Friday, December 11, 2009

Former Detention Officer Denita Shaw Arraigned for Hitting Inmate with Milk Crate

A former Fulton County Sheriff’s detention officer from Smyrna, Ga., was arraigned Friday on civil rights violation charges for allegedly hitting a Fulton County Jail inmate with a milk crate.

Denita Renae Shaw, 41, also was released on non-monetary bond conditions set by the court. She faces up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

“This detention officer was fired and our office is cooperating fully in this prosecution,” Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson said in a statement. “We are continuing to work with the FBI to investigate any and all violations within the jail, and anyone with information about any other abuses should contact our office or the FBI.”

On Jan. 26, Shaw, working as a detention officer at the jail, allegedly used excessive force when she struck a handcuffed inmate with a milk crate at the Fulton County Jail. The indictment alleges the assault violated the inmate’s constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law.

Shaw was indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge on Dec. 8, 2009.

Sgt Michael Carter Charged with Drunk Driving

An Edison police sergeant has been suspended with pay after he crashed his pick-up truck into a utility pole in Carteret and was charged with drunken-driving, authorities said.

Michael Carter, an 10-year veteran of the Edison force, was driving east on Roosevelt Avenue near Pauline Street at 1:58 a.m.Thursday when his 2002 Ford truck hit a pole, Carteret police Chief John Pieczyski said.

Carter was taken to police headquarters and charged with driving while intoxicated after refusing to take a breath test, Pieczyski said.

Edison police were notified and Carter was released to Edison police Capt. Patrick Kelly, who is Carter's uncle, authorities said.

Carter was suspended with pay Thursday, pending the outcome of the charges and the outcome of an internal investigation ordered by Edison police Chief Thomas Bryan, said Deputy Chief Mark Anderko.

Carter receives a base salary of $101,284, according to township record

ICE Officer Richard Cramer Pleads Guilty to Helping Mexican Drug Traffickers

A retired high-ranking U.S. immigration officer pleaded guilty Thursday in a Miami federal court to conspiracy to obstruct justice for helping members of a Mexican drug-trafficking organization evade arrest.

Prosecutors said Richard Cramer, who at one time was in charge of the Nogales office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, supplied smugglers with confidential law-enforcement background checks.

Cramer, 56, of Sahuarita, had originally faced three counts of cocaine smuggling, which were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.

Felony obstruction carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but under the plea deal prosecutors will recommend Cramer, who is in custody in Florida, serve two years when he is sentenced on Feb. 18.

In court Thursday, prosecutors outlined their case against Cramer: In 2006, he was stationed as an attaché in Guadalajara, Mexico.

A Mexican money launderer hiding in Miami needed assurance that he was not being sought by authorities before returning to Mexico.

Drug traffickers reached out to Cramer, who arranged for law-enforcement background checks. Those showed the money launderer was not wanted.

Federal agents later moved in on the traffickers and found they had paper copies of the background checks. Those led agents back to Cramer, who was arrested in September.

The case began with an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Florida.

In the original criminal complaint, DEA agents accused Cramer of working with drug traffickers and investing up to $25,000 of his own money in a shipment of 300 kilograms of cocaine from Panama to Spain that was seized by agents.

Cramer's friends and relatives have remained stalwart in their defense of him, insisting he would never have intentionally broken the law.

Truancy Officer Harold Cornish Arrested for Beating Up Student

A Lancaster truancy officer is under arrest after a brawl on campus between him and a student at an alternative school.

The officer has had problems in the past and was even fired from the Dallas Police Department and his current job before.

Harold Cornish, 48, was processed at the Dallas County Jail Friday night. The officer, who also worked at DPD for 18 years, is on paid leave from the Lancaster Independent School District.

Zenas Dixon, 16, walked out of the hospital with an ice pack on his face, covering a cut to his eye. He also had a bruised neck and swelling to his lips from the alleged beating he took from the truancy officer.

"He had me in a choke," Dixon said. "He was holding the back of my head and the other arm was under my neck ... I couldn't even talk."

Dixon said Cornish punched him in the face and slammed his head against the ground following a dispute in the cafeteria at J.D Hall Learning Center. Dixon claimed he was attacked because he ate someone else's food.

"He was strangling me like he wanted to kill me," he said. "... He was like, 'You're going to sleep.' He was like, 'Call your daddy he, can get it too."

"He's lucky I didn't come when my son called me," said Spencer Dixon, Zenas' father. "We would both be in big trouble. I can't believe he did that to my son."

According to Dallas Morning News archives, Cornish has been fired four times from police jobs starting in 1988. Dallas police fired him for alleged sexual comments to a female jail employee. He won his appeal and got his job back and was then fired again in 1989 for insubordination. He won another appeal and was let go again by the DPD in 1998 for a physical altercation.

In 2003, Lancaster ISD hired and fired him. Finally, in 2005, the school district had to hire him again after Cornish won a legal settlement against the the district.

"They should have checked his background more thoroughly to find out why was this person fired three times from the same department," said Sonia Dixon, Zenas' mother. "There's something wrong there."

According to the newspaper archives, Cornish was cleared of all criminal charges stemming from his multiple allegations when he was with the DPD.

The student was at the school on a 30-day suspension.

Deputy Timothy Shaw Arrested for DUI Crash

A Collier County deputy was arrested Wednesday morning after Florida Highway Patrol officials say he crashed his SUV while driving drunk.

According to FHP reports, a trooper responded to a single-vehicle accident near Davis and Falling Waters boulevards shortly after midnight Wednesday.

In the report, the trooper said he was met by Collier County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Shaw. Shaw identified the driver of the red Nissan SUV as Jose A. Lopez, 41, a deputy with the Sheriff's Office. Shaw told the trooper that Lopez was possibly under the influence.

After finishing at the scene of the accident, the trooper continued the investigation at NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, where Lopez was transported for treatment, reports said.

During an interview, the trooper noticed that Lopez's breath had a strong alcohol smell, his face was flush and his eyes were bloodshot, glassy and watery, according to the report.

He later refused to take a blood test and asked for a lawyer.

Lopez was arrested, charged with DUI and DUI property damage.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Karie Partington said Lopez has been assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of his case.

When reached by phone, Lopez declined to comment.