Saturday, March 08, 2014

Fort Hood Sgt. Gregory McQueen Faces Several Charges

 A Fort Hood sergeant who was a coordinator of the post's sexual assault and harassment prevention program faces multiple charges after he was accused of setting up a prostitution ring involving cash-strapped female soldiers.

Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen was charged Friday with 21 counts related to pandering, conspiracy, maltreatment of a subordinate, abusive sexual contact, and adultery and conduct of a nature to bring discredit to the armed forces, according to a Fort Hood statement.

An Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a civilian grand jury proceeding, is scheduled for March 20 and 21 at Fort Hood.

It was not clear if McQueen had an attorney Friday, Fort Hood spokesman Christopher Haug said. A home number for McQueen could not be found.

Last May, the Army said a sergeant first class was being investigated on allegations of sexual assault and possibly arranging for at least one woman to have sex for money. The Army said he was one of the coordinators of the program at Fort Hood, about 125 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Army officials declined to release his name at the time, but two officials speaking anonymously to The Associated Press because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case identified that soldier as McQueen, who was assigned as a coordinator of a battalion-level sexual assault prevention program at the Central Texas Army post.

U.S. officials had said he was being investigated in connection with activities involving three women, including sexually assaulting one woman. At the time, a Defense Department official in Washington said it was not clear if one of the women was forced into prostitution or participated willingly. McQueen remains suspended from his duties but is free pending trial, Haug said.

Another Fort Hood soldier was court-martialed in the case. Master Sgt. Brad Grimes was convicted in December of conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicitation to commit adultery, reprimanded and demoted.

The Fort Hood case and others like it have increased pressure on the Pentagon and Capitol Hill to confront sexual misconduct in the armed forces.

The charges against McQueen came one day after the Senate rejected a bill that would have stripped military commanders of the authority to decide whether to prosecute serious crimes.

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. and chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee. In a Feb. 10 letter, she called on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to turn over case information from four major U.S. bases, including Fort Hood.

The records would shed more light on how military commanders make decisions about courts-martial and punishments in sexual assault cases.

Officer Deon Nunless Charged with Sexual Assault

The woman called 911, seeking help from police after reportedly being assaulted by her boyfriend.

But while police responded to the domestic violence call, one of the officers allegedly took the woman into an upstairs bedroom and sexually assaulted her, authorities said.

Detroit Police Officer Deon Nunlee has been charged in the alleged Oct. 30 assault of a 31-year-old woman. Police said DNA connected Nunlee to the assault.

“I’m troubled,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a news conference Friday. “Certainly, this is the type of criminal misconduct that should never happen by any member of this department, or any department for that matter.”

Nunlee, 40, has been charged with three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count each of assault with intent to penetrate and misconduct in office, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutors said Nunlee and his partner were dispatched to an early-morning domestic violence run on the 16000 block of Asbury Park, where the woman said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Nunlee took the woman upstairs and his partner stayed with the boyfriend downstairs.

“It is alleged that when Nunlee was in an upstairs bedroom with the woman, he sexually assaulted her,” according to the prosecutor’s office. “While they were alone upstairs, Nunlee indicated he would be coming back to the house later at 7 a.m.”

Police said Nunlee did not return.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the woman reported the alleged assault to police the next day.

Craig said the other officer at the scene did nothing wrong. He said that in domestic dispute situations, officers do keep parties at safe distance, but in this case, they were in different parts of the home. For officer safety, Craig said, “an officer should never lose line of sight of their partner.”

Cmdr. Johnny Thomas of the department’s professional standards bureau said that when the woman reported the alleged assault to police on Oct. 31, Nunlee was placed on administrative duties. On. Feb. 10, after results from the rape kit came back, Nunlee was suspended without pay, Thomas said.

Asked whether Nunlee denied the allegation, Thomas said Nunlee was given his Miranda warning and took his right to remain silent.

Nunlee was arraigned Friday in Detroit’s 36th District Court. His preliminary examination is scheduled for April 17.

Nunlee, who was working in the 8th Precinct, has been on the force since 2008 and previously had minor misconducts, police said.

Craig said this incident is not a reflection of the department.

“This is an anomaly. This is not what our police officers do,” Craig said. “This officer who decided to engage in criminal misconduct does not represent the 2,500 or so sworn men and women who wear this uniform.”

Nunlee is the third Detroit police officer to face charges this month.

■ On Wednesday, Detroit Police Officer Johnny Ray Bridges, 47, was charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, domestic violence and reckless discharge of a firearm in connection with the assault of a 31-year-old woman on Monday.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Bridges was off duty when he got into an argument with the woman, fired a handgun in the air and punched and kicked her in her face and body. Prosecutors said both had been drinking.

■ Suspended Detroit Police Officer Dana Bond, 41, is facing misdemeanor charges of high blood-alcohol content, failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident with property damage. Bond is accused of driving while intoxicated and getting into an accident on Sunday. Bond was already suspended without pay at the time of the accident because she is facing retail fraud charges for allegedly stealing wine and food from stores in Detroit.

On Friday, before the news conference, Craig said the department “will always vigorously investigate any allegations of misconduct.”

Officer Richard Irizzary Arrested by DEA

A  Titusville Police Officer on administrative leave since January was taken into custody Thursday by DEA agents and the Titusville Police Internal Affairs Investigator according to Titusville Police in a statement.

Richard Irizzary, a patrol officer since March 2010, was taken into custody as he arrived at police headquarters Thursday morning for a scheduled interview.

Titusville Police said Irizzary was arrested after he was indicted on federal charges on Wednesday.

Police said Irizzary’s badge and gun were seized back in January when he was placed on administrative leave.

The Federal charges summarized include: To Aid & Abet the Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance while armed with a Firearm; and Use of a Communication Device to Aid the Possession of Controlled Substances.

Titusville Police Chief John Lau and other members of his command staff have been working directly with the DEA since January when the department first learned of the allegations.

“We were appalled and shocked when we learned of these allegations and immediately offered our complete cooperation”, said Titusville Police Chief John Lau.

“We have been working in tandem with DEA investigators on this isolated incident that does not involve any other department member” said Lau.

“The law enforcement profession has absolutely no room for employees with no integrity and the second a police officer breaks their oath and commits a crime, they are no longer a police officer”

The department will be able to comment on the specifics of the internal investigation when it has concluded, which could take several weeks. Irizzary was taken directly to the federal courthouse in Orlando by DEA agents after his arrest. The federal charges in the indictment carry a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 10 years.

Titusville Police said they will move to suspend him without pay after a due process hearing. The agency said they cannot move to terminate Irizzary until the completion of an Internal Investigation.

Corrections Officer Yennifer Reyes Arrested for Having Sex with Minor

A Pima County Sheriff's Department corrections officer resigned Thursday after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor.

PCSO says Corrections Officer Yennifer Reyes was arrested on Wednesday for being sexually involved with a young female from late 2013 to early 2014.

Deputies began their investigation on Tuesday after PCSO got a report about Reyes' alleged relationship.

PCSO says they found evidence of the sexual relationship and arrested Reyes.

She was booked on one count of sexual conduct with a minor, fifteen years of age or older. 

Reyes was in the process of being terminated when she resigned on Thursday; she had been with the Sheriff's Department since May 2005.

Officer Ronald Taylor Arrested for Assaulting Shoplifter

Internal affairs officers arrested a Bronx cop Thursday for pummeling a shoplifter he arrested at a Target store near Yankee Stadium, law enforcement sources said.

Officer Ronald Taylor, 44, faces misdemeanor assault and harassment charges for the August 2013 beat down, officials said.

Taylor was on duty when he was called to the Exterior St. Target to arrest Fernando Rios for shoplifting just after 9:30 p.m, officials said. During the arrest, Taylor allegedly punched Rios repeatedly on the left side of his face, rupturing the would-be thief’s eardrum and breaking his nose.

Rios was mouthing off to Taylor and may have spit on the officer before he was attacked, law enforcement sources said.

Taylor, who joined the force in 1999 and who has spent most of his career in the Bronx, works in the Property Clerk’s Division. He was released without having to post bail at his arraignment on Thursday morning and is expected to respond to the charges in April, officials said.

“After a thorough and complete investigation and after the true facts are revealed, my client will be exonerated,” Taylor’s attorney Craig Hayes said.

If convicted of the existing charges, Taylor would face up to a year in jail.

Rios was charged with shop-lifting, law enforcement sources said.

Man Arrested for Videotaping Police

A Fall River man says he was recording a police officer who was out of control, but instead, he was arrested and his cell phone was seized.

Now the video he recorded is gone. Police say he erased it, even though they were the ones holding the phone.

George Thompson says last January he was just sitting on his front porch, watching a Fall River police officer working a paid detail. Thompson says the officer was on his phone and was swearing very loud.

That’s when Thompson pulled out his phone. Thompson says Officer Tom Barboza then rushed him and arrested him, charging him with unlawful wiretapping.

But in Massachusetts it’s perfectly legal to record video and audio of a public official, including police, as long as they are performing their duties and the recording isn’t hidden. Barboza’s own police report shows that Thompson acknowledged he was recording the officer.

“I think we all have our basic rights and I think people should not record others secretly or surreptitiously,” Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine told WPRI.

Thompson was released from jail, but police kept his phone and that’s where the story takes an interesting turn.

Thompson claims that two days after his arrest, his phone, which was locked up at the police station, somehow had all of the video erased.

“If a Fall River police officer erased that video, he’s fired,” Chief Racine said. “And I would suspect the district attorney would take out charges.”

George Thompson is not buying it. “They’re investigating themselves and there’s a code of blue and everybody knows that,” Thompson says.

Corrections Officer Christopher L Riley Arrested for DUI

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer was arrested early Friday morning for driving under the influence.

Christopher L. Riley was stopped due to a malfunctioning headlight, according to JSO.

The patrol officer believed Riley was intoxicated and investigated.

Riley was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for operating a vehicle in an unsafe condition.

According to JSO, Riley will be placed in a limited duty status while the court processes the case.

Former Officer Craig Garner Charged with Selling Firearms to Convicted Felon

A 23-year veteran of the Alpharetta Police Department turned himself in Friday to Forsyth County authorities after he reportedly sold guns to a convicted felon.

Craig Allen Garner, 54, has been charged with two counts of party to a crime for selling guns, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

“He acquired the firearms for the convicted felon with knowledge he was a convicted felon and he knew he shouldn’t have guns,” said Sheriff’s Maj. Rick Doyle. “They are friends.”

According to Doyle, Garner met Michael Cummings, a 44-year-old convicted felon, on two different days for the gun deal, which involved an assault rifle and 12-gauge shotgun. Both men are Forsyth County residents.

Cummings has been charged with one count of criminal solicitation and two counts of possession of a firearm, according to the sheriff’s office. His previous conviction — on charges of burglary, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and theft by taking — was from 1996 in Union County.

Cummings and Garner were booked at the Forsyth County Detention Center, from where Garner was later released after posting a bond of $22,220.

Cummings is being held without bond because he’s on active probation in Gwinnett and Union counties, Doyle said.

Garner was hired by the Alpharetta department in 1990 after working for the Kennesaw Police Department. Though he once served as a lieutenant in Alpharetta, he was an officer at the time of his arrest for unrelated reasons, said Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard.

Drinkard said Friday that Garner is “no longer an employee of the city as of [Thursday] afternoon.”

“At this time, there is no indication that any of the behaviors that led to the arrest occurred while he was on duty,” Drinkard said. “So at this point, there will not be further action from the city of Alpharetta, unless the investigation turns something up.

“His behaviors are certainly not indicative of the professionals that we have in our law enforcement agency.”

Garner is the founder of the Blue Bloods Motorcycle Club, a law enforcement group that raises funds for charities and awareness and supports the Second Amendment and U.S. Constitution, according to its website.

Reports that Cummings is also a club member could not be immediately confirmed.