Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Public Safety Officer Travis Redd Sr. Arrested for Pinching 11-year Old Girl


Tuesday a North Augusta Public Safety Officer was charged with unlawful neglect by a legal custodian.

Investigators said Officer Travis Redd Sr. was arrested for pinching an 11-year old girl in the chest with both hands.

Redd is her legal guardian.

Investigators say the incident happened on Thursday in a car.

Redd was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

He has been with the department for ten years.

Officer Sheldon Cook Accused of Stealing Fake Cocaine in Court

A Peel Police officer accused of stealing 15 bricks of fake cocaine that were supposed to be used in an RCMP sting, was never alone with the entire shipment, a fellow officer told a Brampton court today.

But Sheldon Cook was among three officers from Peel's 12 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) who moved more than 100 suspected cocaine packages from a courier van to a CIB minivan and later to a morality bureau van, Peel Const. Robert Bryant testified.

Bryant said he believed the packages – hidden inside boxes of mangoes – contained real cocaine when Cook and others investigated the discovery on the night of Nov. 16, 2005.

The couriers who were transporting the mangoes sought help from Bryant at a Peel Police community station in Mississauga that night because they had become suspicious of the cargo they had picked up earlier from Pearson International Airport.

Two days later, a tracking device hidden in the bricks led RCMP investigators to Cook's Cambridge home.

The dummy drugs were found in a storage compartment of a Sea Doo in his garage. A search warrant uncovered some marijuana and several MP3 players allegedly taken from an unrelated investigation.

Federal prosecutors David Rowcliffe and Ania Weiler contend Cook believed the bricks were real cocaine and that he took some of them while investigating the discovery of the drugs by Bryant at the community station.

It's the Crown's case that Cook was unaware the drugs were fake or that they were to be used in an RCMP-controlled delivery as part of an international drug investigation.

Cook, 40, has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges in this Brampton trial in connection with different offences, all in relation to the discovery of the dummy drugs and MP3s at his home.

Bryant today told the court that Cook and two other CIB officers were at the Lakeshore Rd. station for about three hours that night but he never recalled Cook being out of his presence except for when Cook and other officers were searching the cargo inside the courier van. Bryant said he was inside the station at the time.

Before alerting the CIB unit, Bryant said the couriers told him they had been paid cash to deliver the mangoes to an address in Scarborough. While they were en route they got a phone call, instructing them to go instead to a darkened trucking yard in south Mississauga. But when they encountered a vehicle flashing its lights at the yard they headed to a police station.

Believing he had discovered real drugs when he opened one of the boxes, Bryant called 12 Division and three CIB officers were dispatched, two in a minivan and Cook, alone, in a car.

Bryant said Cook told him to remain with the couriers while Cook and the other officers inspected the cargo.

But in separating the mangoes from the suspected drug packages, a device with wires was discovered. Officers thought it was an explosive device so a bomb disposal unit was called, Bryant said.

The officers didn't know at the time that the unit was actually a tracking device hidden in the packages by the RCMP.

While waiting for the bomb unit and morality officers to arrive, Bryant helped Cook and the other officers unload the packages from the courier van into the CIB minivan. Later, he helped them move the packages to a morality bureau van.

Bryant testified under cross examination by defence lawyer Pat Ducharme that he locked the courier van with the suspected drugs and always had the key.

He also admitted several officers were present when the fake drugs were eventually moved from the CIB van into the morality bureau van.

The other two other CIB officers left Cook and Bryant in the station when they went for food for about 20 minutes but Bryant didn't know if they took the CIB van with the drugs or Cook's car to the sandwich shop.

Bryant learned the following day that the drugs were actually decoys being used in an RCMP controlled delivery.

A total of 88 boxes of mangoes containing 146 hidden bricks of fake cocaine arrived at Pearson International Airport from Peru at about 6 a.m. on Nov. 16.

Despite being under surveillance, the shipment went missing about 12 hours later.

The RCMP became aware the next day that the fake drugs had been seized by Peel Police, but when they took possession of the dummy drugs there were 44 missing.

Court previously heard that 23 of the fake bricks were later recovered but that the other 21 have never been located.

The failed RCMP operation was designed to find the Canadian buyers of an international drug smuggling operation based in Lima, the Peruvian capital.

Cook is charged with attempt to possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property (MP3 players) from a police investigation and breach of trust as a police officer in connection with the other offences.

The offences were allegedly committed between Aug. 7 and Nov. 18, 2005.

In addition to the tracking device and 15 fake bricks of cocaine found at Cook's Cambridge residence, another tracking device and eight fake bricks, sliced open, were found in a garbage bin behind the Blinds to Go store on Dundas St. near the Mississauga/Oakville border on the same day the search warrant was executed at Cook's home.

Cook remains suspended with pay. The case is also being watched closely by Peel's internal affairs bureau.

As a result of his arrest on Nov. 18, 2005, Justice Canada decided not to prosecute at least six drug cases where Cook was the arresting officer.

As well, a month after his arrest, a Peel judge acquitted former Toronto Argonaut Orlando Bowen of drug and assault charges that were laid by Cook and another officer. Bowen alleged at trial that Cook had planted a small amount of cocaine on him during his arrest.

More Information: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/544372

Correction Officer Lt Thomas Healy Jr Accused of Raping Inmate

A correction officer has been accused of rape and having sexual relations with a female inmate at the Suffolk House of Correction in Roxbury.

Lieutenant Thomas A. Healy, Jr., 41, was released on $1,500 cash bail after his arraignment today in Roxbury Municipal Court where he pleaded not guilty to all charges, which also include indecent assault and battery, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office and his attorney, Stephen C. Pfaff.

"We deny the charges,'' Pfaff said in a telephone interview. "He is looking forward to his day in court.''

Pfaff said Healy has been married since 1995, is the father of three children and has an "impeccable record'' during his years working for the sheriff's department.

According to prosecutors, Healy allegedly approached the female prisoner in her cell on Nov. 12, groped her and then raped her.

"The abuse of power and authority here is just repugnant," Conley said in a statement.

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral's staff initiated the investigation and with the help of the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit developed enough evidence to charge Healy, prosecutors said.

In a statement, Cabral called Healy's alleged actions "egregious'' and said he will now face an internal disciplinary hearing that could lead to his firing from the department.

The statement did not provide any further information about the incident. Healy has been placed on administrative leave without pay, according to the department.

Cabral today declined a request for an interview with the Globe.

Healy has been employed by the sheriff's department since Sept. 18, 1991.

Healy is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 15.

Police Chief William Moore Fired for Passing Counterfeit Money at Wal-Mart


The acting police chief of this northeastern Oklahoma town has been fired and is under investigation for allegedly passing counterfeit bills at a Vinita Wal-Mart.

Fairland's acting Police Chief William Ray Moore, who was fired Friday, is listed on a Vinita police report as the suspect caught on a surveillance video passing four counterfeit bills while in uniform.

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating whether the counterfeit bills were evidence seized in an earlier counterfeiting case investigated by Moore and Secret Service officers, The Oklahoman reported.

A man thought to be Moore was recorded buying a prepaid Visa card with four counterfeit $100 bills on Oct. 17 around 6:40 p.m., according to the police report.

The suspect had a holstered pistol and was wearing a polo style police shirt with an embroidered badge, the report states. The shirt had the word “Fairland” on it, a Wal-Mart assistant manager recalled.

The Vinita Police Department seized the counterfeit bills and turned them over to the Secret Service, which has jurisdiction over investigations involving counterfeit money.

Moore, 31, could not be reached for comment.

Moore was listed as the arresting officer in a case in August in which Tawni Lorene Gaines, 36, of Fairland was charged with forgery and second-degree counterfeiting. Gaines admitted using a copier/scanner to make the counterfeit bills, Moore wrote in the affidavit.

The charge against Gaines initially was filed in Ottawa County District Court and evidence reportedly was being held by the Fairland Police Department while Gaines was awaiting her preliminary hearing.

Eric Wade, Fairland's town attorney, confirmed Monday that Moore is no longer acting police chief or with the police department.

Wade also confirmed Secret Service agents were in the rural Ottawa County community for the last four days, but declined to say what they are investigating.

Charles McLoughlin, assistant U.S. attorney in Tulsa, said it is against Department of Justice policy to confirm or deny the existence of a pending investigation.


Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

Officer Stuart Gaines Arrested for DUI After Leaving Funeral

The Lawrenceville Police Department said goodbye to two veteran officers this week — one who was buried and another who was fired for allegedly driving drunk just hours after the funeral.

Most of the officers within the department attended a funeral Sunday afternoon for retired Lawrenceville police Lt. Frank Otto, a 28-year veteran who had died following a long illness. A department spokesman said that Stuart Gaines, a criminal investigator and 15-year employee, was among the mourners at the memorial service and the burial in Lawrenceville. Other officers saw him leave the Gwinnett Memorial Park Cemetery alone around 4 p.m., said Maj. Paul King Tuesday.

About two hours later, Gaines was driving his unmarked patrol car on Highway 129 in Gainesville when he rear-ended a white Lincoln Towncar, according to the Georgia State Patrol post in Gainesville.

Lawrenceville police department was notified by a trooper that Gaines was being charged with DUI. Gaines’ supervisor met with them at the scene, according to King.

“They detected alcoholic beverage coming from him and felt like with the way he was talking and his demeanor, he was at some level intoxicated,” King said.

Gaines was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for treatment of a cut to the eye. The other driver was also evaluated at the hospital as a precaution after he complained of soreness, King said.

Gaines bonded out of the Hall County jail Sunday and was fired on Monday. The tight-knit department is still reeling from Sunday’s events.

“It was a tough day for the entire department. It started out sadly and ended badly,” he said. “You can tell it around the department that people are upset, but they also understand they are held to a higher standard. There was no choice but to terminate him.”


I feel for the man, but...just like the rest of us (and as some your other buddies probably did) you go home and drink. Or you call a friend, so you don't accidently end another persons life. I hope you receive the maximum penalty, mostly because you should have known better. There is no excuse for DRUNK DRIVING.

What Are You Afraid Of?

"Police ask to carry own rifles" (Arizona Republic, November 24)

"Phoenix police union officials are proposing that 200 senior officers be allowed to buy their own semiautomatic rifles to use on the job after some said they felt more at risk and asked for additional firepower."

Pretty dangerous out there, eh, boys? In 2007, in fact, two officers were killed on the job, whereas 2008 has seen a whopping one on-the-job death. From an automobile accident, which no doubt could have been prevented had there been a semiautomatic rifle at hand.

Naturally, you guys are afraid -- according to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, the Phoenix Police Department has been fairly plagued with on-the-job deaths. Thirty-four -- that's thirty-four officers have been killed in the line of duty, fifteen of them by gunfire, since 1925. That averages out to -- let's see; .41 deaths per year.

According to the Arizona Republic, about 76% of Phoenix officers surveyed said that the job "has become increasingly violent since they graduated from the police academy." I'm sure it has. The use of percussion grenades, battering rams, armored vehicles and assault rifles against suspected drug users and their families has increased by quantum leaps in the past decade.

Think about this...If you get a bigger weapon, the 'bad guy' is going to try and get an even bigger weapon, and then you feel the need to getter a bigger and badder weapon, and then the 'bad guy' ....you get the picture. How big does your weapon have to be? Where does it finally stop? There is another way, and it's not a better weapon than the Jones have.

Since you are the ones causing the violence, I'm pretty sure that arming yourselves with even more weapons isn't going to improve matters. It might make you feel safer, but I was under the impression that we pay, and trust, you to protect us. You remember us, don't you -- the public?

Officer Maurice Morris Accused of Dropping Tickets for Sex

A Riviera Beach police officer is out of jail on bond this morning.

He is charged with sexual assault in an alleged sex for traffic tickets scandal.

Veteran Riviera Beach Police Officer, Maurice Morris, is named in a sealed indictment, charged with sexual assault and official misconduct.

Last month, Morris allegedly worked a security detail at a Barack Obama campaign rally in Lake Worth. He was in uniform, driving a marked squad car, and allegedly pulled over a female driver and wrote her several tickets, and then told her he would drop the tickets if she had sex with him.

The two of them allegedly went back to her West Palm Beach apartment for sex, and Morris even put his K-9 dog in her bathroom, because he did not want to leave the animal out in his squad car.

His attorney says Maurice Morris has never been arrested in his life, and has more than dozen commendations in his file for good police work.

Morris made a brief court appearance this morning. His lawyer told the judge Morris turned himself in last night. The judge set his bond at $25,000 dollars, and also ordered that he not have any contact with the victim and not have any weapons.

Morris is now on administrative leave.

Deputy Jorge Figueroa Charged with Shooting Man Having Affair with His Wife


A Harris County sheriff's deputy was charged with shooting the man having an affair with his wife.

Deputy Jorge Figueroa, 39, is charged with shooting civilian jailer James Perez in the back. They both worked at the Harris County Jail in downtown Houston.

Officials said Perez was having an affair with Figueroa's wife and showed up at Figueroa's house in Needville on Saturday night.

Figueroa got into an argument with his wife and then into a physical fight with Perez before shooting him in the back as Perez walked out with Figueroa's wife, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

"I don't know if she was just escorting him out to his vehicle or if she actually intended to leave the premises with him, but she was going out the door with him," said Chief Deputy Craig Brady with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said they do not know why Perez showed up at his mistress's home, knowing the husband was also in the house.

"It defies all reason to me as to why. I can't imagine what he was thinking going there at that time of night for that purpose, knowing that the husband was there," said Brady.

Investigators said Figueroa has known for a while that his wife was having an affair with Perez.

Figueroa and Perez are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Perez was released from the hospital and is expected to be OK.

Figueroa does not have any disciplinary actions in his personnel file. He has worked for the department for seven years.

He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If he's convicted, he faces punishment ranging from probation to life in prison.