Sunday, August 17, 2008

Officers Arrested on Drug Charges

A WEST Midlands police officer has been arrested on suspicion of theft and possession of Class A drugs.

The 47-year-old officer is currently on police bail and has been suspended on full pay while investigations continue.

He was arrested on June 4.

He could face up to seven years in prison if charged and found guilty - the maximun sentence for possession of Class A drugs, according to the Home Office.

The case follows the earlier imprisonment of a West Midlands Police officer for drugs offences.

A female officer was jailed for 12 months for being in possession of Class A drugs, misconduct in public office and wilful neglect of duties on November 25 2005.

Aged 31 at the time, she resigned the day after she was charged.

West Midlands Police revealed the details of the cases in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Mercury.

They said four officers had been arrested for drug offences over the last three years.

Another officer was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs, which include heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, crack magic mushrooms and amphetamines.

The fourth was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class C drugs, which include cannabis, tranquilisers and GHB.

A force spokesman said: “We can confirm a West Midlands Police officer aged 47 was arrested on June 4 2008 on suspicion of theft and possession of Class A drugs. He is currently on bail pending further inquires and suspended.

“He is on full pay. This will be stopped if he is sentenced to prison or is remanded in custody.

“We can also confirm a female officer, aged 31 at the time, was sentenced for 12 months custodial on November 25 2005.

“She was charge on 23 June 2005 with possession of Class A drugs, misconduct ina public office nad wilful neglect of duties.

“She resigned from the force the day after being charged.”

The force has refused to release any further details about the arrests.

The spokesman said officers who are arrested on suspicion of offences were not given any special treatment by fellow officers. “Their are no stipulated or mandatory guidelines in relation to this,” said the spokesman.

“The most important thing is the officer is treated exactly the same as any other member of the community, they will be taken to a police station.

“What happens then entirely depends on the circumstances.

“Relatively minor offences can be investigated internally, if it is a more serious offence then the Independent Police Complaints Commission might carry out the investigation.

“If the senior investigating officer deems the offence serious enough they can make a recommendation to the deputy chief constable.

“It is then up to the deputy chief constable to decide if they are going to suspend the officer involved.

The Home Office said it does not issue guidelines to forces on how to deal with officers who commit crimes.

Houston Officers NOT Disciplined for Misusing Tasers

The Houston Police Department has found no wrongdoing in some 1,700 incidents in which its officers intentionally fired a Taser, despite investigating about 70 complaints — including one officer who shocked his own stepson and another who discharged his stun gun on a 59-year-old woman during a dispute over laundry.

Over the last four years, only five officers have been disciplined for misusing their Tasers, although not one of the five actually shocked a suspect, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle. Instead, HPD reprimanded officers for threatening people with their stun guns, repeatedly discharging them while off duty and brandishing the weapon in a dispute in an elementary school carpool line.

"If that is how they deal with family problems, how are they dealing with the public?" asked Shirley Baker, whose grandson was shocked by his officer stepfather.

Use of Tasers, sold as an alternative to the deadly force of firearms, has been controversial since HPD first purchased hundreds of them late in 2004. The weapon quickly triggered public criticism with findings that officers often used them on unarmed people who committed no crime and that the vast majority were black.

Houston Mayor Bill White in November 2006 called for an independent analysis, overseen by Controller Annise Parker's office, which is expected to be made public Sept. 8. Parker has been publicly critical, saying last year that HPD's system for tracking Taser use is insufficient and despite claims that each deployment is reviewed, it "can't (be proven) with a paper trail."

Police officials maintain the Taser is a useful tool that has reduced injuries to both officers and suspects. Each incident, they say, is closely scrutinized.

"To have (69) complaints and only a few sustained — that is reflective of successful use," said Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin, who oversees the HPD internal affairs division. "The numbers show that we have used Tasers responsibly."

HPD officers deployed their Tasers 1,724 times between December 2004 and May 2008, triggering 69 internal affairs investigations. More than half began after citizens filed complaints. Five probes remain open, but investigators found no wrongdoing in 56 others.

Among the people who filed complaints were Thoang Do, 59, a woman shocked during an altercation at her laundromat.

Do and her husband, Van Chau, 72, crossed paths with officer Troy Triplett on April 19, 2007, after a customer, attempting to pick up clothes without a ticket, summoned police. An effort to sort out the confusion escalated into a struggle between Triplett and the 5-foot-4-inch Chau, according to witness statements obtained by the family's attorney, Michael Nguyen.

No criminal charges
The store's glass door shattered. Chau lay on his stomach in jagged glass and blood. He would later require 28 stitches. Triplett, with a knee on Chau's back, attempted to restrain him.

"His wife ran outside screaming 'Nooo, Nooooo,' seeing her husband bleeding and rolling in the glass as the officer continued to manhandle him," a customer, Aaron Greenlee, said in a statement.

Triplett told Do to back away and, when she continued to reach out, he used his Taser.

Prosecutors charged Chau with felony assault of a public servant and Do with misdemeanor resisting arrest. A grand jury declined to indict Chau; Do's case was dismissed.

The couple filed a formal complaint with HPD's internal affairs division but no discipline has followed. Triplett directed questions to HPD's media relations officials, who did not comment.

"It makes me wonder whether they really looked at what happened," said the couple's daughter Linh Chau, 29. "If they had, how could they do nothing?"

It is not uncommon for people shocked with Tasers to face no criminal charges.

A Houston Chronicle analysis of the first 900 incidents in which officers deployed their Tasers, published in January 2007, found that more than one-third of the people whom officers shocked faced no charges. In about 50 other cases, charges were filed but dropped by prosecutors or dismissed by judges and juries.

The Chronicle found that the majority of Taser incidents escalated from common police calls including traffic stops, nuisance calls and reports of suspicious people.

HPD officials have said they do not track those criminal cases and that their outcomes do not affect whether officers' actions are ruled justified. None of the five Taser incidents in which Chief Harold Hurtt called for disciplinary action involve an officer shocking a suspect.

Hurtt suspended officer Douglas Randall Boyer for discharging five-second "spark tests" of his Taser 30 times while off-duty at home or while working an extra job. Internal affairs investigators found Boyer violated HPD protocols, which require officers to test their Tasers in front of a supervisor before each shift.

For that, Boyer received a one-day suspension. But, investigators found no problem with Boyer's actions in a December 2005 domestic dispute in which Boyer shocked his stepson.

Boyer, who has a long disciplinary history including a 10-day suspension after a domestic violence incident with his then-wife, was at home and off-duty when he got into an argument with his 17-year-old stepson. Tensions escalated and the 27-year veteran officer turned to his Taser and shocked the teen.

Officers from the Harris County Sheriff's Department and HPD came to his home, reported Boyer's action to internal affairs and took the boy to his grandmother's home, according to HPD documents.

"I can't believe that this is how they want officers to use their Taser," the grandmother, Shirley Baker said. "At home, on their kids?"

Boyer, who retired from HPD, declined to comment.

Hurtt also authorized discipline against officer Nichole P. Medrano, accused of threatening to use her Taser during a dispute in front of her children's elementary school.

Medrano was off-duty but wearing her uniform Jan. 26, 2006, waiting in her children's carpool line, when she confronted a woman who the officer said drove recklessly as she pulled up to the school.

According to police records, Medrano confronted the woman, who got angry.

"Officer Medrano took the woman's keys and returned to her (Medrano's) car," said Lumpkin, the assistant chief over internal affairs.

Medrano used her cell phone to call for police and, while waiting, the officer threatened the woman with her Taser and her firearm, Lumpkin said.

Several suspensions

Dispatch tapes captured Medrano warning the woman that "I will shoot your ass."

The officer received a written reprimand.

"At the time of the incident, (the woman) was unarmed, and you used unsound judgment by threatening to use deadly force without sufficient cause to believe you were in danger of serious bodily injury or death," reads the disciplinary letter.

Medrano did not respond to queries for a comment.

Three other officers have been suspended over Taser use.

Officer John B. Woods received a one-day suspension for mistakenly using his Taser while handcuffing a theft suspect in June 2007. Officer Song Kim received a five-day suspension for taunting a shoplifter with his Taser while working an off-duty job. A third officer, Dong Hoang, received a three-day suspension in 2005 for test-firing his Taser but not documenting the incidents.

Officer Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, defended HPD's investigations of Taser use.

"Short of deadly force, Tasers are the most scrutinized tool in the department," he said.

Officer Paul Hubka Charged with Killing His Canine Partner


A San Diego police officer who was charged yesterday in the death of his canine partner is unlikely to lose his job but could face disciplinary action pending an internal investigation, San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne said.

The Police Department launched the investigation yesterday after the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Officer Paul Hubka with one misdemeanor count of animal endangerment. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail, a fine and be ordered to pay restitution.

A necropsy performed on Forrest, a 5 year-old Belgian Malinois, found that the animal died of heatstroke on June 20 at the officer's home in Alpine.

Hubka, a 22-year veteran of the department, is accused of leaving the dog in the police cruiser with the windows rolled up on a day when temperatures in East County exceeded 100 degrees.

“There's no one who feels worse than he does,” Lansdowne said yesterday. “It's very clear that he lost a partner he was attached to, and he knows it was his fault, and he takes absolute responsibility.”

Michael Conger, an attorney who represented Hubka in an unrelated labor lawsuit but not in this case, said the officer had worked a double shift and was exhausted when he got home.

“He's a very solid, good person that made a very bad mistake,” Conger said.

The chief said he will decide on any discipline to administer in the case when the internal investigation is completed in two to three weeks. Hubka is assigned to administrative duties in the meantime.

“I do not see this as a termination case,” Lansdowne said. “I believe it was a mistake.”

In an effort to prevent similar tragedies in the future, the department announced yesterday that it plans to buy heat-alert systems for its fleet of 53 police dog cars similar to those used in other hot-temperature cities such as Dallas, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

When the back seat of the patrol car reaches a certain temperature, the system will automatically lower the car's windows, switch on the air conditioning and sound an alarm. The technology will cost about $36,000 total.

In 2006, a state law was enacted making it a misdemeanor for a person to leave a dog unattended in a vehicle causing great bodily injury or death. Only intentional animal cruelty is a felony.

Hubka's attorney could not be reached yesterday afternoon.

Carlsbad resident Janis Musante was one of several in the county who expressed outrage at Forrest's death.

“I think he needs to be held accountable and shouldn't be given any preferential treatment because he's a police officer,” said Musante, a retired San Francisco lawyer who is married to a retired police officer. “It was absolutely justified charging him.”

She also applauded City Attorney Michael Aguirre for filing a lawsuit against Hubka seeking to recover the cost of replacing the police dog.

Hubka is the third law enforcement officer in the county to be charged with a crime in the past three weeks.

San Diego police Officer Frank White faces two charges for his role in an off-duty shooting and road rage incident in Oceanside, and San Diego County sheriff's Detective Thomas Sadler faces five felony charges stemming from accusations that he molested a prostitute while on duty.

Sadler and Hubka are set to be arraigned Aug. 28 before the same judge.

Also yesterday, an officer whose police dog died after being left in a patrol car for 13 hours last summer in suburban Phoenix was acquitted of animal cruelty.

Chandler, Ariz., police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy was negligent, but prosecutors did not prove he acted recklessly, a justice of the peace ruled. Lovejoy could have been jailed for six months if he had been convicted of the misdemeanor count.

Lovejoy testified that on the morning of Aug. 11, 2007, after working an overnight shift, he parked his police SUV in his driveway and went inside. He said he was exhausted and forgot the Belgian Malinois was sleeping in the back.

Officer Accused of Possessing Child Porn was Turned by Wife

It turns out, a local law enforcement officer, accused of possessing child porn...was turned in to police by his wife.

36-year-old Paul Kistner posted a $5,000 bail Thursday, releasing him from an undisclosed holding facility.

The longtime Washoe County Sheriff's Deputy is charged with five counts of possession of child pornography, for viewing and collecting over 400 lude and sexually explicit images of young children.

Sparks Police detectives are investigating the case, as to curb any conflicts of interest.

According to court documents, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office was contacted by Kistner's wife, Monique on August 7th. She brought detectives a computer tower and hard drive, claiming her husband had been accessing porn and child erotica. A friend of hers used computer "spy ware" in order to uncover the accessed porn websites.

After detectives obtained a search warrant, they did a forensic exam of Kistner's home computer, and searched his home, confirming his wife's claims.

Reports show that detectives located three portable "thumb" hard drives, containing the child porn images...all which Kistner kept in the front pocket of his deputy uniform.

Detectives say Kistner later admitted to masturbating to the pictures...and says he started looking at them over a year ago, because he was quote: "curious." Court documents allege Kistner was able to keep the child porn files hidden by giving them titles like "Christmas 2005."

His wife told detectives she became suspicious when her husband began spending hours on the Internet behind closed doors...and then deleting his Internet history after using the computer.

Kistner is scheduled to appear in court for his preliminary hearing on August 26th.

Two Officer Accused of Using Excessive Force


Two City of Columbia police officers have been indicted after being accused of using excessive force against a USC football player.

Offensive lineman Kevin Young was arrested in March 2007. Young claims the officers punched him several times after he was in a fight in a Five Points bar.

Young's Attorney Neal Lourie confirmed that the indictments were issued.

Babs Lindsay from the South Carolina solicitor's office said the indictments were given out around 4:30pm Friday.

The indictments say officers Roger Gilland and David Beddingfield Jr. did "act in a manor that is corrupt and are fraudulent and are oppressive."

Each officer faces a count of misconduct in office according to the indictments. The counts stem from a SLED investigation that lasted almost three months.

If convicted, each officer at most could spend a year in prison and pay a $1,000 fine.

Both officers are expected to have a bond hearing next Tuesday at 11am

Officer Accused of Smuggling in Mexico Returns to Work

A police officer who was arrested in Mexico, accused of smuggling ammunition and guns into the country earlier this month, is back in Monterey County at his post, his defense attorney said.

Presidio of Monterey police Sgt. Jorge Matos was released from jail last week after a Mexican judge reduced charges from smuggling weapons and ammunition into the country to possession of a weapon — a lesser offense in Mexico similar to a misdemeanor in the United States, his defense attorney, Andrew Liu said.

Lui said Matos is not expected to pay a fine, but he will not serve time in jail.

Hermogenes Llanes, the Soledad officer arrested along with Matos, has also returned and is in Soledad. He is under paid administrative leave while the Soledad police department conducts an internal investigation, said Soledad Police Chief Richard Cox.

Biker shot by officer leaves intensive care

The Hells Angels member who was shot and wounded by an off-duty Seattle police detective at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota was taken out of intensive care Tuesday as he recovers from two gunshot wounds, one to the stomach and the second to the leg, his younger brother said.

The 33-year-old man was shot Saturday during a confrontation with the officer at the Loud American Roadhouse, a packed bar in Sturgis. One bullet tore open his bowels, and the other shattered his femur, said his brother, a restaurant manager in the San Diego area. He asked that his name not be used.

The officer, a 43-year-old detective, and four other Seattle officers were vacationing at the rally. The officer has said he was jumped and beaten and feared for his life, so he fired in self-defense. The detective belongs to the Iron Pigs motorcycle club, which is geared toward police officers and firefighters.

A Meade County, S.D., grand jury is examining the evidence for possible charges.

The San Diego-area biker's brother said he hasn't tried to pry too much into the details, given his brother's health.

"We want him to focus on healing up and getting healthy," he said, adding that they hope to have him home in a week.

The biker was shot on his first trip to the weeklong rally in South Dakota. He rode out with friends and first visited his sister in Missoula, Mont., staying for a few days there before heading to Sturgis, his brother said.

"He'd been looking forward to it for quite a while. He's been working and saving money to go for months," he said.

Security camera video of the incident was taken into evidence to be presented to the grand jury, Meade County State's Attorney Jesse Sondreal said. Seattle police guild officials have said the video would show that the shooting was justified.

The biker is a roofer and has belonged to the Hells Angels for about 10 years. His brother said he doesn't know much about the events before the shooting, though his brother is usually mellow and not the type "to get in someone's face."

He said he spoke with his brother's friends who were at Sturgis. They told him that his brother had gotten separated from his group in the bar. He said his brother's friends didn't immediately know he had been shot.

His brother has no history of violent crimes, he said. His San Diego court records confirm that, though they show he was due for a hearing Aug. 20 on pending marijuana charges from a police raid in January 2007.

The Hells Angels member was arrested as part of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Diego Police Department. Police served warrants on two San Diego-area homes that belonged to the president of the Hells Angels local chapter, according to the District Attorney's Office.

He and the chapter treasurer were arrested at one of the homes in Pacific Beach afterward. Police seized a pound and a half of marijuana, in addition to hydrocodone and oxycodone pills and $5,000 in cash.

Officer Scott Nugent Indicted on Taser Death


A grand jury indicts former police officer on manslaughter charge in Taser death of central Louisiana man.

Former Winnfield police officer Scott Nugent was indicted in the death of 21-year-old Baron Pikes.

Pikes was shocked nine times with a 50,000-volt Taser as he was arrested on a drug possession warrant in January.

Nugent was fired but is appealing his dismissal. Nugent's lawyer says his client followed department protocols and didn't use excessive force.

A coroner has ruled that Pikes' death was a homicide.

Officer Andrew Dale Fired for Sexually Abusing Woman


The Town Board fired a police officer last night who is accused by the town Police Department of sexually abusing a Monsey woman.

The dismissal of Andrew Dale, 34, came a day after an indictment accused him of felony and misdemeanor crimes related to administering gynecological examinations, but was based only on the Police Department's disciplinary charges.

A resolution unanimously approved by the board declared that Dale, a member of the department for 10 years, "is no longer qualified to serve as a Police Officer and is immediately discharged."

The decision was made after board members were provided with a 1,641-page transcript of the six-day hearing, as well as the hearing officer's report.

Hearing Officer John Carey reported finding sufficient evidence to uphold 16 disciplinary charges, including Dale's failure to report the woman's accusations, his lying to the Police Department about the accusations and his participation in the alleged abuse.

Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said last night that he thought it was significant that Carey found "proof well beyond the substantial-evidence test in determining that Dale committed the crime of sexual abuse."

Police Chief Peter Brower and relatives of Dale's declined to comment as they left last night's meeting.

Dale's dismissal was not recommended by Carey, who suggested a one-year unpaid suspension. The officer's annual salary was about $95,000.

Carey, a former Westchester County judge, reported that he took "into account AD's unblemished record in the RPD, his national service as a US Marine, his current service in the US Army Reserve, and his overall performance as a Community Police Officer."

It seemed to Carey that "more good can be done by sending him back to work," with an admonition to use better judgment in the future.

Dale and Zalman Silber were released without bail Tuesday after separate arraignments before Judge Catherine Bartlett in Rockland County Court in New City.

Silber, 41, had already posted $10,000 bail in Manhattan after he was accused last month of misdemeanor charges of sex abuse and a felony charge of practicing a profession without a license. The charges stemmed from accusations that Silber examined several women while posing as a gynecologist.

In the Rockland indictment, Silber and Dale were accused of 34 charges, including the felony of performing medical examinations without a license between 2005 and 2006. They also were accused of four counts of fourth-degree aggravated sex abuse, a felony, and 24 counts of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor. All the charges related to the alleged contact with the Monsey woman.

They pleaded not guilty, and their attorneys predicted they would prevail at trial.

One of the lawyers, William Aronwald of White Plains, said the woman was "mentally unbalanced" and had ulterior motives for her accusations.

In a footnote of the hearing officer's report, it was stated the woman wrote that she was withdrawing her claims against either Dale or Silber or both.

"I am not in good mental health and approached the DA's office with an unstable mind when I submitted my claim," the woman was said to have written on Dec. 10, 2007.

That was the same day she taped three conversations with Dale for the Police Department, and the day when Dale later met with Silber.

The hearing officer determined that the woman's testimony against Dale at the hearing "was more credible" than the letter.

Carey wrote that Dale implicated himself beyond what was recorded on tape.

While the woman, in the conversations, accused Dale only of sexual abuse, he later gave police details that he could not have known, "except for (his) personal participation," Carey wrote.

Accused Pedophile was Janitor at High School

A Concord man accused of soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl and later an undercover police officer once worked for a Concord high school, school officials said Thursday.

Danny Wrenn Cochran worked as a custodian at Jay M. Robinson High School from May 2001 to January 2006, Cabarrus County Schools spokeswoman Jeanette Trexler said.

School officials could not release why he left or under what circumstances.

Police officials said earlier this week they do not believe he was involved in any other alleged incidents. At the time of his arrest, Cochran was unemployed and receiving disability payments, police officials said.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Cochran told the 14-year-old girl, who had misdialed his phone, that he had previously worked as a custodian at the school. Police worked with the 14-year-girl, whose name is not being released, to set up a sting operation by using an undercover police officer to act as the teen’s cousin, the report stated.

Police arrested Cochran at the Terrymore Apartments in Concord, which was a predetermined meeting place between the undercover officer and Cochran, documents stated.

Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Sgt. D.J. DeGrace said the management of Terrymore Apartments worked with police and allowed them to use the facility for the sting but stressed the complex and its tenants had no involvement with the case.

The location was a neutral meeting place where police could control the situation and not give up the actual address of anyone involved, DeGrace said.

Cochran, 51, of 4800 Roberta Church Road, appeared in court Thursday morning.

Cabarrus County District Attorney Roxanne Vaneekhoven now has to decide when to place Cochran’s case before a grand jury.

Cochran’s next scheduled court hearing is Sept. 4 but he could be called before the grand jury as early as Monday, Cabarrus County Clerk of Courts officials said.

Lake Wales Officer Keenan Colson Arrested on Drug Charges

A Lake Wales police officer and 18 others have been arrested after an eight-month investigation into an alleged drug operation based in Haines City.

Lake Wales Police Officer Keenan Colson, left, is brought in to the book-in area at the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Bartow on Wednesday.

Lake Wales officer Keenan Colson, 50, of Bartow resigned Wednesday, the day he was arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in pattern of racketeering, five counts of unlawful use of a two-way communications device, and four counts unlawful use of computer access.

At a news conference Wednesday, Sheriff Grady Judd said Colson used police equipment to provide information to co-defendant Clayton Hoerler, 25, of Lake Alfred.

Judd accused Hoerler and William Cade, 27, of Haines City of being at the head of the drug operation, with Cade serving as the "boss" of the group.

Cade was charged with one count of continuing criminal enterprise, four counts conspiracy to sell cannabis, eight counts sale of cannabis and 10 counts of unlawful use of a two-way communications device.

Hoerler was charged with one count of continuing criminal enterprise, five counts sale of cannabis, two counts purchase of cannabis, two counts unlawful use of two-way communications device and one count conspiracy racketeering/organized crime. Hoerler was also charged with child abuse. Investigators allege he brought his 4-year-old daughter to purchase 2 pounds of marijuana June 7.

Judd said Wednesday that more arrests will come.

"There is an undercover drug world out there," he said. "This is not over."

Law enforcement agencies throughout Polk County, plus the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area taskforce began the investigation in December.

Using four wire taps, detectives executed 13 search warrants, closed five marijuana grow locations, and seized about 20 pounds of marijuana, 168 marijuana plants, guns and $60,000, the Sheriff's Office said.

The 19 arrested face more than 80 criminal charges, ranging from possession of cannabis to money laundering.

Over the course of about four months, detectives listened to the wire taps and conducted surveillance on people mentioned to be involved in criminal activity, The Sheriff's Office said.

On Wednesday, Judd recounted some of the conversations detectives said they'd heard between Hoerler and Colson:

According to the Sheriff's Office, on May 29, Hoerler asked Colson to run a tag number. Colson revealed to Hoerler that the car belonged to a Sheriff's Office detective whom he knew personally, and Hoerler said he would warn his people.

On May 30, Hoerler asked Colson to find out if a specific person had an outstanding warrant, according to the Sheriff's Office. Colson ran the name and told Hoerler the person did not. Hoerler promised to buy Colson dinner for the information.

June 8, the day after a member of the operation was arrested for marijuana possession, Hoerler called Colson, according to the Sheriff's Office, and Colson gave Hoerler advice on how to move forward, warning him about police-controlled phone calls and controlled drug buys, and how to avoid detection.

Colson also told Hoerler that arrests, and other problems and risks were all a part of the illegal business in which Hoerler was involved, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Intercepted phone calls led investigators to the other arrests, the Sheriff's Office said.

Colson was hired to the Lake Wales police department in December 2005 and was paid about $45,000, according to Lake Wales police. His personnel file contained no complaints.

He did have several commendations, including one for outstanding work on the arson case at the Headley Insurance office Dec. 13, when he was the first officer on scene where two women were fatally injured. A former insurance customer, Leon Davis, is accused of killing those two women and of killing two men at a convenience store north of Lake Alfred.

Colson previously had worked at the Bartow Police Department, where his file was not as clean. He started as an officer in 1981 and moved up to lieutenant until he was terminated in 1997 following an internal affairs investigation. He had been arrested on charges of perjury and accessory after the fact after his girlfriend was arrested in relation to an arson case.

According to the internal affairs report, Colson was found in violation of department policy and did not cooperate in the investigation. He was later found not guilty of the criminal charges, and his law enforcement credentials remained intact.

After working as a truck driver for about a year, Colson went to work as a Lake Hamilton police officer in 1999, then moved on to Lake Wales.

"He was very quiet, kept to himself, but did a good job," Lake Wales Police Chief Herbert Gillis said at the news conference Wednesday.

Investigators do not have any evidence leading them to believe Colson was being paid for helping Hoerler, they said Wednesday.

Gillis said the department does not believe any other officers were involved, and he issued a warning: "If you do wrong, we're gonna do the right thing."