Thursday, July 31, 2008

District Attorney Accused of Having Sex at Courthouse


It is alleged that Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins has engaged in a sexual relationship inside the courthouse. County commissioners confirm they are investigating the allegations. Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office and a judicial code of conduct board have all been put on alert.

Bedford County Commissioner Chairman Michael Herline said he was alerted to the incident when the family of the woman involved contacted his office. The investigation will determine what wrongdoing, if any, was committed by Higgins and how to move forward.

It all started at a Republican committee meeting on July 10 at the Carriage House restaurant. Higgins attended the meeting as the vice chairman.

Commissioner said the woman involved is not a county employee.

The investigation showed Higgins and the woman went back to Higgins office, located in the older portion of the renovated courthouse. It was there, Higgins admitted that they were involved in a sexual relationship.

Since it occurred in the courthouse, the commissioners said they have an obligation to address any situation involving county property, resources or employees.

The commissioners have interviewed people from before and after the incident. They have also been in touch with the county solicitor.

Attorney Higgins said that this is an unfortunate incident, but it is of a personal nature and he is working it out with his wife.

However, some wonder what kind of discipline can be taken against him? According to the county handbook, not much.

Under the sexual misconduct portion, it states that only county employees who violate the code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action, including being fired. According to commissioners, the guidelines don't pertain to elected officials like Higgins.

Higgins would have to do something illegal, and Attorney General Tom Corbett, said there is nothing criminal about this situation.

County Commissioner Steve Houser also told WJAC that an elected official can actually never show up for work and still get paid, meaning there's no recourse to discipline or fire them.

Still, Bedford County Commissioners are investigating whether Higgins broke any rules by having his affair inside county property.

Two Officers Charged with Disorderly Conduct


Two local police officers and a local businessman are charged with disorderly conduct after a fight at the home of a prominent local attorney two weeks ago.

State police are charging 40-year-old Jamel Mallad of Hollidaysburg, Hollidaysburg police officer Jeffrey Friday and Logan Township police officer Matthew Lindsey after allegedly engaging in a fight at Attorney Tom Dickey's Hollidaysburg area home. Police said during the fight, one of the men was hit over the head with a beer bottle. However, he's not planning to prosecute for the assault.

The charges come after police interviewed a long list of guests who were at the party. On Wednesday, the investigating officer from Bedford met with other officers, as well as the chiefs of the Hollidaysburg and Logan Township police departments to discuss the charges and how to proceed.

District Attorney Rich Consiglio was also at the closed-door meeting, but said the case will not be handled by his office because there were assistant district attorney's at the party.

Consiglio said depending on how police proceed, he may be turning the case over to the Attorney General's office.

Both the Hollidaysburg and Logan Township police chiefs said they'll be handling the incident internally.

Officer Arrested for Stalking, Misconduct and Criminal Mischief

A Lafayette police officer turned himself in Wednesday morning after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Officer James Stafford, 34, was arrested by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of harassment/stalking, official misconduct and criminal mischief related to domestic violence. The harassment count is a class 5 felony.

On Monday, the Lafayette Police Department asked the Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing against Stafford. That investigation led to the arrest warrant.

Details of the case weren’t available Wednesday night, nor was the police report.

Sheriff Joe Pelle said the alleged wrongdoing involved Stafford and a “girlfriend or romantic interest.”

Pelle said an “official misconduct” charge usually means someone misused his or her authority. He didn’t elaborate on what those alleged misuses were in this case.

Stafford, who appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, posted a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and was released later in the day.

Officer Charged with Theft and Misconduct

A 44-year-old Milwaukee police officer was charged Wednesday with stealing money from a vehicle during a search.

Officer Jeffrey Buckson, a member of the force since April 2003, was arrested July 2 by members of the department’s Professional Performance Division, according to an arrest detention report.

The Professional Performance Division began investigating Buckson based upon information provided by other officers, department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said in a statement.

Buckson, who had been assigned to District 3, has been suspended, Schwartz said.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Buckson:

On the afternoon of July 2, police personnel parked a black Chevrolet Tahoe in the 2600 block of W. Lloyd St. and placed a handgun and $530 in cash inside the SUV’s center console. A man was recruited to loiter near the SUV while police observed.

Buckson and his partner were told the SUV and the man were involved in a drug dealing complaint and drove to the area to investigate.

The officers searched, detained and released the man and searched the SUV. The officers took the cash and the gun from the SUV to be inventoried at the District 3 police station. They had not yet counted the cash.

The officers stopped at an ATM and a Taco Bell while driving back to the district station. While his partner was outside the vehicle using the ATM, Buckson took $100 of the cash, the complaint said.

After returning to the station, Buckson filled out an inventory form and reported that $430 had been found in the SUV. He put the other $100 in his bag in a locker room at the station, according to the complaint.

Police found the money in his bag after obtaining a search warrant, the complaint said.

Buckson told investigators he took the money because he was having financial problems and family issues, according to the complaint.

He is charged with two felony counts of misconduct in public office and misdemeanor counts of theft by an employee and concealing stolen property.

Officer William Rust Arrested for Domestic Violence


A former city police officer was arrested this week on a domestic battery charge.

Officer William P. Rust, 40, 553 Elliott Ave., was arrested at a southside home early Tuesday afternoon. He was released after posting bond about 12 hours later.

He was preliminarily charged with a Class A misdemeanor carrying a maximum one-year jail term. However, formal charges had not been filed as of Wednesday.

A New Castle woman on Wednesday was granted a protective order against Rust.

Rust was a New Castle police officer before resigning his post in May.

Officer Charged With Sexual Assaulting Two Teenagers

A New Castle police officer has been charged with sexually assaulting two teenagers at his Union Township home.

Richard L. Corbin, 35, of 458 Moore Ave., was arraigned before District Judge Jerry Cartwright on two counts each of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and four counts of corruption of minors. He also is charged with two counts of furnishing alcohol to minors.

Following his arraignment at 8 p.m. yesterday, state police said Corbin was released on non-monetary bond. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Central Court.

According to a prepared statement issued by the New Castle Police Department, Corbin has been placed on leave pending further investigation. The statement did not indicate whether the leave is paid or unpaid.

On Tuesday, state police from the Butler Criminal Investigation Unit probed the reported sexual assault of two teenage girls — one is 15, the other is 14. She was 13 at the time of the alleged incident, which took place in January at Corbin’s Moore Avenue home, police said.

According to paperwork filed in the office of District Judge Jennifer Nicholson, police interviewed the younger girl on Tuesday at the state police station in New Castle.

She told officers that in January, Corbin had offered the two a ride to Club Unity, their intended destination.

Once inside his car, she said, Corbin began touching her over her clothing. She said a bottle of liquor had been found in the back seat and both girls asked if they could drink some before they reached the club. She said Corbin had agreed and suggested they drink the alcohol at his home.

The girl said all three began to drink the alcohol in the living room of the officer’s home.

After drinking seven to eight shots of the flavored vodka, the victim said, she went upstairs to the bathroom. When she came out, she said, Corbin invited her to go into his bedroom, which contained a computer.

The court papers said the girl had reported she “eventually engaged in sexual intercourse with Corbin.”

When they finished, she said, she went downstairs and told the older girl that she had had sex with Corbin. She said Corbin then went downstairs and began “kissing and fondling” the other girl.

The girl said that Corbin and the older girl then went upstairs, returning in about 20 minutes.

Police interviewed the older girl on Wednesday at a treatment center in Farrell. They said she had corroborated the younger girl’s statements.

Officers arrested Corbin yesterday at his home.

According to city records, Corbin was hired as a patrolman on a temporary basis in May 1998 and served in that capacity until Jan. 1, 2003, when he became a full-time officer.

Through a cooperative effort with the New Castle district, Corbin served as a school resource officer assigned to the junior-senior high, according to superintendent George Gabriel.

The policeman served in that position from April 9, 2007, through Feb. 1, 2008, according to the district.

Gabriel would not comment on why Corbin’s duties at the school ended.

The superintendent said the purpose of the program was to have students become familiar with police officers and “mostly to ensure safety in the building.”

Some of Corbin’s responsibilities at the junior-senior high included patrolling the outside the building to detect unauthorized persons or vehicles; monitoring the halls, restrooms and stairwells during classroom changes; and assisting in stopping disturbances and undue distractions in the school and its grounds.

New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said he had just learned of Corbin’s arrest this morning and had not had a chance to talk with Police Chief Tom Sansone about the officer’s status.

In a prepared statement sent to the New Castle News this morning, the police department acknowledged that Corbin, one it its officers, had been charged.

“While the New Castle Police Department takes these matters seriously, we must reserve comment at this time pending the outcome of the court process.”

Veteran Officer Jonathan Heard Robs Store

The Central Store was robbed at gunpoint Friday night, and the prime suspect identified by Elmore County Sheriff’s deputies is a former police investigator with 11 years in law enforcement.

Jonathan Heard, a former investigator with the Roanoke Police Department in Randolph County, allegedly wielded a “semi-automatic pistol” and demanded cash from a cashier at the store around 6:30 Friday night, according to the Elmore County Sheriff’s Department.

According to victims and witnesses at The Central Store "9 miles north of Wetumpka on Alabama Highway 9” Heard came in asking for directions to Alexander City around 5 p.m.

Elmore County Chief Deputy Ricky Lowery said Heard returned an hour and a half later, pointed a handgun at the clerk, and left with “an undisclosed amount of currency.”

Roanoke Police Chief Adam Melton said his department did everything it could to cooperate with local investigators, despite their “shock and disbelief” that one of their own could commit such a crime.

“Our thoughts and prayers are, of course, with the victims and with (Heard’s) family,” Melton said Monday. “We’re praying that God holds their hand through this trying time, because this is just awful.”

A witness who saw the robber flee The Central Store in a Chevrolet Avalanche wrote down the truck’s license plate. After a license plate check identified Heard, sheriff’s deputies contacted Melton’s department. They confirmed Heard’s previous employment there, and verified the type of truck he drove.

“While the investigation was going on, we received information that another store was hit in Shorter, and we feel (Heard) is a suspect in that robbery as well,” Sheriff Bill Franklin said.

An Elmore County deputy who knew Heard called his cell phone not long after The Central Store hold-up, and Heard said he wanted to turn himself in, but needed to speak with an attorney first.
“Apparently, that was a ruse,” Franklin said.

A regional bulletin to “be on the lookout,” called a BOLO, was issued.

Lowery also spoke with Heard around 11 p.m. Friday, asking him to come in to talk about “something that happened in the county.”

Heard was apprehended in Biloxi, Miss., parking lot around 4 a.m. Saturday, Biloxi Police Investigator Susan Kimball said. He did not resist arrest, she added, and the handgun allegedly used in the crime was found in Heard’s truck. The former policeman is also suspected in a 2 a.m. robbery at an Exxon station in Moss Point, Miss., Kimball said.

Kimball said Heard is being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. An extradition hearing was planned for Tuesday or today, she added.

Elmore County investigators were surprised to see the tag number lead to a former police officer, Lowery said, but since Heard allegedly “broke the law, we treated him just like any other suspect.”

Melton said Heard patrolled Roanoke in two stints totaling 11 years. A native of nearby Wedowee, he worked for the RPD from 1994-2000 and 2001-2006, before resigning to take a job with a neighboring sheriff’s department, Melton said.

“I’m just at a loss of words,” Melton said. “He had been one of ours, but I believe in punishment for what we do wrong. If we can do anything, for the victims, his family or for Jonathan, I’m happy to talk to whomever.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Videotape Shows Officer Lied

Around 9:30 on Friday night, a bicyclist pedaling down Seventh Avenue veered to the left, trying to avoid hitting a police officer who was in the middle of the street.

But the officer, Patrick Pogan, took a few quick steps toward the biker, Christopher Long, braced himself and drove his upper body into Mr. Long.

Officer Pogan, an all-star football player in high school, hit Mr. Long as if he were a halfback running along the sidelines, and sent him flying.

As of Tuesday evening, a videotape of the encounter had been viewed about 400,000 times on YouTube. “I can’t explain why it happened,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Tuesday. “I have no understanding as to why that would happen.”

But this episode was not just a powerful crash between one bicyclist and a police officer. It may turn out to be yet another head-on collision between false stories told by some police officers in criminal court cases and documentary evidence that directly contradicts them. And while in many instances the inaccurate stories have been tolerated by police superiors and prosecutors, Officer Pogan’s account is getting high-level scrutiny.

Later that night, Officer Pogan composed a story of his encounter with Mr. Long. It bore no resemblance to the events seen on the videotape. Based on the sworn complaint, Mr. Long was held for 26 hours on charges of attempted assault and disorderly conduct.

Over the weekend, though, the videotape, made by a tourist in Times Square with his family, fell into the hands of people involved with Critical Mass, the monthly bicycle rally that Mr. Long had been riding in.

The availability of cheap digital technology — video cameras, digital cameras, cellphone cameras — has ended a monopoly on the history of public gatherings that was limited to the official narratives, like the sworn documents created by police officers and prosecutors. The digital age has brought in free-range history.

Hundreds of cases against people arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention collapsed under an avalanche of videotaped evidence that either completely contradicted police accounts, or raised significant questions about their reliability. The videotapes were made by people involved in the protests, bystanders, tourists and police officers.

At the New York Public Library, a small group holding a banner against one of the stone lions was arrested and charged with blocking traffic in the middle of 42nd Street, although video showed they were on the steps, and nowhere near the street.

In another case at the library, a police officer testified that he and three other officers had to carry one protester, Dennis Kyne, by his hands and feet down the library steps. Videotape showed that Mr. Kyne walked down the steps under his own power, and that the officer who testified against him had no role in his arrest. The charges were dismissed; the Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to bring perjury charges against the officer who gave the testimony.

Dozens of complaints were sworn by police officers who said they had witnessed people violating the law on Fulton Street and near Union Square, but later admitted under oath that their only involvement was to process the arrests, and that they had not actually seen the disorderly conduct that was charged.

An assistant to District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau wrote to the Police Department to stress the importance of officers’ not swearing to things they had not seen for themselves. The prosecutors said the confusion surrounding mass arrests made it hard to bring perjury charges.

The case of Christopher Long and Officer Pogan is shaping up as another example of an official narrative being directly challenged by videotape.

In a criminal court complaint, Officer Pogan wrote that Mr. Long deliberately attacked him with the bike — although the videotape shows Mr. Long veering away from Officer Pogan, who pursues him toward the curb.

The officer said he was knocked to the ground by Mr. Long. Throughout the tape, though, he remains on his feet, even after banging into Mr. Long.

The police officer wrote that Mr. Long had been “weaving” in and out of traffic, “thereby forcing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change their direction in order to avoid hitting” Mr. Long. However, in the videotape, it appears that there are no cars on the street.

Mr. Long is due back in court in early September. By then, most of Mr. Long’s bruises are likely to have healed. The prognosis for the truth is not so clear.

Former Boston officer sentenced to 11 years

A former Boston police officer was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison yesterday for conspiring to extort $265,000 on behalf of Colombian drug dealers while in uniform, one of a series of recent corruption scandals in the Police Department.

US District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel sentenced Jose A. "Flaco" Ortiz, 46, formerly of Salem, to 11 years and three months in prison followed by five years of supervised release in connection with extortion and cocaine-related charges.

"Of all our recent cases combating police corruption, this was among the most egregious," US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said in a statement after sentencing. "To have a uniformed officer, carrying his badge and weapon, extort money on behalf of a Colombian drug ring cuts at the heart of our system of justice."

Ortiz pleaded guilty on April 29. He was the fifth Boston officer to plead guilty to federal charges since September. All the cases, including one involving three officers, involved drugs.

His lawyer, Scott A. Lutes, of Providence, said his client is ashamed and still thinks like a police officer. A few nights ago, Lutes said, Ortiz helped save a fellow inmate who slit his wrists and throat at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls.

The case against Ortiz stems from an investigation that began in late 2003 or early 2004, according to federal prosecutors. A man identified as Victim A told authorities that two drug dealers approached him and asked whether he knew anyone who might want to participate in drug trafficking.

At the advice of the authorities, Victim A introduced the drug dealers to a man supposedly involved in the drug trade. Days later, the drug dealers told Victim A that the man had stolen from them. They blamed Victim A for the theft.

And then, in a startling twist in August 2006, Ortiz showed up in his uniform at Victim A's job in the Boston area, prosecutors said. He said he was there on behalf of drug dealers who would kill Victim A if he didn't pay $265,000.

In May, the victim gave Ortiz $4,000 in cash and 4 kilograms of cocaine in a Revere parking lot, a deal Ortiz said would settle the debt. The FBI then arrested Ortiz.

Retired police officer charged with sex assault


A former Winnipeg police sergeant with a history of violating a protection order granted to his ex-wife is being held in custody on charges that he broke into her home and violently sexually assaulted her on the weekend.

The 25-year veteran of the force was arrested Sunday and charged with a number of serious offences, including sexual assault causing bodily harm, breaking into the woman's home and assaulting her, forcible confinement and disobeying a protection order she was granted in July 2006.

The criminal complaint alleges he broke into the woman's home in the Winnipeg neighbourhood of Charleswood on Sunday while wearing a mask, repeatedly sexually assaulted her and choked her.

Officer and 5 others Arrested by FBI


A Juárez police officer is accused of leading a gang of kidnappers and killers that was captured after a vehicle chase by federal police in Juárez, officials said.

Federal police Tuesday arrested municipal police officer Juan Gallegos Acosta and five other men, seized four AR-15 and nine AK-47 rifles and three vehicles, including a 2002 GMC Yukon and a 2007 Toyota Solara, both reported stolen in Texas.

"Unfortunately, he is a member of the department," said Javier Torres, police force spokesman. "We are working on purging the department. Bad police officers will be sanctioned."

Federal officials said a chase began when federal police saw the sand-colored Yukon speeding on Zaragoza Avenue while carrying a group of men with assault rifles and bulletproof vests. The chase ended in the Oasis area.

The men and seized items were turned over to a federal organized crime unit in Mexico City. No charges were announced.

The federal agents were part of Joint Operation Chihuahua, the anti-crime offensive sent to Juárez to curb a flood of homicides, which have reached about 650 so far this year party because of a war among drug cartels.

At least seven people were slain Tuesday, including a triple homicide in the southern part of the city.

Chihuahua state investigators said the unidentified bodies of two men and a woman were found shot to death in colonia Hacienda de las Torres III. One man died on the street. The woman was in the front passenger seat of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The second man died in the front passenger seat of a Ford Crown Victoria with Texas plates inside a garage of a home on Calle Del Abrevadero.

In colonia Partido Iglesias, Juárez police went to a home at the end of a bloody trail left where the stabbed body of Armando Santillan Villegas, 48, had been dragged.

Mercedes Elguero Calderon, 38, and brothers Enrique Alonso and Luis Fernando Reyes Murguia, ages 38 and 36, were detained on suspicion of homicide. Later that morning, the body of an unidentified man shot multiple times was found in colonia Senderos de San Isidro.

Two men were killed in the evening in separate cases.

Officer Who Shot Boy Pleads Not Guilty

VISTA, Calif.

A San Diego police officer claims caution prompted him to unload five bullet rounds at an 8-year-old boy and his mother during an off-duty traffic dispute, but prosecutors Tuesday called it a case of "apparent road rage."

Frank White pleaded not guilty to one felony count of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and one misdemeanor count of drawing a concealed weapon in public. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors accuse White of firing at Rachel Silva's Honda Accord from the driver's seat of his own car after a screaming match triggered by a near-collision at a busy intersection.

One bullet struck Silva's son Johnny in the knee; the boy was hospitalized and required surgery. Two others struck Silva in the upper arm.

White, 28, answered a single procedural question at his arraignment before Superior Court Judge Marshall Hockett and was released on his own recognizance. He declined to speak with reporters as he left the courthouse with his wife, Jacquellyn.

White's attorney, Richard Pinckard, entered the plea on his client's behalf.

"We don't believe that there's anything to support that our client's conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances," Pinckard said after the hearing.

White was also stripped of his police powers and placed on unpaid leave from the San Diego Police Department while his case is under internal review, Chief William Lansdowne said. White was assigned to administrative duty after the March 15 shooting.

White is the second law enforcement officer that Dumanis charged since taking office in 2003; the first was a sheriff's deputy accused of killing his wife. She has faced criticism in some quarters for declining to pursue charges in other high-profile cases, including the 2006 shooting of former Chargers linebacker Steve Foley by an off-duty officer.

"Based on the evidence and the law, these charges are appropriate," Dumanis said in a brief statement. She refused to take questions from reporters.

White was driving his personal car when he and Rachel Silva nearly collided on a busy thoroughfare in Oceanside, about 40 miles north of San Diego. Witnesses said Silva responded aggressively, tailing White and his wife to a parking lot.

According to an arrest warrant filed Tuesday, White was wearing his .38 Smith and Wesson revolver on his waistband and aimed it at Silva as she pulled parallel to him. Silva called 911 and said, "There's a man who's pulling a gun on me," then sideswiped White's car as she reversed past it after he began to open the driver's side door.

White told investigators that he fired because he thought Silva was trying to hit him with her car, according to search warrants filed earlier in the case. He claimed he did not see her son through the windshield.

White's wife, a police dispatcher, was in their car.

Tests showed Silva had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit. The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty this month to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor drunken-driving and marijuana-possession charges filed by the state attorney general's office.

Her attorney, Michael Pancer, said he was pleased by Dumanis' decision.

"She did the right thing," Pancer said.

Silva and her son have each filed lawsuits seeking damages from the city of San Diego. Lawyers for the boy also filed a complaint in federal court in May claiming police were inadequately screened, trained and disciplined.

Officer Can't Control His Own Son

The son of a BSO deputy was arrested on Tuesday, charged with pretending to be a law enforcement officer.

It's bad enough when a son takes dad's car out for a joy ride, without asking.

But when the dad is a Broward sheriff's deputy and the car is an unmarked patrol vehicle, the son could face more than grounding.

Tuesday night, Myko Coker, 18, of Sunrise, was in Broward County's main jail, facing grand theft auto and impersonating a law enforcement officer charges.

Here is how police described what happened:

At about 4:30 a.m., a call came into the Sunrise Police Department saying an unmarked police car was making traffic stops near the corner of University Drive and West Oakland Park Boulevard.

There, a Sunrise officer found someone wearing a BSO T-shirt and driving an unmarked police car. There was a passenger in the car.

The driver told the officer he was a BSO deputy and that he was driving home from work when someone cut him off and he pulled the car over, according to Sunrise police spokesman Capt. Robert Voss.

The name he gave was his father's, who is a deputy with the sheriff's office.

The Sunrise officer allowed Coker to leave.

But moments later, the officer saw the unmarked car again. With emergency lights on, the car pulled into a parking lot in the 4500 block of North University Drive, then pulled out and headed west on Northwest 44th Street.

The Sunrise officer turned on his own lights and went after the unmarked car. But the BSO car kept going.

The Sunrise officer turned on his siren.

The BSO cruiser pulled over.

This time, the Sunrise officer asked Coker to show proof he was a deputy.

But Coker had no badge, Voss said.

''He went to the deputy's house that was being impersonated, knocked on the door and asked him where was his car,'' Voss said.

'He looked outside and said `Uh oh, where's my car?' ''

The deputy's name wasn't released.

The passenger wasn't charged, Voss said.

''The deputy's son did something really foolish, and now they're going to have to deal with it as a family,'' said BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal.

Officer has Sex with Prostitute, Stole the Money

Louisville, Ky.

A Louisville metro police officer is the target of a criminal investigation.

The investigation alleges the officer had sex with the prostitute, stole the money he paid her, and then cited her for trespassing.

Sherry McClean says she owns a massage service. She has her own sexually explicit website and today said that last October, she went to Kenneth Wynne’s Louisville apartment to give him a massage. He paid her 80 bucks and agreed to pay more if she’d have sex with him. McClean claims when she balked at one of Wynne’s sexual demands, he held a gun to her head, wouldn’t let her leave, told her he was a police officer and had to charge her with a crime of her choosing. She picked criminal trespassing. That’s what she was cited for. Then McClean says Officer Wynne took back the money he’d just paid her and kept the condom he’d used. McClean says she finally got to leave, immediately calling her attorney and eventually, the police.

According to court records, the trespassing charge against McClean was dismissed when the police officer, Wynne, was not present in court. McClean has a long list of mostly minor criminal charges including two convictions for prostitution.

She says when she left Wynne, she took some of his DNA with her to prove she’s telling the truth.

Tasered to Death

Case of Louisiana Man Tasered to Death by Police Officer While in Custody Heads to Grand Jury

The case of a former Winnfield, Louisiana police officer who zapped a handcuffed suspect nine times with a Taser goes now before a grand jury to consider whether he will be charged in the death of Baron “Scooter” Pikes.

Pikes, the first cousin of lead Jena Six defendant Mychal Bell, died in January after former Winnfield police officer Scott Nugent used 50,000 volt Taser strikes on him at least nine times, authorities said.

District Attorney R. Chris Nevils of the 8th Judicial District, which includes Winn Parish, said Monday he will convene a grand jury on Aug. 12 to consider possible charges against Nugent.

Winnfield is less than 40 miles from Jena, Louisiana, the scene last year of one of the largest civil rights marches in recent history.

Nugent has acknowledged using a Taser multiple times on Pikes on January 17, 2008, while Pikes was in police custody. Pikes died a short time later, Nevils said in his statement.

Jailer accused of soliciting sex from teen

Corrections officer from Madison County thought he was corresponding with 14-year-old girl who was actually a federal agent, according to U.S. attorney.

A Madison County corrections officer was arrested in south Baldwin County on Monday morning on federal felony charges of attempting to use the Internet to solicit sex from a minor.

James Norbert Stracke, 55, of Meridianville was arrested when he arrived in Foley, said Tommy Loftis, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Mobile. Stracke was also charged with attempting to transfer obscene material.

Stracke has been a corrections officer for the Madison County Sheriff's Office for 15 years, said Chris Stephens, chief deputy.

Last week, Stracke began corresponding on the Internet with a person whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Deborah Rhodes. The person was an undercover federal officer, the statement said.

In Foley, Stracke was arrested by officers from the city police, the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the U.S. Attorney's Office Project Safe Childhood Task Force.

Stephens said that Madison County officials placed Stracke on unpaid leave Monday after being informed of the arrest. He said Stracke has been a corrections officer assigned to overseeing jail inmates since being hired.

Stephens said the jailer had no record of disciplinary problems.

"He was kind of a quiet guy, kind of reserved," Stephens said Monday. "There was never any indication of anything such as this."

Stephen said Stracke did not have access to county computers or the Internet as part of his jail job.

Stracke made an initial appearance Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Cassady, and is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday.

A defendant convicted of enticement of a minor could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and fined as much as $250,000, according to federal officials. The charge of transfer of obscene material to a minor carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

Stracke's case will be presented to the federal grand jury next month, Loftis said.

Deputy Accused Of Sex With Minor Held On High Bond


On Tuesday morning, bond was set at $250,000 for an Orange County deputy who was arrested on child sex charges.

The Sheriff's Office said Louis Mercado, 45, was taken into custody Monday on charges of sexual battery on a minor.

Deputies said the alleged abuse began in January 1992 when the boy was 7 to 9 years old, and it continued until the victim was 16 or 17 years old.

According to officials, the sexually explicit activity often happened when the boy spent the night at Mercado's home.

Mercado has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. He has been with the Orange County Sheriff's Office since 1992 and was currently serving as a school resource officer.

Mercado has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.

The victim is now 24 years old and his aunt called investigators.

Police revealed that a couple of days ago, Mercado made contact with the victim. They said he called him on the phone, admitted to the abuse and apologized.

Officer Accused of Stealing Garden Hose in Court


An Ansonia police officer who was charged with larceny and accused of stealing a $25 garden hose from the police department will be in court Tuesday.

Antonia police arrested Mustafa Salahuddin, a 20-year veteran of the force, two weeks ago and he has been on paid leave since.

Protestors are coming out in support of him and Salahuddin’s lawyer, Rob Serafinowicz, said this case has nothing to do with a hose, it's about payback.

"This is a clear case that the chief decided that he wanted to retaliate against him for things that happened years ago,” Serafinowicz said. “That's the chief's MO. It's his style, and it's nice that everybody's out here to support Moose based on these stupid charges."

Years ago, Serafinowicz said, Salahuddin challenged the department's policy against facial hair and won the right to wear this beard, part of his Muslim beliefs.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Ansonia's mayor said the U.S. Department of Justice would investigate Salahuddin's arrest.

NAACP representatives marched to support Salahuddin Monday and said they will do it again.

Not everyone in Ansonia is as supportive.

“You're in the public eye. You're supposed to be a role model for citizens. Myself, if I do something wrong, I'm accountable too,” said Mike Celestino of Ansonia.

Officer Knocks Bicyclist to the Ground


The New York Police Department has disciplined a Midtown police officer who had arrested a bicyclist he appears to have knocked to the ground, according to a YouTube videotape of the incident released Monday.

The videotape has raised concerns about police Officer Patrick Pogan's sworn account that the bicyclist deliberately drove into him last Friday evening during a Critical Mass bicycle ride in Times Square, a source said.

After the videotape surfaced, the NYPD took away Pogan's badge and gun, temporarily placing him on desk duty. The Manhattan district attorney also announced that it was investigating the incident.

In a criminal complaint, Pogan accused bicyclist Christopher Long of steering into him, the impact flinging Pogan to the ground and causing cuts on his forearms.

However on the video, shot by a bystander, it appears as though Pogan was the aggressor who used both hands to shove the 29-year-old Long off his bicycle as he traveled down Seventh Avenue by 46th Street about 8:30 p.m. July 25.

The videotape shows Long hitting the ground but doesn't show Pogan thrown off his feet.

Police arrested Long, charging him with attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, charges that now are under scrutiny given the videotape, a source said.

"The officer has been placed on modified assignment pending further investigation of the incident," said Paul Browne, the NYPD's spokesman. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association declined comment.

Long also declined comment, but a Critical Mass supporter said confrontations like these are common between police and bicyclists.

At their monthly bicycle rides, Critical Mass has at times been accused of blocking traffic and causing disruptions to promote "non-polluting transportation."

"I was just horrified. You see the police officer knocking the cyclist off his bicycle," said Judy Ross of Time's Up!, a promoter for Critical Mass.

However a former NYPD official said the videotape may not tell the whole story.

"You can't see what the bicyclist is doing as he approaches the officer, other than he is coming close to the officer," said security consultant Thomas Ruskin, president of the CMP Group.

Officer Pleads Not Guilty in Road Rage Shooting


A San Diego police officer accused of shooting at a mother and her child while off-duty pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to charges stemming from the incident.

Officer Frank White faces a felony count of gross negligent discharge of a firearm with two enhancements for great bodily injury and one misdemeanor count of exhibiting a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of nine years in prison.

White answered the judge's questions during a brief appearance in Superior Court in Vista. He was there with his wife, attorneys and two other people. He did not answer questions after the hearing.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced the charges at a noon news conference and did not take any questions from reporters.

“Every officer-involved shooting is carefully reviewed by the District Attorney's Office to determine if criminal charges should be filed,” she said. “Based on the evidence and the law, these charges are appropriate.”

White was in the process of being suspended without pay Tuesday pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings, said Det. Gary Hassen, a San Diego Police Department spokesman.

The incident occurred the night of March 15, when White and his wife encountered Rachel Silva, who was driving with her then 8-year-old son, Johnny, in the passenger seat.

The shooting evolved from an apparent road-rage dispute and ended with White firing five rounds into Silva's car, officials said. Silva was shot twice in the arm, while her son was hit once in the knee.

White was allowed to leave the courtroom on his own recognizance without posting bail and must return on Saturday to be booked and released. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 26 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17.
In April, the Attorney General's Office and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office decided to split the prosecution of the cases. The attorney general took over Silva's case, while the District Attorney's Office handled the investigation into White. Both agencies agreed that it was best to conduct two independent reviews in case both Silva and White were charged.

Silva has pleaded not guilty to felony child endangerment and five misdemeanors: two drunken driving charges, possession of marijuana, driving on a suspended license and driving on a license suspended for a previous drunken driving conviction.

Silva faces up to six years in prison if convicted of the felony. Her preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 9.

In the interim, Silva has been in a rehabilitation facility where she will remain until counselors say she can leave, said her defense attorney Michael Pancer.

In response to White's charges, Pancer said: “I think the District Attorney's Office got it just right.”

The lawyer said he spoke to his client about the charges filed against White and said Silva “is pleased that Ms. Dumanis had the courage to do this.”

White's defense attorney, Richard Pinckard, said his client denies all of the allegations.

“This case rests on the evidence,” Pinckard said after the hearing. “We'll see how it unfolds.”

Oceanside police conducted an initial investigation and turned the case over to the District Attorney's Office in April to determine whether charges should be filed.

Oceanside police said Silva's blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent – nearly twice the legal limit – at the time. Authorities also said she had marijuana in her system.

Silva has said she doesn't recall how the confrontation started and doesn't know why White fired into her car. She also said she was only trying to get away from him when she saw his gun.

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Silva's son against White, the city of San Diego, the San Diego Police Department and the police chief. Silva has filed a similar claim.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Former Officer David Scudder Sold Fake Autographs


A former police officer faces theft and official misconduct charges for allegedly pocketing money while investigating a scam that sold fake autographs of action film actor "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

David L. Scudder, who was charged last week, resigned from the Greensburg police force on June 30 after the Indiana State Police began investigating his actions.

Prosecutors said Scudder, 37, seized money from a man who was acting as the "promoter" of a man who resembles Austin, a wrestler who's made the transition to films.

Those two men, who were selling what they said were Austin's autographs, had tricked about eight people to pay $10 for each of "the false and fraudulent autographs," according to an affidavit filed in Decatur County Circuit Court.

The affidavit states that on June 21, Scudder and Greensburg police Detective Mike Cruze arrived at a Wal-Mart in the city about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis where the two men had been selling the bogus Austin autographs.

The "promoter" told the officers he had collected about $166 that day, but said that his cohort had already left with that money.

Despite that, Scudder asked the man to give him $166 of his own money and then gave the man a receipt -- a transaction captured on Wal-Mart surveillance video -- before announcing to those present, including Cruze, that he had seized the cash, the affidavit states.

Scudder's investigation report filed two days later made no mention of the money or the receipt being logged as evidence, according to the affidavit.

State Police were contacted after Scudder offered Cruze and other Greensburg police officials no explanation for the missing money.

His report, however, noted that the money "was returned to the fans at the scene."

But the affidavit said none of the victims had received any money from the officer.

Trial Of Lima Police Officer Sgt Joe Chavalia Starts This Morning

The trial of Lima Police Sgt. Joe Chavalia will get underway today. Jury selection starts just before 9 a.m. in the Allen County Common Pleas Court. Visiting Judge Richard Knepper has blocked two weeks for the trial, although it is expected that jury selection alone could take between two and five days.

Security will be tight for the trial, as extra Sheriff’s Deputies will be on hand at the court. No one will be allowed to wait outside the courtroom while the trial progresses and the courtroom will be locked so that no one can enter while court is in session.

Chavalia is charged with negligent homicide in the shooting death of Tarika Wilson during a drug raid in Lima in early January. He also faces a charge of negligent assault for wounding Wilson’s son Sincere.

UPDATE: Officer maybe Charged with Taser Death


A prosecutor in central Louisiana says he will consider criminal charges against a former police officer accused of jolting a handcuffed man nine times with a Taser before the suspect died.

Baron Pikes was repeatedly shocked with a 50,000-volt Taser as he was arrested on a drug possession warrant on January 17th. A coroner ruled the death was a homicide. The Winn Parish district attorney says former Winnfield police officer Scott Nugent has acknowledged using the device on Pikes.

Nugent's lawyer says he's not surprised the D.A. wants a grand jury sort through the facts.

A lawyer for Pikes' relatives says the family welcomes the grand jury's probe which she called "a step in the right direction."

Winnfield is about 40 miles northwest of Jena, the site of a massive civil rights protest last year.

Thousands demonstrators gathered in Jena to protest the cases against six black teenagers charged with beating a white student at a high school.

Pikes was black; Nugent is white.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cpl Albert Silveri III Charged with Soliciting Sex With Children

A Pennsylvania State Police officer who allegedly was soliciting sex with children while in an Internet chat group with an undercover officer from Delaware County was arrested yesterday.

Cpl. Albert Silveri III, of Aston, was charged with criminal solicitation to rape, solicitation to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, solicitation to statutory sexual assault, and other related charges. He was suspended without pay and was being held on $250,000 bail in Delaware County prison.

"It is certainly a sad day for the Pennsylvania State Police," Major Len Bandy said at a news conference today.

According to court documents, Silveri, 39, was using a state-issued laptop as he and the undercover officer discussed meeting for the purposes of having sex with her and her two fictitious daughters, ages 8 and 10.

Silveri, who was assigned to Troop K at the Belmont barracks in Philadelphia, joined the department in 2000 and was promoted to corporal in April 2007, according to the state police Web site. He was working as an accident reconstruction specialist.

Charged with Rape, Aggravated Sodomy, Assault etc..


A Cobb County sheriff's deputy has been arrested and accused of rape, officials said Tuesday. The deputy was fired after the sheriff learned of his arrest.

According to investigators, 37-year-old Jason Anthony Bill of Marietta took a woman against her will from the Corona Bar and Grill on Pat Mell Road Monday night. Bill handcuffed and tied up the woman, police said. He then took her to an apartment on South Cobb Drive and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint, according to investigators.

She was later able to escape.

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren released a statement Tuesday that said, "It was with a profound sense of outrage and betrayal that I learned of the actions and subsequent charges lodged against Deputy Jason Bill. This type of conduct is reprehensible under any circumstances but even more so when committed by a law enforcement officer. I have no tolerance for misconduct by anyone sworn to uphold the law and, as a result, have immediately terminated Jason Bill’s employment with the Cobb County Sheriff's Office."

Bill is being held at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center. He has been charged with rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment and battery.

Roanoke Officer Arrested for Armed Robbery

A former Roanoke police officer who is suspected in an armed robbery has been arrested in Mississippi.

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said Jonathan Heard was arrested around 4 a.m. Saturday in Biloxi.

The former officer is accused of robbing a store in Central on Friday night and leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Franklin said one of his deputies knew Heard and called him on his cell phone.

He said Heard told the deputy he planned to surrender after he spoke with an attorney, but that was apparently a ruse.

Deputy accused of sexual assault

Woman went to his home to pick up her kids before alleged incident occurred.

A Richland County sheriff’s deputy was fired and arrested Friday after a woman said he sexually assaulted her when she went to his home to pick up her children, authorities said.

Rodney J. Muller, 42, of Irmo, turned himself in around 3 p.m. and was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Sheriff Leon Lott said. He was taken to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

At a hearing Friday night, Judge Phil Newsom set a cash or surety bond of $25,000, which means Muller can post 10 percent of that and be released.

Muller would not give a statement and is not cooperating with investigators, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Myers said.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is the charge when a person “uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual battery in the absence of aggravating circumstances,” such as a threat of violence, according to state law. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

A victim’s advocate told the judge the woman had suffered injuries to her right arm and was treated at Palmetto Health Richland where she went after the assault.

The woman told hospital workers she had gone to Muller’s home Thursday afternoon to pick up her two children, authorities said. Muller’s wife runs a day care at their Chadford Road home.

When the woman arrived around 5 p.m., Muller’s wife and the children she cares for were not there. It is unclear where they went or why, authorities said.

Muller, who was off duty, was the only person home and is accused of grabbing the woman, taking off her clothes and sexually assaulting her, Lott said.

The children under his wife’s care were unharmed, Myers said.

According to authorities, the woman went to a hospital immediately after the assault. Hospital staff members contacted the Sheriff’s Department, prompting the investigation, Lott said.

The State newspaper generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Speaking at Muller’s bail hearing, the woman said she had recently moved to the area and was “just trying to get myself back on my feet.”

She said she was scared and requested a no-contact order against Muller, which the judge granted. Muller is not allowed to be within 100 yards of her.

Muller’s attorney, Byron E. Gipson, said at the hearing his client has told him he is not guilty.

Gipson said Muller, a father of five, had worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice for 19 years and has been married for nearly 20 years.

“He has a record of service to the community that is impeccable.”

Gipson said Muller was not a flight risk or a danger to the community, and requested a personal recognizance bond for his client, which would mean Muller wouldn’t have to put up any money.

Judge Newsom denied the request, noting the seriousness of the charges.

Lott said anyone who breaks the law is subject to prosecution and his officers are no exception.

“We are held to a higher standard,” Myers said.

Muller has been with the Sheriff’s Department since December 2007 and has no prior disciplinary history at the department, Myers said. He does not have an arrest record, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.

Muller is the third officer this year to be fired after allegations of wrongdoing.

In May, Deputy Jerry Thomas was charged with three counts of receiving bribes, accused of accepting $10,000 over a year and a half to be a lookout for gambling houses and helping them set up.

Last month, school resource officer Eric Allen Barber was charged with misconduct in office. School officials reported he inappropriately hugged girls at Dent Middle School.

The day-care license for Muller’s wife was renewed in September 2007 and expires this September, according to Department of Social Services records. The day care, which is licensed to care for no more than six children at a time, last was inspected in May.

It is not clear how long the woman’s children have attended day care at the home.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Officer Charged with Sexual Battery


A Canyon County Grand Jury has indicted a Caldwell Police sergeant for sexual battery of a 17-year-old female.

The indictment against 38-year-old Dennis Paul Schat was handed down Wednesday.

Idaho State Police investigated the incident when it was disclosed in May 2008. Investigators say the sexual battery did not occur while Schat was on duty.

The case was turned over to the Ada County Prosecutor's Office due to a possible conflict of interest in Canyon County.

Schat was arrested Thursday and bond was set at $100,000. He was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or any other minors under 18.

"When state police detectives notified us of Dennis’ arrest we immediately telephoned all of the department employees," Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood wrote in a news release. "The employees took the news very hard and feel a mix of both sorrow and anger. We are still a small department and very much like a family; we have pretty much had the wind taken out of our sails."

Schat will be arraigned in Canyon County District Court at a later date.

Topeka Officer Charged in Off-duty Shooting

Jason M. Judd, one of four off-duty police officers who were at the scene in a southwest Topeka neighborhood when two brothers were shot early March 18, has been arrested on charges that he shot the men, District Attorney Robert Hecht confirmed at 5:28 p.m. today.

Judd is charged with two counts of aggravated battery, Shawnee County District Court records show.

Judd was accompanied by defense attorney Tom Lemon as he surrendered at Shawnee County Sheriff's Office headquarters, then was driven several blocks south to the Shawnee County Jail, where he was booked in.

Judd faces charges linked to the shootings of Daniel Llamas 27, and Devin Llamas, 18. The brothers required hospitalization for wounds suffered when they were shot during a confrontation with four off-duty Topeka police officers outside the Llamas home at 7418 S.W. 25th.

Judd will remain on paid administrative leave pending the criminal process, said Topeka police spokeswoman Kristi Pankratz. She said the officer is entitled to due process of the law, the same due process that all citizens are afforded.

Police said an internal investigation into the incident is now beginning.

The three other off-duty officers who were involved will remain on paid administrative leave at this time pending the completion of the district attorney’s review and an internal investigation. Their names haven't been released.

Pankratz said the department is unable to go into further details regarding the matter because it involves personnel.

Officer Faces Charges of Sexual Exploitation of Child


A Colorado State Patrol officer arrested Friday faces charges of sexual exploitation of a child and Internet luring of a child.

Fort Lupton police said they arrested Justin Tolman at his home in Colorado Springs. Inside Tolman’s home, investigators collected evidence in an Internet sting operation that began in early May.

A Fort Lupton police detective posed online as a 14-year-old girl and was sent sexually explicit photos of men and woman in sexual acts, allegedly by Tolman.

Tolman didn't hide he was a state trooper, said Fort Lupton Detective Crystal Schwartz.

"The first conversation he sent a picture," Schwartz said.

"The picture was of a male in a Colorado State Patrol uniform standing next to a Colorado State Patrol vehicle,” said Fort Lupton Chief of Police Ron Grannis.

"I asked if he was a cop and he said, 'guilty,'" Schwartz said.

Detectives said Tolman instant-messaged the undercover detective and made graphic sexual statements in reference to what would happen when they met.

Fort Lupton police contacted the Colorado State Patrol about their suspicions, and the patrol “cooperated on all levels with the investigation,” Grannis said.

“Our children are our most valuable resource. We must do all we can to protect them from predators. The Internet has unfortunately become the stalking grounds of sexual predators,” he said.

Tolman was booked into the Weld County Jail.

"He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," Colorado State Patrol Sgt. John Hahn told 7NEWS reporter Lane Lyon Friday.

Hahn said Tolman passed an extensive background check at the time he was hired in July of 2007.

Tolman graduated from CSP's training program and was assigned to the State Patrol office in Colorado Springs in December of 2007, Hahn said.

Former Trooper Pleads Guilty, Avoids Trial

A former state trooper accused of rape will not have a trial or go to jail in Clinton County.

Court officials said Richard Keener pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges just a day before he was trial was supposed to start.

Instead of sexual assault, Keener pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint and indecent assault.

A judge sentenced the former trooper to ten years probation and a $1,000 fine.

Police said keener raped a woman he met in a bar in Lock Haven.

Keener served as a state trooper in central Pennsylvania for 12 years.

Officer Gonzalez Not Charged with Shooting Man but Still Faces Charges of Inappropriately Touching Minor

A Marion County grand jury found that the police officer shooting of Andrew Hanlon on June 30 was a lawful use of deadly physical force.

Hanlon, 20, was an Irish citizen, and his shooting sparked an international outcry against police violence. The grand jury reviewed diagrams, autopsy reports, witness testimony, audiotapes and videotapes before making the unanimous decision.

Members of his family and friends admitted that he may have been suffering from some type of mental problems.

The Marion County District Attorney's Office put out a lengthy press release in order to "combat the accusations of a conspiracy or a cover-up that have arisen in the last three and a half weeks."
They said the incident started when Shannon Kelley heard pounding on her front door at 11:20 p.m. and saw a man, later identified as Hanlon, acting strangely.

Kelley asked him to leave, but Hanlon demanded to enter. Hanlon, according to Kelley, said he had a sword and yelled phrases such as: "Thou shalt let met in!" Though Hanlon didn't have a sword, he gestured as if he had one.

Kelley, who phoned police, said Hanlon howled at the moon and at one point screamed that he was the "angel of death." Kelley said she and her parents visiting from Montana had to put their bodies against the door to stop Hanlon from breaking it down.

Officers later found blood, blood spatter and even skin tissue on the family's front door where Hanlon had tried to knock it down, according to the report.

After repeatedly hurling his body against the door, Hanlon ran barefoot toward Oak Street, where he would meet Silverton officer Tony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez told investigators he heard the sound of shattering glass and thought Hanlon might be armed with a broken bottle. Kemmy and Hanson noted that investigators think Hanlon merely bumped into a recycling bin.

Gonzalez said he ordered Hanlon to show his hands and get down on the ground. After repeating the command, Hanlon appeared ready to comply.

But then he leaped at the officer, kicking and screaming. Gonzalez backpedaled, but could never get more than 5 feet away and started firing.

Gonzalez's version of events was backed up by Jeff DeSantis of Silverton, who was driving along Oak Street and stopped his vehicle when he saw the patrol car.

Witnesses -- including Hanlon's sister, his roommate and his best friend -- were called to testify to his character to give a better picture of whom he was as a person, according to the release.

Four officers were also called as witnesses to testify about the scene of the shooting, the proper use of force and the shooting officer's condition after the incident.

Gonzalez still faces charges from a separate incident in Salem where he is accused of touching an underage girl inappropriately.

Officer Clay Adams Charged with Various Drug Charges Remains in Jail

Master Police Officer Clay Adams was arrested and charged with various drug and weapons charges during a joint operation conducted by the The Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A U.S. magistrate today ordered an Altamonte Springs police officer to remain in jail while authorities continue to investigate drug and weapons charges against him.

Clay Adams, 36, of Altamonte Springs, is accused of operating marijuana-grow houses. He was arrested earlier this week. According to charging documents, Adams operated two grow houses and transported the drugs, keeping his police credentials ready should he be challenged.

He also gave a police informant the identifications of Seminole County drug agents.

Adams said little at today's hearing. Adams' attorney on Tuesday asked for a detention hearing, which prompted today's hearing. However the attorney today waived his right to the hearing, and U.S. Magistrate David Baker ordered Adams to remain in custody.

Adams was suspended by the Altamonte Springs police department immediately after his arrest. His wife, Robyn Adams, 32, was arrested on similar charges on Monday night.

Trial Starts for Trooper Steven Garren Who Hit Suspect with his Patrol Car

The South Carolina trooper whose dash camera showed him in his patrol car hitting a fleeing suspect was in federal court Friday. Trooper Steven Garren has been suspended from the Highway Patrol, after a federal grand jury indicted him on a charge of violating the suspect’s civil rights by using excessive force. The incident happened in Greenwood in June of 2007.

The court hearing was to handle defense motions and to set a trial date. Chief U.S. District Judge David Norton decided that the trial will be held in Greenville either September 29th or October 6th, depending on when defense lawyers get the evidence they’re requesting. They want the dashcam videos from other troopers and Greenwood County deputies who were part of the chase.

Troopers and deputies had been chasing the driver when he stopped his car, jumped out and started running. In Garren’s dashboard camera video, you can see the man running down the street then cross in front of Garren. Garren hits the man, who tumbles over the hood and off to the passenger side of Garren’s car. The man continued to run and was not caught. He later came forward after the videotape was released as part of an overall investigation into accusations of trooper misconduct.

After the incident, Garren can be heard on tape talking to other officers. “He went flying up in the air,” Garren says. “You hit him?” another officer asks. Garren replies, “Yeah, I hit him. I was trying to hit him.”

The Highway Patrol had turned over the case to 8th Circuit Solicitor Jerry Peace after it happened. Peace did not file charges, determining that Garren did not intend to hit the man and that the talk afterward was just Garren trying to act macho in front of other officers.

After the court hearing Friday, one of Garren’s lawyers, John O’Leary of Columbia, said that will be Garren’s defense at trial. “The argument’s pretty obvious. He didn’t do it. There’s no way it could’ve been avoided,” O’Leary says of the collision.

U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Walt Wilkins said, “I have no comment on the defense position. We...this case was indicted by a grand jury, and we’re ready for a jury to make the final decision.”

Friday, July 25, 2008

Probation Officer Daniel Hendrickson Accused of Touching Woman


A Kent County probation officer accused of inappropriately touching a woman in his office appeared before a judge Wednesday, in the same 63rd District Court building where he has worked for the past three years.

Daniel Neland Hendrickson, 35, is charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a prisoner or probationer, court records show. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Hendrickson remains free on a $25,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is slated for Aug. 13.

Authorities say he inappropriately touched a 24-year-old woman in his office in the court building, at 644 Kenmoor Ave. SE. The victim had to appear before Hendrickson monthly because of a drunken-driving offense.

The complaint alleges Hendrickson acted inappropriately between Feb. 1 and April 30.

Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth declined to go into detail about the allegation, but said the alleged victim did not immediately report the incident to police.

"She told somebody, who told somebody, who told somebody here, which started the investigation," Forsyth said.

That investigation led to Hendrickson losing his job last week, and to Wednesday's arraignment.

He appeared before Allegan District Court Judge Joseph Skocelas, who stepped in for 63rd District Judge Sara Smolenski.

Before working in that court, Hendrickson worked in the Kent County Prosecutor's Family Law Division and in 61st District Court in Grand Rapids.

Calls to Hendrickson's home and to his lawyer, Daniel Elwe, went unanswered.

Officer Pours Hot Water on Inmate

A federal grand jury in Jacksonville has indicted a state corrections sergeant on a civil rights violation stemming from an August 2005 assault on a suicidal inmate in Raiford, state and federal records show.

Paul Gregory Tillis, 43, was charged with violating the civil rights of the inmate at Florida State Prison by pouring hot water on him as he laid on a floor with a sheet tied around his neck, records show. The inmate, identified in records only by his initials, suffered second-degree burns to his upper torso and shoulder.

The indictment was handed up Wednesday. Authorities did not say if Tillis had been jailed.

The case was initially investigated by the Florida Department of Corrections Inspector General’s Office and turned over to the Jacksonville office of the FBI as a civil rights violation.

State records show that Tillis became a corrections officer in July 2001 at Florida State Prison in Bradford County. He was promoted to sergeant in July 2005 and resigned from his $38,000 a year job in April 2008, records show.

Tillis, who appealed his dismissal, worked out a settlement agreement with the state in which his dismissal letter was rescinded and he resigned. That also released the state from any liability in its action against him, records show.

Officer Jason Barber Free Again on Bond


A Metro police officer arrested, released on bond and then arrested again for violating his bond is out of jail once again.

Jason Barber, 32 -- charged with selling a gun to a known felon -- had his bond revoked earlier this month after he sent text messages from his personal cell phone to several officers asking that they pray for him, court documents show.

One of the conditions of his original $5,000 bond was that Barber would immediately sever all ties with officers from IMPD.

Thursday, Judge William Young said Barber had violated the spirit of his order, but not in an effort get information about his case, so he granted him bond once again.

The 8-year veteran officer was suspended with pay and recommended for termination from the department.

He faces up to an 8-year prison sentence if convicted of selling the gun to the felon.

Barber's trial is set to begin in September.

Officer Charged with Sharing Classified Files

A Hayward police officer on military leave is one of two Marine Corps reservists charged with sharing classified files in a terrorist probe without authorization, authorities said Wednesday.

Master Sgt. Reinaldo Pagan, 42, was charged by military officials in connection with an investigation into the "mishandling and compromise of classified information," said Maj. Jason Johnston, a Marine Corps spokesman.

Pagan has been a Hayward police officer for nine years and most recently worked in patrol. He is on military leave from the department.

Johnston declined to elaborate on the allegations, but according to media reports in San Diego, Pagan and Gunnery Sgt. Eric Froboese allegedly shared classified files from Camp Pendleton (San Diego County) with an anti-terrorism group of law-enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier this year that Marines at Camp Pendleton had stolen FBI surveillance files on Muslim religious sites in Los Angeles and the Islamic Center of San Diego. It is unclear how the Marines would have had access to the files.

Pagan was charged with dereliction of duty and orders violations. Froboese was charged with dereliction of duty, orders violations, conspiracy and wrongful transmission of classified information.

Neither reservist was available for comment, Johnston said.

Interim Hayward Police Chief Ron Ace said Wednesday that the department would take no action until after the military investigation was completed.

Officer Charles Weigold Jr Charged with Stalking

A Bethlehem police officer, after being released from an area hospital, was arrested Wednesday on charges stemming from a conflict earlier in the week with wife.

Charles W. Weigold Jr., 49, of Danielsville, is charged with stalking, harassment and terroristic threats and is free after posting $10,000 bail set by District Judge Michael J. Koury Jr. of Wilson.

Weigold's status with the Bethlehem Police Department could not be verified Wednesday.

At his arraignment Wednesday, Weigold told Koury his position with the department where he has worked for six years was ''questionable.'' Weigold also said he had voluntarily committed himself the previous night to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg.

On Tuesday in Northampton County Court, Weigold and his wife, Donna, 47, who lists her address as ''confidential'' in court records, got temporary protection-from-abuse orders against one another.

She says Monday her husband jammed a clip into his handgun and told her a ''blood bath'' was imminent; he says she sprayed him in the face with bleach during another argument.

She also filed a court petition Tuesday, claiming her husband called her son numerous times in an attempt to get her to drop the protection order. That led to his arrest Wednesday on the harassment charges.

At the arraignment, Weigold used $10,000 in cash that he withdrew from an account in his and his wife's names, which sparked a heated exchange between Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Taschner and defense attorney Bohdan Zelechiwsky of Bethlehem while Koury was out of the courtroom.

Taschner said Weigold withdrew the cash Monday and argued it was part of a pattern of ''harassment'' against his wife. Koury disagreed and permitted Weigold to use it to stay out of prison. Koury also ordered Weigold not to have any contact with his wife and required him to wear an electronic GPS monitor.

Before the arraignment began, Weigold chatted with a county detective about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and showed reporters a large tattoo of the twin towers on his leg.

Weigold told Koury he had been a sergeant in the New York City Police Department, where he served 20 years.

Zelechiwsky said Weigold never had any trouble with the law before and had now found himself in an ''unfortunate situation'' that was ''totally out of character.''

Taschner said events in the Weigold household have been escalating and repeatedly described Weigold as a manipulative person who ''thinks he is smarter than everyone else.''

Officer and Wife Held in Federal Custody


A press conference was held Tuesday afternoon regarding the arrest of an Altamonte Springs police officer.

Officer Clay Adams and his wife were arrested by federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Monday night on drugs and weapons charges.

Adams was arrested when he arrived to work for his shift Monday night.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Bodnar said most of the evidence in this case comes from audio and videotapes revealing conversations with Adams as he attempted to recruit a confidential government informant into an operation to grow and sell marijuana.

"Well it is very troubling, but right now the case is in a complaint stage, we anticipate going before the grand jury in the near future," Bodnar said.

The 36-year-old officer served for nine years in Altamonte Springs and was promoted three times, but was suspended after his arrest.

His wife is accused of ordering marijuana seeds from the Netherlands using her home computer.

The arrest affidavit reported that Adams and his wife ran a marijuana grow house, supplying distributors in Tallahassee and are also accused of dealing in illicit prescription drugs.

Adams is also accused of possession of weapons and explosives.

"To be very honest, I’m extremely disappointed in this whole situation. I’m very upset and we work very, very hard to try to build a reputation in the community, only to have it brought down by the careless actions of Officer Adams is inexcusable," Altamonte Springs Chief Robert Merchant said.

The Altamonte Springs Chief of Police and the Seminole County Sheriff also attended the conference.

The affidavit reported Adams threatened to kill a Seminole County deputy who filed a complaint of poor performance that resulted in Adams' termination from a Seminole County drug task force.

It was reported that Adams told the police informant that after the situation calmed down, he would "take the supervisor out, using a high-powered rifle and a silencer."

"Threats have been made by both of the defendants in this case, regarding the safety of a confidential informant and others involved in the investigation," Bodnar said.

It was also reported that Adams provided weapons to the police informant who was also a convicted felon and gave that informant information about the names, vehicles and techniques of undercover drug agents.

"I think the public should have trust in the fact that law enforcement has done the right thing here and caught someone that we believe is involved in a criminal enterprise, we still have to prove it of course, but they’ve done their best to remove someone who is a threat to the community off the street," Bodnar said.

Altamonte Springs Chief released Adam’s personnel record showing that while no formal punishments were issued, there were several accounts of citizen complaints stating Adams was rude and disrespectful.

Adams and his wife will remain in federal custody in jail until Friday at the least. Friday is when both the officer and his wife have another court hearing at the Federal Court House to argue for their release.

Altamonte police will investigate all cases involving Adams in the nine years he served on the Altamonte police force to ensure no cases were compromised.

Chicago Officer Accused of Shaking Down Tow Operators


A police officer was arrested Wednesday on federal charges of shaking down tow truck operators for payoffs of up to $400 per vehicle in exchange for steering towing business to them.

Michael Ciancio, 56, was arrested at his home without incident as part of an FBI undercover investigation of allegations that Chicago police have been getting payoffs in exchange for such referrals.

Ciancio was accused in a criminal complaint of getting repairs to his personal car as well as cash in exchange for steering the towing business to companies that paid him.

Ciancio appeared briefly before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason on Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance. Defense attorney James E. Thompson declined to comment on the case.

The FBI, which conducted the investigation with Chicago police, said the 21-year veteran of the force had been relieved of his police powers and is no longer on active patrol.

An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint said Ciancio got payments between $40 and $400 for each vehicle towed. It said the FBI received information as early as five years ago that police were demanding such payments of towing operators, the affidavit said.

It said a recording was made in June 2007 by a tow truck operator cooperating with the FBI as Ciancio chased him away from one towing job he had reserved for a favorite truck operator.

"Drop it, drop it and get out of here, you don't belong here, get out," the affidavit quoted Ciancio as saying. It quoted him as threatening to have the trucker "locked up for soliciting" if he didn't leave.

It also said agents made an audio recording in which Ciancio took a payoff from another cooperating witness and described it as "beautiful."

Handcuffed Man Dies After Being Taser Nine Times

WINNFIELD, Louisiana

A police officer shocked a handcuffed Baron "Scooter" Pikes nine times with a Taser after arresting him on a cocaine charge.

Baron Pikes, 21, was Tasered nine times by a police officer in January in Winnfield, Louisiana.

He stopped twitching after seven, according to a coroner's report. Soon afterward, Pikes was dead.

Now the officer, since fired, could end up facing criminal charges in Pikes' January death after medical examiners ruled it a homicide.

Dr. Randolph Williams, the Winn Parish coroner, said the 21-year-old sawmill worker was jolted so many times by the 50,000-volt Taser that he might have been dead before the last two shocks were delivered.

Williams ruled Pikes' death a homicide in June after extensive study.

Winn Parish District Attorney Christopher Nevils said he will decide on any charges against the ex-officer, Scott Nugent, once a Louisiana State Police report on the case is complete.

"It's taken several months for this case to even be properly addressed, so one has to wonder, why did it take so long?" said Carol Powell Lexing, a lawyer for the Pikes family. "Obviously, a wrongful death occurred."

Nugent's lawyer, Phillip Terrell, said his client followed proper procedure to subdue a man who outweighed him by 100 pounds. But Williams said Pikes was already handcuffed and on the ground when first hit with the Taser, after the 247-pound suspect was slow to follow police orders to get up.

Winnfield, a sleepy lumber town about 100 miles southeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, is best known as the birthplace of legendary Louisiana governors Huey and Earl Long. It's also about 45 miles northwest of Jena, Louisiana, where a racially charged assault case sparked a September 2007 demonstration by an estimated 15,000 people. Watch racism charges fly after Taser death »

One of the teenage defendants in that case, Mychal Bell, is Pikes' first cousin -- and his lawyer was Powell Lexing.

Nugent is white; Pikes was black. His death led to demonstrations that drew several dozen people in Winnfield, where the population of about 15,000 is roughly half African-American.

"The family wants justice," Lexing said. "This is just another example of why it's very important to stay vigilant with these types of cases, on the injustice that's been perpetrated on the disadvantaged."

But Winnfield police Lt. Chuck Curry said race "isn't an issue at all" in the matter.

"This has come down to a police officer that was trying to apprehend a suspect that they had warrants for," he said. "He done what he thought he was trained to do to bring that subject into custody. At some point, something happened with his body that caused him to go into cardiac arrest or whatever."

According to police, Pikes was wanted on a charge of possession of cocaine when police tried to arrest him outside a shopping center January 12.

"He would not stop for the officer," Curry said. "At some point in there, he was Tased to bring him under control, and several hours later, died at the emergency room."

Terrell said Pikes was fighting Nugent "on uneven ground" amid obstructions such as concrete blocks and barbed wire.

"He's fighting, wrestling with an individual who weighs 100 pounds more than him," he said. "His partner had just come back to the police department from triple bypass surgery and could not assist Officer Nugent."

Terrell said his client "used every means possible" to take Pikes into custody before pulling out his Taser, a weapon Winnfield police purchased in 2007.

"The only thing he could have done other than to say, 'OK, we're going to let you go' is to beat him or Tase him. He did the right thing," Terrell said.

Williams, who ruled Pikes' death a homicide in June after extensive study, said Nugent fired his Taser at Pikes six times in less than three minutes -- shots recorded by a computer chip in the weapon's handle. Then officers put Pikes in the back of a cruiser and drove him to their police station -- where Nugent fired a seventh shot, directly against Pikes' chest.

"After he was given that drive stun to the chest, he was pulled out of the car onto the concrete, " Williams told CNN. "He was electroshocked two more times, which two officers noted that he had no neuromuscular response to those last two 50,000-volt electroshocks."

Williams said he had two nationally known forensic pathologists, including former New York city medical examiner Michael Baden, review the case before issuing his conclusions. He said it's possible Nugent was shocking a dead man the last two times he pulled the trigger.

"This fellow was talking in the back seat of the car prior to shot number seven," he said. "From that point on, it becomes questionable [if Pikes was still alive]."

Curry said Pikes told officers he suffered from asthma and had been using PCP and crack cocaine. But Williams said he found no sign of drug use in the autopsy, and no record of asthma in Pikes' medical history.

In the year since Winnfield police received Tasers, officers have used them 14 times, according to police records -- with 12 of the instances involving black suspects. Ten of the 14 incidents involved Nugent, who has no public disciplinary record.

Nugent was suspended after Pikes' death, and Winnfield's City Council voted 3-2 to fire him in May. He is appealing his dismissal, and his lawyer says he followed proper procedures in Pikes' case. He was trained in the use of the Taser by a senior police officer who was present during the incident that led to Pikes' death, Terrell said.

Curry said Taser International, the device's manufacturer, indicates that "multiple Tasings do not affect a person." But he said he could not explain why Pikes was shocked so many times, and said whether Nugent followed proper procedure was "yet to be determined."

But a copy of the Winnfield Police Department's Taser training manual, says the device "shall only be deployed in circumstances where it is deemed reasonably necessary to control a dangerous or violent subject." And Williams said regulations regarding the use of Tasers were not followed.

"It violated every aspect -- every single aspect -- of the department's policy about its use," the coroner said.

Winnfield has seen a spate of high-profile corruption cases in recent years. One of Nevils' predecessors as district attorney, Terry Reeves, killed himself amid allegations of embezzlement and extortion. The town's current police chief, Johnny Ray Carpenter, is a convicted drug offender who received a pardon from former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards who himself is now serving a federal prison term for racketeering.

And Carpenter's predecessor, Gleason Nugent -- the father of Pikes' arresting officer -- committed suicide in 2005, after allegations of fraud and vote buying in the race for police chief, an elected position in Winnfield.

Now Nevils is awaiting the state police report on Pikes' death, which will be presented to a grand jury for possible charges against Nugent -- a possibility Curry said would be a blow to the department.

"It's one of these no-win situations he said. "No matter the outcome, nobody's going to win in this case."

Officers Dog Left in Car Dies of Heat Stroke


The San Diego police dog left in the back of his handler's patrol car last month died of heat stroke, county investigators said Tuesday, and it will be up to the District Attorney's Office to determine whether a crime was committed.

A monthlong investigation by the county's Department of Animal Services found that the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois was left in the car with the windows rolled up.

Officer Paul Hubka told authorities he found his dog Forrest in the car parked in the driveway of his Alpine home July 20. Temperatures reached 108 degrees that day.

Hubka, a 22-year veteran of the Police Department, declined to give any further statements to investigators on the advice of his attorney, Animal Services director Dawn Danielson said.

Investigators say the dog was in the car for possibly as long as seven hours, although even a half-hour could be fatal. Interior car temperatures can reach 130 degrees on such hot days.

“It's a horrific way to die,” Danielson said. “He's panting hot air, his insides heat up, he bleeds internally. He's in a state of panic, trying desperately to get out.”

The necropsy, performed by a veterinary pathologist with the county's Animal Disease and Diagnostic laboratory, found no signs of diseases or injury.

The investigation's findings have been forwarded to the District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to charge Hubka.

The Police Department will launch an administrative investigation into the death once prosecutors are finished with the case, said department spokeswoman Monica Muñoz.

Hubka, who also serves on the board of the San Diego Police Officers Association, is working a desk job in the meantime.

Another of Hubka's police dogs, named Rexo, died last year from gastric torsion, a condition also known as bloat, Danielson said. Deep-chested dogs are susceptible to the sudden illness, associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.

Rexo died in the care of another officer while Hubka was on vacation in June 2007.

Every year, police dogs die from being left in squad cars or working in sweltering conditions, according to the U.S. Police Canine Association. However, no agency tracks the number of heat-related deaths.

In Chandler, Ariz., a K9 sergeant was arrested last year and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty for leaving his dog in the back of his car for 13 hours, according to news reports. A trial is pending.

In 1999, a San Diego police dog died when left in the back of a hot patrol car for 90 minutes during the summer.

Officer Lawrence Cahill said his air-conditioning wasn't working well that day but it was functioning. He chose to leave the dog in the car, with the windows rolled up, rather than put him in a kennel a few feet away.

The air-conditioning gave out, however, and the dog died of heat exhaustion.

Cahill was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, but his 2000 trial ended in a hung jury. The City Attorney's Office later decided to drop the case completely.

Officer Acquitted of Posing as Deputy


A former Alorton and Red Bud police officer has been acquitted of felony charges that he posed as a sheriff's deputy when he tried to arrest a young woman.

But 36-year-old Jon Lair was convicted Thursday of misdemeanor drunken driving.

Authorities say Lair told a 19-year-old woman he was a sheriff's deputy when he allegedly tried to arrest her in Belleville in January of last year and tried to force her into his pickup truck.

Investigators say the woman recognized the arrest was false and managed to escape. Lair was later arrested by Belleville police.

The St. Clair County jury acquitted Lair of unlawful restraint, impersonating an officer and two counts of official misconduct. Sentencing is set for August for the DUI.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Husband Charged With Kidnapping and Assaulting Wife

A Fort Bliss, Texas, soldier reported missing and possibly in danger was located by authorities Sunday after she was kidnapped and assaulted by her husband, El Paso, Texas, police said Monday.

The 34-year-old husband was arrested on charges of aggravated kidnapping and is now being held on $75,000 bond, said El Paso Police officer Chris Mears.

The complaint affidavit against him says he kicked, stabbed and raped his wife, according to the El Paso Times.

CNN does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault without their consent and is not naming the husband because it could lead to the soldier's identity.

Hospital officials at Fort Bliss told The Associated Press the woman had been treated and released.

The 29-year-old private first class had been reported missing Friday when she failed to show up for work at the base.

Mears said the man had been distraught after his wife told him she would be ending their relationship, and he waited in her off-post apartment until she came home late Thursday night.

When she arrived, Mears said, he stabbed her twice and forced her to drive with him to Las Vegas, Nevada. The two returned to El Paso on a Greyhound bus, he said.

There was no indication why he chose Las Vegas as their destination, Mears said. El Paso police are working with their counterparts in Las Vegas, he added.

The man went to police after seeing a newspaper article about the disappearance, said Mears, who refused to comment on whether he had confessed to any crime.

Cpl Alain Boulianne Charged with Sex with Minor

A Codiac Regional Police officer who has been suspended with pay since early last fall was charged in provincial court yesterday with sexual interference with a minor.

Cpl. Alain Boulianne was not in court but his lawyer, James Letcher, elected on his behalf to be tried in provincial court. A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 18.

A judge from outside this region will hear the case.

Bouliane has most recently led Codiac's traffic division.

Codiac officials said late last year that an officer had been suspended with pay after allegations of a sexual nature were made against him by a teenaged girl. Letcher has said the charges will be vigorously defended and that his client was anxious to get to court.

The case was investigated by the Saint John Police Force.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Former Sheriff Sentenced to 210 months for Transmitting Child Porn

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

John C. Richter, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced today that MICHAEL WADE KENT, 52, of Ponca City, Oklahoma, was sentenced to serve 210 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for using the internet to transmit child pornography. Kent was a former Deputy Sheriff in Kay County who was indicted last July by a federal grand jury.

At his plea hearing in December of 2007, Kent admitted that on February 21, 2007, he sent a video clip of a 12-13 year old girl engaged in oral sex using the internet. The person to whom he sent the video was an undercover FBI agent.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Sengel.

Guilty Plea Ends Phase of Lengthy Narcotics and Public Corruption Investigation

United States Attorney David E. O'Meilia announced that a guilty plea in federal court ends a phase in a complex multi-agency investigation that spanned four years and is related to the investigation and prosecutions of at least 25 other individuals.

Kejuan Lavell Daniels, age 34, of Tulsa, pled guilty today to Conspiracy, and admitted that between December 2002 until sometime in 2006, he entered into agreements with others to import and distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and in excess of 50 grams of crack cocaine. According to the plea agreement, the total sum of cocaine that was distributed in the Tulsa area was in excess of 100 kilograms (220 pounds).

The original investigation began in December 2004 as a narcotics matter, but it was discovered that Daniels and his organization had cultivated individuals within local law enforcement to obtain sensitive information in order to protect his drug trafficking activities and to avoid detection and apprehension. The resulting public corruption investigation resulted in the convictions of former Tulsa police officer and detective Rico Yarbrough, former Tulsa police records clerk DeShon Stanley and her mother Diana Brice. Another branch of the investigation ultimately led to the investigation, prosecution and conviction of a number of individuals on income tax fraud to include a Tulsa tax preparer. Investigators utilized three court authorized wiretaps during the probe of Daniel's organization which resulted in the interception of over 40,000 telephone calls and text messages in just over three months.

The law enforcement effort was spearheaded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (O.C.D.E.T.F.), and included agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Intelligence Division, and Task Force Officers assigned from the Tulsa Police Department Special Investigations Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert T. Raley and Joseph F. Wilson were involved in coordinating the Task Force investigation and handled the prosecution of the case against defendant Kejuan Daniels.

U.S. Attorney O'Meilia commended the outstanding efforts of all the prosecutors and law enforcement agents involved in the investigation and prosecution, further stating: A The Northern District of Oklahoma Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force will relentlessly identify, pursue, disrupt and dismantle large drug trafficking organizations. We will insure that the drug traffickers, as well as their sources of supply and anyone who furthers the enterprise, are investigated, prosecuted, and that their ill-gotten profits and property are taken away and forfeited to the government. The investigation and prosecution of the high-level members of this significant cocaine trafficking endeavor and the corrupt public servants that assisted them is just part of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies continuing coordinated efforts to make our communities in northeast Oklahoma safer by combating the distribution of illegal drugs.