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Friday, October 16, 2009

Jailed Ex-Cop Pleads Guilty to Attempted Robbery

Ex-county officer pleads guilty in attempted robbery
Taghon's prison time could be lengthened by four to five years.
The Tribune by JEFF PARROTT - October 15, 2009

A former St. Joseph County police officer in prison for corruption has agreed to also plead guilty in the attempted robbery of a gas station manager. Andrew Taghon could receive about four to five years more in prison for the robbery, to be served after his six-year sentence on the corruption conviction, according to a plea agreement filed this week in court records. U.S. District Judge Philip Simon was set to consider the plea agreement at a Nov. 4 hearing in Hammond. The development comes a week after former county officer Ryan Huston, who pleaded guilty in the initial corruption scheme, had his prison term shortened in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors in other undisclosed crimes. A federal investigation revealed that from July 2004 to March 2005, Taghon, Huston and then-South Bend officer Jamie Buford received money for stolen items and drugs and deposited that money into private bank accounts. All three pleaded guilty in January to that scheme. In July, a grand jury indicted Taghon and Buford on new charges of attempting to rob a gas station manager while he made a bank deposit. The manager managed to fight off the attack but was injured in the struggle, according to court records. Taghon and Buford were set for a Jan. 25 trial date in that case. That trial date still stands for Buford. Under the plea deal, Taghon agrees not to minimize the involvement of others in order to protect them. Prosecutors, in turn, agree to recommend a sentence shorter than four years on the attempted robbery charge if Taghon gives them more help in investigating other crimes between now and his sentencing hearing. Staff writer Jeff Parrott: (574) 235-6320

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