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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An illicit marijuana scheme in Maine draws in a prosecutor and several cops, a Raleigh detective gets fired for planting fake drugs on people, and more. Let's get to it:

In Bangor, Maine, a prosecutor and a number of law enforcement personnel were indicted last Wednesday as part of a wide-ranging conspiracy involving illegal marijuana growth and sales that wrapped up a dozen people. Those indicted are accused of collecting over $13 million over six years from weed grown under cover of the state's marijuana law but sold illegally out of state. Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayle Alves, 36, is accused of tipping off a sheriff's deputy about an FBI investigation of the ring, and that deputy, Bradley Scovil, then tipped off the ringleader. Two other officers, then-Oxford County Deputy James McLamb, 29, and Wilton police officer Kevin Lemay, 33, are accused of using government databases to warn ringleaders they were under investigation. A 14-count criminal complaint charges 12 people with a range of criminal conduct, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, bank fraud, tampering with proceedings, tampering with documents, conspiracy to defraud the United States and to impede and impair the IRS, tax evasion and tax fraud.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a Raleigh police detective was fired last Friday after a lawsuit alleging he planted fake heroin on Black men was settled for $2 million. Detective Omar Abdullah used a snitch who delivered drug buy videos and audio recordings with critical clips missing and delivered drugs that lab tests weren't drugs at all. Victims of Abdullah's scheme spent a combined 2.5 years in jail, and while the city has settled the civil suit, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has so far declined to prosecute him.

In Inglewood, California, an Inglewood police officer was arrested last Friday for trying to sell a kilogram of cocaine to a law enforcement informant. Officer John Abel Baca, 45, is accused of delivering cocaine in April and again in May to a cooperating witness. In the latter instance, he allegedly received $22.000 in cash. An informant for Baca was also arrested last week and charged with intent to distribute heroin after FBI agents found a kilogram of heroin and a pound of cocaine buried in his backyard. The informant had been approved since 2016, but never conducted any actual operations. Baca is the police union representative for the Inglewood police.

In Florence, Alabama, a Lauderdale County jail deputy was arrested last Friday for allegedly trying to deliver meth to inmates. Deputy Matthew Moran, 20, went down after a two-week investigation and was busted when another deputy at the jail confiscated a package from him that contained meth. He is charged with attempt to commit a controlled substance crime, distribution of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Florida sheriff's narc resigns after being accused of sexual assault, and more. Let's get to it:

In Stuart, Florida, a Martin County sheriff's narcotics detective resigned Tuesday following a criminal investigation into accusations of sexual assault. Detective Michael Oliver w, a 10-year veteran, went down after the sheriff's heard from the boyfriend of one of Oliver's snitches, who said that Oliver had sexually assaulted her at her home. Investigators from neighboring St. Lucie County found that Oliver deleted text and phone records from that night and lied to detectives about being at her home. GPS records put him there. Although the detectives wanted to arrest Oliver, the local prosecutor declined, saying that because the snitch had a criminal record with seven felonies, more evidence was needed. Martin County prosecutors have had to drop some 40 drug cases in which Oliver was involved. The sheriff said if Oliver had not resigned, he would have been fired for violating departmental policies.

In Media, Pennsylvania, a Delaware County jail guard was arrested last Tuesday on charges she tried to smuggle drugs into the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. Chloe Vadel, 24, went down after investigators were tipped off that she was planning a drug delivery that day. They confronted her with their suspicions and she agreed to a search of her vehicle, which turned up suboxone and possibly synthetic marijuana and marijuana. She is charged with attempting to smuggle drugs into a correctional facility.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A pair of California cops who preyed on motorists gets indicted, a pair of Columbus, Ohio, cops who were peddling fentanyl get arrested, and more. Let's get to it:

In San Francisco, two former Rohnert Park police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury on September 22 for a scheme where they pulled over drivers on US Highway 101 and stole marijuana, cash, and property, allowing the drivers to go if they did not contest the seizures. Former Officers Brendan Jacy Tatum and Joseph Huffaker sometimes pretended to be agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. They also drove in unmarked cars without their body cameras and made traffic stops in areas outside their jurisdiction, targeting drivers headed south from California's Emerald Triangle marijuana growing region. Huffaker is charged with extortion under color of law and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of law. Tatum was also accused of tax evasion and falsifying records in the federal investigation. He had $400,000 in unexplained and unreported income in 2016, during the height of their rogue operation. The city of Rohnert Park has already paid out more than one million dollars to settle civil rights lawsuits filed by their victims.

In Leavenworth, Kansas, two former Leavenworth federal prison guards were arrested last Monday and Tuesday on charges they smuggled drugs into the prison. Jacqueline Sifuentes, 25, and Cheyonte Harris, 29, are accused of smuggling methamphetamine, marijuana, and other drugs into the prison, which she then sold to inmates. Harris is charged with conspiring to commit bribery and provide contraband and making false statements to federal agents, while Sifuentes is charged with conspiring to commit bribery and provide contraband, bribery, and providing contraband to an inmate. Harris is looking at up to 10 years in federal prison, while Sifuentes is looking at up to 40.

In Columbus, Ohio, two Columbus police officers were arrested last Wednesday for allegedly peddling pounds of fentanyl. Officers Marco R. Merino, 44, and John J. Kotchkoski, 33, were allegedly involved in the distribution of approximately seven and a half kilograms of fentanyl. Merino also allegedly accepted bribes to protect the transportation of cocaine. According to an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, Merino allegedly tried to recruit a confidential informant to traffic drugs with him. Merino allegedly promised law enforcement protection to the individual and said he could intervene if other law enforcement agencies attempted to investigate the confidential informant. Merino is accused of accepting a total of $44,000 in cash in exchange for protecting the safe transport of at least 27 kilograms of cocaine. Unbeknownst to Merino, there was no actual cocaine and each of the transactions was controlled by federal law enforcement. Also, in June and August 2021, Merino allegedly distributed approximately seven and a half kilograms of fentanyl that Kotchkoski provided to him. It is alleged that Merino would make between $60,000 and $80,000 for the sale of the fentanyl. Both are charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and Merino is also charged with bribery.

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.

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