Friday, July 17, 2009

Officer Bernard Hall Jr Arrested for Corruption

A second Benton Harbor police officer was arrested on Friday on similar corruption charges that sent a narcotics officer to prison earlier this year.

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Michigan said narcotics supervisor Bernard Hall Jr., 33, of Benton Harbor, faces a three count indictment.

Hall supervised officer Andrew Thomas Collins, who was convicted of planting drug evidence and falsifying search warrants on Jan. 26.

He is serving a 37-month prison sentence.

Hall supervised Collins and other officers in the Benton Harbor Police Department’s narcotics unit, the FBI said.

Hall is accused of working with Collins in falsifying search warrants and planting drug evidence on suspected drug dealers and executing search warrants without proper probable cause.

He also is accused of unlawfully seizing personal property during drug raids and keeping money and property for his own use, Brian Delaney, criminal chief with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said.

Count two of Hall’s indictment alleges that he made false statements during the federal grand jury investigating Collins.

"In particular the indictment alleges that Hall lied when he testified under oath that ‘I’ve never seen him (Collins) take money from anybody" and "I’ve never witnessed him (Collins) do anything illegal," Delaney said.

The third count alleges that Hall made false statements to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office when he claimed he had overseen a drug deal by a confidential informant on Feb. 20, 2007 at 849 LaVette St., Delaney said.

"In truth and in fact" there was no drug purchase made at that time at that location, Delaney said.

Hall resigned from the police department and is scheduled for a hearing Friday in federal court in Grand Rapids.

Benton Harbor Police Chief Al Mingo and officials from the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the charges during a press conference Friday morning.

More than 100 drug cases and convictions that the two officers handled are being reviewed by the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office and by federal prosecutors for possible dismissal.

Officer Joshua Gutierrez Arrested for Fighting Outside Bar

A school district police officer was arrested after a bachelor party got out of control at a South Side bar.

The officer, 29-year-old Joshua Gutierrez, was arrested at The Steer bar off of Southeast Military Drive. San Antonio Police arrested Gutierrez, who is Northside Independent School District police officer, after he allegedly got into a scuffle with a San Antonio police officer outside the bar as the bachelor party was ending.

According to police, Gutierrez and two of his brothers were asked to leave when the bar closed. The three men then allegedly started yelling at the bouncer as they moved into the parking lot.

San Antonio Police say when their officers arrived, they tried to arrest one of Gutierrez's brothers. According to the officers, Gutierrez then pulled one of the SAPD officers by the shoulder.

"At this point, he's been relieved of duty with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation," explained Captain Brad Mills of the Northside Independent School District Police Department.

Gutierrez has been with NISD as a police officer for nearly five years. Before that, he was a jailer for Bexar County.

"He's been a good officer during that period," Captain Mills told News 4 WOAI. "We haven't had any discipline problems during that period."

Gutierrez was jailed for interfering with the duties of a police officer. He was released on a $800 bond.

Officer Mike Trio Arrested for Sexual Battery

A Clifton Forge Police Officer is off the job, charged in a sexual abuse case.

Mike Gary Trio was indicted by the Alleghany County grand jury Wednesday.

Trio is charged with sexual battery and another sexually related offense.

Court documents show the woman Trio is accused of abusing is 18 years old. Trio is 51 years old.

Police Chief Barry Balser tells WSLS Trio has been on the force for about a year and a half. Balser says when the initial complaint was made in February, the case was immediately turned over to State Police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Trio has been moved to a position in the town’s public works department, while the case is resolved.

Trio was released from jail on $10,000 bond.