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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

There's something funny going on in Georgia, the DEA is investigating missing drug evidence in West Virginia, more prison guards get in a trouble, and an Alabama cop gets caught with sticky fingers. Just another week of drug-related law enforcement corruption. Let's get to it:

In Spring Place, Georgia, accusations of planting drugs and more are being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. A local woman, Angela Garmley, has accused Magistrate Court Judge Bryant Cochran of asking her to be his mistress. After she refused, she was arrested for methamphetamine possession, but claimed the drugs were planted in a metal box under her car by Murray County sheriff's deputies. Cochran resigned the day after Garmley was arrested, but claimed his resignation was over pre-signed search warrants (!), not anything to do with Garmley. The GBI, was called in and quickly recommended charges against Garmley be dismissed. The investigation continues, and the sheriff says his office will cooperate.

In Beckley, West Virginia, the DEA has taken over a probe into missing drugs. They have vanished from the Beckley Police Department evidence room. It's not clear exactly what has gone missing, but the evidence technician who was in charge of the room, Gabriella Brown, no longer has keys to it and has been on medical leave since August 17. The missing evidence forced Raleigh County Prosecutor Kristen Keller to announce she was dismissing drug-related cases involving evidence stored there going back 15 months.

In Sullivan, Indiana, a state prison guard was arrested last Wednesday on charges he smuggled methamphetamine and cell phones to inmates who used the phones to run a drug operation on the outside. Now former prison guard Jon Dobbins was one of 40 people arrested in the bust of the prison-based drug ring. Among them are two inmates at two different Indiana prisons accused of using the cell phones smuggled to them by prison guards to run a ring that moved heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs in cities around the state. Although the indictment alleges multiple prison guards smuggled cell phones into state prisons as part of the scheme, it names only Dobbins. He had already been arrested in July on state charges and fired from his job of 16 years.

In Bertie, North Carolina, a state prison guard was arrested Saturday for trying to smuggle marijuana into the Bertie Correctional Institution. Guard Larry Baker went down after he was searched as he entered the facility to go to work and coworkers found pot hidden down his pants. He is charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, and possession of a controlled substance on prison property. Police say they found 9.8 ounces of pot and they believe he was going to distribute the marijuana to inmates. Baker has since resigned and was being held on $10,000 bond pending a court appearance Wednesday.

In Montgomery, Alabama, a Montgomery police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges he stole cash confiscated during a drug arrest. Officer Milton Strother, 25, went down after the department investigated upon realizing that the cash seized last year had not been returned as ordered by a judge. He is charged with second-degree theft. The department has begun termination proceedings against him.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It never stops, and there are so many varieties of law enforcement misdoing. Let's get to it:

In Wagner, South Dakota, the Wagner police chief resigned August 8, one week after he first appeared in court over accusations he covered up his girlfriend's methamphetamine use. Jim Chaney had been suspended since being indicted a week earlier on one count of misprision of a felony. Chaney went down after his girlfriend was arrested for possession of a controlled substance in mid-July and told investigators he had stored used needles for her at the police station. The case comes as the Yankton Sioux community in Wagner is still reeling over the death of two-year-old from ingesting meth earlier this summer.

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, two Bridgeport narcs were suspended last Thursday after testing positive for drugs. Now, the entire Narcotics and Vice Unit faces a possible shutdown after Tactical Narcotics Team members Ivan Clayton and David Uliano tested dirty. They have been suspended with pay. Meanwhile, the police chief, the head of the narcotics unit, representatives of the city attorney's office, and police union reps are holding meetings about how to proceed. One option is to disband the entire dope squad and let State Police handle those investigations.

In Hammond, Indiana, a Gary police officer was arrested last Tuesday on charges he was involved in drug sales and illicit gun purchases. Officer David Finley, 31, went down after a weeks-long investigation by the FBI and the Gary Police Department, which started after he was involved in a car crash and appeared intoxicated. No word yet on specific charges.

In Cincinnati, a North College Hill police officer was indicted Tuesday on federal marijuana trafficking conspiracy charges. Officer Bryon Roos was one of 11 men indicted on charges of conspiring to bring hundreds of pounds of marijuana to southern Ohio from Texas. All 11 are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, while Roos also is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and illegally structuring financial transactions. Roos is accused of opening used car businesses to launder drug profits from the marijuana sales. He has been suspended. He is looking at up to life in prison.

In Trenton, New Jersey, a former Newark police officer was sentenced August 10 to three years' probation for conspiring with other officers to steal cash, drugs and weapons from suspected drug dealers and others. Darius Smith, 41, was convicted of conspiracy, official misconduct, and theft. The case goes back to 2004, when Smith and other Newark police officers were arrested for shaking down criminal suspects, from whom they stole drugs, money, and weapons.

In Mansfield, Ohio, a former Mansfield police officer was sentenced August 14 to a year in prison for accepting bribes from a drug dealer. David Minard, 44, was convicted of accepting $1,500 in bribes from the dealer in exchange for tipping him off to investigations. He could have gotten up to three years.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, a former Winn County sheriff was sentenced last Friday to 13 years and four months in federal prison after being convicted earlier this year on meth and other charges. Albert "Bodie" Little, 62, was convicted in February of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of meth, one count of possession with intent to distribute meth, and two counts of use of a police communication facility to facilitate drug trafficking. He and 10 others were indicted on the drug charges in July 2011. All the others have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison. Little still faces state charges of malfeasance in office, abuse of office and perjury.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It never stops, does it? Here's another seven bad apples. Let's get to it:

In Los Angeles, an LA County sheriff's deputy was charged last Tuesday with filing a false report that got a woman arrested for drug possession. Deputy Francisco Enriquez, 36, claimed he found a plastic bag containing methamphetamine after transporting the woman to a county jail facility, but a defense attorney for the woman dug up radio communication logs that showed another deputy actually transported her. The woman has had her charges dismissed and has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over the incident. Enriquez faces one count of perjury for allegedly lying in the probable cause declaration he submitted when the woman was booked at the jail facility and one count of filing a false arrest report. He's looking at up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted, but it currently out on bail.

In Houston, two Houston police officers were arrested last Wednesday on charges they stole cocaine and other drugs from drug dealers. Officer German Ramos, 36, and Officer Kendrick Ferguson, 33, went down after an investigation by HPD's Internal Affairs Division. They are charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver over 400 grams, which carries a prison sentence of up to 99 years. They have been suspended.

In Philadelphia, a Philadelphia police officer was charged last Wednesday with tipping off his half-brother about a heroin trafficking investigation. Officer Rafael Cordero, 49, is charged with obstruction. Cordero's half-brother awaits trial on a heroin trafficking conspiracy charge, and Cordero is accused of alerting him to a surveillance camera aimed at a garage used by drug dealers. He is also accused of helping his half-brother hide drug money and failing to tell authorities his half-brother had removed a videotape from the garage after it was searched. That videotape allegedly showed Cordero at the scene.

In Honolulu, a Honolulu police officer pleaded guilty last Thursday to having a marijuana grow operation at his residence. Michael Chu copped to conspiracy to cultivate 48 plants and to possess with intent to distribute 49 pounds of processed pot. He blamed his girlfriend, who pleaded guilty earlier in the week. They're both looking at up to five years in federal prison.

In Atlanta, a former Gwinnett County police drug investigator pleaded guilty last Friday to misusing money earmarked for undercover drug buys. Vennie Harden copped to counts of violating his oath of office and misdemeanor for his role in a scheme by dope squad supervisor Lt. David Butler to steal the unit's "flash cash." Butler has already pleaded guilty. Harden was also accused of using department credit cards to purchase restaurant meals, motel room stays, and adult novelty items. Harden was sentenced to five years probation, with the first six months under house arrest.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, a former Helena-West Helena police officer was sentenced last Wednesday to 14 months in prison for his role in a drug trafficking and corruption scheme. Robert "Bam Bam" Rogers was indicted on multiple charges in a federal investigation named Operation Delta Blues, but prosecutors dropped the other charges after he pleaded guilty to one count of extortion in January. Rogers also was ordered to serve two years of supervised release after his prison term, of which he already has served 10 months while awaiting sentencing. He was one of five area officers and dozens of civilians indicted last year in the FBI-led probe into drug dealing and corruption in the area. Now, four of the dirty cops have pleaded guilty and received prison terms. One officer has maintained her innocence and will go on trial in December.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A crank-dealing Kansas sheriff cops a plea, an LA narc gets a case of sticky fingers, an Arkansas narc develops a fondness for dope, and a North Carolina parole officer gets caught forcing his parolees to supply him with drugs. Let's get to it:

In Los Angeles, an LA County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Wednesday on charges she stole thousands of dollars confiscated in drug raids. Sgt. Bonnie Bryant III, a 28-year department veteran, allegedly was stealing the cash during investigations, not from evidence lockers. Bryant went down after a two-week investigation by the department's internal criminal investigators. Bryant was in charge of a narcotics investigative team, but the department said it believes she was acting alone.

In Stockton, Kansas, a former Rooks County sheriff pleaded guilty last Friday to four felony counts of distributing methamphetamine. Randy Axelson was the sheriff of Rooks County when he was arrested in December 2011 following an investigation by Kansas authorities. He was accused of distributing meth over a period of four months at the Rooks County Fairgrounds and within 1,000 feet of Stockton High School. Prosecutors dropped five counts in exchange for the guilty pleas and recommended that he serve five years and four months in prison. No sentencing date has yet been set.

In Rogersville, Arkansas, a former Hawkins County sheriff's narcotics detective pleaded guilty Monday to repeatedly burglarizing the department's evidence locker in March and April 2011 to steal drugs. Former Detective Brad Depew copped to 75 counts related to those burglaries and drug thefts -- as well as drug possession including 26 grams of cocaine, digital scales, a wide variety of pills, and a small amount of methamphetamine that was discovered during an April 21, 2011, search of his home. Prosecutors are recommending a 10-year prison sentence, but defense attorneys said the drugs were for his personal use -- not for sale -- and will seek judicial diversion. Narcotics found missing after one of Depew's evidence locker break-ins included 175 oxycodone pills, 79 grams of methadone, and 84.5 methadone pills from one specific criminal case. The defendant who those drugs were originally seized from pleaded guilty in March to reduced charges attributed directly to Depew's thefts.

In Asheville, North Carolina, a Western North Carolina prison official awaits sentencing on charges he extorted drugs from parolees under his supervision. James David Franklin, a surveillance officer for the North Carolina Department of Corrections, was originally arrested on drug trafficking charges for trying to sell 100 hydrocodone tablets in July 2010, but was indicted by a federal grand jury last August on four counts of extortion under color of official rights and one count of possession with intent to distribute drugs. Franklin copped a plea to two of the counts in December and had been free on bond until his judge revoked it in April. Franklin is accused of pressuring parolees to supply him with drugs, including methamphetamine and crack cocaine. He also provided hydrocodone to a parolee in exchange for cocaine. He went down after a parolee reported him to his federal probation officer and the feds set up a sting, which he walked right into, delivering 120 hydrocodone tablets to a mailbox in exchange for $375. His judge is considering a defense motion for a mental evaluation prior to sentencing. He's looking at up to 20 years in federal prison on the extortion charge.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad cop, no donut for a Miami sergeant, two more TSA screeners cop pleas in LA, and a Phoenix detective couldn't keep his paws off the evidence room goodies. Let's get to it:

In Phoenix, a former Phoenix police detective was extradited back home last Wednesday from Pittsburgh, where he had been arrested June 27 for alleged evidence tampering and theft of narcotics from the department's property room. William McCartney, 37, was indicted June 19 on a 40-count felony indictment obtained by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. He's accused of multiple counts of tampering with evidence, possession of narcotics, possession of dangerous drugs, computer tampering, felony theft and fraudulent schemes. He went down after a quarterly audit discovered some Oxycontin tablets had been replaced with over-the-counter medications.

In Miami, a Miami police sergeant was indicted last Thursday on charges he planted and stole drugs and lied about it. Sgt. Raul Iglesias was in charge of the Central District's Crime Suppression Unit, which targeted drug traffickers. He is accused in a series of 2010 incidents, including one in which his officers searched a man, but found no drugs. Iglesias asked for and received "throw-down dope" from another officer to plant on him, then arrested him. In another incident, he is accused of stealing money and property from a man. In a third incident, he is accused of stealing marijuana and cocaine from an auto tint shop. And he is accused of lying about it all. He faces nine counts that include violating suspects' civil rights, conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, obstruction of justice and making false statements, according to a press release from the US attorney's office in Miami. The 18-year veteran faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

In Los Angeles, two former TSA screeners pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges they helped a drug trafficker move contraband through security checkpoints at LAX. Dianna Perez, 28, and Randy Littlefield, 29. A third person also pleaded guilty Tuesday and two other drug courtiers entered guilty pleas earlier. The couriers offered to pay Perez $500 for each bag of marijuana she let get by and she in turn paid Littlefield $200 for each bag he let go by. Perez let bags pass on at least nine occasions; Littlefield on two. Both pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. They're looking at up to five years in federal prison.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More trouble on the border, more prison guards get caught, and a Puerto Rican cop goes away for a long, long time. Let's get to it:

In Rio Grande City, Texas, two South Texas deputies were charged last Friday with trying to swap automatic weapons to be sent to Mexico in exchange for cocaine and marijuana. They are also charged with taking more than $10,000 in bribes from an underground casino owner. Starr County Sheriff's Deputy Nazario Solis III and the as yet unnamed second deputy face six drug, bribery, and extortion counts. Solis and the other deputy are charged with one count of attempting to possess cocaine for distribution and two counts of attempting to possess marijuana for distribution. They're looking at up to 40 years on the cocaine charge.

In Carlisle, Indiana, a state prison guard was arrested Monday on drug charges. Jon Dobbins, 37, was arrested on the job at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and faces preliminary charges of possession of a controlled substance, trafficking and three misdemeanors relating to paraphernalia, resisting law enforcement and battery. He was being held on a $57,000 bond and has been suspended from his job.

In Southington, Connecticut, a state prison guard was arrested Tuesday as he bought drugs in a commuter parking lot on his way to the prison. Arcolain Fountain, 46, went down after corrections officials initiated an investigation in March into reports a guard was trying to smuggle drugs into the Cheshire Correctional Institution. Fountain is charged with criminal attempt to convey unauthorized items into a correctional facility, criminal attempt to possess narcotics, and criminal attempt to possess a hallucinogenic. He was being held on $100,000 cash bond pending a Wednesday hearing in Meriden Court.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former Puerto Rico police officer was sentenced last Thursday to 40 years in federal prison for his role in providing security for drug deals in an FBI sting in which he received $2,000 per transaction. Javier Diaz Castro, 30, was convicted in December of two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, two counts of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug transaction.. Diaz was one of 88 other law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico and 44 other people indicted in October 2010 as part of the FBI's Operation Guard Shack, which targeted public corruption and cocaine trafficking.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A former Missouri sheriff heads to federal prison, a former Kansas City cop is headed there, too, and a former South Carolina deputy is looking at drug charges. Let's get to it:

In Greenville, South Carolina, an Anderson County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Monday on official misconduct charges after the sheriff and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division charged he "did engage in numerous drug transactions" and "provided sensitive information to individuals not authorized to receive that information. Deputy Shane Thompson, 34, was booked into the Anderson County Detention Center upon arrest. He is now ex-Deputy Thompson.

In St. Louis, a former Carter County sheriff and one of his deputies were sentenced Monday to 10 years and five years, respectively, in prison on federal firearms theft charges. Ex-Sheriff Tommy Adams, 32, also is facing state charges accusing him of distributing cocaine and methamphetamine. A trial date has not been set on those charges. Adams and then-Deputy Steffanie Kearbey, 24, were arrested in April 2011 on state charges they sold meth to a confidential informant. Adams is also accused of snorting some in front of the snitch, and faces cocaine sales charges as well. The state charges against Kearbey have been dropped.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a third member of a Kansas City police unit was sentenced Tuesday for stealing electronics from houses they were searching on drug warrants. Dustin Sillings, 34, got eight months in federal prison and a year's probation for violating federal civil rights law. Sillings and his partners in the Selective Crime Occurrence Reduction Enforcement (SCORE) Unit went down in an FBI sting after complaints percolated up to the feds. One of his partners got eight months like Sillings; the other got 12 months. Sillings admitted to ripping off $340 in cash during the sting and a handful of video games during other searches.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A crooked narc scandal in Florida just keeps on giving, a sticky-fingered Kansas City cop goes to jail, a former Arizona cop is in trouble for stealing pain pills, and an Arizona ICE agent cops to providing info to the cartels. Let's get to it:

In Largo, Florida, a criminal investigation has been launched into the actions of four Pinellas County sheriff's narcotics unit members. They have been accused of trespassing to gather evidence against indoor marijuana growers. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the criminal investigation after three of the narcs resigned and he fired one last Thursday, capping a departmental internal investigation. The scandal around the narcs' behavior has become a major issue in Gualtieri's re-election campaign, where he faces challengers in the Republican primary as well as a highly critical Democratic candidate.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a former Phoenix police detective was arrested last Wednesday on evidence tampering and narcotics theft charges. William McCartney, 37, was indicted days earlier on a 40-count felony indictment accused of multiple counts of tampering with evidence, possession of narcotics, possession of dangerous drugs, computer tampering, felony theft and fraudulent schemes. McCartney went down after a quarterly audit of items cleared for destruction from the evidence room found that Oxydocone tablets had been replace by over-the-counter medications. McCartney was originally arrested in March 2011, but quit the force and left the area. He was re-arrested in Pittsburgh after he was indicted.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a former Kansas City police officer was sentenced last Wednesday to a year and a day in prison for stealing electronic goods from homes where he and his team were serving drug search warrants. Darrell Forest, 32, was a member of a special unit that served search warrants, and went down in an FBI sting operation after authorities received complaints. Two other members of the squad have also pleaded guilty to theft and await sentencing.

In Tucson, Arizona, a former ICE agent was sentenced last Friday to 30 months in federal prison for accessing law enforcement data bases and passing sensitive information on to family members with ties to Mexican drug cartels. Jovana Deas went down after some of the information she passed turned up on the computer of a Mexican drug trafficker arrested in Brazil. Among the seven felonies and 14 misdemeanors she pleaded guilty to are illegally obtaining and disseminating classified government documents, obstruction of justice, and perjury. She is the 138th ICE or Border Patrol officer arrested on corruption charges since October 2004.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A scandal that keeps on giving in Florida, a pair of bad apple deputies in LA get their just rewards, a crooked NYPD cop gets his, too, and much, much more. Let's get to it:

In Largo, Florida, three Pinellas County narcotics deputies have resigned in an ongoing investigation of misconduct around their techniques for tracking down marijuana grows. The deputies have been accused of trespassing, passing themselves off as utility company employees, and monitoring customers at a Largo hydroponics store, among other things. Paul Giovannoni, 31, resigned Friday after reading evidence against him collected by the Internal Affairs Division, while Detective Michael Sciarrino and Sgt. Christopher Taylor, the other members of the grow house team, resigned earlier this week. One narcotics deputy and two patrol deputies are still under investigation. The narcs arrested dozens of store customers after using a surveillance camera to capture their auto tag numbers, then getting search warrants and busting down doors. They claimed in most warrant applications they could smell marijuana from public sidewalks or neighbors' yards, but defense attorneys dug up evidence they were actually trespassing and lying about it. No one has faced criminal charges yet.

In Philadelphia, a Philadelphia police officer was arrested last Tuesday on charges he sold heroin to an FBI confidential informant. Officer Jonathan Garcia, 23 faces four counts of distribution of heroin and two counts of carrying a firearm during drug trafficking. He allegedly sold the snitch a bundle of 14 heroin packets twice in April and May, but the snitch returned the dope, saying the quality was bad. Garcia then made two more sales, thus the four counts. He was being held at the Federal Detention Center in Center City pending a bail hearing. Garcia has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

In Clinton, South Carolina, a former Clinton police officer was arrested last Wednesday on charges he stole pain pills from the inmate medication storage area at the Clinton Public Safety Department. Clarence Lewis III, 36, is accused of making off with 116 hydrocodone tablets and faces one count each of misconduct in office and theft of a controlled substance. Police noticed discrepancies in the drug logs at the end of last month, identified Lewis as the culprit and suspended and then fired him earlier this month. He's now out on a $5,000 bond.

In Lumberton, North Carolina, a Lumberton police office was arrested last Friday on charges he was involved in drug trafficking. Officer Jason Walters, 35, is charged with attempted trafficking in opium by possession. (North Carolina law calls any opioid "opium"). He has been suspended without pay and was jailed on $20,000 bond. No further details were available.

In New York City, a former NYPD police officer was sentenced last Friday to nearly five years in federal prison for falsely arresting and trumping up drug charges against a man in a case that has fueled criticism of the department's stop-and-frisk program. Michael Daragjati, 33, pleaded guilty in January to violating the man's civil rights after he was caught on a wiretap boasting that he had "fried" the man, whom he referred to using a racial slur. The unnamed man spent nearly two days in jail after being stopped and frisked and then falsely arrested by Daragjati.

In Los Angeles, a former LA County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Monday to six months in jail and five years probation for stealing hash and marijuana from a person he had arrested. Deputy Rafael Zelaya copped to felony counts of receiving stolen property and filing a false police report and agreed to resign from the department as part of the plea deal.

In Los Angeles, a former LA County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail for trying to smuggle 24 grams of heroin into a county jail facility inside a burrito. Henry Marin, 27, went down after undercover deputies watched him pick up a bean-and-cheese burrito filled with 24 grams of black tar heroin at the Los Angeles Airport courthouse where he worked. Marin said he was duped into accepting the doped delight, but copped to a plea deal rather than fight it out in court.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Just another run of the mill week of drug war law enforcement corruption, except having a state trooper involved in a major pot grow is fairly unusual. Let's get to it:

In Clearwater, Florida, a Pinellas County narcotics detective resigned Monday amid charges he broke the law busting marijuana grow houses. Mike Sciarrino, a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's office is one of four detectives accused of falsifying evidence and lying to get search warrants. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is investigating the detectives' techniques, which included presenting themselves as power company employees to gain access to homes. No charges have been filed yet.

In Guayama, Puerto Rico, a prison guard was arrested June 8 on charges that he smuggled drugs into the facility. Ruben Rodriguez Colon is accused of smuggling 400 capsules of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana into the prison named Institucion Guayama 500. Rodriguez Colon went down after another guard spotted him delivering drugs to an inmate. He is charged with introducing illicit drugs into a correctional facility and has a preliminary hearing next week.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, a former Duval County sheriff's deputy was charged Tuesday in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy case. Victor Carillo, 27, had been fired last month, a week after another deputy, Ruben Silva, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 13 pounds of cocaine, and the sheriff said the firing was related to that case. Now, he faces the same charge. He is accused of helping Silva and others smuggle cocaine past a Border Patrol checkpoint in Mission. When the charges were announced, Carillo was already being held in the Duval County Jail on suspicion of theft by a public servant charges because he had pawned his assault rifle instead of turning it in.

In Charleston, South Carolina, a former state trooper was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for his role in a commercial-scale marijuana growing operation. Kurt Steffen, 30, must also do four years of supervised release. Steffen, who joined the state Highway Patrol in 2007, at some point thereafter decided along with others to do the grow to make more money. He bought a property in Ridgeville in May 2008, and he and his partners produced crops there until the grow was raided in January 2010. Prosecutors said the grow yielded thousands of dollars in profits. In his plea agreement, Steffen forfeited the property and admitted transporting weed in his Highway Patrol vehicle.

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