Police Corruption

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Informant denies buying drugs at elderly Atlantan's home (CNN)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/11/28/atlanta.shooting/

Latest on Atlanta Police Killing of Elderly Woman in Drug Raid

The killing of an elderly Atlanta woman after she shot and wounded three undercover policemen during a nighttime drug raid just might end up shedding some much needed light on the sordid business that is drug law enforcement in these United States. What we're seeing so far is not exactly a shining endorsement of the Atlanta Police Department's REDDOG (Run Every Drug Dealer Out of Georgia) drug squad or what looks to be the mindless search warrant machinery of the Fulton County courts. Just today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which deserves kudos for being all over this travesty, reported that the snitch on whose word the warrant was based now says he never bought drugs at Johnston's address, and the narcs involved in the raid asked him to lie about it after the fact. The Journal-Constitution also provides a copy of the search warrant, which Fulton County officials originally refused to release. The warrant is clearly marked as a "no-knock" warrant, putting the lie to initial police reports that police had knocked and announced, as required by regular search warrants. The affidavit for the warrant is a banal portrait of the day-to-day grinding of the drug war: The narc describes how he points an informant at the address, gives him $50, he comes back with two bags of crack he bought from a man known only as "Sam"…and that's that. Rubberstamp, please. Interestingly, there is no recording of the alleged transaction, and the affidavit is written to suggest that police surveilled the transaction, but does not actually say that they did. The seven narcs involved in this little shindig are now on suspension. Now, again according to the Journal-Constitution, Police Chief Richard Pennington says the department will review its "no-knock" policy, which would be good news. "No-knock" raids are a well-documented clear and present danger to police, innocent civilians, and yes, even people actually selling banned substances. You don't deserve summary execution for slinging some bags of crack. Meanwhile, in a Monday night update on the case, CNN reported that the killing of Kathryn Johnston will be the subject of a federal investigation. That, too, is good news. It means the heat is on, but as anyone who has watched these stories play out in the past knows, justice for the victims of these out-of-control, heavy-handed police raids is hard to come by. At the least, we hope the cops will be a little less hesitant to risk life and death—their own and others—over a couple of rocks of crack.
Location: 
Atlanta, GA
United States

War on drugs strengthens Afghan mafia (Financial Times, UK)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/d4a8046a-7e3b-11db-84bb-0000779e2340.html

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A couple of unusual ones this week. We've got a coke-dealing former fire chief in Connecticut and a Texas cop whose wife has a bad passport and some very shady connections. Let's get to it:

In Dallas, a Dallas police officer is out on a personal recognizance bond after being arrested last week for conspiring to commit passport fraud with his wife, who is allegedly tied to Mexican drug traffickers. Senior Corporal Jose Luis Cabrera was indicted by a federal grand jury that accused him of helping his Mexican-born wife, Moraima Cabrera, commit passport fraud so she could she could stay in the US. According to FBI testimony at a Monday hearing, Mrs. Cabrera had "cooperated" with North Texas prosecutors in at least one drug case, and in April 2005, Cabrera offered her services to the DEA in a bid to help her remain in the country. He told the DEA his wife had worked for drug traffickers and could share information about them. But testimony also showed that another informant had warned the DEA there was "drug trafficking activity" at the Cabrera house months earlier. Although prosecutors say more charges and arrests are pending, neither Cabrera currently faces a drug charge. The two were charged for an incident when Mrs. Cabrera used a fake passport to carry more than $50,000 cash across the border to Mexico. She told agents at the time the money belonged to someone else and she was merely delivering it.

In Easton, Connecticut, a former fire chief was busted November 16 for running a drug-dealing operation out of his home. Former Chief Ernest Ross, 60, was allegedly packaging cocaine for sale at his home and, with the help of a 24-year-old housemate, peddling it in bars in Bridgeport and Fairfield. He was charged with operating a drug factory, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 of a school, and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. After a two-month investigation by state authorities, Ross went down when police stopped him driving away from his home and found four bags of cocaine and $240 in cash. They then searched his home, found his young roommate's multi-container stash of weed and mushrooms, and then found a scale and "cocaine-processing material" in an office. Ross admitted having cocaine, but said it was for his personal use. He liked to do it when he went out to bars, he said.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A quiet week on the drug war corruption front. A Kentucky deputy gets caught stealing from the office stash, so does a Cleveland court employee, and a Cleveland cop's husband's activities is raising eyebrows. Let's get to it:

In Greensburg, Pennsyvlania, a Westmoreland County court employee was arrested for stealing cocaine to be used as evidence in an upcoming trial. Therece Lynn McCloskey allegedly made off with five grams of coke in October, and is now charged with theft by unlawful taking, tampering with physical evidence, and violating state drug laws. She is now also a former court employee. No word on whether some coke offender is now getting a free walk.

In Richmond, Kentucky, a former Madison County sheriff's deputy is charged with stealing drugs from the department. Deputy James Fee, 37, allegedly took three hydrocodone tablets from an evidence locker and told investigators he was taking them for his wife, who had had an operation and wanted pain pills. He is charged with theft of a controlled substance, and faces one to five years in prison if convicted. Deputy Fee was first suspended, then became former Deputy Fee a few weeks ago when he resigned under pressure from his boss.

In East Cleveland, Ohio, an East Cleveland police officer is being investigated by the feds to see whether she is involved in a drug conspiracy with her cocaine-dealing husband. Officer Tiffiney Cleveland has been reassigned from the department's detective bureau to a desk job in the wake of the July arrest of her husband, who was carrying seven ounces of crack cocaine, an East Cleveland Police detective badge, and his wife's business card when he was popped. The husband had been the object of a DEA investigation and had spent eight years in prison on drug charges since 1993. Cleveland maintains she is shocked by her husband's arrest and is not involved in his drug dealing.

Indictment: Crooked deputies sold guns, drugs to public (CNN)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/11/02/sheriff.indicted/index.html

Firefighter: Cop threatened to retaliate by planting drugs

Location: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Publication/Source: 
Chicago Sun-Times
URL: 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/120967,CST-NWS-sos02.article

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Virginia sheriff and most of his department goes down for reselling seized drug and guns, a Border Patrol guard gets caught turning a blind eye in exchange for sex and cash, dope is missing from the Boston Police evidence warehouse, a small town police chief pleads guilty to protecting crack dealers, and two cops are going to prison for dealing drugs.

Two of our stories this week are from Mississippi, but there are a lot more crooked cops down in the Mudcat State, as the Jackson Clarion-Ledger noted last Friday in an article simply -- and aptly--titled "Accused-Lawmen List Grows." Let's get to it:

In Henry County, Viriginia, Henry County Sheriff Harold Cassell was indicted for covering up the sale of seized guns and drugs by 13 of his deputies. The sheriff's department crew made up 14 of 19 people indicted on charges including racketeering conspiracy, weapons offenses, narcotics distribution, obstruction of justice and perjury. The crew is accused of stealing drugs and guns being held by the department; distributing cocaine, marijuana, and "a date rape drug; money laundering; and obstruction of justice. Virginia state police have been sent in to patrol the county now that a substantial portion of the sheriff's department is behind bars. Cassell himself is out on $25,000 bond. He is accused of failing to take action after being notified of corrupt activities, helping to launder money, and lying to federal investigators.

In Seattle, a US border guard made bail Tuesday after being accused of letting drugs get through the border in return for cash and sexual favors from a female drug smuggler. Desmone Bastian allegedly allowed the smuggler, who is also a brothel madam, to make repeated trips into the United States carrying marijuana and Oxycontin. He came under suspicion when he was observed leaving his post at the Blaine, Washington, border crossing to approach her car, which was found to contain 3,000 Oxycontin tablets when it was searched. A review of border crossing records revealed she had made repeated trips through the border checkpoint, often in Bastian's lane, but had never been subjected to close inspection.

In Boston, the Boston Police Department's anti-corruption unit is investigating whether police officers stole drugs missing from an evidence warehouse. Earlier this month, police announced that some seized drugs could not be accounted for, but suggested they might only have been misplaced as they were moved from one section of the warehouse to another. Now, however, Boston police admit the drugs are missing, although they won't say which drugs or how much. As the investigation continues, local prosecutors are pondering how they will prosecute criminal cases without the evidence.

In Oxford, Mississippi, Ruleville Police Chief Ronald Durelle Robinson pleaded guilty October 26 to extortion for accepting cash payments to not file drug and gambling charges against a crack cocaine distributor. Robinson, 46, and Ruleville Assistant Police Chief Larry Mitchell, 33, were indicted by a federal grand jury in July on charges they provided protection to crack dealers and people they thought were crack dealers between December 2003 and June 2006. Robinson was originally charged with two counts of extortion and four counts of attempting to aid in the possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, but the feds dropped all but one extortion count in exchange for the guilty plea. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

In Biloxi, Mississippi, a veteran Biloxi Police Department officer was sentenced Monday to 5 years in prison for selling Ecstasy. Officer Darrell Cvitanovich Jr. pleaded guilty earlier this month after he was arrested when a June raid of his home turned up several Ecstasy tablets. Circuit Court Judge Robert Clark sentenced Cvitanovich to 15 years in prison, but suspended 10. Cvitanovich has until noon on November 15 to turn himself over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

In Milwaukee, a former Milwaukee Police Department detective was sentenced last Friday to four years in prison on federal cocaine distribution and conspiracy charges. Detective Larry White, a 10-year veteran of the force, transported cocaine from Illinois to Wisconsin for his then brother-in-law in 2004 and 2005, earning $1,000 per trip, according to court records. During sentencing, White's lawyers played for sympathy, arguing that White had become addicted to cocaine because of job stress and the killing of a nephew. The sob story must have worked because US District Court Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced him well below the advisory federal sentencing guidelines. Under the guidelines, he should be doing 5 ½ to 6 years.

Ex-officer sentenced for bringing drugs to inmates (The Indianaopolis Star)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061028/LOCAL/610280462/1006/LOCAL

Survivor of the Arkansas bi-partisan corruption cesspool running for governor

Sam Smith's Progressive Review summarizes the beguiling story http://prorev.com/2006/10/fading-days-of-asa-hutchinson.htm of Barry Seal, a major cocaine smuggler who operated undisturbed in Mena, Arkansas while Asa Hutchinson was the Republican United States Attorney and Bill "Vacuum Cleaner Nose" Clinton was Governor. Today Asa Hutchinson is running for Governor of Arkansas http://www.asaforgovernor.org/. Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) is ahead by 13 points 51 - 38, in a poll conducted by the University of Arkansas published today. Hutchinson is running on his record as a Member of Congress -- helping to impeach Bill Clinton, Administrator of the DEA, and Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security of the Department of Homeland Security. The New York Times had a great story about how once Hutchinson went to Homeland Security, his brother, a former U.S. Senator was now looking for contracts from DHS for his law firm's clients. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30E13FA3B5B0C708DDDAC08... Look hard for much substance in that record. Hutchinson never seemed to understand the mission of DEA. He wrote a major defense of the drug war for the Washington Post http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n1890/a04.html?274086 arguing that the proof of DEA's success was that the number of drug users has gone down. Naturally he had to draw a comparison to 1979, for drug use had grown dramatically since George Bush the first was president -- from about 12 million to 16 million users -- now the total is almost 20 million current users. Stop the Drug War readers will enjoy Sam Smith's review of the numerous botched investigational steps by Hutchinson when one of the biggest cocaine smugglers in the nation's history was operating under his nose.
Location: 
United States

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