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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Michigan detective cops to dealing dope, a Missouri deputy was crazy for prescription pills, and more. Let's get to it:

In Marietta, Georgia, a Cobb County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday for bringing drug contraband into the Adult Detention Center. Deputy Dyimond Johnson, 30, went down after an internal investigation at the jail. He is charged with "crossing guard lines with a controlled substance," violating his oath of office, making a false statement, and conspiracy to commit a felony. He is now a former deputy.

In Hillsboro, Missouri, a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday for allegedly stealing prescription drugs both on and off duty. Now-former Deputy Michael Filsinger, 35, used his access to the department's report management system to find reports involving prescription drugs, then reached out to people named in those reports claiming to be a detective following up on previous investigations and stole drugs during some of those interactions. He is charged with four counts of felony stealing, one county of misdemeanor stealing, and one count of misuse of official information by a public servant.

In Darlington, South Carolina, a Darlington County jail guard was arrested Tuesday after getting caught with contraband including marijuana, a cellphone, and pocket knife inside the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center. Devonte Rashawn Harrell is charged with misconduct in office and possession of marijuana. He has now been fired.

In Highland Park, Michigan, a former Highland Park police detective pleaded guilty last Friday to dealing fentanyl-laced heroin. Tiffany Lipkovitch, 46, a 10-year veteran of the department, worked together with another woman on drug deals, which the FBI recorded. In one deal, Lipkovitch introduced a drug buyer to her partner in crime to score dope, for which she received $300. Lipkovitch pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances and is now looking at up to 40 years in prison.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A sticky-fingered former Kentucky sheriff is in trouble, a former Connecticut cop gets nailed for helping out a target of a DEA drug investigation, and more. Let's get to it:

In Covington, Kentucky, a former Greenup County sheriff was arrested last Thursday for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 in cash that had been seized from drug suspects. Former Sheriff Keith Cooper, 68, is accused of making cash withdrawals from the agency's asset forfeiture fund, which holds proceeds from properties seized in drug investigations and can only be used for law enforcement purposes. But Cooper used the money for personal ends and "otherwise unauthorized uses as he deemed fit," according to the federal indictment. He also had deputies try to falsify records once he realized an investigation was happening. He is facing one count of mail fraud and one count of theft of property from a federally funded agency.

In East Haven, Connecticut, a former East Haven police officer was arrested last Friday on charges he used his official position to access a law enforcement database on behalf of a suspect in a DEA drug investigation. Jason Andino, 30, went down when a DEA wiretap picked up a phone conversation where a man associated with the DEA target asked if there was anyone inside the department who could provide information about police activity near his home. Andino was allegedly the person who could -- and did -- provide the information. He is charged with two counts of felony third-degree computer crimes for the alleged illegal use of law enforcement databases.

In Mobile, Alabama, a former Escambia County Detention Center guard was sentenced last Friday to 18 months in prison for smuggling contraband including drugs into the jail. Lakerdra Shanta Snowden, 31, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and admitted taking cash payments totaling more than $5,000 for her efforts. She also copped to bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, providing contraband to a federal prisoner, and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An NYPD sergeant made a bad choice of a boyfriend, a Houston constable made a bad choice to escort what he thought was a load of dope, and more. Let's get to it:

In Houston, a former deputy constable pleaded guilty January 6 to escorting a tractor-trailer he thought was filled with drugs with his marked constable vehicle. Alexander Reyes, 49, got $6,000 for the escort job, but it was actually an undercover sting with fake cocaine. He copped to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. He is looking at up to life in prison when sentenced in March.

In New York City, a former NYPD sergeant was sentenced last Thursday to probation for being a courier for a heroin operation run by the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Arlicia Robinson, 41, got a lenient sentence of four years' supervised release after she was busted in a reverse sting operation when the sentencing judge said she had turned her life around. She was a girlfriend of one of the gang members.

In San Diego, a former state prison guard was sentenced last Thursday to three years in prison for smuggling drug and cellphones into the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. Anibal Navarro, 43, had pleaded guilty to federal bribery and conspiracy charges and admitted to smuggling phones, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and other contraband into the prison. He went down after the inmate who recruited to deliver drugs in return for cash was busted and named him. He admitted to smuggling more than 500 grams of drugs into the prison and was paid between $1,000 and $2,000 per delivery.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A former Oregon narcotics officer gets in trouble for trying to profit off black market marijuana, and a trio of prison guards go down for delivering goodies to the inmates. Let's get to it:

In Jackson, Michigan, a state prison guard was arrested December 20 after police found evidence he was smuggling drugs into the Parnall Correctional Facility. Correctional Officer Thomas Saverio Daugherty, 46, went down after the department contacted internal investigators with information he was involved in contraband and then executed a search warrant at his home. He is charged with furnishing contraband to a prisoner and is looking at up to five years behind bars.

In Klamath Falls, Oregon, a former Klamath County narcotics detective and current reserve officer was arrested December 23 was arrested in connection with an illegal marijuana grow. Peter Michael Shephard, 63, leased part of his rural property to a man who claimed to be growing hemp but who never sought a hemp permit and who was actually growing unpermitted marijuana. But police said Shephard never sought confirmation his partner had a hemp permit. He and his partner are both charged with unlawful manufacture of marijuana and engaging in a financial transaction in property derived from unlawful activity.

In Oklahoma City, an Oklahoma County Jail detention officer was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly smuggling drugs into the facility. Officer Reagan Widener, 27, went down during an employee search county's Special Investigative Unit when investigators found an authorized cell phone and then searched her vehicle, finding 4.5 grams of marijuana, a loaded handgun and a digital scale, authorities said. Widener admitted to previously receiving $2,000 for bringing in tobacco and packages of unknown drugs to an inmate. She is charged with distribution of controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, use of a firearm while committing a felony, and carrying a weapon, drugs or alcohol into jail, according to the release. Widener, who had worked at the jail since August, has since been fired.

In Atlanta, a federal prison guard was arrested last Thursday for allegedly being involved in a scheme to smuggle drugs and other contraband into the US Penitentiary Atlanta. Guard Patrick Shackleford and two inmates have been arraigned on federal bribery, smuggling, and drug charges for the scheme, which went on between approximately June 2018 and February 2019. Shackleford was also a plumbing supervisor and conspired with inmates on his plumbing crew to bring contraband in via a visitors' bathroom.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A DEA agent heads to prison for diverting $9 million from money-laundering investigations, a California cop heads to jail for throwing out an exonerating drug test of a woman driver, and more. Let's get to it:

In Augusta, Georgia, a Richmond County sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday on charges he smuggled weapons and drugs into the county jail for inmates. Now former Deputy Davion Deboskie joins four other deputies already arrested and fired in an investigation of contraband at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center. Four of the other five were only charged with violating their oaths, but one, like Deboskie, was also charged with unlawful street gang activity. The arrests came after a search of the jail that came up with 23 weapons (19 shanks and 4 clubs), nine tobacco cases, at least five synthetic cannabinoid packages, at least 34 pills, and one container of homemade alcohol.

In Miami, a former DEA special agent was sentenced December 9 to more than 12 years in federal prison for operating a money laundering and fraud scheme while serving as a special agent with the DEA. Jose I. Irizarry, 46, had pleaded guilty in September to all 19 counts of an indictment that included conspiracy to commit money laundering, honest services wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Facing personal financial pressures, Irizarry used his position as a special agent to divert approximately $9 million from undercover DEA money laundering investigations to himself and to co-conspirators. In return, Irizarry received bribes and kickbacks worth at least $1 million for himself and his family, which was used to purchase jewelry, luxury cars, and a home. To carry out the scheme, Irizarry and his co-conspirators used a stolen identity to open a bank account under false pretenses and then utilized the account to receive diverted drug proceeds. The scheme lasted throughout Irizarry's assignments to the DEA's Miami Field Division and to its office in Cartagena, Colombia.

In Ventura, California, a former Ventura County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced last Wednesday to a year in jail for throwing away a drug test that exonerated a woman and instead continuing to try to arrest her. When the woman complained to another deputy, he found the negative test result in the trash. Then-Deputy Richard Charles Barrios was then charged and convicted of destroying physical matter.

In Ocala, Florida, a former federal prison guard was sentenced last Friday to 20 months in prison for smuggling drugs into the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex. Guard Wayne Grant, 28, went down in a sting where he agreed to smuggle methamphetamine into the prison in exchange for money. He accepted delivery of 70 grams of fake meth and $2,000 in money orders and then smuggled the fake meth into the prison and gave it to an inmate. He was charged with receipt of a bribe by a public official and pleaded guilty in September.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A rogue cop in northern California goes down for stealing weed and cash from motorists in the guise of marijuana law enforcement, and more. Let's get to it:

In Chicago, a former Cook County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Thursday for his alleged role in trafficking cocaine from Mexico to Illinois. Juan Carmona, 46, went down after Homeland Security Investigations discovered Carmona's participation in an international cocaine trafficking ring and seized 16 kilograms of cocaine from two residences he owned. He is charged with calculated criminal drug conspiracy, criminal drug conspiracy, controlled substance trafficking, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance. He's looking at a mandatory minimum 30-year sentence on the conspiracy charges.

In San Francisco, a former Rohnert Park drug interdiction team leader pleaded guilty last Wednesday to conspiring with a team member to steal cash and marijuana from motorists traveling local highways. Ex-Sgt. Brandan "Jacy" Tatum and his partner, Joseph Huffaker, were both indicted in 2018; Tatum is the one who pleaded guilty last week. The pair ranged well beyond the Rohnert Park city limits to stop motorists in Sonoma and Marin counties and unlawfully seize their property under the guise of marijuana law enforcement. The pair went down after a string of motorists complained about them to local media. Tatum pleaded guiltyto federal charges of conspiracy to commit extortion under "color of law," falsifying records in a federal investigation and tax evasion. Tatum is set to be sentenced on March 9.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A meth-cooking New Jersey cop gets himself in trouble, a southern California sheriff's deputy gets caught trying to frame a woman for meth, and more. Let's get to it:

In Freehold, New Jersey, a former Long Brach police officer pleaded guilty November 16 to running a meth lab in his home. Christopher Walls, 50, went down after police were called to a domestic disturbance at his home "and someone there told officers about it." A state police hazmat team then searched the residence and found meth-making equipment and precursor chemicals, as well as meth-making manuals and books about explosives and poisons. He pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance and to one count of causing a risk of widespread injury. He is looking at up to 10 years in state prison when he is sentenced in January.

In Ventura, California, a former Ventura County Sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty on November 17 to throwing out a drug test that exonerated a woman he had detained on suspicion of using methamphetamine. Then-Deputy Richard Charles Barrios III was on patrol in November 2019 when he stopped a woman for an alleged traffic violation and suspected she was under the influence of meth. She vehemently denied it, and Barrios then told her if she provided a urine sample at a nearby police station and tested negative, he would apologize and drive her back to her car. But after viewing the test results, Barrios threw the test kit in the garbage and refused to tell her the results, instead telling his supervisor the woman had refused a drug test and beginning to book her into the jail. But the woman told another deputy Barrios had refused to tell her the results, and when that deputy retrieved the test kit from the garbage, it registered negative. The woman then submitted to and passed a second urine test, whereupon she was then released. An investigation began immediately, resulting in Barrios pleading guilty to one felony count of destroying physical matter.

In Birmingham, Alabama, a former state Department of Corrections officer was sentenced November 17 to 87 months in federal prison for trying to smuggle 497 grams of methamphetamine into a state prison in Bessemer. Gary Charles Dixon, 36, had pleaded guilty to unlawful possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in a state prison and one count of distribution of 50 grams or more in July. He went down after a DEA investigation.

In Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a Bucks County corrections officer was sentenced November 20 to up to four years in state prison for being part of a drug-smuggling conspiracy inside the Bucks County Correctional Facility. Joseph Jennings, 33, was among nine people charged in June 2020 in a scheme to smuggle Suboxone strips into the jail after investigators found he had smuggled the drug into the jail on multiple occasions between October 2018 and July 2019. He pleaded guilty to contraband and criminal conspiracy and was sentenced the same day.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Pennsylvania trooper's heroin habit gets him in trouble, a Georgia cop's protection of her drug-dealing boyfriend gets her in trouble, and more. Let's get to it:

In Los Angeles, a Los Angeles County sheriff's jail guard was arrested last Monday for trying to smuggle meth into the Men's Central Jail. The unnamed guard was caught with more than 100 grams of meth inside his vehicle parked in the jail's parking structure. He is charged with one felony count each of transportation of a controlled substance and attempted bringing of an illegal substance into a jail.

In Bridgeport, West Virginia, a Randolph County jail guard was arrested last Tuesday for smuggling drugs into the jail for an inmate. Guard Homer Howell, 39, allegedly took drugs and cell phones to the jail when returning from breaks in exchange for money from an inmate's parent. He allegedly made $8,000 to $10,000 for multiple deliveries. He is charged with delivering a controlled substance to a correctional facility.

In Atlanta, a former South Fulton police officer was arrested last Friday for allegedly tampering with evidence in a drug investigation in which her boyfriend was targeted. Former Officer Aliyah Jackson went down after police stopped her boyfriend and found a gun in the car he was driving. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. But police learned the vehicle was owned by Jackson, and as part of the investigation, Jackson was charging with evidence tampering for allegedly concealing information about the boyfriend.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a state trooper was arrested last Friday for stealing heroin from a police barracks for his own use. Corporal Brian Rickard went down after being found in possession of heroin he had taken from the evidence room. He allegedly used heroin both at home and on the job. He tried to cover up the thefts by altering records on work computers. He is charged with obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function, forgery, tampering with records or identification, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, theft by unlawful taking, criminal use of a communication facility, unlawful use of a computer, obtaining possession of controlled substance by misrepresentation or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The Detroit dope squad gets a house cleaning, a San Francisco police sergeant has a bad habit, and more. Let's get to it:

In Detroit, the Detroit police on Tuesday concluded a two-year internal probe into a crooked dope squad. Detroit Police Chief James White said Tuesday that a two-year internal affairs probe into corruption in the departments drug unit known as the Operation Clean Sweep Taskforce has ended and "we're confident we rooted out the problem." The probe found numerous examples of misconduct, including overtime fraud, forgery, false affidavits, and perjury, leading 12 members of the Narcotics Squad to leave the department under investigation. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is still evaluating whether to bring criminal charges against any squad members.

In San Francisco, a San Francisco police officer was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly robbing a Rite-Aid pharmacy of prescription opioids at gunpoint. Police Sgt. Davin Cole is now on unpaid leave pending an internal investigation. His attorney says he suffers from an opioid addiction "that has ravaged his life." He is charged with robbery in the second degree and resisting arrest for the robbery.

In Minneapolis, a former Minneapolis police officer was convicted last Wednesday of stealing drugs and violating people's civil rights through illegal searches and seizures. Ty Raymond Jindra procured drugs by "not reporting, logging, placing into evidence, or informing his partner or other officers on scene about the controlled substances that he had confiscated," prosecutors told the jury. Drugs he obtained included meth, fentanyl, and oxycodone. Jindra also conducted searches without evidence or warrant, violating the subjects' civil right. He was convicted ofthree counts of acquiring a controlled substance by deception, and two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and is looking at up to 14 years in prison.

OK Supreme Court Throws Out $465 Million J&J Opioid Settlement, Detroit Dope Squad Probe Ends More... (11/10/21)

Civil rights groups ask for expanded clemency options for federal prisones sent home during the pandemic emergency, an Ohio bill would greatly expand the state's medical marijuana program, and more.

Medical Marijuana

OH Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana for Any Patient Who Can "Reasonably Be Expected to Benefit" from It. State Sen. Stephen Huffman (R) has filed a bill that would expand qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use to include arthritis, migraines, autism spectrum disorder, spasticity or chronic muscle spasms, hospice care, opioid use disorder, and the open-ended any condition from which a patient could benefit or obtain relief. The measure is Senate Bill 261, and it would also allow curbside pickup and drive-through dispensing, as has been allowed during the coronavirus epidemic. But wait, there's more: The bill would also expand the number of dispensaries to one for every thousand registered patients, up to the first 300,000 patients. After that, additional dispensaries would be added on an as-needed basis. The bill would also triple the maximum size of medical marijuana cultivation sites from 25,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet for large growers and allow small-scale growers to grow up to 20,000 square feet, up from the current 3,000. Huffman said he expects his bill to be sent to the Senate Small Business and Economic Opportunity Committee, with a hearing next week.

Opioids

Oklahoma Supreme Court Throws Out $465 Million Opioid Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson. In a setback for those seeking to hold pharmaceutical manufactures accountable for their role in the opioid crisis, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a 2019 lower court ruling that found Johnson & Johnson liable and ordered it to pay $465 million. That is the second time this month that a court has reversed decisions requiring drug companies to pay for their role in the opioid crisis. A California judge ruled similarly on November 1. In Tuesday's case, the high court rejected the state's contention that the company violated "public nuisance laws," and the two decisions together invalidate a key legal strategy used by plaintiffs in thousands of cases attempting to hold the drug companies responsible. But "public nuisance" laws vary from state to state, so it is not clear how much impact these decisions will have in other states. The state had argued that J & J created a "public nuisance" by aggressively overstating the benefits and downplaying the dangers of their prescription opioids.

Law Enforcement

Detroit Police Conclude Two-Year Probe into Crooked Dope Squad. Detroit Police Chief James White said Tuesday that a two-year internal affairs probe into corruption in the departments drug unit known as the Operation Clean Sweep Taskforce has ended and "we're confident we rooted out the problem." The probe found numerous examples of misconduct, including overtime fraud, forgery, false affidavits, and perjury, leading 12 members of the Narcotics Squad to leave the department under investigation. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is still evaluating whether to bring criminal charges against any squad members.

Sentencing

Civil Rights Groups Ask White House to Expand Pandemic Clemency. Some 29 civil rights and civil liberties groups have coalesced to ask the White House to broaden a plan to grant clemency to inmates released to home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic. They say the current policy wrongfully excludes people convicted of non-drug-related crimes and people serving long sentences. Some 4,800 federal prisoners were released early because of the pandemic but face a return to prison once the emergency ends if no clemency is granted. The attorney general is on board: "It would be a terrible policy to return these people to prison," Merrick Garland told lawmakers last month, but his Justice Department says it lacks the legal authority to let the prisoners stay at home. The Biden administration is only allowing released inmates to seek clemency if they are low-level non-violent drug offenders with less than four years to serve.

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