Friday, June 19, 2009

Trooper John Fogg Arrested for Drunk Driving

A North Carolina state trooper is in trouble with the law after he was charged with driving while intoxicated.

The Durham (NC) Police Department contacted the North Carolina Highway patrol and advised that 40-year old John Fogg had been charged with dwi. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Fogg was allegedly off-duty and in his personnel vehicle when he became involved in a collision with another vehicle on the Durham Freeway.

Authorties say a blood-alcohol level performed on Fogg showed his level was .17, twice the legal limit. Fogg, who is assigned to Wilson County and has been a trooper since 2007, has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation.


Three Officers Resign After Tasering Incident

Danny Wilson, a Waffle House employee, alleges that Officer Gary Miles Jr. came into the restaurant while on duty and stunned him with a Taser without provocation. Wilson said Miles was a regular at the restaurant and had taunted and intimidated him in the past.

Miles, who resigned from the Police Department this week after six years on the force, later surrendered to investigators. Gwinnett police said an internal investigation revealed Miles used a Taser on Wilson without provocation.

Two additional officers were identified as being present during the Taser incident. Sergeants Joey T. Parkerson, 39, and 41-year-old Christopher T. Parry both resigned following an administrative investigation. Parkerson was a 13-year veteran of the force and Parry was a 14-year veteran.

Parkerson can be seen in the surveillance video, although he did not shoot Wilson with the Taser.

The incident happened Feb. 16 at the Waffle House in the 2700 block of Loganville Highway, police said. The department launched an investigation after its internal affairs unit received information about possible criminal conduct.

Mike Puglise, an attorney representing Wilson, said it took him until the end of May to get surveillance video from the Waffle House and later filed a notice of intent to sue.

Authorities said the investigation revealed enough probable cause to arrest Miles.

"We are disappointed by the incident and this is not a reflection of our training," said a representative for the Gwinnett Police Department.

Miles has been charged with one count of battery and one count of violation of oath of office. He was booked at the Gwinnett County Detention Center and later released on $8,100 bond.

Deputy Kelly Tillmon Arrested for Attacking Ex-Wife

A sheriff's deputy accused of attacking his estranged wife resigned this week.

Kelly Leanthony Tillmon, 44, was arrested on a warrant charging him with domestic violence on Wednesday.

Irene Tillmon said her husband and his girlfriend, Brenda Garza, attacked her during a confrontation in a shopping center parking lot June 12.

Irene Tillmon's wrist and ribs were fractured during the fight, and she got a black eye, she said.

Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor said he could not confirm her injuries because the investigation is ongoing.

"If she said that, I'd take it as a fact," he said.

Her husband and Garza were put on paid administrative leave after the wife reported the assault Friday, according to a news release from the Victoria County Sheriff's Office.

Kelly Tillmon was arrested on misdemeanor charges and released on a personal recognizance bond. Garza was not charged, but both resigned.

O'Connor said his office filed the charges against Tillmon and Garza with the District Attorney's Office. The Sheriff's Office suggested felony charges for Tillmon, O'Connor said.

"I don't feel I'm getting any justice here," Irene Tillmon said.

Irene Tillmon said she and her husband separated in April. He had not returned her calls recently, she said. When she saw him in the store parking lot she wanted to talk to him about bills, she said.

Garza started the fight, which was broken up by store employees, Irene Tillmon said. When she tried to talk to her husband again, he hit her, she said.

"I'm very disappointed about this because I regarded Deputy Tillmon as a good deputy," O'Connor said. "No one is above the law."

The former deputy did not answer his phone Friday.


Former Officer Anthony Miller Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Porn

Former Hastings police officer Anthony Miller pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography at a court appearance Thursday in St. Croix County, Wis.

Miller had originally pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, in addition to a charge of sexual exploitation of a child, but the exploitation charge was amended Thursday to a second count of possession. He is scheduled to appear for a sentencing hearing Aug. 17.

According to the criminal complaint filed last December, Miller admitted to agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation that he downloaded, possessed and traded child pornography for approximately the previous two years, consisting of images of girls Miller estimated to be between the ages of nine and 15.

Former Hastings police officer Anthony Miller pleaded guilty Thursday June 18 to two counts of possession of child pornography.

The two charges are felonies and carry a combined maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a $200,000 fine, in addition to a $500 court surcharge for each illegal image.

Miller, a New Richmond, Wis., resident, resigned from the Hastings Police Department in January after an 11-year career with the department.

According to Wisconsin Department of Justice officials, Miller admitted he used his personal laptop to view child pornography while on duty as a police officer. Miller said he obtained Internet access via unencrypted wireless signals from various locations throughout the Hastings area.


Former Sheriff William Sanders & Son-in-law Arrested for Beating Man with Baseball Bat

Former Oglethorpe County Sheriff William "Ray" Sanders and his son-in-law face assault charges for allegedly beating another man with a baseball bat last month at Sanders' daughter's home in Comer.

Sanders, 71, and Steven Bryant Hill, 34, each were charged with aggravated assault after an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Oglethorpe County Sheriff Mike Smith said.

The men surrendered to authorities at the county jail last week; Sanders was released on a $20,000 bond and Hill was released on a $40,000 bond, the sheriff said.

Smith would not discuss the case, explaining he once worked as a deputy under Ray Sanders - who did not run for re-election in 2000 after 16 years as Oglethorpe County's sheriff - and that he asked the GBI to investigate to remove any appearance of conflict of interest.

Jim Fullington, special agent in charge of the GBI's Athens office, only would say the investigation determined Hill had assaulted Justin Griffith of Lexington and that Ray Sanders was a "party to the crime."

Under state law, someone who urges or helps another to commit a crime can be charged with that crime.

According to a deputy's report, Griffith and his son were visiting with Ray Sanders' daughter, Dale, the night of May 15. Her husband and father showed up, and Ray Sanders pointed at Griffith and told Hill to "kill that son of a bitch," according to Griffith's account to deputies.

Hill struck him in the head with a baseball bat, Griffith said, and Ray Sanders grabbed Griffith's son, pulled him to the door and pushed him down steps, according to the report.

Griffith's son helped his father to their truck and they drove away, according to the report.

Dale Sanders and Hill were separated at the time of the attack, she said, when Griffith - a childhood friend whose mother had just died - asked if he could come over to talk.

After Griffith arrived with his son, her father and husband came to check on her, and Hill "pitched a fit" when he saw another man was there, she said.

Hill pummeled Griffith with his fists, not a bat, she said.

"My husband did have a baseball bat in his hand, but when he came around in the kitchen and saw Justin and me, he flung the bat down and started beating on him," Dale Sanders said.

"It's a lie that my daddy said to 'kill that son of a bitch,' " she said. "My daddy's the one who pulled (Hill) off Justin to keep him from killing him."

The former sheriff also didn't push the victim's son down the stairs, Dale Sanders said.

"My daddy grabbed him by the arm and said, 'Come outside, you don't need to be in there' " while Hill beat Griffith, she said.

Griffith's son drove him to Athens Regional Medical Center, where doctors treated him for a concussion, a broken nose and other facial injuries, according to the deputy's report. Someone at the hospital reported the assault to authorities the next afternoon.

Dale Sanders sent a text message to Griffith while he was in the emergency room, apologizing for the attack, telling him he should press charges against her father and husband, and warning him to stay away from her so that he didn't get hurt, according to the police report.

She sent Griffith an apology, Dale Sanders said, but didn't encourage him to press charges.

"I texted him to ask if he was all right and that I was sorry about what happened, and told him not to come back," Dale Sanders said.

Judge Gerard Maney Arrested for Drunk Driving

Albany County Family Court Judge Gerard Maney is accused of using bad judgement.

Green Island Police say the 59-year-old judge was drinking and driving on Thursday night.

At about 8:30 p.m., police say Maney's car approached an Albany County Stop DWI Checkpoint on the Green Island Bridge.

"He did a U-turn on the bridge to avoid the checkpoint," says Green Island Police Chief Chris Parker.

Police say Maney didn't pull over until he got to Route 32 in Watervliet.

"Nobody was in danger but he did fail to comply with the lights and sirens for approximately a mile and a half," says Chief Parker. "He never stopped until Route 32."

Paul Tommasini tells us he saw the arrest from his house.

"Another two cars came and they were looking around and discussing what they were going to do to him," Tommasini tells us.

Police say officers smelled alcohol and Maney failed field sobriety tests.

Investigators say Maney had a blood-alcohol content of 0.07 - just shy of the 0.08 BAC that constitutes being legally drunk.

Maney is charged with DWAI - driving while ability impaired by alcohol.

The judge is also charged with making an illegal U-turn and failing to comply with a traffic stop.

According to the New York State Unified Court System web site, Maney has spent 18 years as a family court judge.

He recently served as a member of the City of Albany's Gun Violence Task Force.

He was back on the bench on Friday.

A court spokeswoman says there will be no changes to Judge Maney's judicial duties while the matter is pending.

Albany County Stop DWI Sergeant Lenny Crouch calls the allegations against Judge Maney sad, adding, "You see things like this and you say, 'Boy, you never saw that coming.'"

Neither Judge Maney nor his attorney had any comment on Friday.

Maney is due in Green Island Town Court on July 7th.
Information & Video:

Former Detective Rickie Durham on House Arrest for Obstruction of Justice

Suspended Philadelphia police detective Rickie Durham pleaded not guilty to obstruction-of-justice charges yesterday and was placed under house arrest during a brief hearing in U.S. District Court.

Judge David R. Strawbridge rejected a prosecution motion to deny Durham bail and instead set restrictions aimed at addressing the government's concern that Durham might try to influence witnesses in the case against him.

In a cramped fifth-floor courtroom packed with relatives and friends, including several off-duty police officers, Durham responded with a firm "not guilty" when the six charges were read to him.

The 12-year police veteran has been suspended with intent to dismiss, a procedure that will result in his firing within 30 days.

He has been charged with knowingly leaking information to a drug kingpin about a pending law enforcement raid and then lying to investigators about it.

His lawyer, Fortunato N. Perri Jr., told Strawbridge that Durham was a "dedicated police officer" and intended to fight the charges.

Pointing to the members of the department who had turned out for the hearing, Perri said, "Law enforcement has a different view than the government. . . . Law enforcement has not turned their back on Rickie Durham."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bresnick had argued that Durham should be denied bail and jailed pending trial.

In a detention motion and in arguments in open court, Bresnick contended that Durham had violated his oath as a police officer by tipping off Alton "Ace Capone" Coles about a series of raids Aug. 10, 2005.

Bresnick argued that Durham had "risked the lives of hundreds of his fellow officers, who unwittingly could have walked into a firestorm of bullets as a result of his obstructive conduct."

He contended that if left free, Durham would be "a serious risk of continuing to obstruct justice in the case that awaits him."

Strawbridge, however, ruled that Durham would be placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring at his home in the 1600 block of East Mount Pleasant Avenue; that the house, owned by Durham's wife, would be used as collateral for a $50,000 bail bond; that Durham would report to pretrial-services officials twice a week; and that he could not have any contact with any potential witness in the case.

The charges appear to be built around information provided by Jerome "Pooh" Richardson, a former Philadelphia high school and NBA basketball standout.

Durham and Richardson have been friends for years. Richardson's half-sister, Aysa, was Coles' live-in girlfriend in August 2005.

Durham was one of more than 200 law enforcement agents assigned to take part in predawn raids aimed at the Coles drug organization that Aug. 10.

A few hours before the raids went off, Durham called Pooh Richardson, who lives in California.

The indictment alleges that Durham made the call knowing that Richardson would in turn call his sister and tip her and Coles off about the raids.

Durham has said he made the call merely to gather information for the investigation. He has subsequently acknowledged that the call was "poor judgment," but has insisted he had no intention of leaking information.

What Durham said to Richardson during their phone call will be at the heart of the case. Richardson is cooperating with authorities.

The raids went off as planned.

Coles, who was charged with heading a multimillion-dollar cocaine operation, was eventually convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to life plus 55 years.

Correctional Sgt. Paul Edward Black Charged with Possession of Child Porn

A Century man who works as a sergeant at Century Correctional Facility has been arrested on federal child porn charges.

Paul Edward Black, 42, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of the possession of child pornography, according to United States Attorney Thomas F. Kirwin, Northern District of Florida.

Black is a sergeant at the Century Correctional Institution. He made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Timothy today in federal court. A trial date has been set for August 3.

Black was arrested about noon Wednesday while he was at work at Century Correctional Institution. Florida Department of Corrections Spokesperson Gretl Plessinger said Black has been employed at CCI since March 22, 1991. She said he typically worked the day shift at the prison. He has not been fired, but the Department of Corrections is working toward his termination, Plessinger said. DOC officials will not allow Black to return to work at CCI unless the charges are dropped, she said.

Black was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday, and a warrant was issued for his arrest through the Jacksonville Field Office of the FBI.

Black is accused of using online file sharing software to download images and videos of child pornography. If convicted, Black faces a term of up to ten years imprisonment and a lifetime term of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This investigation was initiated by the Computer Crime Unit of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and supported by the Pensacola Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other members of the North Florida Child Pornography Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg.

Former Officer Robert Ryan Sayler Charged with Wire Fraud

A former Lawrence police officer, once honored as a hero, is being charged with 14 federal counts of felony wire fraud, accused of selling stolen video games on eBay while employed by the police force.

Robert Ryan Sayler, 32, is suspected of devising and executing a scheme in which he purchased video games from Target, removed the video game discs from their original packaging, returned the empty boxes to Target for a complete refund and then sold the discs online, according to an indictment handed up by a Kansas City, Kan., grand jury Wednesday.

The indictment accuses the former police officer of collecting about $526 through the sale of 14 stolen Playstation 3 and Xbox video games on the online auction site eBay, between Aug. 9, 2008, and Sept. 17, 2008. The sale prices ranged from $30 to $46.

Multiple copies of the games Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, Soul Caliber IV and Battlefield Bad Company were sold as a part of the scheme, the indictment said.

Sayler worked more than eight years for the Lawrence Police Department, from Oct. 9, 2000, until Dec. 23, 2008. He was being paid a salary of $58,333 per year when his employment was terminated, the city said.

Servers located in the states of Washington, California, Texas and Arizona are used to process eBay transactions, the indictment said. The indictment said Sayler mailed the video games to purchasers.

Capt. Tarik Khatib, who oversees the Lawrence Police Department information technology division, said the department had no comment about the indictment.

Sayler was one of five police officers who received the Lawrence Police Medal of Valor, the department’s highest award, for his rescue efforts during the deadly Boardwalk Apartment Fire in October 2005.

A court date for Sayler has not been set.
Informatin & Video:

Former Officer Charles Harpster & Wife Arrested for Robbing Bank

A former Henrico County police officer who pleaded guilty in 2006 to stealing marijuana from the evidence room has been arrested and charged with holding up a bank in Bend, Ore., a television station there is reporting on its Web site.

Charles Harpster, 54, who was on the Henrico force for 30 years, was arrested with his wife, Tammi Truschke, Tuesday night after the robbery of the Bend Bank of Cascades, KTVZ reported.

Police arrested the couple at a tavern in nearby La Pine, where they had allegedly used the stolen money to win $700 at video poker while ordering beer and cheesesteaks, the station reported. Bail for the two was set at $500,000, KTVZ reported.

In Henrico in 2006, Harpster and his wife pleaded guilty to distributing less than an ounce of marijuana. Both received 12-month suspended sentences and were fined $100. They were originally charged with felony drug distribution, but the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Harpster also agreed to surrender his law enforcement credential and not to serve as a police officer for at least 10 years, the prosecutor said. Harpster and his wife had spent about two weeks in jail before being released on bond.

Henrico Police Chief Henry W. Stanley Jr. said in 2006 that the drugs were stolen from the Henrico evidence room at about the same time that Harpster, a narcotics investigator, was making final his retirement plans.


Information & Photo:

Officer Michael Barnett Arrest for Fraud

A Graham police officer was arrested June 12.

Officer Michael Kent Barnett, 48, a former Young County paramedic and reserve officer with the Young County Sheriff’s Office, was charged with four counts of fraud.

Police Chief Tony Widner said on June 5 he was notified of a possible criminal offense by an officer.

"I immediately contacted the DA’s office and turned the investigation over to DA investigator Jim Reeves," he said.

The allegation involved the forging of prescriptions. During the course of the investigation, Barnett cooperated fully with the department and the district attorney’s office, said Widner.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained from Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Jim Ross, Barnett used a forged prescription to receive Lorcet, a prescription painkiller containing hydrocodone from Jordan’s Pharmacy on May 26.

The affidavit says the prescriptions were signed by Dr. Pete Barrera. When shown the prescriptions, Barrera denied writing them or authorizing anyone to write them for him.

District Attorney Brenda Gray said when public officials are accused of wrongdoing, it is normal and appropriate to ask an outside agency to investigate.

"There are some times an agency, even to avoid the appearance of impropriety, they will ask the DA to investigate," Gray said. "In this case, Chief Widner contacted our office immediately. We determined because of the nature of the allegations, we needed to start an investigation immediately."

Gray and Reeves said often the Texas Rangers are asked to investigate crimes involving law enforcement officials. Reeves said the only drawback with using the Rangers is the protocol to get an investigation started can take several days.
"We didn’t want to wait to get the Rangers," Gray said.

On June 12, Barnett was terminated from employment with the Graham Police Department, arrested and booked into the Young County Jail. Barnett was charged with four counts of fraud and had bonds set at $25,000 on each charge. As of Thursday, he had bonded out of jail.

Widner said the situation is disappointing at best.

"It’s sad when this happens to anybody, even more when the public trust is placed in a police officer, and that is why this department has a zero tolerance policy," he said. "Whenever we are notified of and have reason to believe that a criminal offense has been committed by an officer, it is our policy to turn that investigation over to an outside agency. We don’t show favoritism ... It’s cost him his career and he’s looking at criminal charges."

Reeves complimented Widner on the way he handled the case, saying he knows from firsthand experience how difficult it can be when allegations are made against employees.

"Chief Widner displayed exemplary leadership and integrity because he contacted our office as soon as he was aware of the complaint," Reeves said. "He immediately initiated an investigation through me."

While it is always disappointing, Reeves said sometimes even law enforcement officials make mistakes. As the longtime Stephens County sheriff, Reeves said he has learned to let outside agencies decide whether a crime was committed.

"Anytime you have employees, you’re going to have problems," Reeves said. "You always ask an outside agency to investigate to avoid the appearance of impropriety or favoritism."

Judge Woody Ray Densen Accused of Keying Car

A Harris County grand jury on Thursday indicted a state district judge on a criminal mischief charge after his neighbor gave prosecutors a videotape that he says proves the judge keyed his car.

Woody Ray Densen, 69, could face 180 days to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted. He could also be disciplined by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Adam Kliebert, a 40-year-old home builder, set up a surveillance camera in his Rice Village-area driveway that recorded a man he identified as Densen walking behind his 2006 Range Rover and appearing to pause and tamper with it on May 23. Kliebert has said he was frustrated that someone kept damaging his SUV, leaving him with repair bills for $3,000.

Passed lie-detector test

Densen, who has long served as a visiting judge in Harris County and other counties surrounding Houston, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday. But his attorney, Robert Pelton, insisted the judge is innocent and said they were disappointed by the indictment.

Pelton does not deny Den­sen is the man seen on the video, but said he did nothing wrong. The judge also passed a polygraph exam during which he denied damaging Kliebert’s car, Pelton said.

“There is no actual proof that he did anything to this man’s car because he didn’t do anything to the man’s car,” Pelton said. “This is a case of a neighborhood dispute. We had an investigator showing the damages could not have been the amount” claimed by Kliebert.

Kliebert had a different reaction to the decision. “I’m happy that the grand jury indicted him,” he said.

Kliebert set up the motion-activated cameras inside his Rice Village area townhouse to film all activities on his driveway because he kept finding scratches and damages to his Range Rover and his ex-girlfriend’s Mercedes-Benz.

Kliebert turned the video over to Houston police.

Although the actions by the man on the video are partially obscured on the surveillance footage, his arm can be seen making contact with the car, sometimes gliding or moving in a jerking motion along the rear door.

Sidewalk blocked by SUV

In a secretly videotaped conversation, Densen told Kliebert he didn’t know who damaged the vehicle, but suggested the vandalism might have occurred because the SUV was partially blocking the sidewalk.

Densen presided over criminal cases as judge of the 248th State District Court in Harris County from 1983 until he was defeated in a bid for re-election in 1994.

After that, he served as a visiting judge for many years, but stopped accepting courtroom assignments in 2007 when the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association filed a complaint against him with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. The state commission dismissed that complaint without taking any action.

Now that he has been indicted, Densen will likely be suspended from serving as a visiting judge in any courtroom.

Densen was making arrangements to surrender on a non-arrest bond late Thursday or today, Pelton said.