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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Ah, the crooked prison guards are back. We missed them last week, but we knew they wouldn't stay away long. Let's get to it:

In Tallahassee, Florida, a Florida Department of Corrections guard was arrested last Thursday on charges he tried to traffic cocaine to prisoners where he worked. Guard Eric James, 34, was arrested in a sting operation in a local Walmart parking lot as he attempted to buy cocaine to smuggle into the prison. The guy he was getting the cocaine from was actually an undercover officer with the Lake County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit. He is charged with bribery and cocaine trafficking. James is being held in the Leon County Jail on $10,000 bond.

In Boston, a Massachusetts prison guard pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to trying to smuggle heroin to sell to inmates at a medium-security prison near Boston. Ronald McGinn Jr. went down after the state Department of Corrections told the FBI someone was smuggling drugs into the prison, and the FBI sent in an undercover officer. McGinn sent text messages and discussed with the officer the amounts he would smuggle and the fees he would charge. He was arrested in possession of 29 grams of heroin in April. He pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to distribute and faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced in September.

In Greenbelt, Maryland, a former Prince George's County police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to selling cocaine and other charges. Sinisa Simic went down in a sweeping federal investigation of corruption in the county. He admitted that he and another man had sold more than 600 grams of cocaine in return for $24,000, as well as protecting shipments of contraband cigarettes. He pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking, extortion, and two firearms offenses, and faces a mandatory minimum 10-year federal prison sentence when he returns to court for sentencing in September.

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 38,000 people, including more than 15,000 last year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest or killing of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

The profits of prohibition fuel the violence in Mexico. (Image via
Wednesday, June 15

In Nuevo Leon, a record 33 people were murdered in one day.  Among the dead were two bodyguards of State Governor Rodrigo Medina who were kidnapped, murdered, and mutilated. The previous daily high in the state was 18, which included 14 inmates killed in a jailhouse fire that had been deliberately set.

Friday, June 17

In Nuevo Leon, 26 police officers were detained for their involvement in the murder of the two bodyguards of Gov. Medina on Wednesday.

In Matamoros, the leader of Los Zetas, Heriberto Lazcano "Z-3" was reported killed after a series of ferocious gun battles in the city with the rival Gulf Cartel. Mexican and American authorities have both denied that Lazcano is dead, and question why he would personally be leading attacks on the Gulf Cartel stronghold of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas.

Sunday, June 19

In Michoacan, at least 23 people were executed over the weekend by the Knights Templar drug trafficking organization. President Calderon was in the state capital of Morelia at the time attending a U-17 soccer game between Mexico and North Korea. The Knights Templar had announced the coming murders via banner on Friday. On Saturday, nine people were found dead in three different locations, each containing three bodies.

The Knights Templar is an off-shoot of La Familia Michoacana, and has vowed to wage war on the opposing faction of LFM led by El Chango Mendez (captured Tuesday -- see below) and his allies in Los Zetas.

Monday, June 20

In Veracruz, a journalist was gunned down along with his wife and 21-year old son. Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, 55, was an editor, crime reporter and columnist for the local Notiver newspaper. At around 5:30am on Monday, heavily armed gunmen kicked down the door to his home and gunned down everyone inside.

Also in Veracruz, seven municipal police officers were arrested in connection with the death of a Mexican Marine who was found dead on June 11 near the Tuxpan River. He was one of three Marines who were recently kidnapped and murdered in Mexico. The Marines have been on the forefront of Mexico's war on drug cartels and have conducted missions against high-profile targets such as Arturo Beltran Leyva, who was killed in December 2009.

Tuesday, June 21

In Cosio, Aguascalientes, the leader of La Familia Michoacana was captured by police at a highway checkpoint. Jose de Jesus Mendez Varga, 50, also known as "El Chango" -- the Monkey -- had been in command of the LFM organization since it broke up into rival factions after its previous leader, Nazario Moreno, was killed in fierce clashes with federal forces in December 2010. On Wednesday Mexican authorities said that US law enforcement played a key role in his capture.

In Ciudad Juarez, at least seven people were murdered. In one incident, a bag containing the head and dismembered body parts of a man was left outside a church. In a different part of the city, three men were gunned down inside a home in the southeast part of the city.

In the town of Cuahtemoc in the nearly lawless Chihuahuan sierra, authorities announced that eight people were found murdered there on June 18.

In Mexico City, Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes said after a meeting with President Calderon that the Zetas have been sending scouting missions to El Salvador to see whether they can purchase weapons from corrupt police and military officials.

Editor's Note: We cannot accurately tally the drug prohibition-related killings in Mexico at this time. El Universal, the only Mexican newspaper that was doing so on a regular basis, has stopped. We will have to rely on official pronouncements on the death toll, and will report them when they happen. Below are the numbers through the end of last year. With more than 1,400 reported dead in April alone, this year's toll could well exceed last year's. As of this month, we believe the total death toll has surpassed 38,000.]

Total Body Count for 2010: 15,273

Total Body Count for 2009: (approx.) 9,600

Total Body Count for 2008 (approx.): 5,400

Total Body Count for 2007 (approx): 4,300

Total Body Count for Calderon's drug war through 2010: 34,883


This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It never ends, does it? Another week, another set of crooked cops. At least this week, the jail and prison guards managed to stay out of the news. Let's get to it:

In New York City, an NYPD narcotics detective was arrested on June 9 on charges he lied about witnessing drug transactions that resulted in the arrest of one man for selling crack and three others who were his customers. Detective Francisco Payano's fictive report began to fall apart last year when a defense attorney brought forward surveillance video footage of the location in question that showed no drug dealing going on at the time in question and that Payano wasn't even present. The case against the alleged dealer has been dropped, but one customer already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. The cases against the other two have been sealed. Payano faces 64 counts of perjury and other charges. He has been released pending trial.

In Nashville, a Metropolitan Nashville police officer was indicted Friday on federal bribery and drug trafficking charges. Officer Richard Wilson, 31, went down in a sting after accepting $24,500 to transport what he thought was cocaine for who he thought were drug traffickers. He is charged with soliciting a bribe, attempted cocaine distribution, and money laundering.

In Philadelphia, two former Philadelphia police officers were sentenced June 15 to 10 to 20 years in prison each after being caught in an undercover sting helping drug dealers rob a man they thought was a drug courier. Christopher Luciano, 23, and Sean Alivera, 31, were arrested last October and pleaded guilty in April to charges of robbery, conspiracy, kidnapping, official oppression and possession of a drug with intent to deliver.

In Jacksonville, Florida, a former Jacksonville Sheriff's officer was sentenced Monday to 10 years in federal prison for agreeing to transport cocaine from Daytona to Jacksonville in return for payment. Former officer Carl Kohn went down after he starting plotting a deal with a "cooperating individual" to transport five kilos of cocaine in return for $2,500. He pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine.

In Mesquite, Texas, the former head of the Mesquite Police narcotics unit was sentenced Monday to 15 months in federal prison for stealing cash during an undercover drug operation. John David McAllister, 42, went down after authorities received a tip that an officer was stealing drug money and FBI agents set up an undercover sting in March. FBI agents left $100,000 in cash in 52 bundles in a car they directed McAllister to search. They videotaped him removing one of the bundles and stuffing it in his pants before returning to the Mesquite Police Department. Still under surveillance, McAllister then drove to a nearby shopping mall and bought a $480 watch. FBI agents matched the cash used in that transaction to photocopies of the cash they used in the sting. McAllister was charged with theft of government property.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

We've got it all this week: jail guards, police dispatchers, parole officers, big city narcs, small town deputies... Let's get to it:

In Edgard, Louisiana, a St. John the Baptist Parish jail guard was arrested June 8 after a sheriff's office investigation found he was smuggling drugs to inmates in the parish jail. Allen Meadows, 41, went down after the sheriff's office got tipped off he was smuggling dope, and that's all the sheriff will say so far. He was charged with malfeasance in office and four counts of trafficking contraband to a correctional institution. A search of his home in neighboring St. Charles Parish resulted in additional charges of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of cocaine. He was jailed on a $20,000 bond. And he's now a former jail guard -- he was fired after being arrested.

In Virginia Beach, Virginia, a Norfolk police officer was arrested June 9 on charges he was peddling steroids and marijuana. Officer Kristen Wayne Harris is charged with 10 counts of manufacturing or selling steroids and one count of selling pot. He also faces misdemeanor charges of selling or intending to sell drug paraphernalia and assisting an individual in unlawfully procuring a prescription drug. The offenses allegedly occurred on various dates in the last three months.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a former state parole officer was arrested June 9 for allegedly asking for bribes from parolees to overlook positive drug tests or not administer the tests and for not incarcerating them when they violated parole. Kenneth Dupree, 46, is also accused of using threats of incarceration to extort and intimidate parolees into giving him money. It's not clear what the formal charges are.

In Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, a Lawrence County jail guard was arrested last Friday after being accused of getting paid $25 to smuggle packages of pills, pot and tobacco to inmates at the jail. Adam Cozart, 24, went down after deputies were tipped by at least three inmates that he was bringing contraband into the jail. They waited for him and confronted him when he came to work, and Cozart admitted having a package for two inmates. It contained four Percocet tablets, a small amount of weed, and tobacco. He is charged with two counts of introduction of contraband into a penal facility, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into a neighboring county jail.

In Krotz Springs, Louisiana, a Krotz Springs Police dispatcher was arrested Monday after she allegedly released two jail inmates from their cells, helped them break into the department evidence room, and then shared stolen drugs with them. Dispatcher Amanda Nall, 23, went down after the department reported a burglary to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's investigators say Nall released the two inmates, then shut off the lights near the evidence room in a bid to thwart security cameras while one of the inmates broke into the evidence room and stole the drugs, which he and the other inmate shared with Nall before returning to their cells. Nall is charged with malfeasance in office and simple burglary, while the inmates are charged with simple burglary.

In McAllen, Texas, a former Hidalgo County Sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty June 9 to trying to sell confiscated marijuana to informants in other cases. Omar Salazar copped to federal counts of marijuana possession and conspiracy to possess marijuana. He also faces state charges in the scheme that surfaced during a raid at a stash house in Mission in 2009. He's looking at up to 40 years on the federal charges. No sentencing date has been set.

In Jacksonville, Georgia, a former Appling County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty June 9 to tipping off a suspected marijuana trafficker to an impending raid by a joint narcotics task force in January. Richard Crosby, 36, was present during a planning meeting for the raid, which was the culmination of a months-long undercover operation, and he admitted that he passed word to the target through a second person to stay away from home the following day because a raid was coming. He pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the distribution of controlled substances, marijuana. He faces up to 2 1/2 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. He is out on bail pending sentencing.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, two Tulsa police officers were cleared and one former office was found guilty Monday in a complex federal case involving accusations of drug distribution, stealing money during an FBI sting, and planting drugs on people. Officer Bruce Bonham, 53, and Officer Nick DeBruin, 38, were acquitted on all the counts against them. Retired Cpl. Harold R. Wells, 60, was found guilty of drug conspiracy, carrying a firearm during drug trafficking and stealing US funds during the FBI sting. He's looking at a mandatory minimum 15-year prison sentence, and he was ordered taken into custody upon the reading of the verdict. Bonham and DeBruin walked despite video surveillance footage of them and Wells splitting up and pocketing cash during the sting.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Criminal cops -- they just keep coming. Oh, and prison guards and Customs agents, too. Let's get to it:

In Huntsville, Texas, a state prison guard was arrested June 2 on suspicion he planned to distribute heroin. Alejandro Smith, 21, went down in a sting operation after authorities received information that he was smuggling drugs into the Eastham Unit state prison. Smith agreed to pick up a duffle bag of heroin in Huntsville and was busted when he did. He is charged with conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute. He's looking at between five and 40 years in prison.

In Miami, a Miami Police narcotics officer was arrested June 2 on charges he took cocaine from a drug bust and used it to pay off informants. Officer Roberto Asanza, 31, is charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after FBI agents found 10 bags of cocaine, heroin, and two bags of weed in his patrol car. Asanza worked in a unit that targeted street dealers. One of his snitches snitched him out. He's looking at up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

In Atlanta, a former US Customs and Border Protection agent was sentenced June 3 to 13 years in federal prison in a case involving the largest ecstasy seizure of 2010. Devon Samuels, 45, and his wife, Keisha Jones, 30, were among 14 people arrested in December after authorities seized 700,000 tabs of the stimulant drug. Samuels used his security clearance to avoid screening at Hartsfield-Jackson airport. He went down in a sting after carrying $22,000 he believed to be drug proceeds to Jamaica. His ring supplied much of the ecstasy and marijuana coming into the Atlanta area, according to prosecutors. He got eight years for conspiring to launder drug money and attempting to smuggle guns onto an airplane and another five years for marriage fraud. His wife got six months home confinement.

In New York City, a former NYPD officer was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for his role in a string of more than a hundred violent robberies of drug dealers that netted more than $4 million in drug proceeds. Jorge Arbaje-Diaz, 31, was part of a 15-person gang that posed as police officers and robbed dealers up and down the East Coast. Only one other member was actually a police officer. Arbaje-Diaz would use his status as a police officer to gain access to homes, then crew members would bind and torture their victims to find out where drugs and money were kept. Arbaje-Diaz was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty to one count each of robbery conspiracy and drug trafficking conspiracy in May 2010.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Narcs get rowdy at a narc convention and a pair of cops who couldn't keep their paws off the pills. Let's get to it:

In Hyannis, Massachusetts, a group of men attending the New England Narcotics Officers Association is accused by a Cape Cod DJ of twice attacking him at a bar after he tried to non-violently intervene on behalf of a woman being harassed by one of them. The narcs were in town for a convention. Duane Alves, better known as DJ Alvzie filed a report with Barnstable Police after the incident in which he said one of the men dumped a drink on his head, then punched him. The man's comrades joined in the beating. Alves also said that the men then blocked the exits from the bar and attacked him again when he tried to leave. The second attack resulted in serious injuries, including broken bones around his right eye and a damaged nasal cavity. Alves managed to grab a cell phone of his attackers dropped, and Barnstable Police confirmed it belonged to someone who attended the narc-fest, but would not identify the owner. Barnstable Police continue to investigate.

In Napoleonville, Louisiana, a former Assumption Parish sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty May 24 to a whopping 438 malfeasance and drug charges for using seized drugs to feed his own habits. Louis Lambert, 48, had been the evidence room technician for seven years when deputies discovered missing drug case evidence in April 2010. Lambert was arrested in June 2010 and fired and indicted in October. He copped to 336 counts of malfeasance for evidence tampering, 35 counts of pot possession, 24 counts of cocaine possession, 11 counts of prescription drug possession, one count of Oxycodone possession, one count of steroid possession, once count of Alprazolam possession,10 counts of drug paraphernalia possession, 14 counts of possessing a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs, four counts of firearms theft and one count of theft under $300. Charges against about 20 drug suspects had to be dropped because of the missing evidence. He faces up to 1400 years in prison when sentenced July 6.

In Yorkville, Illinois, the Yorkville Police deputy chief was arrested last Friday on charges he stole pain relieving pills from the department's drug collection program.  Deputy Chief Dave Delaney is charged with possession of hydrocodone and theft of government property. Yorkville Police had become suspicious that some of the drugs turned in were missing and contacted the Illinois State Police, who conducted a week-long investigation. They marked some of the hydrocodone pills, then confronted Delaney and found he had several on him. He faces up to three years in prison on each count.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug-related police corruption comes in many varieties. We've got several this week. Let's get to it:

In Piscataway, New Jersey, a Piscataway police officer was arrested April 25 on charges he stole cocaine while working as the department's evidence officer. Albert Annuzzi, 47, is charged with one count each of official misconduct-theft by unlawful taking and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors said he took the cocaine for personal use. They did not announce his arrest until last week.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, one Wake County sheriff's deputy has been arrested and another is under investigation for the theft of drugs and cash from the department. Deputy Balinda Manley, 34, was fired after her arrest last month when she was charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana. She went down after a routine audit showed that she signed out drugs and $6,435 in cash last June, but didn't return it. When prosecuted requested the evidence for trial, she returned drugs, and then, five days later, what she said was the cash. But when investigators opened the package, they found a pile of blank paper sandwiched between two $100 bills. Investigators found a deposit slip for $1,800 in Manley's care and one for $940 in the car of a second deputy, Chad Hines. He is now under investigation.

In Duanesburg, New York, a University at Albany police investigator was arrested May 16 along with her husband after a search of their property turned up 100 marijuana plants growing in a pole barn. Wendy Knoebel, 48, and her husband face a federal charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. The pair has been released on bail.

In San Leandro, California, a San Leandro Police narcotics officer was arrested last Friday on charges he furnished marijuana to a confidential informant for sale. Detective Jason Fredriksson, 38, allegedly provided more than a pound of pot to the snitch, who planned to sell it, police said. He is also the subject of an internal investigation for having an "improper relationship" with the snitch. He has been on the San Leandro force for nine years, and most recently has been a detective in the vice/narcotics unit and a member of the 14-person SWAT team.

In Phoenix, a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy and two detention officers were arrested Tuesday on drug and human trafficking charges. Deputy Ruben Navarette and detention officers Marcella Hernandez and Sylvia Najera face felony charges. Seven other sheriff’s employees were being investigated for their possible involvement. The three arrested are accused of being part of a Phoenix-based international drug smuggling ring. Hernandez told authorities she is eight months pregnant with the child of the ring's leader, a member of the Sinaloa Cartel. Navarette admitted to passing information about the sheriff’s crime-prevention operations to the group. The deputy also was accused of being part of a separate human trafficking ring that smuggled illegal immigrants from Arizona to California. Deputies found two illegal immigrants when they searched his home. He is also alleged to be an active member of the drug smuggling ring that brought loads of heroin from Mexico to Phoenix. Ten pounds of heroin and nearly $200,000 in cash, weapons, vehicles and stolen property were seized during searches. Hernandez, 28, was found with $16,000 cash when she was arrested Tuesday after arriving for work. She is being held on charges that include transporting drugs and money laundering. Najera is charged with money laundering and controlling a criminal enterprise.

In San Antonio, a former Bexar County sheriff's deputy was sentenced May 19 to six years in prison for trying to smuggle heroin to inmates using barbacoa tacos. Robert Falcon, 48, went down after another deputy found a note in a jail cell with Falcon's address on it that spelled out a smuggling strategy. A sting was set up in which $50 in marked bills, the taco ingredients and 4 grams of fake heroin were left on his doorstep. The fake drugs were recovered from his lunch bag when he arrived at work, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty in November to bringing drugs into a correctional facility, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Falcon is on suicide watch after he vowed to kill himself if not granted probation.

Another Drug Case Dismissed in Connection with San Francisco Police Misconduct Probe

San Francisco, CA
United States
Another drug case was dismissed in connection with allegations of police misconduct by San Francisco officers. More than 85 cases have been dropped because of a string of videos released by Public Defender Jeff Adachi that he said show misconduct by plainclothes officers performing drug busts at residential hotels in the city. The latest dismissal might not be the last related to the police misconduct allegations. Adachi said last week that the district attorney's office has provided him with a list of 6,900 cases involving officers from the previous videos, which appear to show officers from the Police Department's Southern Station entering rooms without a warrant or consent, contradicting what was written in the officers' reports.
Fox News (US)

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

San Francisco narcs with some explaining to do, a Kentucky sheriff gone wild, a California cop gone rogue, and an Iowa cop with a troublesome cocaine habit. Let's get to it:

In San Francisco, the city public defender is accusing undercover narcotics officers of stealing from suspects. For the second time in a week, Public Defender Jeff Adachi has released surveillance video footage that shows two officers walking into a residential hotel empty handed and leaving with bags that were not booked into evidence. One of the men whose rooms were searched, Jesus Reyes, said he recognized a backpack that was his being carried off. It contained a laptop computer and Sony digital camera. The officers with the bag were identified as Richard Guerrero and Reynaldo Vargas. Guerrero faces similar allegations in another case. Reyes was charged with meth possession, but those charges were dropped when Guerrero did not show up for court after being subpoenaed. SFPD officials said five officers seen on the video had been removed from plainclothes duty. The other three are Jacob Fegan, Christopher Servat, and Adam Kujath. This marks the second time in the past week Adachi has used video footage to allege police conducted illegal searches or stole from suspects. The revelations have prompted the dismissal of nearly a hundred cases and led the FBI to open an investigation. Stay tuned.

In London, Kentucky, the former Whitley County sheriff pleaded guilty last Thursday to extortion, drug, and conspiracy charges for a pattern of conduct that extended throughout his stay in office. In pleading guilty, Lawrence Hodges acknowledged that he had been popping pain pills, ripping off cash from the office, and extorting drug dealers by busting them and then funneling them to a local attorney. Hodges got $50,000 in kickbacks, the sheriff's office got $50,000 in "donations," and the dealers got more lenient treatment. He admitted stealing $64,897 from the sheriff's office, part of which went to buy pain pills. He also admitted looking the other way on drug sales by his favored dealers. Prosecutors are recommending 15-years in prison when he is sentenced in August. Hodges also faces a state court prosecution in which he is charged with stealing $350,000 from his office. He has pleaded not guilty to that charge. He was jailed pending sentencing.

In Eureka, California, a former Eureka police officer was charged April 14 on a raft of counts suggesting he was a rogue officer. Daniel Kalis had been under investigation since January by the Humboldt County district attorney's office, and the Eureka Police initiated their own investigation in March. On March 7, Kalis was placed on leave. He resigned early in April. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance (heroin), unauthorized communication with a prisoner, possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, false imprisonment, possession of controlled substances without a prescription, unauthorized disclosure of motor vehicle records, unauthorized access to a computer network, petty theft, and vandalism. More charges could be pending.

In Muscatine, Iowa, a former Muscatine police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to drug and theft charges. Scott Burk, 48, was arrested last August after an investigation by state and local police. Authorities found cocaine in his vehicle and home, along with missing funds from the Muscatine County Drug Task Force. He pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, a drug tax stamp violation, and second-degree theft charges. He faces a year for the possession charge, and five years each for the other two. He will be sentenced in July. His attorney said Burke is currently in drug treatment and will seek probation.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Texas DA is on the wrong side of the bars, and so is a Kentucky jail guard. Meanwhile, crooked cops in Philly and California's East Bay have their own problems. Let's get to it:

In San Ramon, California, a former Central Costa County Narcotics Enforcement Team member was arrested May 4 in an expanding Contra Costa County drug corruption case. San Ramon Police Officer Louis Lombardi is believed to be involved in a corruption case involving the task force commander, a Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy, and a private investigator, all of whom were arrested in March. They are accused, among other things, of stealing and reselling drugs and ginning up false DUI arrests. Lombardi's specific charges include possession of stolen property, including guns, IDs, and drugs; grand theft of weapons, possession of an illegal assault rifle, and conspiracy. At last report, he was in jail with a $760,000 bond.

In Shively, Kentucky, a Bullitt County jail guard was arrested May 5 after being caught with 28 hydrocodone pills, 28 1/2 oxymorphone pills, six doses of anabolic steroids, three syringes, three needles, a gun and ammunition during a traffic stop. Eric Risen, 26, is charged with four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and disregarding a traffic signal, Shively police said. He was released on his own recognizance and will be arraigned in court early next week.

In Alice, Texas, the former Jim Wells and Brooks County district attorney was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail for the criminal misuse of asset forfeiture funds. Former DA Joe Frank Garza, 64, must also serve 10 years probation and repay $2 million in funds misappropriated for his personal use. Under Texas law, prosecutors must have the okay of the county commission before spending seized cash on salary increases or the personal benefit of employees, but Garza never bothered to do that with funds seized between 2002 and 2008.

In Philadelphia, two former Philadelphia police officers were sentenced this week in a plot to rip-off drug dealers and resell their heroin. Robert Snyder, 30, got 13 years in prison, while a day earlier, James Venziale got 42 months for his role. They were two of three officers arrested last year in the scheme that also involved Snyder's wife, Cristal, and her sister's drug dealing boyfriend. Venziale got less time because he became a cooperating witness. He testified that he and Snyder got $3,000 each for robbing one dealer. The criminal cops went down in an FBI sting after word of their activities percolated up from the street.

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