Saturday, October 25, 2008

Deputy Sheriff Jerry Nelson Arrested for DUI

An Orange County deputy sheriff was arrested early Saturday in the Tampa area and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, a jail booking report shows.

Deputy Jerry Nelson, 29, was taken into custody about 3 a.m. in Hillsborough County. Nelson, who joined the Sheriff's Office on Dec. 2, 2005, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail about three hours later and released Saturday.

A Sheriff's Office statement said Nelson will be taken off the street and reassigned to administrative duties while his case is investigated by department officials.

More Information:

Officer Engelberto Rubio Jr Arrested on Child Abuse Charges

SUISUN, Calif.

An officer with the Suisun Police Department has been arrested on child abuse charges, the department said.

Engelberto Rubio Jr. has been placed on 30 days unpaid administrative leave.

The nature of the allegations wasn't released.

Rubio had worked for the police department for three months.

The Suisun Police Department did not release any details on the case, as it was not the arresting agency.

The Colusa County District Attorney is pursuing the case.

Const. Kevin Duignan Charged with Impaired Driving

Blood tests, which Crown witnesses said were taken from Const. Kevin Duignan, showed an alcohol value of more than three times the legal limit, court heard yesterday.

The Ontario Court of Justice in Cobourg heard testimony from hospital staff as part of a voir dire (a trial within a trial) that will determine whether evidence collected at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre can be used against Duignan, a Peterborough County OPP officer.

Mr. Justice Rommel Masse, sitting as judge alone, will have to decide whether the evidence is admissible.

Defence lawyer Leo Kinahan was expected to argue the evidence should not be admissible because Duignan enjoys protection under the province's Personal Health Information Protection Act.

But as the voir dire unfolded yesterday, Kinahan told the court he might have to shift strategies to argue the hospital evidence infringes his client's Charter rights.

Duignan, 50, was charged April 2, 2007 with impaired driving and having care and control of a vehicle with more than the legal amount of alcohol in his blood.

The charge came after Duignan's police cruiser was involved in a single- vehicle collision on Highway 28 south of Burleigh Falls in the early morning hours of March 29, 2007.

Duignan, who was on duty and in uniform at the time, was taken to PRHC where his blood was drawn, court heard.

Hospital lab technologist Pat Surman analyzed Duignan's blood, she testified, finding an alcohol value of 55 millimoles of alcohol per one litre of blood. The legal limit in Canada is about 17.3 millimoles of alcohol per one litre of blood.

Registered nurse Allyson Langworth was working in the emergency room the morning Duignan was brought to the hospital, court heard.

She said the officer was "belligerent" and uncooperative with staff.

Sgt. Wayne Alger Arrested for Committing Lewd Act with Child

Authorities said Saturday that they have arrested a California Highway Patrol sergeant on suspicion of committing a lewd act with a young girl.

Sgt. Wayne Robert Alger, 36, of Roseville, was under investigation for two weeks before his arrest, said Rocklin Police Department spokesman Lt. Lon Milka.

Milka said the victim is younger than 14 and that Rocklin police arrested the CHP sergeant after the girl's family contacted them.

Alger works the CHP's Capitol Protection Section, which provides law enforcement for state buildings in Sacramento.

According to Placer County documents, Alger was taken into custody Friday and later released on $50,000 bail.

CHP Capt. Bob Ghiglieri, Alger's commander, said Saturday that the alleged incident occurred when Alger was off duty and was not job-related. He said Alger has been put on administrative leave, pending the conclusion of the Rocklin Police Department's investigation.

Officer Scott Nugent Awaits Trial in Taser Death

There was no hearing Thursday for Scott Nugent, the officer charged in connection with the in-custody death of Barron "Scooter" Pikes.

Winn Parish District Attorney R. Chris Nevils said the hearing was scheduled for Thursday to hear routine motions, like discovery in the manslaughter and malfeasance case of Nugent, but the hearing wasn't necessary as Nevils had provided the materials a month ago.

Nugent's attorney, Phillip Terrell, was satisfied with the discovery, and neither he nor Nugent were in court Thursday, Nevils said. The next step, Nevils said, is for a trial date to be set, although they have to wait until after a pretrial conference with newly elected District Judge Jacque Derr.

Nugent, whose firing from the Winnfield Police Department was recently upheld by the Civil Service Board, is accused of shocking Pikes nine times with a 50,000-volt Taser within 14 minutes. Those shocks were made while Pikes was handcuffed and in police custody in connection with a drug possession warrant in January, officials say.

Winn Parish Coroner Dr. Randy Williams has said Pikes did not have PCP or cocaine in his system as officers alleged, and Pikes, whose cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest on the death certificate, may have already been dead before the last two Taser shocks.

Nugent has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Terrell has said he is confident Nugent will be found innocent once all the evidence is presented. If convicted of both charges, Nugent faces up to 45 years in prison.

The family of Pikes filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this month against not only Nugent but also the city of Winnfield, the mayor, City Council, police chief and other officers on the force, in addition to Taser International Inc. -- the manufacturer of the stun gun device Nugent used.

Sheriff Daniel Presgraves Faces Several Charges including Sexual Assault


A closer look at the 42-page indictment against Page County Sheriff Daniel Presgraves shows what prosecutors say was a pattern of widespread corruption that dates back to around the time he took the oath of office in 2000.

The federal government alleges that Presgraves, 46, who earns $97,198 a year, violated racketeering laws by using his position as sheriff to sexually assault women employees; obtain labor for personal projects; take bribes in the form of cash, gifts and the use of machinery; protect illegal activities from prosecution; conceal and divert revenue; and obstruct federal investigations.

Presgraves faces six counts of obstructing a law enforcement investigation, four counts of obstructing an investigation by a federal grand jury, four counts of violating the civil rights of women working at the Page County Sheriff's Office, two counts of making false statements, two counts of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of violating federal racketeering laws, according to the indictment unsealed Thursday.

He faces 304 years in prison if convicted on all charges, according to prosecutors.

"Public service is a public trust and those who are elected to public office are held to the highest legal, moral and ethical standards," said Julie Dudley, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Thursday during the unsealing of the indictment. "It's what we all want and what we all expect."

However, it's not what Page County residents got, she said.

Sexual Abuse Alleged

Part of the abuse of power outlined in the 22-count indictment is in connection with the sexual harassment or assault of 12 of the women on his staff he was elected to supervise.

Although he is not specifically charged with sexual assault, four counts of the indictment charge him with violating the civil rights of those employees.

The indictment outlines graphic details of his attempts, sometimes successful, at persuading these women to perform sexual acts or watch him perform lewd acts.

In addition to the lewd acts, the indictment states, he also instructed many of the women not to tell anyone.

In one case, the indictment alleges that after performing a lewd act and groping a woman inappropriately, Presgraves told her not to talk to the "feds" because "nobody knows anything that happened besides you and I."

In a separate incident, the indictment says he told a woman not to testify before the federal grand jury about their sexual activities but to "take it to the grave."

Inmate Labor Claims

Separate from the sexual abuse claims, prosecutors also allege Presgraves abused his power as the top law enforcement officer in the county to receive personal gains.

Presgraves, the indictment says, used Page County Jail inmates to work on projects at his home, at a construction site he and his company, Page Properties LLC, were developing, and at another property he owned that's adjacent to the Shenandoah River and his cabin.

"The inmate labor included, but was not limited to, construction work, operation of machinery, landscaping, mowing, carpentry and painting," the indictment states. "The inmates were often transported to and from the Page County Jail to these work sites by [Presgraves], his wife and [Page County Sheriff's Office] employees at the direction of [Presgraves]."

His wife has not been charged, but prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing.

Prosecutors say he also took government property.

"[Presgraves] stole and converted to his own use construction materials and other items that were owned by the [sheriff's office]," the indictment states.

Presgraves also faces the same conspiracy charge that has resulted in convictions or guilty pleas for three Virginia men charged in connection with the Little Boxwood cockfighting ring. A fourth man awaits trail in that case.

Presgraves is charged with conspiracy to sponsor an animal-fighting venture, specifically for his alleged role in helping Little Boxwood remain active, and his conversations with the owner of a second pit.

In 2000, the indictment alleges, Presgraves told the owner of a cockfighting pit in the Naked Creek section of the county that as long as he, the owner, kept a low profile, he wouldn't have any trouble. It further states that Presgraves told three deputies not to "harass" the cockfighters.

In addition to Pregraves' receiving bribes, disguised as campaign contributions, the indictment alleges he told a resident who called to complain about cockfighting that he didn't have the manpower to combat the issue and that cockfighting was a part of the county's "heritage."

Sheriff Deputy Frank Smith Jr. Charged with Selling Drugs


A Bracken County sheriff's deputy has been charged with selling drugs.

On Friday, Kentucky State police arrested Frank Smith Jr. of Brooksville.

Smith, a Bracken County deputy, was arrested in a McDonald's parking lot in Falmouth.

He was charged with second-degree trafficking a controlled substance. State police said the arrested was the result of a lengthy investigation.