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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An Illinois sheriff goes down hard, a Massachusetts police chief parties too hard, a Massachusetts cop gets nailed for helping out his local pot dealer, and a Florida motorcycle cop gets caught stealing a bud in his helmet. Let's get to it:

Raymond Martin -- a sheriff heads for the Big House
In Benton, Illinois, the former Gallatin County sheriff was sentenced to life in prison January 19 for trafficking marijuana on the job and conspiring to have potential witnesses killed. Former sheriff Raymond Martin had been jailed since May 2009, when federal agents arrested him on marijuana dealing charges. He went down after the man he was selling pot to decided he wanted out, and Martin said he could make him disappear. The dealer instead went to the DEA and became a cooperating witness. While in jail awaiting trial, he conspired with his wife and son to kill witnesses set to testify against him. He was convicted on 15 counts, getting two life terms on weapons charges and numerous 10- and 15-year concurrent sentences.

In Salisbury, Massachusetts, the former police chief is accused of exchanging drugs and money for sex with known criminals -- and much more! -- in a 31-page report compiled after town officials hired an outside investigator. Former Chief David L'Esperance, who resigned the day he was set to be interviewed during the investigation, is also accused of falsifying police records, improperly interfering in arrests, and numerous other violations. The report is being forwarded to other law enforcement agencies, so criminal charges could be soon forthcoming. Investigators focused on allegations that L'Esperance gave money and drugs to three women in their twenties, at least two of whom had criminal records or drug addictions, in return for sexual favors. He is also accused of taking "trophies" from arrest scenes, including a bag of cash seized during a drug raid.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, a Worcester police officer was convicted January 19 on drug charges for tipping off a marijuana dealer that police were near his workplace. Officer Carlos Burgos was found guilty on one federal count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Prosecutors said that Burgos had a one-minute telephone conversation with the dealer in January 2009 in which he warned him that undercover officers were near the location where he worked. No sentencing date was announced.

In Winter Haven, Florida, a Winter Haven police officer resigned January 20 after being busted stealing a bud of marijuana during a drug arrest. Ricardo Flores, 36, a motorcycle officer was fingered by fellow officers for hiding a bud in his motorcycle helmet before heading home as his shift ended. He is charged with felony burglary -- for taking the bud from a vehicle -- as well as petty theft and possession of less than 20 grams of pot.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A small-town jail guard, a big city cop, and a US Border Patrol agent all go down this week. Let's get to it:

If we can't keep drugs out of the prisons, how can we keep them out of the country?
In Imperial Beach, California, a US Border Patrol agent was arrested January 10 after a SWAT raid on his home revealed he was hiding illegal immigrants -- among them his father -- and evidence of drug dealing. Agent Gerardo Manzano Jr., 26, is currently charged with harboring illegal immigrants, but will probably face additional charges related to 61 grams of methamphetamine and "packaging material indicating a drug operation" in his home.

In Ocala, Florida, a Marion County corrections officer was arrested January 12 for smuggling marijuana, submarine sandwiches, and a cell phone into the county jail. Guard Joseph Jones went down after the sheriff's office grew suspicious and enlisted the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He is charged with possession of marijuana and two counts of introducing contraband into a prison. Jones has been suspended without pay, and the sheriff's office has opened an internal investigation.

In Providence, Rhode Island, a Providence police officer pleaded guilty Friday to charges he was part of a police cocaine trafficking ring and was sentenced to three years in prison. Officer Robert Hamlin was the last of four officers indicted in June to have his case resolved. Two others pleaded guilty, and prosecutors dropped charges against the fourth.  Hamlin copped to three counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs. Since he has been behind bars since March, when he was originally arrested, and will get credit for time served, he should be out on parole by this coming March after completing a third of his sentence.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A campus cop, an auxiliary cop, and a sheriff's deputy all go down. Let's get to it:

evidence room of opportunity
In Somerset, Ohio, a Somerset auxiliary police officer was indicted Monday for allegedly trafficking "bulk" amounts of oxycodone to southeastern Ohio. Joseph Michael Daley, 33, is accused of traveling to Florida and bringing the drugs back to Ohio for resale. He went down in a sting in December. He is charged with aggravated drug trafficking and is out on bond pending trial.

In Tallahassee, Florida, a former Florida A&M University (FAMU) police officer pleaded guilty Monday to buying and reselling marijuana and lying to the feds about it. Former FAMU patrol officer Byron Whitaker, 32, acknowledged buying pot from a local dealer for sale in Tallahassee and even negotiating a purchase while he was on duty in his patrol car. During a DEA interview last August, Whitaker falsely told agents he had not bought drugs from the supplier. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and making false statements to a federal agent. He faces up to five years in prison on each count.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a former Marquette County deputy sheriff pleaded guilty January 6 to stealing drugs from a locked evidence room. Daniel Card was busted for taking 59 oxycodone tablets from the evidence room in May 2007. He had already been found guilty of drug possession following a jury trial in 2009. He pleaded guilty to theft this time around. Sentencing is set for March 23.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's a Texas trifecta this week, plus a Nashville cop buying guns for the cartels, an ATF agent with sticky fingers, and an upstate New York cop with several bad habits. Let's get to it:

former police officer Jaime Beas, pleaded guilty to working with the Zetas
In Nashville, Tennessee, a former Nashville police officer was found guilty December 20 of lying when purchasing weapons he intended to smuggle to Guatemala. Edwin Ronal Morales was one of five people indicted in 2009 on charges of conspiring to illegal purchase weapons to be smuggled to Guatemalan drug traffickers. He was found guilty of two count of making false statement for falsely representing himself as the actual buyer when he was really giving the guns to a codefendant to be smuggled out of the country. He faces up to 10 years in prison on each count.

In Beaumont, Texas, two Beaumont police officers pleaded guilty December 22 to misdemeanor charges of tampering with government records for leaving a confidential informant's name out of statements and testimony. Officers Brad Bealieu and Eric Heilman also had their peace officer's licenses suspended for six months.

In Cleveland, Ohio, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms agent pleaded guilty December 22 to stealing money in an October drug raid. ATF Agent Steven Campbell was part of team raiding a marijuana dealer in nearby Lyndhurst when he began stuffing cash into his pockets. A DEA agent on the raid turned him in. When confronted, Campbell insisted the only cash he had was his, but when he struggled to resist being handcuffed, $46,000 fell out of his pockets.

In McAllen, Texas, a former Pharr police officer pleaded guilty December 22 to being on the payroll of the Mexican drug cartel the Zetas. Former officer Jaime Beas, 33, had been arrested in a July sting in which he thought he was trading cocaine for high-powered weapons and body armor destined for the Zetas. He lived in a house owned by a Zetas member. The house and four luxury cars were seized by authorities. He pleaded guilty to an organized crime charge.

In McAllen, Texas, a former McAllen police officer was sentenced December 21 to 27 years in federal prison for drug trafficking conspiracy. Former officer Francisco Meza-Rojas had led a group that smuggled cocaine and pot into the Rio Grande Valley, but after being arrested in 2006 broke out of jail and fled to Mexico until he was arrested in July. He had pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute.

In Niagara Falls, New York, a former Niagara Falls police officer was sentenced December 22 to nearly 14 years in prison for tipping off drug dealers to police investigations, buying crack cocaine on duty, and groping a woman he had pulled over. Former officer Ryan Warme had pleaded guilty in April to three felonies in exchange for a 10-year sentence, but got additional time added on after admitting threatening a prisoner who was set to testify against. He pleaded guilty to deprivation of civil rights under color of law, using and carrying his Niagara Falls Police Department-issued pistol during a drug transaction and conspiracy to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine.

In Shakopee, Minnesota, a former Carver County sheriff's detective was sentenced December 28 to six months in jail for stealing methamphetamine from the department's evidence vault in Chaska. Daniel Kahlow, an 18-year-veteran, went down after authorities noticed the drugs had been tampered with and saw him entering the vault in a surveillance video. He admitted ripping off the meth for his personal use and told investigators he had been smoking meth for about a year. Kahlow copped a plea to second-degree possession of meth. He begins serving his sentence this month.

Mexico's Drug Prohibition War: Troops Killed Innocent U.S. Man

Joseph Proctor told his girlfriend he was popping out to the convenience store in the quiet Mexican beach town where the couple had just moved, intending to start a new life. The next morning, the 32-year-old New York native was dead inside his crashed van on a road outside Acapulco. It is at least the third case this year in which soldiers, locked in a prohibitionist drug war with trafficking organizations, have been accused of killing innocent civilians and faking evidence in cover-ups. Such scandals are driving calls for civilian investigators to take over cases that are almost exclusively handled by military prosecutors and judges who rarely convict one of their own.
Newsday (NY)

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

From the Rio Grande Valley to New York City, it's more cops gone wild this week. Let's get to it:

In Houston, a Harris County sheriff's deputy was charged December 16 with possession of a large amount of cocaine in what authorities said was a case of a cop protecting drug dealers and their product. Deputy Richard Bryan Nutt Jr., 43, came under investigation after authorities got information he was protecting loads of drugs. Prosecutors say he helped dealers by stopping the vehicles of people they had sold large quantities of cocaine to, seizing the drug, and returning it to the original dealer. Police recovered nearly 4 1/2 pounds of cocaine in the investigation, they said. He and three other men were all charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, as well as with using a firearm while committing a felony. Nutt is now out on $20,000 bail.

In Atlanta, a US Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested December 16 on drug and gun smuggling charges after getting caught in a sting operation linked to a large seizure of ecstasy. Officer Devon Samuels took $72,000 in cash from undercover officers and smuggled it to Jamaica, accepted five firearms and $20,000 in alleged drug money from another agent, and checked government computers to see if he or associates were under investigation.

In New York City, an NYPD officer pleaded not guilty December 15 in a scheme to buy $40,000 worth of ketamine to distribute at raves. Officer Kifah Othman, 40, allegedly tried to score the Special K from a former cop-turned-tattoo-parlor-operator who is cooperating with the feds in a bid for leniency in a narcotics case. Othman has been suspended and is free on $250,000 bond. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

In Brownsville, Texas, a Cameron County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Friday to trying to smuggle weapons into Mexico in exchange for money. Jesus Longoria, 31, admitted to trying to smuggle 13 weapons he believed were destined for a drug cartel into Mexico in exchange for $4,000. Longoria waved a driver through on an international bridge after contacting him via cell phone to tell him when it was safe to cross. Unfortunately for Longoria, the driver was an undercover federal agent. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and is being held in custody pending his March 14 sentencing.

In St. Martinville, Louisiana, a former St. Martinville police officer was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for stealing cash, guns, and drugs from the department's evidence room to support her gambling habit. Charlotte Durand, 57, a 20-year veteran, was working as the department's evidence custodian when she was arrested in April 2009. Durand pawned her department issued gun in December 2007, and after that, began stealing guns, cash, and cocaine from the evidence room. She was originally charged with three counts of malfeasance in office and two counts of felony theft, but pleaded guilty in March to one count of malfeasance in office and one count of felony theft as part of a plea agreement.

In Atlanta, a former Atlanta police officer was sentenced December 16 to 12 years in prison on drug and corruption charges. Lucius Solomon III, 32, went down after offering protection for what he thought were large cocaine loads, and doing so while in uniform and on duty. He pleaded guilty on September 2.

In Woodward, Oklahoma, a former Woodward police detective is under investigation after he admitted stealing methamphetamine from a department evidence locker. Former officer Mike Morton told an unrelated federal court hearing in July that he stole the meth and gave it to his wife. The pair divorced in June. The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation is now examining the evidence in some 2,500 cases to see what, if anything is missing.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A narc who admits he's corrupt, a narc accused of serial theft, an auxiliary cop busted for peddling pills, and a deputy who thought he was protecting dealers all made the roll of dishonor this week. Let's get to it:

drug cash can corrupt cops
In Philadelphia, a Philadelphia narcotics officer has been jerked off the streets after being accused for the third time in as many years of stealing money from people he accosted. Officer Joseph Sulpizio, a member of the Strike Force North dope squad, is now accused of detaining a man, driving him to a remote location, and then stealing $500 from him before letting him go. He is scheduled to go before a Police Board of Inquiry next month. At least two high-ranking narcotics supervisors have repeatedly complained to the Internal Affairs Bureau that Sulpizio might be a rip-off artist. If internal affairs can't figure it out, the neighborhood where he patrols already knows the score. "Everybody in the neighborhood knows he's stealing," one resident said.

In New Lexington, Ohio, a Somerset police auxiliary officer was arrested December 7 for peddling Oxycontin. Auxiliary officer Joseph Daley, 33, was arrested at his home after an investigation that began in February. Daley sold to an undercover officer and then was arrested. He is charged with one count of aggravating drug trafficking with a gun specification. He was being held on a $50,000 bond in the Muskingum County Jail at last report. Oh, and he's been fired from his auxiliary officer gig.

In Houston, a former Harris County sheriff's deputy was indicted by a federal grand jury last week on charges he took $1,000 in bribes to help protect what he thought were Ecstasy shipments. George Ellington, Jr., 38, is charged with two counts of extortion under color of official right, two counts of aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute Ecstasy, and two counts of carrying or possessing a Glock .40 caliber pistol to further a drug trafficking crime. He was originally arrested October, but the federal grand jury has updated the charges. He is out on $50,000 bond.

In Providence, Rhode Island, a Providence narcotics officer pleaded guilty December 9 to peddling cocaine and assisting a "large-scale cocaine distribution ring" led by one of his confidential informants.  Detective Joseph Colanduono, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to deliver drugs, larceny, and harboring a criminal. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Colanduona was one of four Providence police officers and at least 25 others charged in a joint investigation of the ring by the Rhode Island State Police and the FBI. He worked on a DEA task force until he was arrested.

WikiLeaks Cables: Ghanaian Police 'Helped Drug Smugglers Evade Security'

A £1m taxpayer-funded anti-trafficking campaign to stem the flow of cocaine into the UK through Ghana's busiest airport is beset by corruption, with drugs police sabotaging expensive British-bought scanning equipment and tipping off smugglers, leaked US embassy cables reveal. Ghana president John Atta Mills even worried that his own entourage could be smuggling drugs through his presidential lounge at Accra's Kotoka airport and asked a senior UK customs official last November for help to screen them "in the privacy of his suite to avoid any surprises if they are caught carrying drugs", according to the US embassy in Accra (cable 234015).
The Guardian (UK)

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A bad narc in New York and a meth-loving deputy in Minnesota go down. Let's get to it:

In New York City, a Queens undercover narcotics officer was indicted November 16 on charges he falsely accused five men of selling drugs to him. Detective Adolph Osback, 38, has also been indicted on separate charges from his days working a notorious Brooklyn South narcotics unit in which some officers were accused of trading drugs for information. In the Queens case, five men were arrested on drug sales charges based on Osback's word. Their charges were later dropped and their court records sealed. Osback is only the latest in a series of allegedly crooked narcs coming out of Queens.

In Chaska, Minnesota, a Carver County sheriff's deputy was sentenced December 2 to six months in jail for stealing methamphetamine from the department's evidence room. David Kahlow, 47, will also have to pay a $1,500 fine and do 90 days of home monitoring. After that, he will be on supervised probation for the next 20 years. Kahlow had been charged with second degree possession of six grams of meth or more in May after investigators executing a search warrant found a Carver County evidence bag with 15.5 grams of meth, as well as two smaller bags of meth, one weighting 5.1 grams and one weighing 2.8 grams, in his right front pants pocket.  Carver was an 18-year veteran of the force and was one of four officers authorized to enter the evidence room.

Maine Sheriff Calls for Drug Agency Chief's Ouster

United States
The sheriff in Maine's easternmost county, Washington County's Sheriff Donnie Smith, is crossing swords with Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney. Smith said that the MDEA is a "rogue agency." He cited several incidents including an agent's misuse of a stun gun, $3,000 in missing drug buy money and a video that surfaced showing an agent flash his badge, drink some beer and then drive away.
New England Cable News (MA)

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