arrests went down after FBI undercover agents told guards they were members of a drug trafficking group and the guards agreed to use their positions to help transport multi-kilo cocaine loads from warehouses in Miami to West Palm Beach. The guards were allegedly paid a total of $145,000 in bribes and transported cocaine on at least nine occasions. Five other guards at Glades and one from South Bay Correctional Facility are charged with bribery for smuggling non-drug contraband into the prisons.

In New York City, a New York City prison guard was arrested Monday after he was stopped for running a red light and police found eight ounces of heroin in his car. Although eight ounces of heroin is by no means a personal use amount, Marco Villacris, 46, is charged only with possession of a controlled substance and two traffic infractions. Villacris has been a guard at Rikers Island since joining the city's Department of Corrections in August 2008. He will be fired, the department said.

In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to escorting cars he believed were loaded with cocaine through the city. Pedro Martinez III pleaded guilty to one federal count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Martinez admitted meeting with an undercover FBI officer posing as a drug dealer and agreeing to escort two loads of cocaine through town, including one while he was in uniform and driving a marked police vehicle. He faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to life. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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.


Martin Rineer (not verified)

President Obama's recently signed Executive Order EO 12425 that will allow INTERPOL to act within the United States without being subject to 4th Amendment laws against illegal Search and Seizure. U.S. Police can circumvent the Fourth Amendment by bringing INTERPOL into a criminal or civil investigation. It would appear INTERPOL can now tap American phones without a warrant at most any location.

Fri, 02/19/2010 - 1:03pm Permalink
borden (not verified)

In reply to by Martin Rineer (not verified)

The executive order, which was initiated by Ronald Reagan, does not take away 4th amendment rights. It just gives agents with INTERPOL the same immunity from some lawsuits that US law enforcement has. Immunity may be an important question, but there's nothing I see particularly sinister in this particular order. Besides, the executive branch can't waive the 4th amendment, stretch or ignore or violate it as they may sometimes do. The 4th amendment is part of the Constitution, and only a constitutional amendment can change it.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 2:56pm Permalink
annoymus (not verified)

the NYC guard get's off easy and the article doesn't really say what the other guy is charged with. I wonder if he's connected?

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 12:08am Permalink

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