Sunday, November 30, 2008

Veteran Officer Richard Brown Jr Charged with Theft

A veteran Plainfield police officer was charged today with one count of third-degree theft after he allegedly stole several thousand dollars from the local Policeman's Benevolent Association, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.

Richard D. Brown, Jr., 52, served as an officer for the local PBA for 25 years, the last year as treasurer. An investigation revealed that between June 11, 2008 and Nov. 12, 2008 Brown wrote checks to himself from the PBA account and "treated the funds as his own," said Romankow.

During an audit last month other members of the PBA noticed financial discrepancies and reported their findings to the prosecutor's office.

Brown has been suspended from the department and is scheduled to make his first appearance before Union County Superior Court Judge Joan Robinson Gross on Dec. 12.

"It's sad when greed outweighs the badge," said Assistant Union County Prosecutor William Kolano. Brown allegedly stole $4,000 to $6,000 from the PBA fund, Kolano said.

Drew Peterson's Son Suspended for Improperly Using Police Data

Oak Brook police officer Steve Peterson, son of former Bolingbrook officer Drew Peterson, has been suspended for improperly using police data, officials said Friday.

He was suspended for 25 days without pay for use of police databases for personal reasons, Assistant Village Manager Blaine Wing said.

Drew Peterson drew national attention when his wife Stacy disappeared. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Officer Dennis O'Connell Facing Federal Lawsuit for Police Brutality

NEW HAVEN

A New Haven police officer is facing two federal lawsuits accusing him of brutality and an illegal strip search, while records show he has been subject to a history of complaints of excessive force.

Union officials call Officer Dennis O'Connell "a good cop" who works in tough, violent neighborhoods. But the coordinator for the department's Civilian Review Board said complaints against O'Connell are high.

"One person with eight complaints of the same type could be perceived as excessive," said Reginald Thomas, coordinator of the Civilian Review Board. "It's not the average for a New Haven police officer."

A telephone message was left for O'Connell with Sergeant Louis G. Cavaliere, president of the police union, who said O'Connell declined to comment. O'Connell has been on the force for about a decade and makes about $59,000 per year.

"This is not Mayberry USA or Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Cavaliere said. "You're dealing with the scum of the earth when you're dealing with people with drugs and guns."

The department has a recent history of scandal. Three detectives were sent to prison for planting evidence and stealing money from crime scenes.

An independent review of the department found problems with investigations of complaints against police. Many cases were closed because those who filed the complaints did not pursue them, according to the report last year by the Police Executive Research Forum, a national group that evaluates police operations.

In one of the lawsuits, five men and a woman say O'Connell used excessive force. One man said he was repeatedly punched in the face and sprayed with chemicals while he was handcuffed, while another said he was beaten unconscious.

Dramese Fair, who is black, also filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year accusing O'Connell and two other officers of subjecting him to an illegal strip search last year.

Eight other residents have filed complaints in recent years accusing O'Connell of excessive force and other misconduct, according to records obtained by the Associated Press.

Attorney Paul Garlinghouse, attorney for the six plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit, said his clients filed complaints with police, but no action was taken. His lawsuit seeks $9.5 million in damages.

None of the eight complaints resulted in any disciplinary action against O'Connell. Internal affairs investigators said the alleged victims did not pursue their complaints or they were unfounded or, in one case, missed a deadline for filing.

Police reports on the incidents contradict versions by the complainants. One of the complainants pushed O'Connell and threw a punch at him, and O'Connell said another man burned him with a cigarette, according to police reports.

Valerie Myles, who alleged that officers beat her and her cousin, said she did try to pursue her complaint but "evidently it disappeared." A police report charging her cousin with drug violations was filled out by Detective Justen Kasperzyk, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison for planting drug evidence and stealing money from a crime scene.

"They are hot to stamp 'not pursued' on these cases," Garlinghouse said.

Fair's lawsuit accuses the city of postponing a hearing to avoid scrutiny of illegal searches and refusing to act on disciplinary complaints against the officers.

City officials said they could not comment on pending litigation. They also declined to comment on complaints that have been closed.

Former Officer Gregory Graham Captured After 2-hour Suicide Stand-off


Panama City, Florida

Gregory Allen Graham, a 34-year-old police officer who became a fugitive after his arrest on child molestation and incest charges was captured Saturday after a two hour suicide stand-off with Panama City authorities.

Graham, a former Fulton County, Georgia police officer was originally arrested on April 4 on two counts of child molestation, four counts of incest, one count of statutory rape, possession of anabolic steroids and attempt to suborn perjury.

Coweta County authorities say Graham allegedly engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship with an under-aged female relative. Authorities also say they found Graham in possession of anabolic steroids and that he repeatedly attempted to influence witnesses in the case. Police first became aware of the alleged activity when the victim's mother reported it to authorities and the victim reportedly confirmed the allegations.

Graham was released on a $50,000 bond while awaiting trial. Court records indicate Graham failed to appear for a Coweta Superior Court hearing on Monday. When Graham failed to appear again on Wednesday, he was declared a fugitive and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

When authorities received word that he might be in Florida, Bay County, Florida sheriff's deputies tracked Graham down to a motel he was staying at along Thomas Dr. in Panama City. Deputies raided the motel room and found Graham's firearms, ammunition and truck, but Graham was not in the room.

Authorities began an intense search of the area for several days that included K-9 units and an air unit who finally discovered Graham lying in a nearby wooded marsh at about 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning. As officers closed in, they discovered Graham had cut his wrists and was holding a hunting knife to his throat. Bay County Hostage Negotiators were called in, who spent approximately two hours talking to Graham before he finally released the knife and surrendered to authorities at about 4:00 a.m..

Authorities revealed they were able to narrow down Graham's wherabouts by tracking a signal from his cell phone.

“We are extremely proud of the extraordinary effort Investigator Jason Fetner and Investigator Matt Kee did in tracking this guy since Wednesday,” said Assistant District Attorney Kevin McMurry. “They worked relentlessly their entire Thanksgiving to apprehend him.”

Graham now sits in the Bay County Jail while he awaits extradition back to Georgia.

Officer Richard Kern Accused of Sodomizing Man Goes to Grand Jury

A case involving a New York City Police Officer accused of sodomizing a man during arrest will go to the grand jury within the next two weeks. Officer Richard Kern,25, is accused of sodomizing Michael Mineo with what he thinks was a radio antenna.

Both police and Mineo state that he ran to try to evade police after he was seen smoking marijuana outside a Brooklyn station. He was reportedly tackled by two police officers before three more appeared before he was held down and assaulted.

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne states, "His assertion that he was sodomized is not supported by independent civilian witnesses on the scene." Mineo was later taken to the hospital where he was reportedly diagnosed as being anally assaulted.

Source: wcbstv.com

Two Officers Accused of Forcing Iraq War Veterans to Lick Urine

MADISON, Wis.

Two police officers accused of forcing two Iraq war veterans to lick what they and another officer believed was one of the men's urine claim it was the veterans' idea.

The National Guardsmen, Sgt. Anthony Anderson and Spc. Robert Schiman, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for the June incident in the Wisconsin Dells. It names officers Wayne Thomas and Collin Jacobson as well as another officer, the chief and the city.

In a police report obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Thomas told Schiman he wouldn't get a citation, but Thomas wanted Schiman to admit he urinated in an alley.

The report says the guardsmen argued with Thomas, and Anderson put his fingers in the puddle and licked them. Schiman then bit a leaf off a weed in the puddle.


The men claim the officers forced them to do it.

------


More information: http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/316399

Bad Cops Get Desk Duty

Some monitor surveillance cameras in housing projects. Others escort prisoners to court or check in patrol cars. And some, true to the police lingo, really do sit behind a desk, shuffling papers and answering phones.

These jobs are known as desk duty, a generic phrase in the Police Department for a range of jobs to which hundreds of officers have been reassigned over the years.

Pulled off the streets, stripped of guns and badges, kept inside four walls and away — as much as possible — from the public, officers who are put on desk duty because their conduct is under investigation find themselves far from the enforcement activities they signed up to do.

“We like to call it the ‘cellblock’ because it is like you are in prison,” said an officer who spent more than 18 months watching surveillance video while authorities investigated an accusation that he had struck a suspect.

The officer, who was eventually cleared of the charge, insisted that his name not be published because he did not want his work history to be widely known.

“It is the worst place in the world if you enjoy being a police officer,” he said. “You sit at a desk and stare at 30 monitors.”

Among those on desk duty now are four officers involved in a run-in in October with a 24-year-old man, Michael Mineo, who says he was sodomized with a piece of police equipment in a Brooklyn subway station. A grand jury is investigating the case.

Those officers joined a netherworld of police work that has sometimes taken others years to emerge from as their cases went through the legal system and then Police Department review.

Levied against anyone from a rookie patrol cop to a 20-year decorated detective, the desk duty reassignment is a great equalizer. There are no assumptions of guilt or innocence or nods to rank.

And, although the colloquial term “desk duty” neatly captures the idea of an officer who is hidden from the public, it often does not involve sitting at a desk. The officers in the Mineo case are performing jobs like watching video cameras and overseeing police vehicles.

“Doing court paperwork, moving prisoners, driving delivery vehicles — it is a range of glamourless jobs,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who is a former police officer and prosecutor in New York City.

“You are unarmed most of the time and everybody knows that you are sort of disabled by the fact that you are not on full duty,” he said. “There is almost a universal stigma to it.”

The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said that it was a necessary tool. “Prudence and good order in a police department dictate that at times certain personnel be relieved of their enforcement duties,” he said.

Not everyone on desk duty is under a cloud; most are officers with clean records who do those jobs full time. When officers are taken off enforcement duties and given desk jobs because of pending charges, it is called modified duty.

In some cases, officers are placed on limited duty when recovering from an injury or for emotional reasons, such as in a recent case of an officer whose child died. But for the most part, those on modified assignment are in limbo, waiting to be cleared and returned to regular duty or on their way to suspension, demotion, transfer or firing if they are convicted of a crime or found to have broken department rules.

After the shooting death of Sean Bell in November 2006, six police officers were put on desk duty doing paperwork for detectives on Staten Island, making phone calls to investigators when there was a homicide in the Bronx, or performing administrative tasks at desks in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Three of the officers were criminally charged, and they were acquitted. An internal investigation and the possibility of going to trial on departmental charges is on hold until the Justice Department decides whether it will bring a civil rights case against the officers.

Police unions have accused the department of using desk duty for political reasons, such as in high-profile cases, which the department denies. Unions have also complained that it is too open-ended, with an officer sometimes desk-bound even after being cleared. Some officers say the department sometimes intentionally assigns officers to desk-duty jobs requiring a long commute, an unofficial form of punishment known as toll therapy.

John D. Patten, a lawyer, defended a sergeant, Thomas Kennedy, who was investigated after a handcuffed suspect fell and hit his head. He was acquitted in court and cleared in an internal investigation but spent a year and a half on modified duty in the Fleet Services Division. “It takes time to resolve these,” Mr. Patten said. “But sometimes it can go fast, too. There are no fixed rules.”

Mr. Browne said officers can be kept on modified duty “indefinitely. But it really depends on individual cases.”

Officers who have been on desk duty say the stigma is hard to erase in a paramilitary organization that values the solidarity that comes with wearing the same uniform and facing the same dangers.

“Modified duty is purgatory,” said Rae Koshetz, a lawyer who once worked in the Police Department handling internal trials and who represents Officer Kenneth Boss, one of four officers who fired at and killed Amadou Diallo, a Bronx man who was unarmed, in 1999.

Officer Boss was acquitted and cleared in an internal inquiry and in court but is still answering phones for the Emergency Services Unit at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. “You are benched,” Ms. Koshetz said. “Your career is derailed.”

“It is a dumping ground,” said the officer from the surveillance unit. “The connotation is that you are a screw-up.”

Lt. Michael W. Pigott, a veteran emergency services officer, gave an order on Sept. 24 to an officer in Brooklyn to fire a Taser at an emotionally disturbed man, who then fell 10 feet and suffered a fatal head injury. The Police Department said the order appeared to have violated guidelines that said Tasers should not be used when a person could fall from an elevated surface.

Soon after Lieutenant Pigott was ordered to work the desk at Fleet Services Division in Queens, which handles police vehicles, he committed suicide.

While Lieutenant Pigott wrote in a suicide note that he feared criminal prosecution, a detective who worked with him, Stephen Dillon, said he seemed hurt by the decision to put him on desk duty and take his gun. Since he was cleared in the Diallo shooting, Officer Boss has been unsuccessfully fighting in court to be restored to full duty with his weapon, saying that his colleagues have ridiculed him with the name “Kenny No-Gun.” The Police Department has refused, saying that the public would be upset if he were rearmed, and that the department would be prejudged if he were ever involved in another shooting.

“I was a very proactive patrol cop and anticrime officer,” he said. “It is demoralizing. It breaks my heart.”

Officer Vinson Walker Accused of Rape


A Garfield Heights police officer faces rape charges, accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his Cleveland home Nov. 16.

The officer, Vinson Walker, was off-duty at the time, police said. Details of what may have happened remained unclear Saturday and Vinson could not be reached for comment.

Cleveland police arrested Walker Wednesday at the Garfield Heights police station. Vinson, 29, was charged Friday with raping a 22-year-old woman.


http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20081130/UPDATES01/81129028

Officer Richard Heverly Accused of Holding Gun to Man's Head Returns to Work



A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy facing criminal charges for allegedly holding a gun to a man's head while off duty has returned to work at West Valley Detention Center.

Richard Heverly, of La Verne, was placed on paid administrative leave following his Aug. 10 arrest in Riverside County.

He returned to work at the jail's transportation division on Nov. 4, said sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers.

At about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, tow-truck driver Roger Gilstrap saw a big-rig truck on fire on the 10 Freeway near Eagle Mountain Road, about 50 miles east of Indio.

Gilstrap positioned his truck to block off lanes affected by the burning big rig and called the California Highway Patrol from his cell phone, according to the arrest declaration in Heverly's court file.

While Gilstrap was on the phone with the CHP, Heverly, 42, pulled up beside him in a red Dodge truck.

Heverly flashed his sheriff's department badge and told Gilstrap, "This entitles me to do whatever the (expletive) I want," according to the arrest declaration, which was written by a CHP officer.

Heverly grabbed Gilstrap's cell phone and disconnected the call, then pulled Gilstrap out of the tow truck and handcuffed his right hand, bruising and injuring Gilstrap's wrist, according to the arrest declaration.

Heverly then drove the barrel of a handgun into Gilstrap's ear, and told him, "I have a gun in your ear and I will kill you," according to the arrest declaration.

Heverly twisted the gun into Gilstrap's ear, bruising and cutting the inside of Gilstrap's ear and the surrounding area, according to the arrest declaration.

Heverly then handcuffed Gilstrap's arms behind his back and led him to the passenger side of the truck. He held Gilstrap for 3 to 5 minutes, according to the arrest declaration.

Heverly never told Gilstrap the reason for handcuffing him, according to the arrest declaration. Gilstrap told officers he feared for his life during the encounter with Heverly.

Heverly has pleaded not guilty to four felony charges: assault with a semi-automatic firearm, assault by a public officer, criminal threats and false imprisonment. All four charges carry sentencing enhancements because Heverly used a gun.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers declined to discuss the reason that Heverly was allowed back to work at West Valley Detention Center.

Such details, Beavers said, "are never disclosed because we are not at liberty to discuss any of the findings in an administrative investigation."

Beavers said the decision to place a deputy on administrative leave is made on a case-by-case basis.

"When it is contrary to the best interests of the department for an employee to continue his regular duties, he may be assigned to special duty leave with pay at the discretion of the office of the sheriff," Beavers said.

Beavers said she wasn't aware of any restrictions placed on Heverly while he is off duty, such as restrictions on his permission to carry a gun.

Michael Schwartz, Heverly's Santa Monica-based attorney, said "there's much more to this case than the probable cause declaration."

He declined to comment on the specific allegations against Heverly.

Schwartz also represented Ivory Webb, a former San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who was acquitted of criminal charges filed after he shot off-duty Airman Elio Carrion in Chino in 2006.

Heverly is next scheduled to appear in Indio Superior Court on Dec. 23 for a felony settlement conference. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 6.

At a preliminary hearing, the prosecution must present sufficient evidence for each charge against a defendant to be brought to trial. Preliminary hearings typically include testimony.


http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_11098704?nclick_check=1

Friday, November 28, 2008

Charges Against Officer William Bergin Stack Up

When former Sandy Police Officer William Bergin, 27, enters court for the first time on Dec. 11, he’ll face serious allegations from the district attorney.

Following an investigation led by the Gresham Police Department, Bergin has been indicted by a Clackamas County grand jury with felony identity theft, first-degree official misconduct and use of an invalid driver’s license, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Greg Horner.

On Dec. 11, Bergin will either plead guilty and face sentencing for a felony charge, or plead not guilty and face the exposure of a trial in open court.

If he chooses a trial, he likely will have to answer questions about what is being described as an inappropriate relationship with two teenage girls.

He is accused of giving one of the girls confiscated driver’s licenses (identity theft) that were used to enter places where alcohol was served.

The accusations are detailed in an affidavit submitted to a Clackamas County judge to request a search warrant for Bergin’s home in Sandy. The affidavit was obtained by the Sandy Post, as authorized by the Oregon open records law.

The girls are not being identified in this news story, even though they are now 18 and 20 years old, because they were teenagers at the time of most of their relationship with Bergin.

As the detectives sort out their suspicions and what they can prove is truthful and what’s not, they are dealing with statements that link Bergin with an alleged pregnancy and subsequent abortion for one of the girls. That allegation was made public first during a separate investigation of former Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Claggett. The same two girls were involved with Claggett, according to sheriff’s detectives, who questioned them and wrote the report that was made available to the Post.

In July, Sandy Police Chief Harold Skelton consulted with City Manager Scott Lazenby and then asked Gresham police to conduct the investigation of Bergin. Skelton said that happened immediately after Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts told him that sheriff’s deputies had heard their witnesses give testimony against Bergin.

“I asked Gresham to help with this investigation,” Skelton said, “because I wanted it to be totally transparent and unbiased.”

During the internal investigation, Gresham Police Officer Donald Gibson was joined by a lieutenant, sergeant and administrative supervisor from the Gresham Police Department as well as a sergeant from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department.

That investigative quintet also relied on information supplied from the internal investigation of Claggett, who resigned after the investigation of his “official misconduct” was nearly complete.

That investigation included interviews with both girls involved in the Bergin case. They also were teen-agers at the time of Claggett’s alleged inappropriate sexual relationship with teen-age girls.

Sorting truth from half-truth became the issue during officer Gibson’s probe into Bergin’s activities.

For example, during the Gresham police investigation, the youngest girl told officer Gibson that she did not have a sexual relationship with Bergin and did not have an abortion. But a Sandy police sergeant told Gibson that it was the older girl who had told Claggett that the younger girl had the pregnancy and abortion.

The girls say Claggett made that statement to the police sergeant because he didn’t like either the girls or Bergin.

In another interview, the oldest girl allegedly told a Gresham investigator that the younger girl had “covered (Bergin’s) ass” while being questioned. She also is reported to have told the older girl to cover for him, if she is questioned.

Adding to the suspicion that something sexual was happening between the girls and the officer are statements from Bergin’s neighbors, who say the girls were frequent guests at Bergin’s home – alone with him when Bergin’s roommate was not at home.

In fact, one of the neighbors told officer Gibson he used to send text messages to Bergin’s roommate telling him whether or not it was OK to come home – depending on whether he thought something inappropriate was occurring at the residence.

In addition, during a Sept. 10 search of Bergin’s home in Sandy, photos were seized that depict the same two girls clad in bikinis sitting astride a motorcycle at night. The series of flash photos show poses in which the girl hugging the other from the back of the seat reaches around and grips the other’s bikini-clad breast, and another photo in which the girl in the front twists around to enable the two to kiss. There was no information in the affidavit that indicated who took the photos.

Skelton says he has to trust his officers to act appropriately, according to their code of ethics. But if someone is accused of something inappropriate or illegal, he says he wants to respond.

“I can’t follow my officers around 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “But if I find out that somebody has done something wrong, then I am going to take action.”

Adding to the case of official misconduct against Bergin, there also is damaging evidence of felony identity theft while assisting an underage person to enter places where alcoholic beverages are sold.

The identity theft charge stems from evidence, and the statements of two witnesses, alleging that Bergin illegally kept possession of suspended driver’s licenses, probably at least two dozen, and gave two licenses to a minor.

The oldest girl, who is still not yet 21, told investigators Bergin had perhaps 25 licenses in one of the drawers in a coffee table in his home. That was confirmed by two of Bergin’s neighbors, who saw the licenses.

The oldest girl’s step-sister, who lives in Bend, told investigators she knew about two licenses that her sister said she had received from Bergin.

One of those IDs, the girl told officer Gibson, was seized by a female bartender at a martini bar in Bend.

The same girl also told investigators in the Claggett case she had received two licenses from Bergin last spring, without asking for them, when she wanted to go to a concert in Portland that was restricted to people 21 and older.

“He’s like, well I have some IDs …,” she told the sheriff’s detective. “In his drawer in the coffee table, like I said, there’s stacks of IDs. And he’s like, well let’s match one to you … And he was like – OK. And he gave me two IDs. And he’s like, either one will work.”

The same girl also is alleged to have contacted one of the people whose license had been confiscated and told her that Bergin has a thing for young girls.

When officer Gibson questioned the woman whose license had been seized, she told him the officer took the license and told her that there would be no citation for driving while suspended and there would be no towing of her car for not having liability insurance. She said she was told that the officer would be driving away in one direction and she should drive away in the other direction.

That “thing for young girls” was confirmed in allegations from Bergin’s former roommates and neighbors, who told Gresham investigators they saw Bergin with the girls numerous times, including times when Bergin and the youngest girl would go to his room together and one time when Bergin was seen sitting on a couch next to one of the girls when both were covered by the same blanket.

But that witness also said he didn’t think there was anything intimate going on between the two.

In fact, Bergin told one of his former roommates that he has known the girls since they were children, and would never be sexually involved with them.

Bergin also may have to answer to allegations that he took the girls on ride-a-longs several times a week, which is against the department’s policy.

On Dec. 11, Judge Steven L. Mauer will hear Bergin’s plea inside a Clackamas County Circuit Court.

Sheriff Ricky Headly Pleads Guilty to 4 Counts of Possession

The one hundred and sixty thousand residents of Williamson County breathed a giant sigh of relief on September 1 of this year when Jeff Long was sworn in as the new Sheriff of Williamson County. Long's assumption of the office ended a two year long odyssey of scandal, disgrace, and tragedy that can only be described as a Shakespearean Film Noir set to Country Music.

In January of 2007,then Williamson County Sheriff Ricky Headley, the self proclaimed "Singing Sheriff", was arrested by the Nashville police on a series of prescription drug felony charges. Turns out the good sheriff, when not arresting criminals in Williamson County, was allegedly committing a few crimes of his own. The most that can be said of Headley is that he had at least enough sense to commit these crimes in adjacent Davidson County.

Regrettably, Headley did not have enough common sense, shame, or grace to resign his office immediately. Instead, he abused his position of authority for over a year, in hopes of escaping the kind of justice that average citizens receive when they commit such crimes.

With felony charges hanging over his head, Sheriff Headley continued to run the Sheriff's office in Williamson County, making most residents of Williamson County squirm every time they saw a Sheriff's car go by. "What kind of place is this," we wondered, "if an alleged felony crook is directing the activities of law enforcement officers who have the authority to arrest law abiding citizens?"

On October 12, 2007, Sheriff Headley was indicted on numerous felony counts by a Davidson County grand jury. According to a press release issued by the Metropolitan Davidson County Police Department on that day, Headley was indicted on

"17 counts of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Class D felonies, 12 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Class A misdemeanors, 3 counts of Unlawful Distribution of Legend Drugs, Class C misdemeanors, and 1 count of Possession of a Legend Drug without a Prescription, a Class C misdemeanor. The charges stem from a two-year investigation into Brooks Pharmacy, 4701 Trousdale Drive, which resulted in Headley being arrested for illegally obtaining nearly 2,000 doses of the prescription drugs Hydrocodone, Soma, and Cataflam between October 2006 and January of 2007. Headley was arrested January 31, 2007. The matter was sent for grand jury consideration after a preliminary hearing in April. Headley's $7,000 bond is unchanged from his January arrest. It is expected that Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier will arraign Headley in the coming weeks on the Davidson County indictment. A Williamson County grand jury indicted Headley earlier this week on four counts of Official Misconduct."

Angling for special treatment, Headley stubbornly held onto his job as Sheriff, causing further embarassment to the residents of the county.

It wasn't until February 14, 2008 that Headley resigned, having cut a sweet plea deal that let him off the hook, serving no jail time in return for his decision to resign.

As the Nashville City Paper described the resignation the next day :

" Embattled Williamson County Sheriff Ricky Headley resigned his post yesterday after he accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of jail on drug charges.The Williamson County District Attorney's office, in conjunction with Davidson County's DA, agreed to offer the sheriff a suspended five-year sentence -- three years supervised probation, two years unsupervised -- with the agreement that he would enter a drug and alcohol treatment program and not run for any public office.


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Metro Police arrested Headley over a year ago following a two-year drug sting operation. He was faced with felony charges of prescription drug fraud, which were dropped by the Davidson County DA's office as part of yesterday's plea deal.Headley, 44, would not comment following the hearing in a Williamson County Court, rather he referred questions to his attorney David Raybin.

"Everybody agreed that this was the thing to do and it also seemed reasonable to bring closure to this terrible personal tragedy for this man and his family," Raybin said. Raybin painted the sheriff as a man afflicted with addiction to painkillers following a back injury that led to his subsequent arrest Jan. 31, 2007, on charges he bought the drugs without a prescription in Nashville.

"The medication was originally prescribed by physicians," Raybin said. "He became addicted to the pain medication like many other people do in our state."

Attorneys in Davidson and Williamson counties said getting Headley out of office was their top priority in contemplating this plea deal. "The objective of [the DA] was to see to it that this runaway train comes to a screeching halt," said Derek Smith, Williamson County Deputy District Attorney. "We had to remove the sheriff from office. People in the county, I think, are embarrassed by the situation, and we had to respond to that."

Attorneys confirmed that Headley was not, in fact, selling the medication he had obtained from the pharmacy. Subsequently, the sheriff pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of simple possession in Davidson County and one count of conspiracy to commit official misconduct in Williamson County."

By law and tradition, local county races in Tennessee are "non-partisan", but it took the concerted efforts of the local Republican Party and local Republican leaders to find and back a qualified candidate to replace the disgraced incumbent.

That candidate was Jeff Long, an attorney and former agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A special election was set for August of 2008, and half a dozen other candidates jumped in.

Towards the end of the campaign, disgraced Sheriff Headley, who apparently doesn't have enough sense to realize he's worn out his welcome in Middle Tennessee, released a Gospel album, which he claimed was designed to help others who found themselves addicted to painkillers. Surprisingly, sales of the album were flat.

Jeff Long won the August 2008 election with about 60% of the vote, a veritable landslide given the number of other candidates, and he was sworn in as sheriff on September 1, 2008.

The Shakespearean element of the story continued, however. Although Long has done an excellent job righting the Williamson County Sheriff's offices since then, the same cannot be said for former Sheriff Headley. In September of this year, Headley's son, an employee of the Sheriff's Department assigned as a resource officer at a local middle school, committed suicide, apparently a consequence of a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.

There's a country song to be written about this tragic tale of woe. I don't really know if anyone would be interested in hearing it, though. Some things are best left forgotten, memories to be buried deep in one's soul.

Deputy Who Killed Man is Now Accused of DUI

A Twin Cities Sheriff's deputy who killed a man with his squad car is accused of breaking the law again.

On Aug. 30, 2007, Dakota County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Williams pulled his squad out in front of motorcyclist Bill Wallace, hitting and killing him on Highway 3 in Empire Township.

On Saturday, he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and having an open bottle of beer in his car .

A fellow deputy clocked him doing 68 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone shortly before 2 a.m. on County Road 46 in Empire Township, just minutes away from where he hit Wallace's motorcycle 15 months earlier. Authorities said Williams failed both a field sobriety and breath test, was arrested at the scene, and his car was impounded.

Williams was booked in the Dakota County Jail and placed in general population until his release several hours later. Williams has worked for Dakota county since Aug. 2000. After his careless driving conviction May 13, 2008, he was prohibited from driving county vehicles and re-assigned to court security as a bailiff.

Wallace's family wants to know why he was allowed to drive at all.

"He could have taken another life," step-brother Joe Geror said.

Williams was suppose to have his license suspended for one year, but state records show it was reinstated Oct. 7, 2008--five months after his conviction.

The Wallace family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dakota County. The attorney for Williams declined to comment, since no charges have been filed.

Dakota County Chief Deputy Dave Bellows said Williams is on paid leave and told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the incident "makes us angry."

If convicted, this would be William's second DWI in under 10 years. He already has a DWI conviction in North Carolina from December 1998.

Former Officer Bridges McRae Pleads Not Guilty

A former Memphis police officer pleaded not guilty Nov. 19 to civil rights charges in the jailhouse beating of a transgender prostitution suspect that was captured on video.

An indictment unsealed Nov. 19 accuses Bridges McRae, 28, of using unreasonable force by repeatedly striking Duanna Johnson with his fist and handcuffs in the intake area of the Shelby County Jail in February. Johnson, a biological male who lived as a woman, was being booked on a prostitution charge when the incident happened. A video of the beating was broadcast on Memphis television stations, leading to McRae’s firing.

McRae pleaded not guilty at a brief hearing on Wednesday before a federal magistrate and was released without bond. No trial date was set. He is charged with violating Johnson’s civil rights while in a position of authority, an offense that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Johnson was found murdered earlier this month.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Constable Jason Ross Gets 6 months for Punching Another Officer

Peel Police Constable Jason Ross has received a six-month jail sentence in connection with punching another officer in the nose after being stopped for suspected drunk driving.

Ross pleaded guilty earlier this week to aggravated assault, impaired driving and mischief.

He received six months for the assault and seven days for his impaired conviction.

He was also placed on probation for two years.

The Georgetown officer was Tasered when he began brawling with fellow officers after being stopped in north Mississauga in the early hours of Sept. 12.

He was off-duty at the time and remains suspended without pay and is also expected to face discipline under the Police Act from Peel's Professional Standards bureau.

He had been charged with three counts of assaulting police, one count of assault causing bodily harm, excess blood alcohol, impaired operation of a motor vehicle and mischief.

In the incident, Ross was driving when he was stopped by police about 3:40 a.m. in the area of Winston Churchill Blvd. and Derry Rd. in Mississauga.

At the time, Ross, an eight-year veteran, was already under suspension in connection with an unrelated assault charge.

Police revealed that officers had to use a Taser to subdue Ross after he fought with his fellow officers, including breaking the nose of one of them.

Last year, he was one of 24 officers disciplined as part of an internal affairs investigation into an off-duty beer party held behind a Mississauga furniture store.

Ross pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act and was ordered to work seven days without pay following a disciplinary hearing.

He admitted consuming alcohol in a public place while off-duty in the early morning hours of Aug. 28, 2006 and failed to follow proper procedures when detaining and questioning two men – Mississauga residents Richard Cimpoesu, 24, and Orlando Canizalez, 20.

The claimed they were chased and beaten after police caught them videotaping their boozing.

Canizalez and Cimpoesu later filed a $12-million lawsuit against Peel police.

Sgt. Arthur Anderson Charged with Drunk Driving

MUSCATINE, Iowa

A police sergeant facing a charge of operating while intoxicated was fired Friday from the Muscatine Police Department.

However, city officials say the termination wasn’t specifically related to the incident.

On Nov. 8, another officer from the department arrested Arthur Anderson, 40, for allegedly driving his private vehicle to the Public Safety Building around 6:30 a.m.

He registered a 0.092 blood-alcohol level, according to court documents. The legal limit in Iowa is 0.08.

Stephanie Romagnoli, the city’s human resources manager, confirmed Monday that Anderson’s employment was terminated after about 17 years with the department.

“It was not specifically related to the arrest itself,” Romagnoli said. “It had to do with other personnel matters and a review of his file.”

Anderson was demoted in June from a lieutenant to a sergeant. Police Chief Gary Coderoni said the cause for the demotion was a personnel matter and that Iowa Code prevented him from discussing it further.

He said the department conducted an internal professional standards investigation of the alleged operating while intoxicated incident to determine if Anderson had violated city or department procedures.

The investigation is separate from the criminal court case, which will be prosecuted by the Johnson County Attorney’s Office.

Assistant Muscatine County Attorney Dana Christiansen said in a motion that Johnson County’s assistance was enlisted because a conflict of interest existed due to because Anderson’s employment with the police department.

A message seeking comment from Anderson was not returned by press time this morning.

He made his initial court appearance Friday in Muscatine County District Court. A judge continued his release from jail on his own recognizance, and ordered Anderson to schedule a substance abuse evaluation within five days.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11.

Coderoni said the department has not started the process of choosing a replacement for Anderson.

Correctional Officer Javier Toro Accused of Buying Cigarettes for Inmate

A Cook County correctional officer accused of buying cigarettes for a jail inmate was ordered held Wednesday in lieu of $20,000 bail for bribery and official misconduct.

Javier Toro, 23, appeared in Bond Court accused of trying to bring cigarettes and lighters to a Cook County Jail inmate, authorities said.

On Nov. 18, Toro is alleged to have bought the contraband at a Southwest Side gas station, where the inmate's girlfriend met him and paid the officer $100.

Toro was caught with the items when he tried to enter the jail for work, Assistant State's Atty. Michael Evans said.

Toro is suspended without pay, according to a Cook County sheriff's spokeswoman. If convicted, Toro could face a sentence of probation to up to 7 years in prison.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Officer Vinnie Edwards Charged with Falsely Reporting Crash


A Cincinnati police officer is out on bond after being arrested Tuesday and charged with falsely reporting a crash after a dispute involving her personal car.

Vinnie Edwards, 49, is charged with tampering with records, forgery and unauthorized use of property following an Aug. 22 incident in the parking lot of the Hyde Park Kroger store.

Edwards’ personal car, a black 2007 Ford Fusion, was hit on the front passenger door with a shopping cart that was being used by a man.

The man and Edwards exchanged information at the time and Edwards later sent him an estimate for the damage.

Shocked that the estimate was for more than $900, the man reviewed the estimate more closely and saw that it was for more than the nick the shopping cart caused on her door.

Edwards responded, a Hamilton County indictment alleges, by running the man’s name through the national crime database to check on his criminal record – even though the man wasn’t charged in the incident.

She also is accused of filing a crash report of the incident with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles even though there was no crash.

Edwards was in court Tuesday and released on her own recognizance. She was suspended without pay following her arrest.

She was hired as a Cincinnati police officer in June 1992 – four months after, records show, she was charged with falsification. It’s unclear what the outcome of that charge was.

Edwards is a patrol officer in the police department’s District 1 that encompasses Downtown, West End, Over-the-Rhine and other nearby areas.

The charges against Edwards carry a maximum prison term of seven years.

Wife of Chief Ty Morrow Speaks Out About Domestic Disturbance

The wife of Bryan Police Chief Ty Morrow is speaking out on a weekend domestic disturbance between the couple.

Cindy Morrow says she was intoxicated and doesn't remember much of the evening. She says she and her husband had gotten into an argument, but she doesn't recall making the accusations that came to light in a police report.

Among those allegations was a February incident where she said Morrow broke her nose and gave her a black eye. Wednesday, Cindy Morrow said her nose was never confirmed broken and the black eye happened during sex. She also said her husband had never abused her or touched her in a negative way.

Chief Morrow summoned police to his home early Sunday morning where he admitted to handcuffing his wife Cindy following a physical altercation.

He remains on administrative leave from the department pending results of an investigation into the incident.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LETTER SUBMITTED BY CINDY MORROW:

November 26, 2008,
To Managers and Editors of the Local Media:

I want to add my comments to the local story of Domestic Violence that you are running on my husband and me. It is most unfortunate that a very private matter has become the subject to such public scrutiny and ridicule, because of my husband’s position as the Chief of Police. My husband and I are embarrassed and ashamed of our actions, but insist that they are private matters that must be resolved between us.

I am astonished but yet not surprised that a police department employee would choose to release a confidential police report that had not yet been completely investigated for validity and that KBTX would choose to accept and release this document without verifying its truth. I am even more astonished by the fact that both you and KBTX reported in your news reports that I couldn’t be reached for comments on your stories. This statement is not true. No one from your news organizations ever attempted to contact me.

I want to offer the following statement regarding the incident which occurred on November 22 and into the early hours of November 23, 2008. My husband and I attended a Charity event at the Hilton Hotel. My husband was working the event and had to be there earlier than myself. Because of this, we drove separate vehicles. During the event I consumed a large quantity of alcohol. It is unclear to me how I got home or why my husband and I argued.

Once we reached our home, this argument resulted in a physical confrontation. I don’t remember much about the argument due to my extremely intoxicated state. This is very embarrassing for me to say the least. What I do remember is hitting my husband repeatedly and at some point him restraining me by placing handcuffs on me. My husband called my personal friend to come attend to me.

Upon this friends arrival my husband released me from my handcuffs. I was still in a very agitated and continued to yell. I did not know my husband had called the police until I was seated in my kitchen. The officer then interviewed me. While being interviewed by the police officer, I am told I made several allegations of past abuse to include a broken nose and blackened eyes. I am certain now, this was because I was very angry at being handcuffed. In all honesty, I don’t recall the statements I made to the police and these allegations are completely untrue.

I don’t remember much about the confrontations that took place on November 22 - 23, 2008. What I do remember is that I was very intoxicated. In an intoxicated state, I made statements to the police that were not true.

Since this event, I have been interviewed by no less than three law enforcement officials. I have stated on the police record, and I am now stating it publicly to you, that my husband is not abusive and has never abused me.

I want to close by stating that my husband and I are Christians, we are parents, role model’s to at risk children from our community and consummate professionals. This was not appropriate behavior on our part. However, I would hope that you never lose site of the fact that my husband and I are human beings and as such we have problems like everyone else. These problems are private matters that do not deserve to be publicly displayed. I am sure you wouldn’t display your personal issues in the manner in which you have displayed mine.

Resource Officer Whitni Wethington Arrested for Obstruction of Justice

MUSCATINE, Iowa

One of the Muscatine Police Department’s school resource officers was arrested over the weekend in Rock Island, Ill.

Whitni Wethington, 23, was booked into Rock Island County Jail at 3:41 a.m. Saturday on an obstruction of justice charge, which is a misdemeanor charge, according to a jail spokesman.

No other information was available from Rock Island authorities at press time this morning.

Police Chief Gary Coderoni said Wethington informed him of the arrest, and remains on duty.

Coderoni said Monday he was still learning the facts of the incident and would conduct an internal professional standards investigation to determine if any city or department codes had been violated. Wethington joined the Muscatine Police Department in April, and started the school year as a school resource officer at Muscatine High School.

She is the second Muscatine police officer to be arrested this month.

On Nov. 8, Sgt. Arthur Anderson, 40, was arrested outside the Public Safety Building and charged with operating while intoxicated. Anderson was terminated from his position Friday following a review of his personnel file, according to city officials.

Officers Suspended for Not Arresting Drunk Deputy

Two Volusia County law enforcement officers are suspended without pay just days before the holidays because of a DUI stop.

Ponce Inlet police officer Chris Selander pulled over Sheriff's deputy Ken Vickery early November.

According to an internal affairs investigation report, the officer let the deputy go with a warning even though he believed the deputy could have failed a sobriety test.

The conversation between the two was caught on an audio recording.

Selander is heard telling Vickery, “I'm trying to work with you sergeant! I've never arrested a cop in my life and I've never given a cop a ticket in my life."

Vickery was suspended for one week for failing to cooperate. Selander was suspended for two weeks for showing favoritism toward a fellow officer, which is something homeowners said is unfair.

"It was wrong to do it,” said John Paun from Ponce Inlet. “Anybody else if I did it, I would've gotten a ticket, I would've went to jail or whatever."

A spokesman for Ponce Inlet police said the conversation between the officer and the deputy was done by Selander using his personal tape recorder and turned over to police as evidence.

More Information: http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/EastVolusia/evlHEAD01112608.htm

UISD Officer Robert Nino Accused of Having Improper Relationship with Student

A U.I.S.D. employee is on administrative leave tonight after some shocking allegations arise.

Sources say that a United I.S.D. police officer is accused of having an improper relationship with a student, on campus and in a classroom. However the district will only confirm he is employee Robert Nino – U.I.S.D. Communication Specialist.

"There is an ongoing investigation, however I cannot confirm or deny any details at this time. All I can say is that an employee has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the result of this investigation."

The incident allegedly happened at United High School... And students there say they can't believe this type of behavior is going on at their home campus.

"I think that that's bad, that's bad." Flores - united sophomore
That’s abusive. Probably he made a condition you do this for me and I'll let you go or something. Like the student did something wrong and an exchange to get away with something."

Even parents waiting to pick up their kids from school were shocked to hear that a campus officer may have done such a thing.

Ester Guerrero - parent of a United senior
"Well I think they aren't suppose to be doing that. What are they showing the students? They are supposed to be protecting the students."

"U.I.S.D. officials do not want these allegations to alarm anyone. They assure parents that their child is safe at any U.I.S.D. campus."

"We can assure the parents that the children at U.I.S.D. are safe we do our best to maintain a very safe and secure learning environment for the students."

The district says the proper authorities are looking into these allegations... But cannot disclose any more information at this time.

The investigation into an improper relationship between a UISD police officer and a student continues at United ISD. According to the school district the investigation is not in their hands, it has been turned over to another agency.

According to UISD attorneys the case is being investigated by an independent law enforcement agency. The officer was having an intimate relationship with a teenage student at United High School.

Sources say the UISD officer in question was previously a Laredo police officer and was fired from LPD.

According to UISD the officer has not been charged with anything.

The FBI will not confirm or deny if they are the ones looking into the investigation.
But they were able to tell us that the officer has not been arrested.

UISD says the officer was placed on administrative leave with pay.

Former Deputy Jerrel Tauzin Arrested for Possession of Stolen Property


A former Iberia Parish Sheriff's Deputy has been arrested for theft for the second time in two months.

According to Iberia Parish Officials Jerrel Tauzin has been arrested on new charges of possession of stolen property valued at more than one million dollars.

Tauzin was arrested Nov. 15 after investigators found he was in possession of a laptop computer stolen in September from Breaux Brothers enterprises, containing valuable designs estimated to be worth more than $1 million.

Tauzin was first arrested Oct. 30 after admitting to police he burglarized the home of a vacationing acquaintance.

Sheriff's officials say they are preparing to charge Tauzin with at least 10 additional burglaries.

Tauzin is being held on $150,000 bond.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Public Safety Officer Travis Redd Sr. Arrested for Pinching 11-year Old Girl


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.

Tuesday a North Augusta Public Safety Officer was charged with unlawful neglect by a legal custodian.

Investigators said Officer Travis Redd Sr. was arrested for pinching an 11-year old girl in the chest with both hands.

Redd is her legal guardian.

Investigators say the incident happened on Thursday in a car.

Redd was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

He has been with the department for ten years.

Officer Sheldon Cook Accused of Stealing Fake Cocaine in Court

A Peel Police officer accused of stealing 15 bricks of fake cocaine that were supposed to be used in an RCMP sting, was never alone with the entire shipment, a fellow officer told a Brampton court today.

But Sheldon Cook was among three officers from Peel's 12 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) who moved more than 100 suspected cocaine packages from a courier van to a CIB minivan and later to a morality bureau van, Peel Const. Robert Bryant testified.

Bryant said he believed the packages – hidden inside boxes of mangoes – contained real cocaine when Cook and others investigated the discovery on the night of Nov. 16, 2005.

The couriers who were transporting the mangoes sought help from Bryant at a Peel Police community station in Mississauga that night because they had become suspicious of the cargo they had picked up earlier from Pearson International Airport.

Two days later, a tracking device hidden in the bricks led RCMP investigators to Cook's Cambridge home.

The dummy drugs were found in a storage compartment of a Sea Doo in his garage. A search warrant uncovered some marijuana and several MP3 players allegedly taken from an unrelated investigation.

Federal prosecutors David Rowcliffe and Ania Weiler contend Cook believed the bricks were real cocaine and that he took some of them while investigating the discovery of the drugs by Bryant at the community station.

It's the Crown's case that Cook was unaware the drugs were fake or that they were to be used in an RCMP-controlled delivery as part of an international drug investigation.

Cook, 40, has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges in this Brampton trial in connection with different offences, all in relation to the discovery of the dummy drugs and MP3s at his home.

Bryant today told the court that Cook and two other CIB officers were at the Lakeshore Rd. station for about three hours that night but he never recalled Cook being out of his presence except for when Cook and other officers were searching the cargo inside the courier van. Bryant said he was inside the station at the time.

Before alerting the CIB unit, Bryant said the couriers told him they had been paid cash to deliver the mangoes to an address in Scarborough. While they were en route they got a phone call, instructing them to go instead to a darkened trucking yard in south Mississauga. But when they encountered a vehicle flashing its lights at the yard they headed to a police station.

Believing he had discovered real drugs when he opened one of the boxes, Bryant called 12 Division and three CIB officers were dispatched, two in a minivan and Cook, alone, in a car.

Bryant said Cook told him to remain with the couriers while Cook and the other officers inspected the cargo.

But in separating the mangoes from the suspected drug packages, a device with wires was discovered. Officers thought it was an explosive device so a bomb disposal unit was called, Bryant said.

The officers didn't know at the time that the unit was actually a tracking device hidden in the packages by the RCMP.

While waiting for the bomb unit and morality officers to arrive, Bryant helped Cook and the other officers unload the packages from the courier van into the CIB minivan. Later, he helped them move the packages to a morality bureau van.

Bryant testified under cross examination by defence lawyer Pat Ducharme that he locked the courier van with the suspected drugs and always had the key.

He also admitted several officers were present when the fake drugs were eventually moved from the CIB van into the morality bureau van.

The other two other CIB officers left Cook and Bryant in the station when they went for food for about 20 minutes but Bryant didn't know if they took the CIB van with the drugs or Cook's car to the sandwich shop.

Bryant learned the following day that the drugs were actually decoys being used in an RCMP controlled delivery.

A total of 88 boxes of mangoes containing 146 hidden bricks of fake cocaine arrived at Pearson International Airport from Peru at about 6 a.m. on Nov. 16.

Despite being under surveillance, the shipment went missing about 12 hours later.

The RCMP became aware the next day that the fake drugs had been seized by Peel Police, but when they took possession of the dummy drugs there were 44 missing.

Court previously heard that 23 of the fake bricks were later recovered but that the other 21 have never been located.

The failed RCMP operation was designed to find the Canadian buyers of an international drug smuggling operation based in Lima, the Peruvian capital.

Cook is charged with attempt to possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property (MP3 players) from a police investigation and breach of trust as a police officer in connection with the other offences.

The offences were allegedly committed between Aug. 7 and Nov. 18, 2005.

In addition to the tracking device and 15 fake bricks of cocaine found at Cook's Cambridge residence, another tracking device and eight fake bricks, sliced open, were found in a garbage bin behind the Blinds to Go store on Dundas St. near the Mississauga/Oakville border on the same day the search warrant was executed at Cook's home.

Cook remains suspended with pay. The case is also being watched closely by Peel's internal affairs bureau.

As a result of his arrest on Nov. 18, 2005, Justice Canada decided not to prosecute at least six drug cases where Cook was the arresting officer.

As well, a month after his arrest, a Peel judge acquitted former Toronto Argonaut Orlando Bowen of drug and assault charges that were laid by Cook and another officer. Bowen alleged at trial that Cook had planted a small amount of cocaine on him during his arrest.

More Information: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/544372

Correction Officer Lt Thomas Healy Jr Accused of Raping Inmate


A correction officer has been accused of rape and having sexual relations with a female inmate at the Suffolk House of Correction in Roxbury.

Lieutenant Thomas A. Healy, Jr., 41, was released on $1,500 cash bail after his arraignment today in Roxbury Municipal Court where he pleaded not guilty to all charges, which also include indecent assault and battery, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office and his attorney, Stephen C. Pfaff.

"We deny the charges,'' Pfaff said in a telephone interview. "He is looking forward to his day in court.''

Pfaff said Healy has been married since 1995, is the father of three children and has an "impeccable record'' during his years working for the sheriff's department.

According to prosecutors, Healy allegedly approached the female prisoner in her cell on Nov. 12, groped her and then raped her.

"The abuse of power and authority here is just repugnant," Conley said in a statement.

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral's staff initiated the investigation and with the help of the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit developed enough evidence to charge Healy, prosecutors said.

In a statement, Cabral called Healy's alleged actions "egregious'' and said he will now face an internal disciplinary hearing that could lead to his firing from the department.

The statement did not provide any further information about the incident. Healy has been placed on administrative leave without pay, according to the department.

Cabral today declined a request for an interview with the Globe.

Healy has been employed by the sheriff's department since Sept. 18, 1991.

Healy is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 15.

Police Chief William Moore Fired for Passing Counterfeit Money at Wal-Mart

FAIRLAND, Okla.

The acting police chief of this northeastern Oklahoma town has been fired and is under investigation for allegedly passing counterfeit bills at a Vinita Wal-Mart.

Fairland's acting Police Chief William Ray Moore, who was fired Friday, is listed on a Vinita police report as the suspect caught on a surveillance video passing four counterfeit bills while in uniform.

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating whether the counterfeit bills were evidence seized in an earlier counterfeiting case investigated by Moore and Secret Service officers, The Oklahoman reported.

A man thought to be Moore was recorded buying a prepaid Visa card with four counterfeit $100 bills on Oct. 17 around 6:40 p.m., according to the police report.

The suspect had a holstered pistol and was wearing a polo style police shirt with an embroidered badge, the report states. The shirt had the word “Fairland” on it, a Wal-Mart assistant manager recalled.

The Vinita Police Department seized the counterfeit bills and turned them over to the Secret Service, which has jurisdiction over investigations involving counterfeit money.

Moore, 31, could not be reached for comment.

Moore was listed as the arresting officer in a case in August in which Tawni Lorene Gaines, 36, of Fairland was charged with forgery and second-degree counterfeiting. Gaines admitted using a copier/scanner to make the counterfeit bills, Moore wrote in the affidavit.

The charge against Gaines initially was filed in Ottawa County District Court and evidence reportedly was being held by the Fairland Police Department while Gaines was awaiting her preliminary hearing.

Eric Wade, Fairland's town attorney, confirmed Monday that Moore is no longer acting police chief or with the police department.

Wade also confirmed Secret Service agents were in the rural Ottawa County community for the last four days, but declined to say what they are investigating.

Charles McLoughlin, assistant U.S. attorney in Tulsa, said it is against Department of Justice policy to confirm or deny the existence of a pending investigation.

———

Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

Officer Stuart Gaines Arrested for DUI After Leaving Funeral

The Lawrenceville Police Department said goodbye to two veteran officers this week — one who was buried and another who was fired for allegedly driving drunk just hours after the funeral.

Most of the officers within the department attended a funeral Sunday afternoon for retired Lawrenceville police Lt. Frank Otto, a 28-year veteran who had died following a long illness. A department spokesman said that Stuart Gaines, a criminal investigator and 15-year employee, was among the mourners at the memorial service and the burial in Lawrenceville. Other officers saw him leave the Gwinnett Memorial Park Cemetery alone around 4 p.m., said Maj. Paul King Tuesday.

About two hours later, Gaines was driving his unmarked patrol car on Highway 129 in Gainesville when he rear-ended a white Lincoln Towncar, according to the Georgia State Patrol post in Gainesville.

Lawrenceville police department was notified by a trooper that Gaines was being charged with DUI. Gaines’ supervisor met with them at the scene, according to King.

“They detected alcoholic beverage coming from him and felt like with the way he was talking and his demeanor, he was at some level intoxicated,” King said.

Gaines was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for treatment of a cut to the eye. The other driver was also evaluated at the hospital as a precaution after he complained of soreness, King said.

Gaines bonded out of the Hall County jail Sunday and was fired on Monday. The tight-knit department is still reeling from Sunday’s events.

“It was a tough day for the entire department. It started out sadly and ended badly,” he said. “You can tell it around the department that people are upset, but they also understand they are held to a higher standard. There was no choice but to terminate him.”

***********

I feel for the man, but...just like the rest of us (and as some your other buddies probably did) you go home and drink. Or you call a friend, so you don't accidently end another persons life. I hope you receive the maximum penalty, mostly because you should have known better. There is no excuse for DRUNK DRIVING.

What Are You Afraid Of?

"Police ask to carry own rifles" (Arizona Republic, November 24)

"Phoenix police union officials are proposing that 200 senior officers be allowed to buy their own semiautomatic rifles to use on the job after some said they felt more at risk and asked for additional firepower."

Pretty dangerous out there, eh, boys? In 2007, in fact, two officers were killed on the job, whereas 2008 has seen a whopping one on-the-job death. From an automobile accident, which no doubt could have been prevented had there been a semiautomatic rifle at hand.

Naturally, you guys are afraid -- according to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, the Phoenix Police Department has been fairly plagued with on-the-job deaths. Thirty-four -- that's thirty-four officers have been killed in the line of duty, fifteen of them by gunfire, since 1925. That averages out to -- let's see; .41 deaths per year.

According to the Arizona Republic, about 76% of Phoenix officers surveyed said that the job "has become increasingly violent since they graduated from the police academy." I'm sure it has. The use of percussion grenades, battering rams, armored vehicles and assault rifles against suspected drug users and their families has increased by quantum leaps in the past decade.

Think about this...If you get a bigger weapon, the 'bad guy' is going to try and get an even bigger weapon, and then you feel the need to getter a bigger and badder weapon, and then the 'bad guy' ....you get the picture. How big does your weapon have to be? Where does it finally stop? There is another way, and it's not a better weapon than the Jones have.

Since you are the ones causing the violence, I'm pretty sure that arming yourselves with even more weapons isn't going to improve matters. It might make you feel safer, but I was under the impression that we pay, and trust, you to protect us. You remember us, don't you -- the public?

Officer Maurice Morris Accused of Dropping Tickets for Sex


A Riviera Beach police officer is out of jail on bond this morning.

He is charged with sexual assault in an alleged sex for traffic tickets scandal.

Veteran Riviera Beach Police Officer, Maurice Morris, is named in a sealed indictment, charged with sexual assault and official misconduct.

Last month, Morris allegedly worked a security detail at a Barack Obama campaign rally in Lake Worth. He was in uniform, driving a marked squad car, and allegedly pulled over a female driver and wrote her several tickets, and then told her he would drop the tickets if she had sex with him.

The two of them allegedly went back to her West Palm Beach apartment for sex, and Morris even put his K-9 dog in her bathroom, because he did not want to leave the animal out in his squad car.

His attorney says Maurice Morris has never been arrested in his life, and has more than dozen commendations in his file for good police work.

Morris made a brief court appearance this morning. His lawyer told the judge Morris turned himself in last night. The judge set his bond at $25,000 dollars, and also ordered that he not have any contact with the victim and not have any weapons.


Morris is now on administrative leave.

Deputy Jorge Figueroa Charged with Shooting Man Having Affair with His Wife


HOUSTON

A Harris County sheriff's deputy was charged with shooting the man having an affair with his wife.

Deputy Jorge Figueroa, 39, is charged with shooting civilian jailer James Perez in the back. They both worked at the Harris County Jail in downtown Houston.

Officials said Perez was having an affair with Figueroa's wife and showed up at Figueroa's house in Needville on Saturday night.

Figueroa got into an argument with his wife and then into a physical fight with Perez before shooting him in the back as Perez walked out with Figueroa's wife, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

"I don't know if she was just escorting him out to his vehicle or if she actually intended to leave the premises with him, but she was going out the door with him," said Chief Deputy Craig Brady with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said they do not know why Perez showed up at his mistress's home, knowing the husband was also in the house.

"It defies all reason to me as to why. I can't imagine what he was thinking going there at that time of night for that purpose, knowing that the husband was there," said Brady.

Investigators said Figueroa has known for a while that his wife was having an affair with Perez.

Figueroa and Perez are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Perez was released from the hospital and is expected to be OK.

Figueroa does not have any disciplinary actions in his personnel file. He has worked for the department for seven years.

He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If he's convicted, he faces punishment ranging from probation to life in prison.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Officer Randy Ulmer Arrested for Theft

COQUILLE, ORE

A routine release of personal property by the Coquille Police Department on November 21st leads to the resignation and arrest of one of their own.

The Coquille Police Department issued a press release on Monday stating that they came across some inconsistencies in the handling of seized property being held by the Department.

Upon further investigation, they say, the Officer responsible for the safekeeping of the property, Randy Ulmer, admitted to converting it for personal use. He later resigned that same day.

Coquille Police Chief Mark Dannels then contacted the Coos County District Attorney's Office and the Oregon State Police to assist in the investigation.

On Monday, Ulmer was arrested and charged with Official Misconduct and Theft I, both are felony charges.

At this time Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier says they believe it was solely cash, but they are doing a complete inventory of the evidence locker.

Chief Dannels says he was shocked by Ulmer's actions, but confirmed that any illegal misconduct by his officer's will not be tolerated.

Deputy Roy Brown Arrested for Child Porn

A Pinal County Sheriff's deputy arrested on suspicion of possessing child porn is scheduled to appear in a Tucson court on Wednesday.

The FBI arrested Deputy Roy Brown, 61, on Friday.

An investigation began on May 12, when an undercover special agent using free file sharing Web site Limewire found three child pornography files associated with Brown's Internet Protocol address.

The agent had searched certain words that are known to be associated with child pornography, according to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

On Sept. 18, agents executed a search warrant at Brown's Tucson home. A desktop computer and various other items were seized.

An FBI affidavit revealed agents found 87 images of child porn on Brown's desktop, along with one image on a floppy disk drive.

Brown faces one count of child porn distribution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

He will be tried at the U.S. District Court of Arizona in Tucson. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

PCSO said Brown, a patrol deputy serving the San Manuel and Oracle area, is a 16-year veteran.

He was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending a PCSO investigation.

Sgt Joey Rean Accused of Sexual Assault


AUSTIN

A Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper is in jail on Monday, accused of sexual assault.

Sgt Joey Rean is being held in the Travis County Jail on a first degree felony charge. He was arrested late Friday in Pflugerville.

Rean is being held on a $250,000 bond. The DPS says the 41-year-old has been suspended with pay while the investigation is ongoing, but the details of his arrest haven't been released.

http://www.khou.com/news/state/stories/khou081124_mh_DPS_trooper_arrest.1e6cce4d1.html

Trooper Jesus Larrazolo Charged with Possessing Cocaine

BROWNSVILLE, Texas

A state trooper has been charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine after police said they saw him accept two suitcases full of the drug in a parking lot.

The U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement that Department of Public Safety Trooper Jesus Rafael Larrazolo, 35, made his first appearance in federal court Monday. DPS spokeswoman Lisa Block said Larrazolo resigned shortly after his arrest Friday.

Brownsville police and agents from the FBI's Special Investigations Unit saw Larrazolo pull into a Best Buy parking lot next to another vehicle, then take two suitcases from it. Larrazolo was dressed in street clothes, but identified himself as a trooper when police approached. He was carrying a gun.

There were 26 kilograms of cocaine in the suitcases. According to court records, Larrazolo told a Texas Ranger after his arrest that he had been forced by threats to pick up the drugs.

Block said Larrazolo joined the department in October 2002 and was working as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer in Cameron County. The FBI is investigating the case.

It was not immediately clear from court records if Larrazolo had an attorney.

Officer Calley Lornie Accused of Shouting Racial Remarks

A POLICE officer has been accused of shouting racial remarks at a woman.

Calley Lornie was absent when the case called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

But in a letter to the court she denied the offence.

The 23-year-old, who was being represented by defence agent Peter Shepherd, is said to have acted in a racially aggravated manner which caused or was intended to cause alarm and distress to Claudia Assamoli.

A spokesman for Grampian Police confirmed she had been off duty at the time.

She is said to have shouted the racial remarks at Miss Assamoli at the taxi rank in Aberdeen’s Back Wynd on March 10.

Lornie, whose address was given as c/o Grampian Police Headquarters, Queen Street, Aberdeen, is due to appear at court in January next year and a date for a trial has been set.

A police spokesman said: “Grampian Police can confirm that a case was called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday involving a serving officer.

“The case was called in relation to an alleged incident, which occurred on 10 March 2008 while the officer was off duty.

“The case was continued for trial and in line with good employment practice, Grampian Police is unable to make any further comment on the matter.

“A report on the circumstances will be forwarded to the Deputy Chief Constable on the conclusion of criminal proceedings.”

A force spokeswoman was unable to confirm if Lornie had been suspended from her duties.

Officer Maurice Morris Accused of Sexual Assaulting Woman He Pulled Over

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.

A Riviera Beach police officer appeared before a judge Monday, accused of sexually assaulting a woman whom he pulled over for running a red light.

Maurice Morris is accused of pulling over a driver in West Palm Beach and offering to rip up her tickets if she agreed to have sex with him.

"He ended up going upstairs to her apartment," West Palm Beach police Lt. Chuck Reed said. "While up there, he sexually battered her, sexually assaulted her and then left, and we have witnesses that watched him go in and out of this apartment."

The alleged incident took place in October while Morris was off duty but still in uniform and driving his patrol car.

Police said he used his badge to intimidate the woman.

Morris is a 20-year veteran of the Riviera Beach Police Department, including 13 years with the K-9 unit. His bond was set at $25,000.

His attorney said the indictment against Morris lacks facts.

"I mean, if you can't trust your police, we have a serious problem," Reed said.

This is the second recent blemish involving officers from Riviera Beach police's K-9 unit.

In September, four officers were reassigned after they were accused of visiting pornographic Web sites while on the job.

City leaders hope the allegations won't tarnish the department.

"Every now and then there's going to be allegations all over the place, but the good news is that these officers are putting their lives on the line every single day to protect our citizens," Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters said.

Mayoral candidate Leonard Lovett said he feels Riviera Beach gets a bad rap because "there have been incidents that have happened in the West Palm Beach area, just short of the border, and the first thing they holler (is) Riviera Beach."

Morris' attorney told the judge that the indictment against her client lacked facts. She added that Morris has never been arrested before and has only received one traffic ticket.

Officer Christopher Chase Arrested for OUI

WILTON

A veteran police officer and K-9 handler working for the Franklin County Sheriff's Department is on paid administrative leave after being arrested over the weekend on a charge of operating under the influence, a misdemeanor.

Christopher Chase, 33, of Wilton was pulled over by Wilton Police Officer Joshua King for a traffic violation on Main Street in East Wilton late Friday night. Chase was off-duty in his own vehicle and was on his way home when he was stopped, according to Franklin County Sheriff Dennis Pike.

No information was available on the arrest from Wilton police. Several attempts to reach Chief Dennis Brown by phone, through the Franklin County dispatch office and a Wilton officer were not successful.

Pike said Brown called him at home after the incident to inform him about the arrest.

"(Chase) is on paid administrative leave ... and we will be moving ahead with an internal investigation by the staff," Pike said.

He said Chase is a good officer who has served the county well since he was hired three years ago. Chase formerly worked for the town of Farmington and the Kennebec County Sheriff's Department and it was at that time he was shot in the chest during an investigation of a domestic assault. His bulletproof vest saved his life, officials said at the time.

Chase, contacted at home, declined to comment.

Franklin County sheriff's Cpl. Steve Charles, the shop steward for the Teamsters local representing the deputies, said he has been in touch with Chase, but had not yet been informed by Pike that an internal investigation was planned.

"This will be governed by the contract and department policies," Charles said. "It will go along the same lines as the grievance process."

"We have started discussions and we will work on Chris' behalf," Charles said. "He is a good officer and one of our better-trained."

The contract lays out rules and a time line following a suspension as well as the steps and time frame for an appeal, if one is sought, he said. As in a grievance, an internal investigation decision can be appealed to the county commissioners and ultimately, to the Maine Labor Relations Board.

A hearing on the criminal charges is set for Jan. 22 in Farmington District Court.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Officer Adam Willis Arrested for Extortion

AVON PARK

Complaints about police misconduct in Avon Park stemmed from within the Hispanic community, officials have said.

The allegations include extortion.

An undercover operation that led to the Wednesday arrest of Avon Park Police Officer Adam Willis, 30, used a vehicle that was "suggestive that the owner of the vehicle was of Hispanic dissent [sic]," the arrest report stated.

According to court documents generated in the case of the State of Florida v. Adam Willis, an investigation started in June 2008 in reference to complaints that officers within the Avon Park Police Department were stealing from citizens, "namely those of a Hispanic background."

During the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Willis was determined to be one of the officers involved, said Yolanda Carbia, resident agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Sebring field office.

The FDLE investigation eventually focused on two officers, Willis and Alberto Perez, court documents said.

Perez has yet to be charged, but has since been put on paid administrative leave by the APPD.

Patricia Austin, president of Council Three of the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said she fielded many complaints from the Hispanic community.

"(Avon Park Police Chief Matthew Doughney) said (the complaints) would definitely be looked into and taken care of," she said Friday. "He got right on it ... I was really impressed with the chief on that."

Some of the complaints included extorting money.

"Hispanics talked about how they had been pulled over and told if they would pay a certain amount, (officers) wouldn't write them a ticket," she said, citing examples of individuals being pulled over for infractions such as having a headlight out or window tint too dark.

"I was furious. I couldn't believe it ... everyone knows you don't pay officers for a ticket," she said. "Some of them, from what they had told me, had given the officers cash."

Two separate individuals told her they paid between $200 and $300 to officers.

Carbia said she had no comment on whether or not the officers extorted money in this manner, but did say that LULAC officials provided both the FDLE and APPD with information.

Austin recalled witnessing one of her Hispanic neighbors being pulled over for running a stop sign from the front porch of her house.

"He did not run that stop sign," she recalled.

Austin went to help the officer deal with a language barrier, as she said her neighbor didn't speak English very well. The officer let the alleged offender go with a warning.

Austin remembers who that officer was, but wouldn't give a name.

"It was one of the officers they are questioning now," she said.


The Undercover Operation


The operation involved an unlocked vehicle parked on the shoulder of North Central Avenue in Avon Park with $310 in marked bills inside a wallet, a package of cigarette rolling papers and a fake temporary registration.

Willis arrived on scene in response to an anonymous complaint regarding a suspicious vehicle.

Electronic surveillance from inside the vehicle reportedly recorded Willis taking the wallet and rolling papers. He also reportedly found the temporary registration.

"The registration's purpose was to see if the officer would make an effort to locate the owner of the vehicle, which Willis did not do," the arrest report stated. "He located the registration, simply looked at it, and then placed it back in the center console."

Newly released court records indicate there was information in the wallet not investigated by Willis.

They stated he put the wallet into his pocket after flipping through it "without looking at the names and telephone numbers written on pieces of paper inside the wallet in an attempt to identify the owner of the vehicle."

Willis locked the car and radioed dispatch, stating he did not find any identification in the vehicle, and without mentioning the found property, reports stated.

Officials from the FDLE and APPD searched in and around the vehicle after Willis left, reportedly unable to find the wallet, money, or rolling papers.

On Monday, the APPD temporary evidence hold was checked, but none of the items allegedly removed by Willis were found.

The serial numbers of the bills in the wallet were all recorded by the FDLE and when Willis was arrested, $40 of the missing money was found in his front pants pocket.

He allegedly admitted to FDLE agents that he spent the additional $270.


Reduction of bail


Initially Willis was held without bond until first appearance.

After his first appearance on Thursday, bond was set at $100,000 for the charge of armed burglary, and $25,000 for the charge of grand theft, at the request of the state.

"Namely stating that the alleged crime was horrible in that an officer of the law had violated the public's trust, and that the State Attorney's Office feared that the Defendant may interfere with further investigations and possibly tamper with witnesses," court documents from Judge Anthony Ritenour said.

At continued first appearance, granted so the judge could hear testimony from both the state and the defense on the amount set for bond, it was lowered to $1,000 for grand theft and $15,000 for armed burglary.

"The issue remains, though, as to whether the defendant can be charged with armed burglary as, in fact, it would be impossible for him not to be armed at the time of entering the vehicle, due to his being a law enforcement officer," Ritenour said.

The judge mentioned in the documents that the state failed to prove any possibility that Willis would harass potential victims or witnesses.

"The court cannot set bond based on innuendo," he said.

The Highlands County Sheriffs Office Web site indicated Willis was released from jail at 6:30 p.m. Friday on the reduced $16,000 bond.

His next scheduled court date is set for Dec. 15.

Sgt. Uthai Dechawiwat Charged with Murder Released from Prison

CALGARY

An off-duty police officer charged in the shooting death of a Canadian in Thailand has been released from prison because there was a problem with part of the investigation - a move that has angered the victim's family in Calgary.

Leo Del Pinto's father says he learned Friday that Sgt. Uthai Dechawiwat had been released.

"We, as a family, are upset. My wife is just devastated," Ernie Del Pinto said Sunday.

"I don't know what it was like on Friday, if it was sunny; I was so miserable."

Dechawiwat has been charged with premeditated murder and attempted murder in the Jan. 6 shooting in the small town of Pai in northern Thailand.

Leo, 25, was killed and his friend, Carly Reisig, was injured in the incident.

Dechawiwat has insisted the shooting was an accident - the result of a struggle.

The Pai police officer was off duty when the shooting happened.

Until now, he had been behind bars in Bangkok awaiting trial after he was denied bail in mid-October following an arraignment hearing.

Ernie said he was told part of the police investigation in Pai was not completed the way it should have been, resulting in Dechawiwat's release.

"It happens to be the Pai police department that missed a part in their investigation," Ernie said.

The Department of Special Investigation - a Thai federal agency - was officially appointed in April to also independently investigate the shooting.

Ernie said if the Pai police missed something, he could not understand why it was not caught by others looking into the shooting.

"They (the Pai police) definitely missed something. If it was by error, or if they wanted to, it should have never been missed by anyone else."

Ernie said he has been told the case will go on and the charges against Dechawiwat still stand.

"I've been reassured this procedure will continue," he said.

"All I want is a trial date."

Ernie and several other family members plan to travel to Thailand when the trial does go ahead.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Former Officer Richard Mashburn Arrested for Making Homebrewed Beer

A man who had long enforced anti-booze laws in a dry Northwest Alaska village was arrested and charged earlier this month after investigators found a big stash of homebrew — and plenty of stuff to make more — in his house.

Alaska State Troopers charged Richard Mashburn, 52, and wife, Lydia Mashburn, 51, both of Selawik, with two felony counts each of manufacturing homebrew and two more felony counts each of intent to sell without a license.

Residents in the village of 830 had voiced suspicions about the Mashburns to troopers at community meetings called this year to address the need for a new village public safety officer, said Sgt. Karl Main in the Troopers’ Kotzebue post.

Richard Mashburn served as Selawik’s village public safety officer for around a decade until last year, when the Native nonprofit that ran the region’s VPSO program at the time terminated him for “performance-related issues,” Main said.

The nonprofit, the Kodiak Area Native Association, didn’t provide more information about the termination, Main said.

At the Selawik meetings, residents said drunkenness in the village was on the rise, especially among young people. Some pointed out that much of the activity seemed centered around the Mashburn house, according to Main.

On Nov. 5, Kotzebue investigators with Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement flew to the village and served a search warrant on the house. They found several black trash bags filled with fermenting homebrew. When they returned to arrest the couple a few days later, they found more, trooper said.

Troopers seized 19.5 gallons of the booze. They also took ingredients that were presumably being used to make it — 365 pounds of sugar, 20 pounds of yeast and 19 cans of fruit.

Trae Bower, an investigator in the region for three years, said the find was sizable.

“This is one of the larger amounts of homebrew ever found in one residence at one time,” he said.

He didn’t know its street value. As for its alcohol content, homebrew is generally two to three times more potent than beer, he said.

Selling the stuff can be very lucrative in villages, with peddlers able to earn more than 10 times their investment, Main said.

“You can spend $30 to $50 on ingredients and make $500,” he said.

Main praised Selawik residents for notifying Troopers about the couple, and complimented investigators who had worked with community members in the case.

“A lot of this was the result of the community standing up and saying enough’s enough. They won’t wait until someone dies or gets hurt because of serious alcohol consumption,” he said.

“It’s a great example of what can be accomplished if we all work together.”


http://thetundradrums.com