Police Corruption

RSS Feed for this category

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A South Carolina sheriff gets busted for cocaine trafficking, and so does a Texas border town cop. And, as always, we have a couple of misbehaving jail guards, too. Let's get to it:

In Florence, South Carolina, the Florence County sheriff was arrested Saturday along with six other people for operating a cocaine trafficking ring. Sheriff EJ Melvin and the others face federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. He is also accused of extorting money from drug dealers for protection or to reduce the charges against them. Melvin, who had been sheriff for a decade, resigned Monday morning. He and the others face up to life in prison if convicted.

In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer was arrested April 28 on federal drug charges. Orland Jesus Hale, 27, is charged with conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a fire arm during the commission of a drug crime. Hale is alleged to have participated with another indicted Laredo police officer, Pedro Martinez, in a scheme to use police cars to protect drug shipments. He faces up to life in prison on the conspiracy charge and a mandatory minimum of five years on the gun charge.

In Port St. Joe, Florida, a Gulf County Detention Center guard was arrested April 30 for allegedly smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the jail for prisoners. Guard John Pritchard, 24, is charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband and unlawful compensation. Also busted were a 24-year-old woman and a 24-year-old prisoner.

In Pocomoke City, Maryland, a Wiconomico County jail guard was arrested Saturday for selling cocaine on the streets. Jeremy Dashawn Moore, 29, faces 15 counts of cocaine possession and distribution. He went down after an eight-month investigation by local law enforcement, which included the use of a confidential informant who repeatedly bought cocaine from Moore. He is now out on $90,000 bail.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A New York cop heads to prison for dealing dope and groping women, a pair of Texas cops land in hot water, and California seems to have something of a problem with its drug lab techs. Let's get to it:

prohibition testing the crime labs
In Buffalo, New York, a former Niagara Falls police officer pleaded guilty April 22 to three federal charges, bringing his career as a dope dealer in uniform to an end. Former Officer Ryan Warme, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine, possession of a weapon during the commission of a drug offense, and deprivation of civil rights. Prosecutors described Warme as a cocaine dealer who bought and sold drugs while at work and in uniform. They also said he had provided descriptions of undercover cars to drug dealers and warned one dealer of an impending raid, allowing him to elude arrest. The civil rights charge was for groping a woman he had detained. He faces mandatory minimum five-year sentences on both the cocaine and the gun charge, and one year on the civil rights count.

In Pasadena, Texas, two Pasadena police officers were indicted Thursday for their behavior during drug investigations. Officer Raymond Garivey, 39, was indicted on two counts of filing a false police report for lying to a Harris County prosecutor about the existence of a witness in case. Officer David Deal, 35, was indicted on two 2nd degree felony counts of tampering with a government record for written statements he made in official documents about a suspect he arrested with three pounds of marijuana. Both men have been suspended.

In Ripon, California, drugs have turned up missing from the Central Valley Crime Lab and thousands of drug cases could be in jeopardy. One lab employee is under investigation and has been suspended in a series of cases where methamphetamine has gone missing, but no arrests have yet been made. The lab did testing for five Central Valley counties, and public defenders in those counties are preparing to challenge current prosecutions and review past convictions. This is the second crime lab scandal in California in recent weeks; similar problems in San Francisco have resulted in hundreds of cases being dismissed, and that number could rise.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A coke-peddling NYPD cop cops a plea, a Florida deputy provides a favor to the wrong woman, and a New Orleans jail guard gets caught peddling pot to a prisoner. 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 New York City, a former NYPD officer pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to his role in a large-scale drug-selling ring. Former officer Juan Acosta, 34, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs, extortion, and illegal use of a firearm. He and a partner were accused of selling cocaine throughout the city since 2005, and Acosta was also accused of using his position as a beat cop to rip-off a drug courier in 2005. He went down after getting caught in a sting last November where he took $15,000 from a government witness to transport 10 kilos of cocaine from a Long Island warehouse to the Bronx. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced July 22.

In Lake Wales, Florida, a Polk County deputy sheriff was arrested last Friday on charges he provided confidential information to a woman who was being surveilled as part of an investigation into a local drug trafficking operation. Deputy Sheriff Joseph Murphy, 41, a 16-year-veteran, admitted to accessing the state Driver and Vehicle Information Database to run a license tag for the girlfriend of the drug ring leader, who said she was being followed by a vehicle. That vehicle turned out to be an undercover police vehicle indeed following the girlfriend, and her call to Murphy was recorded as part of the investigation into the ring. He is charged with unauthorized use of a computer, a third-degree felony, and has been suspended without pay pending termination.

In New Orleans, an Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested Wednesday for selling contraband to an inmate. Deputy Joel Johnson, allegedly gave an inmate at the Templeman 5 unit a cell phone and marijuana in exchange for $500. Johnson was a recruit in the deputy training program, but now he will have to find a new career. He was fired upon being arrested. He is charged with one count of malfeasance, as well as drug possession and contraband charges.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's a veritable potpourri of prohibition-related police misconduct this week. Let's get to it:

In New York City, an NYPD auxiliary officer and a retired NYPD officer were arrested Tuesday after being indicted for helping protect drug shipments. Auxiliary NYPD Police Officer Rafael Jimenez and retired NYPD Officer Alfredo Rivera. The pair went down after meeting with a confidential informant and agreeing to transport a 10-kilogram load of drugs from Long Island to Brooklyn. They are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. They are looking at a 10-year mandatory minimum if convicted and up to life in prison.

In Altamonte Springs, Florida, an Altamonte Springs police officer and his wife were arrested April 5 on drugs and weapons charges. Officer Clay Adams and his wife Robyn are accused of operating a marijuana grow-op and trafficking in Oxycontin. They are also accused of threatening to kill an informant and a former narcotics unit chief. They are being held without bond at last report. They face up to life in prison if convicted.

In Beeville, Texas, a Beeville Police detective was arrested April 8 for allegedly peddling prescription drugs. Detective Victor Gonzales, 31, is charged with possession of a prescription drug with intent to distribute. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Gonzales has been released on bond and is suspended from his job with pay.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent was indicted last Friday for allegedly participating in a drug distribution ring. Former agent Brandon McFadden, 33, is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. He is also charged with possessing meth with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense and money laundering. The indictment alleges that while McFadden was an ATF agent in Tulsa and participating in drug sales, he also planted false drug evidence on suspects, stole drugs and money from suspects, and perjured himself testifying in court. Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson, who worked with McFadden, is now on leave amid accusations that he and McFadden gave false testimony in a drug case. He has not been charged with any crimes.

In Marietta, Georgia, a Fulton County Sheriff's deputy was indicted Tuesday on federal charges for allegedly protecting suspected drug dealers in January and March. Deputy Anthony Atwater, 32, is charged with five counts, including extortion and aiding and abetting cocaine distribution. He is accused of protecting drug dealers on two different occasions and of receiving $4,000 for his efforts. He is being held pending a bond hearing next week and is indefinitely suspended without pay.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A meth dealing Texas deputy and a pill-peddling Missouri jail guard head for the big house. Let's get to it:

In Lubbock, Texas, a former Hockley County chief deputy sheriff was sentenced last Friday to 10 years in federal prison for his role in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. Gordon Bohannon, 53, had pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of meth. A second deputy, Jose Jesus Quintanilla, was sentenced to three years in prison in the same case, which involved interstate meth trafficking by a motorcycle gang.

In Chillicothe, Missouri, a former jail guard was sentenced March 31 to one year in prison for bringing drugs into the jail. Former Ross County Corrections Officer Adam Jones, 26, had pleaded guilty to four counts of illegal conveyance into a detention center. Jones went down after the inmate for whom he had been smuggling Xanax and Oxycontin snitched him out in a bid to cut his own deal. Jones will be eligible for parole after 30 days.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A police drug lab scandal broadens in San Francisco, somebody stole the drug evidence in suburban Atlanta, a former US Customs agent heads for prison, and yes, yet another pair of jail guards go down. Let's get to it:

evidence room of opportunity
In San Francisco, prosecutors may be forced to drop as many as 1,400 drug cases in a growing scandal at the police drug lab. That number includes as many as 400 cases where people have already been convicted and are in drug rehab programs. Some 500 cases have already been dropped, although prosecutors say they may refile charges in some cases when independent testing is done. The lab was shut down March 9 after the department learned of allegations that veteran lab tech Deborah Madden had stolen and used cocaine held as evidence at the lab last year. Now, police are acknowledging that Madden may have stolen other drugs, including Oxycontin. She has yet to be charged. Other lab techs may have been involved in misdoings as well. Defense attorneys have reported the lab saying it had tested drug samples when it appears that the samples remain untouched. Stay tuned on this one.

In Lawrenceville, Georgia, drugs have gone missing from the Gwinnett County Police narcotics locker. The theft was discovered March 19 after an audit of the locker. The Gwinnett County Police have asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to determine who stole the unspecified amount of drugs. In the past year, only 10 police supervisors have had access to the locker, and currently, only three can get into it. Last year, then narcotics and vice unit supervisor Lt. David Butler was busted for a similar theft from the narcotics locker.

In Brownsville, Texas, a former US Customs agent was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for taking bribes to allow designated vehicles carrying drugs or illegal immigrants pass through his US port of entry inspection lane in Brownsville. Jose Raul Montano Jr. pleaded guilty to bribery, drug trafficking, and immigrant smuggling charges in November. Prosecutors said he made tens of thousands of dollars in the scheme.

In St. Louis, a city jail guard pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge after being indicted for smuggling heroin into the jail. Marilyn Denise Brown, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to possess heroin. Brown admitted meeting an undercover officer and accepting a package she believed contained heroin. She was one of three city jail guards busted in a joint effort by the St. Louis Police and the DEA. The other two have already been convicted and sentenced to prison. Brown admitted meeting an undercover officer and accepting a package she believed contained heroin.

In Folsom, California, a Sacramento State Prison guard pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling drugs and cell phones into the prison for inmates. Domingo Garcia, 40, admitted receiving a $1,500 payment from one inmate for bringing him pot and $1,300 from another inmate for bringing him cell phones. He pleaded guilty to three felony counts and faces a one-year jail sentence.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An Atlanta cop gets nailed, a Tarheel State two-fer and the de rigeuer dope-smuggling jail guard make the hall of shame this week. Let's get to it:

In Atlanta, an Atlanta police officer was arrested Wednesday for participating in multiple cocaine sales and protecting what he thought were cocaine deals, but were actually FBI stings. Officer Lucius Solomon, 31, faces seven drug and weapons counts, including conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and possessing a weapon while participating in drug sales. He's facing up to 65 years in prison.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a former Burgaw police officer was sentenced last Friday to 10 years and one month in federal prison after being convicted in December of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Michael Carl Stevenson, 46, went down after traveling to Richmond County to buy a half kilo of cocaine with a convicted drug dealer and the dealer's uncle. All three were arrested during a controlled buy. Prosecutors said Stevenson had taken three Narco test kits from the department to test the drugs and that he had run the license plate of the other vehicle they met at the buy. Testimony during trial also revealed that Stevenson had stored drugs for the convicted dealer at his home and profited from it.

In Durham, North Carolina, a former Durham police officer pleaded guilty in federal court March 18 to a single weapons charge in a plea agreement that saw a drug distribution charge dropped. Sherrod Peace, 35, copped to possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime in return for the dismissal of a charge of distributing less than five grams of crack cocaine. Peace was indicted in January after Durham police received a complaint in October 2009 and investigated further, with help from the DEA. He was accused of selling crack and carrying a firearm while doing so. He is out on bond until he is sentenced in August.

In Chicago, a Cook County Jail guard was arrested March 16 after being caught going to work with marijuana in his boot and the trunk of his car. Jail guard Kenneth Crawford, 33, went down after drug dogs sniffed out the weed, and allegedly struggled with investigators as they tried to take him into custody. He is now charged with possession of contraband in a penal institution, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, official misconduct, resisting arrest and battery to a police officer.

Cops + Drugs = Corruption

It's really just that simple. As long as police are in charge of solving "the drug problem," there will be outrageous stories of police misconduct in the newspaper every morning for you to read about. It's as predictable as it is disturbing:

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Charges have been dropped or convictions vacated in 185 drug cases in one of the nation's most crime-ridden cities because information gathered in a criminal investigation of five police city officers suggests evidence could have been tainted, a prosecutor announced Friday.

One of the officers pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to conspiring with other officers to deprive others of their civil rights. Kevin Parry, who has resigned from the department, admitted he planted drugs on suspects, conducted illegal searches, threatened additional charges for suspects who refused to cooperate, stole drugs and money from suspects, and paid informants - many of them prostitutes - with drugs in exchange for information. [Washington Post]

You really don't have to look very hard to discover that many of the scariest drug crimes are perpetrated by the people who supposedly enforce our drug laws. The fact that 185 cases now have to be thrown out is just incredible and yet there's nothing even the least bit unusual about any of this. It happens constantly and it's perfectly typical that huge numbers of cases are affected by corruption scandals; the cops got away with it the first 184 times.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A lying narc, a horny narc, and yes, another crooked jail guard. Let's get to it:

In Garland, Texas, a Garland narcotics detective's credibility has been called into question, and Dallas County prosecutors say they are dismissing all his pending drug cases, a number that could go as high as 80. Garland police have also transferred almost everyone in the narcotics unit. Detective Dennis Morrow had been a "star" narc, who has testified in hundreds of drug cases, but now two of his colleagues have accused him lying about what happened in one drug case and testified in court last week that the misrepresentations were part of a pattern of misbehavior by Morrow. He has denied making fabrications, both to internal affairs investigators and in court. In the case that has opened the door to challenging Morrow's honesty, he is accused by police colleagues of falsely characterizing the behavior of a drug raid target in order to make charges stick. Morrow is now on paid administrative leave. No criminal charges have been filed against him.

In Daphne, Alabama, a Baldwin County Drug Task Force member has resigned after being accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a female confidential informant. Daphne Police Officer Jesus Villa stepped down after the FBI came forward with a complaint alleging the sexual contact. Under Alabama law, law enforcement officers are prohibited from having sex with those who are in custody, and the Daphne Police Department has asked the Alabama Bureau of Investigation to determine whether Villa should be charged under that law. The FBI continues to investigate as well.

In Chicago, a Cook County jail guard was arrested Monday after being caught bringing 10 grams of marijuana, a cell phone and charger, and several DVDs into the jail. Correctional officer Dwayne Jones, 25, was immediately fired since he was a probationary employee. He is charged with two counts of possession of contraband in a penal institution and one count of misconduct by an officer. He was released on $10,000 bail Tuesday.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad cops, bad cops, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Although the Chronicle took a week off last week, corrupt cops didn't. Here are two weeks' worth of rogues and villains. Let's get to it:

evidence room of opportunity
In Providence, Rhode Island, three Providence police officers were arrested March 4 on charges they helped in a cocaine-dealing operation. Narcotics Detective Joseph Colanduono, Sergeant Steven Gonsalves, and Patrolman Robert Hamlin have been suspended without pay. The trio went down after a four-month investigation whose primary target was Hamlin's brother, Albert, who is described as a major cocaine dealer. Robert Hamlin, a school resource officer at a Providence high school, is accused of helping his brother avoid arrest by giving him the names of narcotics detectives and descriptions of their cars. Hamlin is charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, while Gonsalves is charged with soliciting another to commit a crime and Colanduono is charged with conspiracy to deal cocaine and compounding and concealing a felony.

In San Francisco, drug cases are being dismissed after a police department crime lab tech admitted stealing cocaine being tested there. Debbie Madden, 60, who recently retired from the job, is accused of stealing small amounts of cocaine from evidence containers, but she has not been charged yet. San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon announced this week that the crime lab's drug testing was temporarily suspended pending an internal investigation and an outside audit of the lab. Twelve cases involving evidence tested or reviewed by Madden were dismissed Wednesday morning, and many more could follow. Local news reports Thursday night put the number of cases dismissed at "near 100." New drug cases may also be dismissed because the evidence will have to be sent to outside labs and will not be returned within the 48 hours required for the filing of charges.

In Weston, Kansas, a former Weston police officer was charged March 3 with stealing drugs from the police department evidence room. Kyle Zumbrunn, 27, is accused of stealing a controlled substance. He's already behind bars, serving a 16-month sentence for selling drugs to a Kansas Bureau of Investigation undercover agent. The new charge came after an investigation into evidence handling procedures at the Weston police department. After Zumbrunn was originally arrested for selling pills, Weston police did an inventory of their evidence room and discovered 28 morphine tablets, 45 Oxycodone pills, and 37 morphine sulfate pills were missing. Zumbrunn faces up to seven more years in prison if convicted on the latest charges.

In Lubbock,Texas, a former Hockley County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced February 27 to 36 months in federal prison for his role in a massive motorcycle gang methamphetamine operation. Former Officer Jose Quintanilla admitted using his position to supply sensitive law enforcement information to the gang and to deter law enforcement efforts to investigate the ring. Another Hockley County deputy, Gordon Bohannon, pleaded guilty to similar charges in December. He awaits sentencing.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a former Benton Harbor Police narcotics supervisor was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for conspiring to violate the civil rights of the residents of Benton Harbor. Bernard Hall, 33, was accused of a pattern of falsifying police reports, committing perjury, falsifying affidavits in support of search warrants, stealing money and property from citizens, and embezzling funds from the police department. Along with former Officer Andrew Thomas Collins, whom he was supposed to be supervising, Hall embarked on a "pervasive pattern of corruption." Collins is already doing 37-months for his role in the rogue operation.

In Crespatown, Pennsylvania, a dietary officer at the Western Correctional Institute was arrested February 12 after attempting to smuggle heroin in for an inmate. The arrest wasn't announced until late last month. Justin Wayne Smith, 27, went down after a drug-detecting dog alerted on his vehicle. During a subsequent search of his vehicle, officers found a balloon containing heroin and a syringe. Smith admitted to using heroin earlier in the day and said he was attempting to smuggle the rest to an inmate. He faces six charges, including intent to distribute, possession and intent to deliver drugs into an area of confinement. Combined, the charges could bring incarceration of more than 30 years and fines in excess of $65,000.

In Baltimore, Maryland, a Baltimore City Detention Officer guard was arrested February 21 for trying to smuggle an ounce of pot and a cell phone in to the prison for an inmate. Officer Shanika Johnson went down when her bag was searched as she arrived at the prison. She admitted being paid $1000 to make the contraband delivery. She is now out on $35,000 bond, with trial set for later this month.

In Oklahoma City, an Oklahoma County jail guard was arrested March 4 on charges he smuggled contraband, including marijuana, into the jail. Detention Officer Okello Adenya, 25, went down after a confidential informant told the sheriff's office Adenya was providing contraband to inmates over a two-month period in December and January. Prison guards recovered tobacco, marijuana, and a cell phone charger. Adenya admitted to the crimes and said he earned $1,100 in bribes for his efforts. He faces three felony counts of bringing and possessing contraband in a prison.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School