Police Corruption

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops shouldn't mess with meth, narcs shouldn't deal dope, and prison guards shouldn't smuggle contraband. We already knew that, but some law enforcement officers are finding out the hard way. 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 Roanoke, Virginia, a former Pulaski and Radford police officer was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison for peddling methamphetamine from his marked patrol car. Christopher Bond, 33, smoked meth with dealers in his patrol car and while wearing his uniform and gun, prosecutors said. Bond said he developed a meth habit, but objected to being called a drug dealer. He said he only sold meth three or four times. Bond went down after one of his dealers got busted and snitched him out.

In Wailuku, Hawaii, a former Maui police officer was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for crimes associated with her months-long campaign to deceive her coworkers that she was suffering from cancer when she was actually strung out on methamphetamine. Among them were forgery and stealing dope from the evidence room. Fellow police officers donated paid leave and cash to former officer Allison Moore, who forged doctors' notes saying she was undergoing cancer treatment. She pleaded no contest to seven counts of second-degree forgery, three counts of second-degree theft and seven misdemeanor charges of tampering with evidence from police vice evidence lockers. The prosecution reduced an attempted first-degree theft charge to second-degree theft and dismissed seven counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and one charge of prohibited fixing of tickets. She must also pay restitution.

In Leesville, Louisiana, a Leesville narcotics officer was arrested October 27 by FBI agents and charged with one felony count of distribution of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. Narcotics Investigator Charlie Lopez was arrested while on duty at the Leesville Police Station. FBI agents also served two search warrants for offices at the police station. No further information is available.

In Gilroy, California, a state prison guard was arrested October 27 in a sting in which he allegedly agreed to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the prison in exchange for cash. Guard Sergio Noguera, 38, was arrested after showing up for a meeting in Gilroy with undercover detectives pretending to be interested in smuggling contraband into Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledod, where Noguera worked. He agreed to smuggle in an ounce of meth, an ounce of heroin, three ounces of pot, and four cell phones in return for $2,500. Noguera had been under suspicion since April, when an inmate reported he was bringing in drugs and phones. At last report, he was being held on $130,000 bond on various drug counts.

Nine Oregon Police Officers Accused of Illegally Campaigning Against Measure 74

Location: 
OR
United States
Law enforcement officials are alleged to have violated Oregon Revised Statute 260.432, which excludes public officials from promoting or opposing any measure or candidate as part of their official duties.
Publication/Source: 
The Mail Tribune (OR)
URL: 
http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101031/NEWS/10310334

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Kentucky sheriff gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, a Texas deputy gets busted for protecting a drug dealer, two Southern California cops get nailed for doing robberies disguised as drug busts, and a small-town Wisconsin cop lets her crack habit get the best of her. Let's get to it:

too much cash can corrupt cops
In Carlisle, Kentucky, the Nicholas County sheriff was indicted October 18 for stealing $43,000 in cash from the department's drug asset forfeiture account. Sheriff Leonard "Dick" Garnett was indicted by a Nicholas County grand jury on charges of unlawful taking of more than $300 and abuse of public trust of more than $10,000. He is also accused of spending more than $10,000 in federal asset forfeiture funds for his own personal use. Garnett, who used some of the money to make car payments on a vehicle not owned by the county and some to buy exercise equipment, went down after a state auditor checked the county's books. He is out of jail and running unopposed for reelection as sheriff next week.

In Houston, a Harris County sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday for allegedly accepting bribes to access confidential law enforcement data bases and providing protection for an ecstasy dealer. Deputy George Wesley Ellington, 38, is accused of twice receiving $500 for accessing the data bases and providing protection for a person he believed to be possessing and transporting ecstasy. He is looking at up to 20 years of prison on the two counts.

In Los Angeles, two former Southern California police officers were convicted Wednesday of participating in a robbery ring that disguised home invasions as drug raids. Brothers William and Joseph Ferguson, the former an ex-LAPD officer and the latter an ex-Long Beach officer, were convicted of various charges, including conspiracy to deprive people of their rights under color of law and conspiracy to possess marijuana and cocaine. William Ferguson was convicted on 13 counts and acquitted on five more, while his brother was convicted on three counts. They were part of a ring that conducted about 40 robberies from 1999 to 2001 in which members would steal cash and drugs, then sell the drugs on the street. Fifteen people have pleaded guilty in the investigation, including the gang's ringleader, former LAPD officer Ruben Palomares, who worked with William Ferguson at the scandal-plagued Rampart Division until both were fired in 2003.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a former Platteville police officer pleaded guilty October 20 to maintaining a drug house. Michelle Salentine, 29, was arrested in April over allegations she was using drugs while in uniform and again in October as she and her brother sat and argued in a parked car. In that bust, police found heroin, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a kit to defeat drug tests. Salentine admitted being strung out on crack and allowing about a pound of cocaine to be stored at her home. She's looking at up to 20 years in federal prison.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Crookedness in the Wayne County, Michigan, court system; endemic corruption in Camden; a tweaker cop in Iowa; and another pair of jail guards go bad. Let's get to it:

evidence room
In Detroit, a retired Wayne County judge, a retired Wayne County drug prosecutor, and two former Inkster police officers were ordered last week to stand trial on felony charges related to a perjury-tainted 2005 cocaine trial. Retired Judge Mary Waterstone, former Wayne County drug prosecutor Karen Plants, and former Inkster police officers Robert McArthur and Scott Rechtzigel are accused of conspiring to hide the role of a secret paid informant in a 47-kilo cocaine bust. Waterstone faces four felony counts of official misconduct, Plants is charged with conspiracy, McArthur is charged with conspiracy, perjury, and misconduct in office, and Rechtzigel is charged with perjury and conspiracy. Waterstone is accused of privately agreeing with prosecutors to hide the identity of the informant and allowing the informant and the two police officers to lie on the stand about the nature of their relationship.

In Camden, New Jersey, two Camden police officers were charged October 13 with falsifying evidence in drug cases in an ongoing scandal that has caused prosecutors to drop more than 200 criminal cases. Officers Antonio Figueroa, 34, and Robert Bayard, 32, were members of a special operations unit assigned to crack down on open-air drug markets, but five unit members became drug traffickers themselves. They are accused of stealing from some suspects, planting drugs on others, threatening to plant drugs to coerce cooperation, paying informants with drugs, keeping drugs for their own use, conducting illegal searches, giving false testimony and filing false reports between 2007 and last year. Three other officers have already been charged in the year-long investigation. Figueroa and Bayard had been on suspension for the past year. Figueroa faces eight charges and Bayard five. For both, the most serious is conspiracy to violate the civil rights of a citizen, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In Des Moines, Iowa, a former Pleasant Hill police officer was sentenced last Friday to three years' probation for stealing methamphetamine from the department evidence room and crashing his police SUV while tweaking. Former officer Dan Edwards had pleaded guilty to DUI, illegal drug possession, and third-degree burglary. Edwards went down after the April crash, when a state trooper reported finding meth on him. Edwards' attorney said he suffered post traumatic stress disorder after tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq and this his wife and infant son had been killed in a car crash years earlier.

In Pensacola, Florida, a former Escambia County Road Prison corrections officer was found guilty last Thursday of providing Xanax to a prisoner in exchange for oral sex. Lawrence Vieitez was convicted on charges of delivery of a controlled substance, introducing contraband into a county detention facility and solicitation to commit prostitution. He went down after an inmate complained about his advances. The inmate was then wired, and a deputy was able to listen in as Vieitez offered to procure Xanax in exchange for oral sex. Vieitez then left to obtain the Xanax and was arrested when he gave it to the inmate. He's looking at up to 20 years in prison.

In Paterson, New Jersey, a former Passaic County corrections officer was sentenced last Friday to five years in state prison for smuggling heroin and homemade weapons into the Passaic County Jail. Former guard Marvin Thompson, 41, has no chance at early parole. During trial, prosecutors argued that Thompson smuggled the contraband into the jail with the intention of "discovering" it so he would look like a hero. He was then a provisional employee and hoped to win a permanent post. But an inmate working with Thompson snitched him out, and when he reported finding 10 packets of heroin, he was arrested. He was convicted of second degree official misconduct, possession of heroin, and filing false police reports.

Mexico’s Plague of Police Corruption

Location: 
Mexico
Despite millions in U.S. aid, forces continue to be outgunned, overwhelmed — and often purchased outright — by drug prohibition gangsters. Many in Mexico consider the American investment little help so far against the bloody tide wrought by drug prohibition gangs. Mexico's top federal policeman, Genaro Garcia Luna, has estimated gangsters pass out some $100 million each month to local and state cops on the take.
Publication/Source: 
The Houston Chronicle (TX)
URL: 
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/7251246.html

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A massive round-up of dirty cops in Puerto Rico, a massive drug conspiracy led by a South Carolina sheriff, and another greedy jail guard make the news this week. Let's get to it:

In Columbia, South Carolina, the former Lee County sheriff pleaded not guilty last Thursday to 47 new charges in what prosecutors are calling a complex drug conspiracy case. Former Sheriff EJ Melvin resigned in May after he and 11 others were charged with a drug distribution conspiracy. In an earlier indictment, witnesses accused Lee of dealing cocaine from his official vehicle and state police agents said that they had given Melvin a list of possible drug dealers, only to have him use it to tip off the dealers and plan to get money from other dealers in exchange for keeping agents away. The second indictment charges that Melvin abused his position as sheriff to enrich himself and others through drug dealing, extorted kickbacks, and money laundering. He is now facing one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of power cocaine, 20 counts of extorting kickbacks from drug dealers, three counts of money laundering, one count of taking more than $5,000 in victim assistance funds for personal use, three counts of lying to state and federal agents, and 18 counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. He faces up to life in prison for the drug conspiracy and between 20 and life for the racketeering counts. Amazingly, he has been allowed to remain free on bail.

In Puerto Rico, 133 police officers, prison guards, and US Army officers were arrested last Thursday in a series of FBI raids aimed at law enforcement officials helping drug traffickers. Some 750 agents were involved in the massive operation, which covered the entirety of the US territory. Those rounded up face charges conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and illegal firearms offences. Prosecutors allege the police officers provided security for drug dealers at up to $4,500 a pop. If convicted, the defendants face from 10 years to life in prison.

In Chicago, a Cook County jail guard was arrested October 4 after being caught on camera accepting marijuana and cocaine to be delivered to an inmate. Guard Timothy Fuller, 42, is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver after being caught by a sting investigation. Fuller went down after jail officials got suspicious and set up a sting. Fuller met with a woman who supplied him with 16 grams of cocaine and 135 grams of pot and paid him $400 to smuggle the contraband into the jail. But the woman was an undercover cop, the camera was rolling, and now Fuller is looking out from the wrong side of the bars.

Confessed Mexican Hitman Claims Torture

Location: 
Mexico
A man accused of being one of Mexico's most notorious hired killers says his confessions were false and extracted through torture. Soto Arias, 29, a junkyard owner, has been convicted of nothing, and his torture complaint is being investigated by Mexico's human rights commission. Many other crime suspects and ordinary citizens have made similar allegations about disappearances, extra-judicial killings and torture at the hands of the Mexican military and police.
Publication/Source: 
United Press International (DC)
URL: 
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2010/10/10/Confessed-Mexican-hit-man-claims-torture/UPI-32881286748076/

Mexican President Wants to Eliminate 2,000 Local Police Departments Corrupted by Drug Prohibition

Location: 
Mexico
Amid a bloody war against drug trafficking organizations, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said that he was sending Congress a plan to overhaul the country's police system by doing away with local forces. The idea, called "unified command," has been debated for months, as the death toll from the nearly 4-year-old drug prohibition war surpassed 28,000 and signs of police collusion with crime syndicates continued to pile up.
Publication/Source: 
Los Angeles Times (CA)
URL: 
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/06/world/la-fg-mexico-police-reform-20101006

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Whew! Sex, drugs, strippers, and a federal judge, oh, my! Plus a murder-plotting meth-head trooper, another crooked border inspector, more Philly cops trying to rip off drug dealers, and an Oklahoma narc helping send guns down Mexico way.

We don't typically mention cases of drug use (or paying for sex) in this feature, but when it's a federal judge cavorting like a degenerate rock star, we think it's worth noting. In between coke-fueled trysts, this guy was hearing drug cases. That said, let's get to it:

In Atlanta, a federal judge was arrested last Friday on charges he bought and used drugs with an Atlanta stripper with whom he was having a sexual relationship. Senior US District Judge Jack Camp Jr., 67, is accused of buying and using cocaine, marijuana, hydrocodone, and roxydocone as he partied with the exotic dancer. When FBI agents arrested him, they found two illegal firearms and a bag containing blue pills and a white powder in his car. He has been released on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Camp went down because the stripper was also an FBI snitch who became cooperative with the feds after a drug conviction. The pair met on multiple occasions to get high and get down, with Camp typically (although not always) providing the money and the stripper providing the sex and drugs. She recorded Camp talking about the drug deals.

In San Diego, a border inspector was arrested last Thursday for allegedly taking bribes to allow illegal immigrants and nearly five tons of pot to make it through the San Ysidro and Otay Mesas border crossings. US Customs and Border Patrol Officer Lorne Leslie Jones is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, bribery, and immigrant smuggling. He faces 10 years on the first count and five years each on the latter two.

In Philadelphia, two Philadelphia police officers were arrested Monday for robbing a drug dealer, except, unfortunately for them, the drug dealer was actually an undercover officer working a sting. Officers Sean Alivera, 31, and Christopher Luciano, 23, are charged with robbery, false imprisonment, and related charges. At least five Philadelphia officers have been charged or convicted of trying to rip off drug dealers in the past year.

In Auburn, California, a former California Highway Patrol officer pleaded no contest Monday to methamphetamine and attempted murder charges. Ruben Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, had been arrested in May after buying meth from an informant and was arrested again in June after trying to hire someone to kill the snitch. In a plea deal, he copped to attempted murder, driving under the influence of meth, and meth possession while carrying a gun. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

In Oklahoma City, a former state narcotics officer pleaded guilty September 29 to federal charges in a gun-running ring where some of the weapons ended up in Mexico. Former Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Agent Francisco Javier Reyes admitted taking money to buy "military-type" rifles in Oklahoma for a Mexican national and paying two friends to purchase rifles for him. He pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and transferring firearms to an out-of-state resident. Each crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He's out on bail awaiting sentencing.

This Week's Corrupt Cop Stories

A massively crooked sheriff, a massively enraged DEA agent, a couple of greedy cops, and a woman police officer married to the wrong guy all made the news this week. Let's get to it:

In Benton, Illinois, the Gallatin County sheriff was convicted September 23 of marijuana trafficking and plotting to kill two people who planned to testify against him. Sheriff Raymond Martin was convicted on 15 counts in the drug trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme. Ten of them carry possible life sentences. According to the DEA, Martin supplied a drug dealer with pot, threatened the dealer with death after he said he wanted out, and told him he could make up crimes against him. The dealer went to the feds, and Martin went down. While Martin was in jail awaiting trial, he conspired with his wife and son to offer two cellmates $17,000 to kill the witnesses. That plot unraveled when one of the would-be hit men got cold feet and went to the authorities. Martin had refused to resign from his job, forcing the county to continue to pay him his $40,000 annual salary even while in jail. Now, the county can fire him. It did so Tuesday.

In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer was convicted Monday on cocaine trafficking and firearms charges for escorting loads of what he thought was cocaine through the city. Officer Orlando Jesus Hale, 27, was found guilty of of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and using a firearm in furtherance of that drug offense. Hale and fellow Laredo police officer Pedro Martinez III were snagged in an FBI sting after they each agreed to transport 20 kilos of fake cocaine through the city, then went to San Antonio, where they were each paid $1,000. Martinez copped a plea earlier and testified against Hale. Hale is looking at a mandatory minimum 10-year federal prison sentence on the coke charge and a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for the gun charge. Sentencing is set for January 10.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a DEA agent was found liable for damages Friday for beating a motorist in a 2003 road rage incident. DEA Agent Timothy McCue was found liable for attacking motorist Barron Bowling, leaving him with severe brain damage and post-traumatic stress. US District Judge Julie Robinson ruled that McCue inflicted assault, battery, and excessive force in what she called "road rage fueled by egos and unwarranted self-righteousness."  McCue must pay damages to the tune of $833,250. Robinson also chided Wyandotte County police and prosecutors for falsely blaming Bowling for the minor collision that precipitated the incident and charging him with leaving the scene of an accident for moving his car off the roadway in a bid to protect the DEA agent. Wyandotte County earlier agreed to pay $425,000 to Bowling for its misbehavior.

In Washington, DC, a DC Metro police officer was indicted last week on charges she protected her drug-dealing boyfriend as he packaged large amounts of crack cocaine and heroin at the couple's home in District Heights. Officer Tamara McGuire faces drug trafficking conspiracy charges. She was one of 12 people arrested in raids aimed at stopping what prosecutors described as a major crack and heroin trafficking ring in the District. She has been on administrative leave since May, and the department said last week it was considering suspending her without pay.

In San Diego, a Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested September 23 for taking bribes to allow vehicles he thought were smuggling drugs to pass unimpeded through his entry lane at the Calexico border crossing. Oscar Ortiz Martinez, 30, is charged with bribery and conspiracy to smuggle drugs. Ortiz Martinez took $22,000 in bribes from a former coworker and was arrested on his way to pick up what he thought was another $30,000 payment. But the former coworker was getting the money from an undercover narc posing as a drug dealer. The co-worker has also been arrested.

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