Police Corruption

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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Three police officers and a prison guard arrested, and another prison guard gets sent to prison. Once again, we present the corrosive impact of the drug war on police ethics and morality in all its mundane banality. Let's get to it:

In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the former police chief is charged with leaking word of an impending drug raid. Former Chief Rolf Garcia and his 17-year-old son were arrested April 19 on charges Garcia told his son about a looming raid in February 2006, and his son called four other people to warn them. As a result, two men escaped the residence that was the target of the raid before they could be identified. Garcia told a grand jury that while he never told his son the location of a planned raid, he might have warned him to stay away from a certain area. His son testified that he had provided false information about drug busts in the past to obtain marijuana, but he denied telling anyone about the raid in question. Garcia and his son are charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, while Garcia is also charged with obstruction of justice. A preliminary hearing is set for May 24. [Ed: Whether reformers should be upset about Garcia's actions in this case is another question.]

In Columbus, Georgia, a Columbus police officer has been arrested for cocaine trafficking.
Officer Larry Lightning, a 23-year veteran of the department, was arrested last Friday after a two-year investigation by the Columbus office of the FBI, the Columbus Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Metro Narcotics Task Force. He faces federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, extortion by a public official, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

In Evansville, Indiana, an Evansville police officer will soon face trial for allegedly stealing money from a drug suspect. Officer Gerald Rainey, 33, faces one count of felony theft for allegedly taking $1,000 out of a backpack containing $19,500, which he seized from a cocaine dealing suspect. The accused dealer cried foul, police investigated, and they found the missing $1,000 in Rainey's patrol car. He faces a June 27 court date.

In Garden City, New York, a New York City jail guard was charged with supplying heroin to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. Gary Morton, 25, surrendered to state police last Friday as part of the roll-up of a drug distribution network on the reservation, which is on the eastern end of Long Island. Morton was one of more than a dozen people arrested. He is charged with second-degree conspiracy. Authorities planned to arrest him at his job at Rikers Island, but he didn't show up for work, instead turning himself in later that day.

In Sacramento, a former prison guard was sentenced to prison for smuggling methamphetamine in to inmates. John Charles Whittle, 47, a 22-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty last month. He was busted after internal affairs agents intercepted a package of meth sent to Whittle's home, then raided the residence after he accepted delivery. The former guard at Mule Creek State Prison admitted to receiving more than $5,000 to smuggle drugs into the prison. He will now serve two years himself.

Would Legal Drugs End Cartel Violence in Mexico?

Mexidata (CA)

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More cops arrested, a dispatcher, too, and yet another prison guard goes to prison. Let's get to it:

In Wallace, North Carolina, a Wallace Police officer was arrested April 3 on a raft of drug and robbery charges. Officer David Brown Jr., 31, was charged with conspiring to sell cocaine, conspiring to deliver cocaine, conspiring to sell marijuana, conspiring to deliver marijuana, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiring to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. The following day, he was also charged with receiving a bribe. Brown was arrested after an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and the Wallace Police Department. At last report, he was jailed on bonds totaling $350,000 at the Duplin County Jail.

In Clarksville, Indiana, a Clarskville police officer was arrested April 3 for peddling morphine pills. Officer Franklin Mikel, 34, got busted after allegedly trying to sell 30 pills to an Indiana State Police undercover officer at a local skating rink. He was last reported to be in jail awaiting arraignment.

In Oglesby, Illinois, a police dispatcher faces charges she tipped off the suspect in a drug raid that police were on the way. Kara Kamin, 22, was fired and charged after a February 22 drug raid came up empty-handed. She faces a May trial date. The case was in the news this week because the man she allegedly helped elude police was arrested on more drug charges in Minnesota.

In Saranac Lake, New York, a state prison guard was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to selling heroin to inmates after he was busted on videotape. Michael Bradish, 43, a guard at the Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Malone, was sentenced to one-to-four years in prison after pleading guilty in February to first degree attempted promotion of prison contraband and fifth degree possession of a controlled substance. Bradish had small packets of heroin mailed to him, then took them into the prison and sold them. He was caught on tape receiving 37 bundles and arrested as he carried the drugs to work the next day.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Georgia fire captain gets caught peddling coke, a pair of New Haven narcs lose their jobs, a former Mississippi police chief cops a plea, and a former Ohio cop goes back to prison. Let's get to it:

In Fayette, Georgia, a Fulton County Fire Department captain was arrested March 29 for selling powder cocaine to undercover drug agents. Captain Bruce Bostwick, 56, faces one count of cocaine distribution. He got caught peddling the drug at a north Fulton County gas station.

In New Haven, Connecticut, city police commissioners voted Wednesday to fire narcotics officers arrested last month. Lt. William White, who was head of the narcotics unit, and Detective Justen Kasperzyk were fired on the recommendation of Police Chief Francisco Ortiz. White is charged with stealing $30,000 he thought was drug money, but was actually bait planted by the FBI. Kasperzyk is charged with stealing less than $1,000 in FBI bait money. Since the pair's arrests, New Haven officials disbanded the drug squad and handed over some of its cases to state police.

In Greenville, Mississippi, a former small town police chief pled guilty Monday to two federal drug counts. Former Ripley Police Chief Bert Contely copped a plea to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and distribution of hydrocodone. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Conely resigned as chief after his indictment and arrest in March.

In Youngstown, Ohio, a former Mahoning County Sheriff's Office lieutenant has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of drug possession and three counts of drug trafficking. Michael "Beef" Terlecky, 51, who left the sheriff's office in 1988, has been in trouble before. He served eight months in federal prison for taking bribes from organized crime figures. This time, Terlecky went down for selling more than 200 Oxycontin tablets in a series of buys with undercover officers. The possession charges stemmed from what police found in his home when they raided it as he was being arrested.

Anti-drug program ripped off, probe says

Tucson, AZ
United States
Arizona Daily Star

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Two cops get busted, a jail guard pleads guilty, a Border Patrol agent is found guilty, and a sheriff's deputy is sent to prison. Just your typical week of drug prohibition-related law enforcement corruption. Let's get to it:

In Indianapolis, an Indianapolis Police reserve officer was arrested for stealing drugs and money from undercover officers. Reserve Officer Chris Spaulding is accused of stealing $7,000 from one undercover officer during a sting and failing to turn in the evidence. He is also charged with using a Hendricks County hotel room to sell drugs, especially marijuana. Spaulding is in jail pending a bail hearing. His trial date is set for May 14.

In Deerfield Beach, Florida, a patrol deputy was arrested Tuesday for taking cocaine and prescription drugs from what he thought was an abandoned automobile. Patrol Deputy Robert Delaney is charged with possession of cocaine and oxycodone. Delanay came to the attention of superiors when a confidential informant reported that he bought and used cocaine. That led the sheriff's office to set up a sting, leaving four grams of cocaine and six oxycodone tablets in a vehicle, then calling Delaney to investigate. As officers watched, Delaney took the drugs for himself. He also admitted snorting some of the cocaine while on duty.

In White Plains, New York, a Westchester County corrections officer pled guilty March 21 for his role in a drug distribution network. Jail guard Michael Gray, 43, pled guilty to attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband for selling cocaine to another jail guard and bringing the drug into the jail in August 2005. He was part of a trafficking ring operating in the Bronx and Westchester County that was busted in a series of raids in December 2005. He will be sentenced in June.

In Tucson, a former Border Patrol agent has been found guilty of making off with a 22-pound brick of marijuana during a border bust. Former Agent Michael Carlos Gonzalez, 34, was convicted by a federal jury March 20 of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Gonzalez went down after a December 2005 traffic stop. An Arizona state trooper stopped a pickup, the passenger and driver fled into the desert, and the trooper pursued them. Gonzalez arrived on the scene, grabbed one of the numerous bricks of weed in the truck, moved the remaining bricks to cover up his theft, and put the brick in his vehicle. Unfortunately for him, the trooper's patrol car camera caught it all. Gonzalez is looking at up to 10 years in federal prison, five on each count.

In Winchester, Kentucky, a former Clark County deputy sheriff has been sentenced to prison on firearms and drug charges. Former Deputy Brad Myers was originally charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and two counts of carrying a firearm during the offense, but pled guilty to one count of distributing Lortab pills and one count of carrying a semiautomatic pistol. Myers' attorney argued that he developed an addiction to pain pills after being injured on the job, but he's still going to prison for three years.

Op-Ed: Prison privatization flunks a test

United States
The Virginian-Pilot (VA)

Border Patrol Agent Gets Caught Stealing Marijuana

United States
KOLD News 13 (AZ)

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Just another week of drug prohibition-related law enforcement corruption. An NYPD cop gets caught with a stash in her undies drawer, an Ohio cop has some bad hits, more prison guards get greedy, and a former St. Paul cop goes to prison.

But before we get to it, we need to make a couple of corrections. Last week, we briefly included a former Wisconsin prosecutor who got busted with marijuana and grow equipment in our hall of shame. We shouldn't have. He was a prosecutor long, long ago and for only a brief period, and while he was charged with manufacture and delivery of marijuana, it's not clear that he was dealing. Our apologies to Gene Radcliffe.

More than a year ago, we included Arizona attorney William Reckling in the list of law enforcement bad boys. We shouldn't have. We saw him as a hypocritical prosecutor who used drugs himself, but that's not the case. After belatedly coming across our article, Reckling wrote to clarify that he was a city attorney, who, unlike district or county attorneys, don't prosecutions. Furthermore, Reckling wrote, he shares our views on the cruelty and futility of the drug war, and his experience getting busted has so soured him on his homeland that he is leaving for the more freedom-loving climes of Central America. Good luck to him.

The weekly rundown of corrupt cops is supposed to be just that. Sometimes it's pretty clear cut; sometimes it's more subjective. We don't generally include police who get caught using or possessing drugs. While people who arrest people for doing the same thing they do in their spare time may qualify as hypocrites, that doesn't make them corrupt. Where do you draw the line? This week, we include the Ohio cop who has so far only been arrested on possession charges on the basis of claims in the search warrant that he was dealing. At this point, that cop is a borderline case. Now, if we run into a judge or prosecutor who is persecuting drug offenders during the night but snorting lines at home, we'll probably include him too, just because of the unmitigated hypocrisy of it. I guess we hold them to a slightly higher standard than police and prison guards. These are judgment calls, but that's the way we've tried to make them so far. Okay, let's get to it:

In New York City, an NYPD rookie officer was arrested March 15 after police executing a search warrant on her home found a large stash of drugs in her underwear drawer. Officer Carolina Salgado, 30, was arrested after a month-long probe of drug sales near the home she shared with her boyfriend, Nelson Fernandez, a reputed Latin Kings gang member. During the search of her home, police found 150 small bags of marijuana, two bags of cocaine, $3,000, and a bunch of Latin Kings paraphernalia. Although Salgado and Fernandez were not home at the time, police found them in a car nearby. In the car, police found another 15 bags of pot and two more bags of cocaine. Salgado faces counts of endangering the welfare of a child (three children with no adults present were at the home when it was raided) and drug possession.

In Toledo, Ohio, a Toledo police officer was arrested Saturday on drug possession and related charges. Officer Bryan Traband, 36, and another man were arrested at Traband's home after police serving a search warrant found cocaine and marijuana. According to the search warrant, police received two confidential tips last month that Traband was involved in selling and using drugs, but authorities so far have only charged him with possession of cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia and permitting drug abuse. The 13-year veteran of the force has resigned and is now out on a personal recognizance bond.

In Amite, Louisiana, a Tangapahoa Parish sheriff's deputy serving as a county jail guard was arrested March 15 after agreeing to smuggle crack cocaine and vodka to an inmate. According to federal officials, Deputy Harris Robertson has confessed to smuggling banned items into the jail at least 10 times since September and receiving from $100 to $300 per delivery. Robertson went down after someone called in a tip that he was delivering drugs, alcohol, cell phones and food to prisoners, and the feds set up a sting. An agent posing as an inmate's friend gave Robertson 15 grams of crack, two bottles of Grey Goose vodka, and $300 for his efforts. Robertson was arrested after accepting the goods and cash. Now he faces up to 40 years in prison on federal possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine charges.

In Sacramento, California, a former state prison guard pleaded guilty last Friday to smuggling methamphetamine into a prison in Amador County. John Charles Whittle, 47, a 22-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, went down after internal affairs investigators intercepted a package mailed to Whittle's home and found it contained 10 grams of meth hidden inside a teddy bear. When agents arrived, Whittle had already removed the meth and secreted it in a stab-resistant prison guard vest. Whittle admitted that he was paid $5,150 by friends of inmates to smuggle drugs into the Mule Creek State Prison. He agreed to forfeit his profits and now awaits an April 19 sentencing date, when he faces up to two years in prison.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, a retired St. Paul police sergeant was sentenced to five years in prison last Friday on methamphetamine trafficking charges. Retired Sgt. Clemmie Tucker could have faced up to life in prison after he was caught picking up a meth shipment at the Greyhound Bus terminal in Minneapolis. He pleaded guilty in September to possession with the intent to distribute more than a pound of meth. US District Judge Joan Ericksen said she was going to give Tucker a "substantial break" in sentencing because he had no prior record and little likelihood of reoffending, but gave him a few years "because drugs are so harmful."

Drugs said involved in Guatemala deaths

Guatemala City
Angola Press

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