Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Buddy Visser entered plea

A former Tulsa police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing guns and ammunition from the department and selling them on the Internet.

Buddy Visser, 47, entered the plea to the charges of possession and sale of stolen firearms and mail fraud, which were filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office March 5.

He said his criminal conduct involved between eight and 24 firearms.

U.S. District Judge Terence Kern will sentence Visser -- who is free on bond -- on June 10. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Raley estimated that federal guidelines will suggest a prison sentence from two years to three years, five months.

Raley told the court that Visser "deprived the taxpayers and the city of Tulsa of the honest services he had taken an oath to maintain" when he committed the crimes during the first 11 months of 2007.

Visser resigned from the force March 6 after a 17-year career.

Chief Ron Palmer said that same day that "the resignation was accepted with no regret."
During Thursday's plea hearing before U.S. Magistrate Paul Cleary, Visser did not try to justify his crimes, but he told the court that he has been treated for manic- depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and is taking medication.

Visser admitted in his plea agreement that from January 2007 through late November he stole weapons and ammunition from the Tulsa Police Department's firing range, where he was an instructor.

Visser said he asked for prices so low that purchasers typically would buy quickly.

Visser had been suspended in December after the Tulsa Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating theft allegations.
His plea agreement indicates that Visser will be expected to pay restitution to the city for any unrecovered firearms and to the purchasers of guns that are located.

Raley said he does not an ticipate that anyone else will be charged with stealing guns from the Police Department and selling them. However, he would not comment about whether any further inquiries related to the Visser investigation are under way.

Palmer has said the department is now considering adding cameras and new auditing measures to ensure the security of weapons at the range.


Another bad cop off the streets!!!