Monday, June 23, 2008

How Weapons Get in the Hands of Criminals

Authorities say two siblings arrested in Henrico Saturday on a traffic violation were in possession of a Richmond police officer's firearm.

According to a Richmond Police Department news release this afternoon, Faith Watkins, 24, and Sanders Watkins, 21, both of Richmond were arrested and charged with several offenses, including felony child neglect and a drug violation.

The release said the firearm in their possession belongs to an officer who knows Faith Watkins and that she has access to his home. The officer, according to the release, is away on two-week military duty in North Carolina. The officer was not named in the release.

The release said: "It is the policy of the Richmond Police Department that if an officer will be on leave for a long-term basis, the service weapon belonging to that officer is collected by his Department supervisor. If an officer is on leave for a short-term basis, it is the responsibility of the officer to secure the service weapon."

Officer Tries to Steal 4 pairs of Panties


A Sanger police officer resigned this morning after being arrested over allegations that she switched sale price stickers on clothing at a Wal-Mart to pay less for items that were not on sale, authorities said.

Officer Lisa Diane Kish, 33, of Sanger was arrested Sunday on a misdemeanor charge after employees at the Wal-Mart in Denton reported that they saw her and another woman switch tags on some underwear and pants, said Jim Bryan, a Denton police spokesman. Stephanie Grant also faces a misdemeanor charge.

According to the police report, four pairs of panties that were priced at $3 each were placed together on a hanger and a 75-cent price tag was placed on them to apply to all four items, Officer Bryan said.

Ms. Kish and Ms. Grant were both free on $500 bail Monday. Neither woman could be reached for comment.

Sanger Police Chief Curtis Amyx said Ms. Kish was waiting to hand him a resignation letter when he arrived at work Monday.

Indicted police officer resigns from department

Huntsville police officer Ryan Moore resigned today, just two days after appearing before a personnel board that would determine his fate with the agency.

A Madison County grand jury indicted Moore last month. He is charged with one count of first-degree possession of marijuana and two counts of attempting to possess a controlled substance.

According to the indictment, Moore allegedly offered marijuana to fellow officers at the north precinct on two occasions this year.

The department announced Moore's resignation in a statement issued earlier today.

A personnel board hearing for Moore and Huntsville police officer Wesley Little, also indicted last month, concluded Friday afternoon. The board has 10 days to present its "finding of facts" to Police Chief Henry Reyes, who will decide if the officers should be suspended without pay or dismissed.

Both officers have been suspended with pay since March, when allegations of "serious policy violations" surfaced. Moore had been with the department since May 2006.

To read Moore's and Little's indictments and the police department's statements, go to

UPDATE: Kris Ledford Faces New Charges


A Muskogee police officer faces new charges. Kris Ledford is already charged with stealing guns from the Muskogee Police Department's property room.

Ledford is now accused of taking a fellow officer's bullet proof vest and selling it to a deputy in Cherokee County. He also faces criminal charges in Tulsa.

Kris Ledford he's a husband and the father of a toddler girl. People are saying this is a bad deal, not just for him, but for the reputation of police officers all over Green Country.

Tulsa Police say it was a surveillance tape that started unraveling it all. They say it shows Muskogee Officer Kris Ledford and his friend, Shawn Busby, inside a Tulsa Radio Shack on May 1st, as Busby steals a police scanner.

Police believe the men were listening to the stolen scanner the next day when they heard a family call 911 and say they'd found a safe in a field while four-wheeling and requested a Tulsa Police officer to come and pick it up. Police say Ledford and Busby showed up instead, flashing a badge.

"They addressed the witnesses, the 911 callers by name and said they were Tulsa Police officers and were here to recover the safe," said Tulsa Police Detective Debra Glenn.

Officers tracked down Busby, served a warrant at his house and say they found a Muskogee duffle bag, handcuffs, drugs and a gun. And then, they say they got Ledford identified and were shocked.

"At the time I was first assigned the case, I assumed it was a couple of guys running around with a fake badge, acting kinda cool and hoping it was not an actual police officer involved in this," said Tulsa Police Detective Debra Glenn.

A search warrant at Ledford's house turned up a number of guns and police say at least 10 of them had been in the Muskogee Police Department's property room. He's accused of taking one gun from evidence and selling it to a doctor for $500.

Ledford currently faces three charges in Muskogee and two in Tulsa. That's something that is heartbreaking for other officers.

"It is just sickening because it erodes the public trust in every other officer," said Tulsa Police Detective Debra Glenn.

The Muskogee Police Department had scheduled a hearing on Thursday to start the process of firing Ledford, but, his attorney, Chad Richardson got an injunction that postponed that hearing.

Richardson says Ledford is a hero, who served his country as a military sniper and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star along with other commendations. He says Ledford shows classic signs of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Police Officer Arrested in Crime Sweep


At least one municipal police officer was among dozens of people arrested Saturday night in an organized crime sweep in this Mexican border town, Baja California police officials said Sunday.

Police prevention officers for the Mexican state of Baja California raided a baptism intending to arrest people connected to the Arrellano Felix drug cartel. Sixty-two people, including 10 who have ties to the cartel, were arrested, said Agustin Perez, a spokesman for the state prevention police.

Also confiscated were firearms, police radios and 460 grams of methamphetamine.
Police said they were tipped off that members of organized crime would be at the baptism at the banquet hall, El Pequeño Travieso in the colonia Herrera about 9 p.m. They stormed the celebration and found about 90 people at the hall. Some were armed, officials said.

State officers entered the hall with support from federal police who secured the building while the arrests were made. Federal police officers were there to ensure that no groups connected to organized crime attempted to free the people arrested, officials said.

Those taken into custody are natives of Sinaloa, Tijuana and Jalisco. One man is a municipal police officer in Tijuana, state police officers said. Four or five other men told state officers they also were on the force. But, state police officials said the men were no longer with the department because they had previously been suspended or fired.

Among the items seized were two black sports-utility vehicles, handguns, and Tijuana Municipal Police uniform patches.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, Perez said.

Officer Arrested for Drunk Driving

Royal Oak, MI

An off-duty Royal Oak police officer was arraigned Wednesday on a drunken driving charge after police say he drove his car into a house located on Fifth Street, June 13.

Officer Timothy Wood pleaded not guilty before 44th District Court Judge Terrance Brennan on a charge of operating while intoxicated, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Wood posted a $100 personal bond.

According to Deputy Chief Christopher Jahnke, Wood's Toyota Tundra first hit a car parked on the driveway before crashing into the house at around 2:30 a.m. Royal Oak police officers responding to the incident arrested Wood at the scene.

Wood sustained minor injuries in the incident; nobody inside the house at the time was injured.

Jahnke said the department is conducting an internal investigation to determine what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken against the officer.

In the meantime, the two judges at the 44th District Court have recused themselves from hearing the case since it involves a city employee. Court Administrator Kevin Sutherland said he sent the case to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office to be heard by a court in another jurisdiction.

"People should expect a completely impartial judicial (process)," said Sutherland.

Scottsdale Officer Resigns

A Scottsdale officer accused of illegally searching a 19-year-old woman who had called police has resigned.

Officer Chong Kim was accused of a similar crime in September of 2007.

Kim, an officer for two years, has been under investigation since Tuesday, when he was questioned about his response to a call Sunday about a possible break-in at the woman's apartment.

Scottsdale police spokesman David Pubins said the woman's mother alleged that when Kim arrived, he illegally searched her daughter.

According to Scottsdale police, investigators received an e-mail from the woman's mother detailing the alleged incident, which she claims happened about 3 a.m. at the 66th Place Apartments near 64th Street and Indian School.

In the e-mail, the mother said her daughter called police when three men were attempting to enter her apartment, according to police.

The woman told her mother that one of the officers harassed her and asked her if she had been drinking before taking her boyfriend outside, according to the e-mail.

The woman, an Arizona State University student, then said the officer came back inside and told her she would be arrested if a search could not be conducted, according to the e-mail.

The mother claimed the officer "strip-searched" her daughter.

According to police, the investigation into the September 2007 case was inconclusive as there was a lack of evidence at the time.

Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell said both cases will be forwarded to the FBI for investigation.

In a written statement, Rodbell said, "As the Chief, I expect that those employed by our department will abide by the same laws that they are entrusted to uphold."

He goes on to write, "Inappropriate or illegal behavior by my officers will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly."