Police Corruption

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's all Sunshine State rogue cops this week, with a DEA supervisory agent nailed for helping a major drug dealer and more. Let's get to it:

In Fort Myers, Florida, a state prison guard pleaded guilty last Wednesday to participating in a plot to smuggle drugs into the prison. Guard Leslie Samuel Spencer, 49, went down in a sting where he agreed to smuggle three ounces of methamphetamine, one ounce of MDMA, a small amount of synthetic marijuana and two cellphones into the prison and give it to an inmate in exchange for a payment of $400. Spencer met with an undercover FBI agent posing as prisoner's family member and accepted the fake drugs, the cellphones, and the cash. He was then arrested. He pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of methamphetamine and MDMA and is looking at up to 20 years in prison.

In Jacksonville, Florida, a former DEA supervisory agent pleaded guilty Tuesday to taking bribes from a major drug dealer to provide information about investigations into a drug ring that stretched from Florida to California. Former DEA Special Agent and Group Supervisor Nation Koen was arrested in 2018 after a drug dealer reached out to him to help get reduced sentences for family members charged in his drug conspiracy case, Koen turned him into a confidential informant, then asked him if he wanted to get "back to work" selling drugs. The dealer did want to go back to work and was soon paying Koen thousands of dollars to help keep his operation free from law enforcement interference. Koen ran the names of the dealer's associates through a DEA database to see if they were informants, warned the dealer when shipments were under surveillance, and helped at least one dealer avoid arrest by telling him the DEA was looking for him. He was originally charged with bribery and drug distribution, which would have had him facing up to life in prison but agreed to a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to one count of bribery, reducing his exposure to just 15 years.

In Fort Myers, Florida, a state prison guard pleaded guilty last Wednesday to participating in a plot to smuggle drugs into the prison. Guard Leslie Samuel Spencer, 49, went down in a sting where he agreed to smuggle three ounces of methamphetamine, one ounce of MDMA, a small amount of synthetic marijuana and two cellphones into the prison and give it to an inmate in exchange for a payment of $400. Spencer met with an undercover FBI agent posing as prisoner's family member and accepted the fake drugs, the cellphones, and the cash. He was then arrested. He pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of methamphetamine and MDMA and is looking at up to 20 years in prison. In Fort Myers, Florida, a state prison guard pleaded guilty last Wednesday to participating in a plot to smuggle drugs into the prison. Guard Leslie Samuel Spencer, 49, went down in a sting where he agreed to smuggle three ounces of methamphetamine, one ounce of MDMA, a small amount of synthetic marijuana and two cellphones into the prison and give it to an inmate in exchange for a payment of $400. Spencer met with an undercover FBI agent posing as prisoner's family member and accepted the fake drugs, the cellphones, and the cash. He was then arrested. He pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of methamphetamine and MDMA and is looking at up to 20 years in prison.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An ICE agent takes a bribe to pay off a drug debt, a Utah prison guard goes down for drug smuggling into the prison, and more. Let's get to it:

In Bismarck, North Dakota, a former state prison guard was arrested last Tuesday for smuggling drugs and electronic contraband into the prison in exchange for money. Matthew Taylor went down after the state Highway Patrol got ahold of the cellphone of a woman with whom he was arranging the deals, in which he delivered a cellphone, two SIM cards, and a cigarette package containing methamphetamine. In return, he got payments ranging from $240 to $600. The exact charges he faces were not specified.

In Point of the Mountain, Utah, a state prison guard was arrested last Thursday along with two others people on charges they were smuggling drugs in to prisoners. Guard Bryon Curt Stoddard, 45, has been charged with drug distribution or arranging to distribute drugs, a second-degree felony; and drug possession with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony. Stoddard went down after investigators learned that he had supplied methamphetamine, Suboxone, and fentanyl to three inmates and that future drops were planned each week. Investigators recorded a call between Stoddard and another person to arrange meetings. He is accused of receiving $1,000 per drop and using meth himself.

In El Paso, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer was indicted last Wednesday for revealing law enforcement information in exchange for a $500 payment to satisfy a drug debt he owed. Agent Robert Padilla, 50, is looking at up to 15 years in federal prison on charge that were not specified in the Justice Department press release.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An Oregon cop ODs on dope he stole from the evidence locker and causes a multiple car crash, and more. Let's get to it:

In Medford, Oregon, a former Klamath Falls police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing methamphetamine and fentanyl from the departmental evidence room. Former Officer Dwayne Reif, 28, went down after he overdosed in his police vehicle on fentanyl that he removed from the evidence room using an unauthorized key. When he overdosed, his police car jumped the median and travelled into oncoming traffic, causing a multi-vehicle accident. After his overdose, police searched his work locker and found a hidden evidence bag containing meth. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, a DEA agent pleaded guilty last Wednesday to accepting bribes from a drug traffickers to help him continue to distribute cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. Agent Nathan Koen, 45, had previously busted the trafficker, but then turned him into an informant, and the trafficker quickly resumed his business, only now with Koen's help. He went down after FBI agents watched him accept a $9,000 cash bribe in a Las Vegas casino bathroom. He copped to one count of bribery of a public official and is looking at up to 15 years in prison.

In New Orleans,  a former DEA agent was sentenced August 12 to more than 13 years in federal prison for stealing money from suspects, falsifying government records and committing perjury during a federal trial. Former Agent Chad Scott "broke every rule in the book," prosecutors charged. Scott, 53, was found guilty at successive trials of a long list of corruption counts. The charges stemmed from an expansive federal investigation into misconduct claims that had surrounded Scott for much of his 17-year career, even as he racked up headline-grabbing drug busts between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Busy, busy. Take a little vacation and look what happens: Crooked (and perverted) cops run wild. Let's get to it:

In New Albany, Indiana, a New Albany police officer was arrested on July 19 for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a meth-using informant. Officer Adam Schneider had already been arrested a week earlier on voyeurism charges after the Indiana State Police searched his phone and found images and videos of women changing clothes in a dressing room of a business at Schneider's residence. Now, an informant has told investigators she and Schneider carried on a sexual relationship and that he had found her in possession of meth he did not seize but allowed her to keep. The source also told authorities Schneider knew she possessed meth on several occasions and that he told her to get rid of it or sell it. It was the investigation into the sexual relationship between Schneider and the informant that led to the voyeurism charges. He also faces felony charges of obstruction of justice and official misconduct and has been placed on administrative leave.

In Central Falls, Rhode Island, a Wyatt Detention Center jail guard was arrested July 20 along with two inmates and two ex-inmate drug suppliers in a scheme to smuggle suboxone into the prison. Correctional Officer Kaii Almeida-Falcones, 25, allegedly worked with the outside dealers to smuggle the drug into the jail. It is not clear what the precise charges are.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a Carlisle police detective was convicted July 16 of using his official position two extort sexual favors from two female drug defendants. Officer Christopher Collare, 53, who was also a task force officer with the FBI and a member of the Cumberland County Drug Task Force, in one 2015 case agreed not to appear at an evidentiary hearing so that charges would be dismissed in exchange for sex, and in a 2018 case, took steps to reduce a potential prison sentence in exchange for sexual favors. He was also found guilty of distributing heroin in 2016 and lying on a federal form to become a member of an FBI task force and lying repeatedly to FBI agents in a May 2018 interview. He was convicted of federal program bribery, bribery by a federal official, distribution of heroin, and six counts of false statements. He was jailed following the verdict and is looking at up to 50 years in federal prison.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a former state police officer was convicted July 23 on drug charges related to his efforts to seduce a high school student with free marijuana, as well as a separate sex-for-drugs scheme Former Officer Daniel Capeheart, 36, went down after sending text messages to a teenage girl he had pulled over. The girl's father notified local sheriff's deputies, who then used the phone to message Capeheart, requesting marijuana. Capeheart then twice left marijuana for the girl. He also did nearly the same thing with another teenage girl, leaving marijuana for her at specified drop locations. He was convicted of two counts of distributing marijuana and a third count of distributing methamphetamine. He faces between five and 40 years in prison.

In Waycross, Georgia, a former senior guard at the Coffee County Correctional Facility pleaded guilty July 23 for her role in a major south Georgia drug trafficking conspiracy. Jessica Azalae Burnett, aka "The Madam," 41, was a sergeant and a senior guard with CoreCivic, the private prison company that operates Coffee County Correctional Facility, admitted working with other conspirators in distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana. Her role in the conspiracy included smuggling cell phones, drugs and other contraband into the state prison. She pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and is looking at up to 20 years in the federal pen. Burnett is one of 48 defendants indicted in Operation Sandy Bottom, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation centered in the Sand Ridge neighborhood on the east side of Douglas, Ga., in an area known as “the bottoms.” The 57-count indictment, USA v. McMillan et. al,  was unsealed in January 2021 and alleges that the conspiracy, controlled by a subset of the violent Gangster Disciples street gang, used guns, violence and fear to control methamphetamine trafficking operations throughout the community and to enable contraband distribution inside Georgia prisons.

In El Paso, Texas, a former El Paso police officer pleaded guilty Monday to helping her stepfather stash and distribute cocaine. Former Officer Monica Garcia, 24, admitted using her position as a police officer to conduct countersurveillance and run the license plates of vehicles near her stepfather's stash house to identify undercover police vehicles. She pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premise and is looking at up to 20 years in federal prison.

In Marianna, Florida, a former Jackson County sheriff's deputy was sentenced July 15 to 12 ½ years in prison for planting drugs on motorists and then arresting them. Former Deputy Zachary Wester, 28, had faced 67 counts including racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, and false imprisonment, and was found guilty on 19 of them.  

In Detroit, a former Detroit police officer was sentenced last Friday to 18 months in prison for taking a $15,000 bribe from a drug dealer in exchange for not pursuing charges against him. Former Officer Michael Mosley, 49, went down after participating in a drug raid where two kilos of heroin, one kilo of cocaine, and six guns were recovered. The dealer admitted to Mosley the drugs were his and signed a confession, and the two stayed in contact as Mosley tried to turn him into a snitch. But the dealer instead offered up the bribe to make the charges go away. He pleaded guilty to bribery.

In Mission, Texas, a former East Hidalgo Detention Center guard was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in federal prison for supplying an inmate with cocaine. Former Correctional Officer Erasmo Loya, 56, took cash for providing inmates with food, marijuana, and cocaine. Loya had supplied cocaine to one prisoner for two years, and was indicted on a bribery charge in November 2019. In a plea agreement, Loya copped instead to providing contraband to a person in a correctional facility, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Texas Border Patrol agent waves the cocaine-laden car through, a Florida deputy is headed to prison for planting dope on innocent drivers and arresting them, and more. Let's get to it:

In McAllen, Texas, a Border Patrol agent was arrested last Thursday for allegedly trying to aid and abet cocaine smuggling through a Border Patrol checkpoint. Agent Oberlin Cortez Pena, Jr., 22, is accused of accepting $1,000 cash to let a vehicle with at least five kilos of cocaine through the Falfurrias checkpoint. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy.

In Portsmouth, Ohio, a Scioto County jail guard was arrested last Friday for smuggling drugs and tobacco into the facility. Guard John Aeh went down after someone informed authorities, and a subsequent sweep of the jail turned up 17 grams of heroin or fentanyl and two grams of methamphetamine. He is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of trafficking drugs and one count of conveyance into a detention center, all of which are felonies.

In Henderson, Kentucky, a Henderson County jail guard was arrested Monday for smuggling drugs into the facility. Deputy Jailer Jason Evans, 47, went down after an investigation by the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force. He had been approached by an inmate and agreed to smuggle meth and tobacco into the jail in return for $200. He got caught with the package before he could hand it off. The exact charges he faces were not specified.

In Marianna, Florida, a former Jackson County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Tuesday to 12 ½ years in prison for fabricating evidence and arresting innocent people. Zachary Webster was found guilty of 19 charges in cases where he planted drugs on people. He was convicted of racketeering, three counts of official misconduct, three counts of perjury, three counts of fabricating evidence, four counts of possession of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts of false imprisonment.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A South Carolina prison guard gets caught smuggling dope in a Rice Krispies treat, a Birmingham cop is facing some problems, and more. Let's get to it:

In Columbia, South Carolina, a state prison guard was arrested last Thursday after being caught smuggling pills into the prison hidden in a Rice Krispies treat. Correctional Officer Marcy T. Shaffer faces charges of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, furnishing prisoners with contraband, and misconduct in office. And she was fired.

In Birmingham, Alabama, a Birmingham police officer was arrested last Saturday on rape and drug possession charges. Officer Matthew Wilcox, 37, went down after police received a complaint about him and executed a search warrant at his home, where they found illegal drugs and guns. Police did not release any details on the alleged sexual assault, other than to say it did not occur on duty. He walked out of jail on a $26,000 bond on Sunday. There was no further information at press time.

In Lawrenceville, Virginia, a Brunswick County prison guard was arrested Monday after being caught carrying around a bag with dope in it at work. Guard Jakela Shanice Armstrong, 32, went down after she was observed carrying the bag around during her shift. A prison investigator stopped her and made her surrender the bag, which contained "a white powder wrapped in clear plastic and black tape." She is charged with drug possession with intent to distribute. And she's been fired.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A DEA agent and his task force buddy get convicted of thievery, a Louisiana town cop gets busted for taking bribes from a drug dealer, and more. Let's get to it:

In Pearl, Mississippi, a state prison guard was arrested June 10 for smuggling drugs into the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Guard Brenda Denise Hicks is charged introducing contraband, possession of methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and extortion.

In Kaplan, Louisiana, a Kaplan police officer was arrested and fired June 17 for taking bribes from a drug dealer. Former Officer Mitchell Guidroz allegedly took $500 from a local drug dealer to ignore his activities. He now faces charges of public bribery and malfeasance in office.

In Cordele, Georgia, a Crisp County sheriff's detention officer was arrested Tuesday for allegedly smuggling drugs and cigarettes into the Crisp County Detention Center, Jhayvion Smith, 20, now a former guard, went down after he was spotted "exchanging items" with a person in the detention center parking lot. He is charged with bringing contraband across guard line to inmates, possession of a controlled substance, and violation of oath by public officer.

In New Orleans, a former DEA agent  and a former DEA task force officer were found guilty June 15 in a long-running scheme to rip-off cash and personal property from people he had arrested on drug charges Former Agent Chad Scott, 53, and task force member Rodney Gemar, 45, repeatedly stole the personal property of arrestees instead of logging it in as evidence. They also took money from the pockets of arrestees, lifted it out of wallets, and skimmed money off cash seizures made by the DEA. Two other former Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies who had been serving as DEA task force officers in New Orleans have pleaded guilty in this investigation. Karl Emmett Newman, 54, pleaded guilty to unlawfully carrying a firearm in furtherance of an August 2015 robbery, which was disguised as the execution of a search warrant, as well as misappropriating money confiscated by the DEA during another search. Johnny Domingue, 32, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and misappropriating money confiscated by the DEA.

In Spokane, Washington, a former state prison guard was sentenced June 10 to two months in prison after being convicted of smuggling drugs into the Airway Heights Correction Center last July. Former guard Michael Mattern, 46, got caught with 200 strips of Suboxone, the prescription medication used to treat opioid addiction that can also be abused. Investigators also found him in possession of 14.6 grams of methamphetamine and 2.9 grams of heroin at the prison. The drugs were hidden in a tobacco tin inside his lunch box.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A dope-slinging Michigan detective gets popped, a Tennessee constable was seizing drugs and training his drug dogs with it instead of turning it in, and more. Let's get to it:

In Highland Park, Michigan, a Highland Park detective was arrested last Wednesday on federal charges for allegedly selling fentanyl-laced heroin while on duty and in uniform. Detective Tiffany Lipkovitch, 45, went down after the FBI used an informant wearing a wire to record drug transactions with her. She is charged with distributing a controlled substance and conspiring to distribute controlled substances, and is looking at up to 20 years in prison.

In Rogersville, Tennessee, the Hawkins County Constable was indicted last Thursday for using drugs seized during traffic stops to train drug detection dogs. Constable William Creasy went down after the local DA sicced the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on him, and agents found that he had taken drugs from people during traffic stops, but didn't turn them in, instead using them to train drug dogs. He is charged with official misconduct and drug possession.

In Brownsville, Texas, a Cameron County jail guard was arrested Monday for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the jail. Guard Juliet Gallardo went down after the state Criminal Investigation Department was called in. She is charged with attempted smuggling of contraband.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An Oregon cop is in trouble for getting too wasted on drugs he stole from the evidence locker and wrecking his cruiser, a Philadelphia prison guard goes down for acting as a dope DoorDash for inmates, and more.

In Albany, New York, a New York State Patrol trooper was arrested May 26 in the bust of "large-scale narcotics operation." Trooper Robert Coleman, 46, a 20-year veteran, was "abusing narcotics" and was caught in possession of heroin and cocaine, prosecutors said. He's facing one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th, a class A misdemeanor.

In Brownsville, Texas, a now-former Brownsville police officer was arrested last Tuesday for using his residence to store and distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. Jose Salinas, 52, faces federal drug trafficking conspiracy charges.

In Klamath Falls, Oregon, a now-former Klamath Falls police officer was indicted last Wednesday after of stealing methamphetamine and fentanyl from an evidence locker and then overdosing on the drugs in his police cruiser. Then-Officer Thomas Reif's cruiser jumped the median and veered into oncoming traffic, causing a multi-car crash back in November. After the crash, he was revived at a local hospital, and toxicology results came back positive for meth and fentanyl. Police also found a bag of meth in his locker at the police station. He's accused of using an unauthorized key to remove the drug from another officer's evidence locker, and faces two federal counts of possessing a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.

In Pell City, Alabama, a Pell City police officer was arrested last Thursday on drug charges. Officer Barry Wathen faces two counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance. And that's all the information we have.

In Philadelphia, a state prison guard was arrested last Friday for allegedly taking more than $11,000 in bribes to smuggle drugs, cell phones, and other contraband into the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center. Guard Haneef Lawson, a 23-year veteran, took the contraband and cash from a relative of one of the prisoners, delivering roughly $69,000 in phones and Suboxone to inmates between last fall and April of this year. He faces an unspecified conspiracy charge.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Minnesota deputy cops a plea for being on fentanyl during a deadly high-speed pursuit, a small town Maine police offcer's problems just got much worse, and more. Let's get to it:

In Muleshoe, Texas, a former Bailey County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday on unspecified drug charges. Ex-Deputy Jorge Torres was arrested along with two other people. All three are charged with possession of a controlled substance between 3 and 400 grams. The charge is a first-degree felony. Torres was a deputy until he was fired upon arrest.

In Bangor, Maine, a former Calais police officer arrested in February was indicted last Friday on 35 counts, including multiple counts of stealing drugs and guns from the police department. Jeffrey Bishop, 53, was originally arrested for providing drugs to a teenage girl in a high school parking lot, but now is in much deeper trouble. He now faces five counts of stealing drugs from the department and 24 counts related to 16 stolen guns police found in his home in February. He also was indicted on four charges of aggravated furnishing of drugs and one charge of unlawful trafficking in drugs.

In Fergus Falls, Minnesota, an Otter Tail County sheriff's deputy signed a plea agreement Sunday after being found to be under the influence of fentanyl during a police pursuit that resulted in the deaths of two innocent people. Deputy Kelly Douglas Backman, 43, went down after the post-crash investigation revealed he had fentanyl in his system and had failed to submit evidence in narcotics cases. He will plead guilty to official misconduct and serve 30 days of electronic home monitoring. A misdemeanor DUI charge was dismissed. Prosecutors dismissed several drug cases Backman investigated because he would be considered an unreliable witness in court.

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