Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Officer Alejandro Lopez Arrested for Murdering Family

Police said today they arrested a state investigator and six other men for allegedly stabbing and shooting to death six members of a family in connection with an extortion bid.

Police officer Alejandro Lopez sent gunmen to the family's house in Ciudad Guzman, in the western state of Jalisco, last week to demand US$100,000, state prosecutors alleged in a statement.

Lopez, a Jalisco investigator, then showed up at the house pretending to make a casual visit, prosecutors said. When he encountered the gunmen, he allegedly encouraged the family to turn over the money so the assailants would go away.

Lopez, who had helped investigate the kidnapping of the family's teenage son in April, is believed to have staged the robbery after becoming aware of the family's access to large sums of money, prosecutors said.

Investigators said they found US$100,000 in Lopez's home.

The family members were killed when they figured out that Lopez was behind the assault, authorities said.

Their bodies were found Wednesday in their house, which was previously owned by Mexican Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cardenas, the prosecutor's office said. They had been dead for at least a day and a half.

Four of the victims, including two children, were shot in the head. A teenage boy had his throat slashed and his mother was asphyxiated with a plastic bag.

Cardenas has said the family bought the house from him and two months ago because they thought they would be safer there after the boy's kidnapping.

Former Officer Charged with Drug Possession

A former township police officer has been charged with possession of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and endangering the welfare of a child.

Joseph Morano, 41, and Jennifer Phalon, 34, both of the same Seaspray Road address, were arrested after a motor vehicle stop of a 1994 Ford Explorer on Route 72 in Stafford about 11:20 p.m. Friday, said Capt. Robert Urie of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Special Operations Group.

Morano is the son of Township Committeeman Len Morano.

The couple was riding in Morano's Ford Explorer with a 4-year-old child inside when it was stopped by a member of the Special Operations Group and the Stafford Township Police Department.

The Prosecutor's Office, Stafford police and members of the Ocean County Regional SWAT executed a search warrant at the couple's Seaspray Road home and found five bags of heroin and marijuana in the home, Urie said.

The couple was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, he said.

Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10 percent option for both, set by Ocean County Superior Court Judge James DenUyl.

Morano and Phalon were lodged in the Ocean County Jail and released on Saturday.

Morano has a history of substance abuse issues dating back to 2003, when he was suspended for 30 days on matters connected to alcohol abuse while he was a Barnegat police officer. Subsequent arrests and indictments over prescription drug matters led to his resignation as a police officer in 2005.

Police officer arrested for DUI

A South Bend Police officer is arrested for a D.U.I and police say his blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

Nappanee police arrested Sgt. Mark Szweda just before 1 a.m. Monday.

They say he was going 62 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone.

Officers say Szweda failed field sobriety checks and a test showed his blood alcohol level at .14

Szweda is currently on paid administrative leave with the South Bend Police Department pending a review by the board of public safety.

Juvenile Correction Officer David Ware Accused Of Soliciting Sex From Child


A man was arrested at Loudoun County High School Sunday for allegedly using a communication system to solicit sex from a female minor, according to the Leesburg Police Department.

Police said David Ware had been communicating with the girl through MySpace and other electronic forms for a couple of weeks.

He traveled from Fauquier County to Leesburg, where he was arrested at the high school at about 12:45 a.m. Sunday, according to police.

Ware is a juvenile correction officer in Culpeper County.

He is being held without bond.

Officer Bobby Paige Beats Wife

The wife of a Louisville Metro Police officer claims he pinned her against a wall, injured her arm while grabbing her and then shoved her to the ground during an argument, according to court records.

Officer Bobby Paige, 36, was arrested about 7 a.m. Saturday at his home off Fegenbush Lane in southern Jefferson County by members of the department’s Public Integrity Unit, which investigates criminal misconduct in the department, police said.

Paige, who was charged with assault 4th degree, had been placed on administrative leave, said Officer Phil Russell, a police spokesman.

Paige, who has been an officer since 2004, posted a $500 bond on Sunday and was released from Metro Corrections. He will be arraigned on Wednesday.

Russell said he could not discuss the case since the investigation is continuing.

Detective Cassie Watson Accused of Rape


It's a sight rarely seen in Charleston County bond court. Monday afternon, 40 year old Hanahan Police Detective Cassie Watson found himself on the other side of the legal fence.

Watson is accused of raping a woman Sunday night in her North Charleston home. The woman told police she met Watson through a dating service two years ago.

"We've had enough black eyes from officers doing things in the community across the country, that it still hurts you when something like this comes up," a stunned Hanahan Police Chief Donald Wilcox said.

According to court affidavits, the woman told police Watson pointed a gun in her face, forced her to remove her clothes and get on all fours. She told cops she felt if she didn't do what he said, she would end up in a body bag.

"We take every allegation even if it's just a speeding ticket complaint, seriously," Chief Wilcox said. "But when you're talking about potential felony cases, that's just unheard of, unbelievable."

This is not the first time Detective Watson had been on the news. Last April, he asked news reporters to help him solve of all things, a rape case.

"We have a face, no name, and this takes place, so it's almost as if a stranger has assaulted her out of the clear blue sky," Watson said at the time. Now the officer himself is a rape suspect, who will eventually have his day in court.

"As with anybody, innocent until proven guilty, and we'll have to see how the investigation goes," Chief Wilcox said.

Watson is facing three charges, including Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree and Kidnapping. A judge set his bond at $325,000. Chief Wilcox said Watson has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.