Thursday, March 13, 2014

Former Officer Mark Fisher Arrested for Distributing Prescription Pain Narcotics

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of a former Allegheny County police officer on charges that he participated in and directed the activities of an illegal prescription drug ring.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged illegal activity was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today. The grand jury identified the defendant as Mark Fisher, 34, currently incarcerated in the Westmoreland County Prison. Fisher is a former police officer with the Turtle Creek Police Department.

According to the grand jury, Fisher, who developed an addiction to pain medications following an injury, recruited several individuals to assist him in distributing prescription pain narcotics throughout western Pennsylvania. After a period of time Fisher allegedly stopped using other individuals and began to pass prescriptions at various pharmacies in either his own name or the name of his wife.

The grand jury found that Fisher obtained the pills by using illegal prescriptions that were passed at several pharmacies throughout Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.

Pennsylvania has the fourteenth highest rate of drug overdoses in the country, most of which are caused by prescription drugs. Attorney General Kane reiterated her support for a prescription monitoring program in the Commonwealth because it would serve as an additional tool to enable health practitioners and law enforcement in identifying individuals involved in the illegal trade of doctor shopping and dealing in fraudulent prescriptions.

Attorney General Kane noted that this is an active and ongoing investigation and additional arrests are anticipated.

Fisher is charged with one count of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge; one count of possession with the intent to deliver; one count of criminal conspiracy; and one count of impersonating a public servant.

The case will be prosecuted in Westmoreland County by Senor Deputy Attorney General Mark Serge of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Section.

Officer Salvador Becerra Arrested For Two Felonies

An Odessa Police officer finds himself on the other side of the law after being arrested for two felonies on Thursday.

Odessa Police Officer Salvador Becerra was charged and arrested with two counts of violations of the civil rights of a person in custody and improper sexual activity with a person in custody.

We’re told that back on March 10, a citizen reported to Odessa Police that an officer conducted himself inappropriately during a traffic stop. Officials say an inquiry into the matter was quickly conducted and lead them to Becerra.

The inquiry produced sufficient evidence for Police Chief Timothy Burton to order an administrative investigation into possible criminal conduct by Becerra.

Odessa Police said in a press release, “The behavior Becerra is alleged to have engaged in is unprofessional and illegal. It will not be tolerated by the Odessa Police Department officers who do their best each day to keep the City of Odessa safe. These actions are not a reflection of the entire department and in no way are they indicative of high standards of professionalism and integrity exhibited by the Odessa Police Department.”

A pre-disciplinary hearing has been scheduled for Becerra on Monday and a disciplinary hearing will be held on Wednesday.

We’re told that Becerra was hired by Odessa Police back in February of 2012.

The Texas Rangers are continuing their investigation.

Officer Cameka Bruce Accused of Punching Nephew

A Chattanooga police officer is accused of punching her nephew when he failed to give her money owed to her for a water bill, an arrest report states.

Cameka Bruce, 35, who has worked for the department since 2008, remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, according to a news release.

Bruce's nephew, 24-year-old Marcus Berry, told officers Bruce came to his residence on Sarasota Drive in Hixson on Tuesday night to collect money he owed her.

Berry said Bruce became angry when he did not have the full amount of money. She reportedly exited her vehicle and came at him, according to the report. Berry said he was punched.

She is scheduled to appear Monday at Hamilton County General Sessions Court.

Bruce did not comment Wednesday.

Bruce is the third law enforcement officer in Hamilton County to face a domestic assault charge.

In February, Michael Early, a detective with Chattanooga Police Department who investigates property crimes, remains on light duty pending the outcome of his case. He is scheduled to appear in Rutherford County Sessions Court this morning to face accusations that he headbutted his wife.

Angelita McGhee, who works as a corrections officer at Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, was arrested in January after she reportedly pulled a pistol from her holster and took aim at her ex-girlfriend.

Officer Vernon Gibson Charged with Showing up to Work Drunk

A Pittsburgh police officer accused of showing up for work drunk waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday and will stand trial.

Authorities arrested officer Vernon Gibson on DUI charges in December after a sergeant claimed Gibson smelled of alcohol when he got to work.

Investigators said Gibson’s blood-alcohol level was well above the legal limit. He’s been on administrative leave since his arrest.


Lt. Thomas Foye Charged with Stealing Drugs from Evidence Locker

A high-ranking Ludlow police officer charged with stealing drugs from the department's evidence locker has been suspended without pay.

Lt. Thomas Foye had been suspended with pay since his arrest in August, but because he was indicted by a grand jury last week, the town's Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend him without pay.

According to court documents, video surveillance captured the 49-year-old Foye entering the locked narcotics locker at the police station, where he appears to handle and open evidence bags. He is charged with tampering with evidence, theft of drugs from a dispensary and cocaine possession.

In a brief statement at Tuesday's board meeting, the 25-year veteran thanked the board and said he "went into surgery a hero and came out a drug addict."

Officer Geoffrey Graves Arrested for Forcible Rape

A San Jose police officer has turned himself in after being charged with forcible rape. Geoffrey Graves, 38, has been a cop for six years. The victim is a woman he was sent to protect during a domestic dispute.

Neither the police nor the district attorney's office is saying where the rape occurred, except that it was a hotel where the victim once worked as a maid. Graves was one of the two officers who responded to a disturbance at the home of the woman and her husband. To resolve the problem, the woman said she would take a room at the hotel for the night. The two officers took her there. However, a police document says while one officer left, Graves stayed behind.

"The officer gained information and location of her hotel room and then went up there approximately 15 minutes later and knocked on the door," Santa Clara County deputy district attorney Carlos Vega said. "Unbeknownst to her, he opened the door. She was asleep, and that's when he let himself in and forcibly pushed her on the bed."

The victim didn't report the incident for three weeks, and when she did, she went to the California Highway Patrol, not San Jose police.

Kathleen Krenek is executive director of Next Door Solutions, an agency that counsels victims of rape and domestic violence. She believes the victim may have feared retaliation.

"She has reason to be afraid driving down the street," Krenek said. "Is someone going to do something? Is an officer going to do something? Is he going to find her because he's got a lot on the line. I'm absolutely amazed at the courage that it must have taken to come forward at this time."

Graves faces one count of forcible rape. He turned himself in Monday but was freed from jail on $100,000 bail.

San Jose police put him on paid administrative leave. The department now faces the challenge of restoring public trust.

"This is difficult for everybody because it reflects on our job and what we do every day, so I know that the officers are troubled by it, but we are resilient, and we have been through other hard times, and we've pulled together to rebuild the trust of the community, and that's what we're going to work on doing," San Jose police spokesperson Sgt. Heather Randol said.

Officer Kevin Corcoran Charged with Unlawful Restraint of War Veteran

A veteran of Philadelphia's police force could lose his job after being charged with misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint and false imprisonment for an alleged attack on a war veteran.

The charges against Officer Kevin Corcoran stem from an Easter morning incident in which Corcoran was caught on camera roughing up a man before taking the man on a 16-minute ride, according to Philadelphia Police.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office alleges Corcoran, a 9.5-year veteran of the force, began yelling at a group of people near 13th and Lombard Streets in the early morning hours of March 31, 2013.

Someone in the group, which included Roderick King, had questioned Corcoran after he allegedly made an illegal turn with his patrol car, according to prosecutors.

King’s own lawyer Kevin Mincey identified his client saying that they filed a lawsuit against the city, police department and Corcoran.

Corcoran, in full uniform, allegedly exited his vehicle and began to yell at King’s group prompting witnesses to videotape the encounter.

Witnesses said that Corcoran slapped the phone out of one person’s hands and then began to berate King saying “Don’t f##?!g touch me,” according to prosecutors. An incensed Corcoran continued to approach King -- who claimed he never touched the officer -- who continued to make an effort not to touch the officer.

"My first thought was that I was getting ready to get beat up," King said through a release from his attorney. "It’s dark, I don’t know where I am, I feared for my safety."

According to prosecutors, Corcoran grabbed King by his chest, threw him against the police SUV, cuffed him and put him in the back of the vehicle.

Authorities allege that Corcoran then drove King somewhere off North Broad Street -- the opposite direction of the 17th District officer’s station -- telling King that he was under arrest for public intoxication.

King told Corcoran that this was the first time he had been arrested and that he was an Iraqi War veteran having served in the U.S. Air Force.

After learning about King’s service, Corcoran drove to 13th and Rodman Streets where he uncuffed the victim and let him go without charges.

In total, King remained in cuffs for about 16 minutes.

Corcoran surrendered Wednesday on the misdemeanor charges and was arraigned. He was released after posting bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 21.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he suspended Corcoran for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.