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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cop Shown Clubbing Cuffed Vet

Cop shown clubbing cuffed vet, taking call, then going on the attack again
The New York Daily News by OREN YANIV AND ALISON GENDAR - July 31, 2008

A city cop caught on tape beating a handcuffed Army vet paused to take a phone call and then went right back to smashing the man with his baton, police sources told the Daily News. Officer David London, 43, was stripped of his gun and badge Monday and placed on desk duty as the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau investigated the July 18 incident, sources said. "He takes a cell phone break, then turns back to tuning up the [suspect]. He did it while the building security camera was rolling," a source said. London and his partner stopped Walter Harvin, 28, as he tried to enter the DeHostos Apartment on W. 93rd St., where Harvin's mother lives, about 1:15 a.m. "I told him don't close it because I don't have the keys," said Harvin, a vet who was discharged in 2004 for posttraumatic stress disorder. "As I walked into the elevator he grabbed my arm. That's when I pushed him," Harvin said. "I was on the floor and he kept beating me with the stick. He sprayed me with Mace. While I was on the floor, he handcuffed me. I don't remember too much about it." Security video from the building showed London beating Harvin after he was cuffed and on the ground, a source said.

"You are not supposed to beat a man once he is cuffed, but the video shows the [suspect] down on the ground, cuffed. They even stand him up in the corner and beat him with the [baton] some more," said a police source familiar with the security video. As London and his partner propped the handcuffed war vet up against a wall, London's cell phone rang, sources said. Video showed London talking on the phone for 90 seconds before he resumed beating Harvin, sources said. London told colleagues Harvin went berserk when he was asked to show identification or proof he was entitled to be in the building. Harvin started punching and kicking the cops, screaming, "You can't take me!" court papers say. "He is a big guy who fought being cuffed, kicking. He was not quiet, lying there like a lamb," one source said. London took the cell phone call only because it was an emergency, another source said, although he wouldn't elaborate. Harvin said he didn't remember much of what happened once the beating started. He was charged with assault and resisting arrest and was released pending a hearing. Harvin said he told the cop he served 3 1/2 years in the 101st Airborne Division, including six months in Iraq. "[London] said he was in the Navy. It didn't matter to him. He said I was a disgrace," Harvin said.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cop Resigns after DUI Arrest

Sp. Fork cop resigns after DUI arrest
The Utah Daily Herald by Jeremy Duda - June 10, 2008  

A Spanish Fork police officer has resigned after he and his wife were arrested on DUI charges. Officer Tony Lunceford and Janalee Lunceford were arrested early Sunday morning and booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of DUI, open container in a vehicle and having window tinting that was too dark. Lunceford was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, and later submitted his resignation, which will be effective today, according to assistant city manager Seth Perrins. Lunceford had worked for the Spanish Fork Police Department since July 2004, Perrins said. Lt. Al Christianson of the Utah Highway Patrol said Janalee Lunceford was driving the couple's Ford pickup truck around 1:30 a.m. Sunday when she veered off the right side of the road and hit a tree and a power box at 3420 E. Riverbottom Road. After the accident, Tony Lunceford took the wheel, Christianson said.

Spanish Fork police responded to a report of an accident and located the vehicle near 1300 East and 200 South. Christianson said the officers called UHP when they realized that the driver was a member of their department. "They contacted the highway patrol to ... take over to avoid a conflict of interest," Christianson said. Christianson said field sobriety and breath tests indicated alcohol use for both Luncefords. Both refused chemical tests for alcohol, Christianson said, but consented to blood tests after troopers obtained a warrant. He said UHP had not received the blood test results as of Tuesday. State law requires that anyone who refuses a sobriety test have their license taken for up to 18 months for a first offense. Christianson said he did not know whether Tony and Janalee Lunceford would lose their licenses. "That's up to the driver's license division," he said. Tony and Janalee Lunceford could not be reached for comment. It was not clear whether they had an attorney in the case. Jeremy Duda can be reached at 344-2561 or

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rookie cop arrested for second time

The New Jersey Times by Michael Ratcliffe - July 14, 2008

TRENTON -- A rookie city police officer who earlier this year was suspended from duty following his arrest for alleged drug dealing was taken into custody again late last week and charged with additional drug offenses, police confirmed on Monday. On Friday, Trenton police Tactical Anti-Crime Unit officers arrested Nicholas A. Fratticcioli, 24, of Hamilton, in the 1000 block of South Broad Street and charged him with possession of heroin and loitering to buy or sell drugs, police said, noting that 11 "decks" -- or individual doses -- of heroin were allegedly seized from him. Fratticcioli has been suspended without pay from the city police department since May, when he was charged by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office with distribution of a prescription drug and official misconduct for allegedly selling in excess of 100 doses of a prescription muscle relaxant, according to police and The Times' archives.

Fratticcioli, a police officer for just over a year, was summoned to the department's internal affairs unit and handcuffed shortly after he reported for a night patrol shift on May 7. At the time, the prosecutor's office said Fratticcioli had been under investigation for two months and twice -- in April and May -- allegedly sold quantities of a narcotic called cyclobenzaprine to undercover officers. Marketed under the brand name Flexeril and Fexmid, cyclobenzaprine is commonly prescribed for chronic back and neck pain and is potentially addictive. Law enforcement sources have said the investigation began when one of Fratticcioli's alleged customers was arrested in an unrelated matter and offered up information on the officer. Fratticcioli, who was hired in March 2007, graduated from the Trenton Police Academy in August.  Contact Michael Ratcliffe at

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bethlehem police officer charged with stalking

Bethlehem police officer charged with stalking
The Morning Call by Joe McDonald and Pamela Lehman - July 24, 2008 (

A Bethlehem police officer, after being released from an area hospital, was arrested Wednesday on charges stemming from a conflict earlier in the week with wife. Charles W. Weigold Jr., 49, of Danielsville, is charged with stalking, harassment and terroristic threats and is free after posting $10,000 bail set by District Judge Michael J. Koury Jr. of Wilson. Weigold's status with the Bethlehem Police Department could not be verified Wednesday. At his arraignment Wednesday, Weigold told Koury his position with the department where he has worked for six years was ''questionable.'' Weigold also said he had voluntarily committed himself the previous night to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg. On Tuesday in Northampton County Court, Weigold and his wife, Donna, 47, who lists her address as ''confidential'' in court records, got temporary protection-from-abuse orders against one another. She says Monday her husband jammed a clip into his handgun and told her a ''blood bath'' was imminent; he says she sprayed him in the face with bleach during another argument.

She also filed a court petition Tuesday, claiming her husband called her son numerous times in an attempt to get her to drop the protection order. That led to his arrest Wednesday on the harassment charges. At the arraignment, Weigold used $10,000 in cash that he withdrew from an account in his and his wife's names, which sparked a heated exchange between Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Taschner and defense attorney Bohdan Zelechiwsky of Bethlehem while Koury was out of the courtroom. Taschner said Weigold withdrew the cash Monday and argued it was part of a pattern of ''harassment'' against his wife. Koury disagreed and permitted Weigold to use it to stay out of prison. Koury also ordered Weigold not to have any contact with his wife and required him to wear an electronic GPS monitor. Before the arraignment began, Weigold chatted with a county detective about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and showed reporters a large tattoo of the twin towers on his leg. Weigold told Koury he had been a sergeant in the New York City Police Department, where he served 20 years. Zelechiwsky said Weigold never had any trouble with the law before and had now found himself in an ''unfortunate situation'' that was ''totally out of character.'' Taschner said events in the Weigold household have been escalating and repeatedly described Weigold as a manipulative person who ''thinks he is smarter than everyone else.''

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chicago police officer charged with attempted extortion

FBI says cop took bribes from tow-truck operator in exchange for business
The Chicago Tribune by Angela Rozas - July 23, 2008

A Chicago police officer who was arrested Wednesday on charges of attempted extortion ensured a bribe-paying tow-truck driver got the work at accident scenes by alerting him by cell phone so he could beat rivals there, authorities alleged. Michael Ciancio, a 21-year veteran who worked in the Jefferson Park District, kept track in his traffic citation book of how many cars he directed to the tow-truck driver, pocketing about $600 to $800 each week for the last two years, the charges alleged. That could have boosted his income by as much as $42,000 a year. A law-enforcement source said the five-year investigation extends to at least five police districts. The cooperating tow-truck driver said he had been paying off officers in the Jefferson Park and Albany Park Districts for more than 15 years. Ciancio is the second Chicago police officer charged since last month in the ongoing FBI probe. Joseph Grillo, a Grand-Central District officer, was charged with helping another officer in an insurance scam. Ciancio, 56, was released on his own recognizance after an initial appearance in U.S. District Court. He has been relieved of his police powers and is not on active patrol, the FBI said. Chicago police declined to comment Wednesday. The FBI, working with the U.S. attorney's office and the Chicago Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, investigated Ciancio for 16 months.

According to the charges, the tow-truck driver wore a wire to record conversations with Ciancio as the two allegedly discussed the bribes. While wearing the recorder, the driver delivered a combined $2,300 in bribes to Ciancio, the charges alleged. In return for his cooperation, the witness, who has a lengthy arrest record, hopes for help from federal authorities on possible criminal charges against him. To try to steer work to the bribe-paying tow-truck driver, Ciancio sometimes asked police dispatchers to inform him of car wrecks by computer so rival businesses wouldn't hear it on their scanners and respond to the scene first, the charges stated. If that didn't work, Ciancio scared off rival towing companies, authorities said. In one alleged incident in June 2007, another tow-truck driver working with the FBI responded to a crash scene where Ciancio was working and made an agreement with a crash victim to tow the driver's sport-utility vehicle. The crash victim later told authorities that Ciancio directed him to ditch the tow truck, saying he had called another. When the first tow-truck driver balked, Ciancio then threatened to cite the driver for solicitation if he didn't unhook the SUV, the charges alleged. The bribe-paying tow-truck driver, also cooperating with the FBI at the time, then was tipped by Ciancio to the accident, drove to the scene and removed the SUV, authorities said. At the direction of the FBI, the undercover tow-truck driver began to stall on his payoffs, annoying Ciancio, authorities said. "I didn't hear from you, I says what the [expletive] happened, you know," Ciancio was quoted as saying. "I thought it was like Christmas and I looked under the tree, there was no gift . . . know what I mean?" Angela Rozas email:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two Broward Sheriff Deputies Accused of Corruption

Two BSO deputies accused of corruption
The Sun-Sentinel by John Holland

FORT LAUDERDALE - Two Broward Sheriff's Office deputies have been charged with conspiring to distribute more than 100 pounds of cocaine as part of an undercover sting, federal prosecutors said today. Deputy Richard V. Tauber, 37, a 14-year veteran of the department, was arrested after a 10-month undercover investigation found the officer accepted bribes to protect shipments of cocaine, as well as Krugerrands and diamonds used to pay for the drugs, authorities said. Deputy Kevin Frankel, 38, who was hired in 2006, served as a look-out for Tauber at the Pompano Beach airport as Tauber helped load a plane with 50 kilograms of cocaine, prosecutors allege . Following Tauber's arrest June 18, he agreed to cooperate with the FBI and recorded conversations with Frankel discussing plans to sell cocaine. Both officers worked in Deerfield Beach.

The investigation into Tauber began 10 months ago when Sheriff Al Lamberti uncovered problems with the officer's behavior and contacted the FBI, U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said. Two longtime friends of Tauber, Robert Thomas Baccari, 38, and Christopher C. Provenzano, 37, were also charged in the scheme, which was foiled by an FBI undercover sting. Tauber, Baccari and Provenzano live in Boca Raton, while Frankel lives in Lake Worth. Tauber, Baccari and Provenzano all believed they were working with a New York-area crime organization and a Colombian drug distributor, but actually were dealing with undercover FBI agents, prosecutors said. Bail was set at $600,00 for Tauber, and bond hearings for the other men have been scheduled for Thursday morning.

The arrests are the latest brought by federal prosecutors against South Florida law enforcement officers in the past 18 months. Two weeks ago, FBI agents charged two Miami officers with a series of crimes, and last year, four Hollywood police officers pleaded guilty to helping traffic heroin and running protection for a series of crimes they believed were being committed by mobsters. "Today, we announce another prosecution of corrupt police officers, who have sold their badges and betrayed their colleagues,'' Acosta said. "I want to thank the Broward sheriff for bringing this matter to the attention of the FBI. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the honest men and women of law enforcement.''

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Waterbury officer charged with warning friend

Waterbury officer charged with warning friend
Waterbury, Connecticut - June 24, 2008

WATERBURY, Conn. - Waterbury police have charged a city police officer with warning a friend about a drug investigation.
Officer Israel Lugo is accused of illegally disclosing information about a state police drug investigation that netted 20 pounds of marijuana. Police say the 29-year-old officer was arrested Monday, accused of illegally using a police computer to check the license plate of a state police surveillance vehicle. Police say Lugo is a lifelong friend of 29-year-old Shaun Ducham whose home was raided last Friday. Police say before police raided the home, Ducham suspected he was being followed by police and called Lugo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Officer charged in drug case

Lucas County officer charged in drug case
Lucas County, Ohio - June 20, 2008

WTVG -- Sources tell 13abc that police searched Thomas Walker's home on Airport Highway Wednesday and confiscated cocaine, a scale, phones, money, and torn baggies. A Lucas County corrections officer is off the job tonight charged in a drug case. Sources tell 13abc that police searched Thomas Walker's home on Airport Highway Wednesday and confiscated cocaine, a scale, phones, money, and torn baggies. Walker is now charged with permitting drug abuse. Jail administrators say he's on paid leave until the investigation is done. Police also arrested Walker's friend. Phillip Barry is charged with trafficking and possession of cocaine.

Monday, July 21, 2008

NJ Police Officer Charged With Child Molestation

Veteran Hoboken New Jersey Police Officer Michael Miranda Arrested, Suspended, Charged With Child Molestation - Two Victims, Assaulted For Years - July 18th, 2008

HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY - A Hoboken police officer has been charged with molesting two girls over a period of years beginning when one was as young as 9 years old, officials told The Jersey Journal. Police Officer Michael Miranda, 34, was suspended from the force after being arrested on the sexual assault charge by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, officials said. Miranda’s bail was set yesterday at $175,000, which he posted using property to secure a bond, officials said. The crimes occurred between 2000 and 2005, starting when the younger girl was only 9, said Hudson County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Debra Simon. Prosecutors allege Miranda touched the girls and they touched him. The type of behavior alleged would likely have resulted in the lesser charge of criminal sexual contact, but the age of the victims resulted in its elevation to the second-degree crime, officials said. The charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years upon conviction. The investigation is ongoing and additional information is being gathered, Simon said. Miranda has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, but should he be found guilty, the city could seek to recoup his pay received while suspended, Hoboken Safety Director Bill Bergin said. In August 2006, Miranda was among 13 Hoboken night-shift cops who were reprimanded for either not patrolling during their shift or not patrolling properly. Then-Hoboken Police Chief Carmen LaBruno used GPS devices in patrol cars to determine that of the 25 officers working the night shift, a substantial number “were not patrolling or that their patrol patterns were inconsistent with our policy,” he said at the time. Miranda, who has been a police officer seven years, was given a written reprimand and had to give back various days.

In Madison, Conn., a Sprawling Exercise in Police Corruption

The New York Times - July 20, 2008 - OUR TOWNS
In Madison, Conn., a Sprawling Exercise in Police Corruption

It can be tough to be one of those too-perfect Connecticut towns. In Greenwich, Wifflegate came to a rancorous, well-publicized close on Friday morning as a town demolition crew using sledgehammers and crowbars knocked down the offending Wiffle ball park built by local youths, providing ample grist for meditations on suburban mores, modern parenting, the tyranny of lawyers and the phrase Greenwich Mean Time.

Sixty-three miles up Interstate 95, in this affluent little seaside town, which some locals like to think of as Greenwich in a lower gear, the fly in the punch bowl is a sprawling exercise in police corruption that’s been dragging on for almost two years. In a town of 18,000 with virtually no violent crime, 8 officers, so far, on a force of 24 have been accused of taking part in or turning a blind eye to crimes including burglaries, the electronic stalking of women, sex with prostitutes and worker compensation fraud. It’s like a low-life Elmore Leonard novel transported from Detroit to Martha’s Vineyard that began when an officer was caught on a surveillance camera removing bags of lobsters from Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, a popular local restaurant. It’s a reminder that, as any marketing person will tell you, the glossier the brand, the farther the bad news travels. “The first feeling people have is betrayal that people we trusted have dishonored us and stabbed us in the back,” said Alfred J. Goldberg, a former hospital administrator and a Democrat, elected first selectman, a post akin to mayor, a year ago in this heavily Republican town, partly in response to the police scandals.

“The second is that they’re upset by the besmirching of this community’s reputation. They hate it when they go someplace and people say, ‘Oh, you’re from Madison. Those guys grab any butter to go with the lobster?’ Or ‘You don’t have to pay those cops a lot with those fringe benefits.’ People hate it. They’re so proud of this town, they hate having to suffer the slings and arrows of cheap insults.” At least Greenwich usually gets in the news for mini-dramas bordering on self-parody — asking the state for emergency aid because of the influx of cars from New York coming to buy Powerball tickets, civic hysteria over goose droppings, keeping outsiders off the town beach, knocking down a Wiffle ball field. Madison, settled in 1641, is a much more low-key place, known for its New England atmospherics and its lovely beaches, where some are happy to be compared with Greenwich and many are not. The coffee shops on Boston Post Road tend to be local and independent. One of the nation’s most admired independent bookstores, R. J. Julia Booksellers, sits across the street from the esteemed Madison Art Cinemas (coming Aug. 1: “Brideshead Revisited”). The local library has a big sign out front reading “Art to Benefit the Blind.” On the other hand, the most conspicuous local industry is wealth management.

But Madison’s bad news has had real-world consequences — consequences that include the $337,420 in legal fees last year alone relating to the eight officers fired, suspended or facing charges; the residents who think twice before calling the police; and the effects on the justice system. One man involved in a drunken-driving death avoided possible prison time in April because a police officer who investigated the case had been recently fired in the wake of the prostitution investigation. The prosecutor figured the officer would not make much of a witness. Mr. Goldberg, who was elected after riding his bicycle to knock on 1,523 doors, said it had been painful, but people expect the town to uncover every stone, and the end of the investigation is in sight. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a hearing at the end of the month will examine the actions of a widely admired police lieutenant. And the hearing after that concerns the suspended police chief, Paul Jakubson, and will probably reprise every bit of dirty laundry and then some. Mr. Goldberg said that Chief Jakubson, like all the others under investigation, deserved the presumption of innocence and that it would be a mistake to lump the town’s good officers with the dishonorable ones. But he also said there was no guarantee other officers wouldn’t be implicated.

Still, in town, the police scandals have dragged on for so long, and enough new officers have been hired, that many people seem to have already moved on. “People are disgusted, but there’s a sense it’s being taken care of,” said Arnold S. Gorlick, owner of the cinema. Mr. Goldberg, a history buff with a picture of James Madison behind his desk, frets about the scandal’s legs. “People have had friends and relatives as far away as New Zealand who’ve heard about the Madison police,” he said. “They come back from Asia and say it was on Bloomberg Asia that day.” It’s all pretty mortifying. Still, he sighed, “It was the lobster that really got everyone’s attention.” Maybe if they’d stolen plumbing supplies, no one outside town would have paid much attention. E-mail:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lawyer-Pimp had "source in the NYPD payroll"

Cops say lawyers ran midtown brothel

The New York Daily News by BARBARA ROSS, KRISTEN V. BROWN AND ALISON GENDAR - July 19, 2008

Teams of vice cops swooped down and busted a posh midtown strip club that catered to stockbrokers and bankers - and featured porn stars who charged $5,000 for private trysts. Prominent tax lawyer Louis Posner; his wife, Betty; and 19 others were arrested on a variety of prostitution and money-laundering charges at The Hot Lap Dance Club, which the couple ran out of a velvet-heavy loft, police said. Cops said Posner raked in $1 million over the last 10 months from the operation, which billed itself as "the Number 1 Gentlemen's Club in the World." Four of the club's dancers including busty, streaked-blond porn star Alexia Moore - were busted for prostitution. Another 15 strip club employees - including a rejected NYPD applicant and a private security officer - were arrested in Thursday's raid, sources said. No customers were cuffed. The fifth-floor fantasy lounge on W. 38th St. offered its well-heeled members topless and all-nude lap dances from a bevy of beauties.

To get in, patrons had to be recommended by another member, or pass muster with the club's Internet screeners, cops said. There was a $50 cover charge plus a $20 membership fee. Patrons then had to get past club security, "two monsters at the door downstairs," said a source familiar with the sizzling jiggle joint. Besides half a dozen private bedrooms, the plush 7,000-foot loft had small cubicles patrons could rent for $300 for 15 minutes of fun - up from just $160 when the prostitution probe began a year ago, cops said. For $500 to $5,000 more, the high-rollers could retire to private bedrooms for more personalized attention, or arrange for sex "off-premises." Patrons who ran low on cash could hit the loft's ATM for up to $900 per visit.

A 13-page criminal complaint said undercover cops posing as men interested in throwing a bachelor party were told they could have a private room - with a bed - for $250 an hour, plus whatever they spent on the women. "The house dealer of cocaine" came by the club every night and one manager boasted to undercover cops, "Lou has a source in the NYPD payroll so he can know who's a cop," the complaint said. Dancers called Posner "Daddy" and one employee told an undercover cop the women had to have sex with Posner if they wanted a job, court records said. Cops said Posner laundered the sex profits through Voter March, a nonprofit voter registration organization he founded. "He's a lawyer who specializes in tax matters so he knew how to go below the radar," said Sgt. Christopher Koch of the NYPD's VICE club unit. Investigators seized $570,000 from the Posners' 13 bank accounts and two safe deposit boxes. A law enforcement source said all the money can be traced back to the club and is subject to forfeiture. Tenants who shared digs in the building said they dimed out the sex club to cops two years ago. "Everybody knew it was a sex club," said Bruce Gilarei, 45. "One of the tenants here went to check it out with his girlfriend."

Posner, once known as the king of nuisance lawsuits, brought a landmark $16 million suit against his then-4-year-old son's nursery school in 1992 for letting the child run out of his classroom. That son, Daniel, now nearly 20, told reporters he didn't know anything about the strip club. A neighbor in the Posners' posh E. 48th St. apartment building, where monthly rents run $6,000 to $10,000, called the couple quiet - but odd. "They are just the most low-key people," said a next-door neighbor who didn't want to give his name. "A little strange, but very low-key. They keep to themselves." A lawyer who shared an office suit with Posner was dumbfounded. "It's the last thing I would think anyone who works so hard to be a lawyer would do." But a stunning stripper in her mid-20s who wasn't among those arrested Friday described Posner as "a sleazy, disgusting and disloyal boss" who often hit on the girls. She said two weeks ago Posner announced that customer complaints were prompting him to weed out bad dancers with "auditions" for managers he said would be used to critique the women on "the art of lap dancing." Moore, whose real name is Cassandra Malandri, was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Cout Friday night. The Posners were expected to be arraigned Saturday. The club last made news in March when it was sued by a securities trader who claimed he was seriously injured when a lap-dancing stripper swiveled and slammed him in the face with her shoe. With Kamelia Angelova and Kristen Brown

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cop Fired for Demanding Free Starbucks Coffee

New York Lawyer - July 18, 2008

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - An internal affairs report says a Daytona Beach police officer demanded free coffee and tea from a Starbucks and threatened employees with slower emergency response times if they refused. Lt. Major Garvin, a 15-year veteran, was fired July 8. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Chief Mike Chitwood says Garvin recently failed a polygraph test that he insisted on taking. The coffeehouse's employees claim that since June 2007, Garvin had visited the store as many as six times a night while on duty. Besides demanding free drinks, workers complained that Garvin also cut in front of paying customers. A telephone listing for Garvin could not be found.

Friday, July 18, 2008



In a seventeen-count Indictment, unsealed today, nineteen members of a Liberty City-based narcotics trafficking organization have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and with the distribution of kilogram quantities of powder cocaine and hundreds of grams of crack-cocaine. Among those nineteen defendants are two Miami-Dade Police Officers, Michael Anthony King and Antonio L. Roberts. As alleged in the Indictment, defendants King and Roberts used their positions as police officers to assist co-defendant Marvin Lorenzo Coney, a/k/a “Cone Head,” and others in avoiding arrest and successfully conducting a lucrative and wide-ranging narcotics trafficking business throughout the Liberty City area of Miami.

Today’s prosecution is the result of a two-year joint federal and state investigation that included the use of confidential informants, physical surveillance, taped conversations, and the seizure of drugs, money, and a semi-automatic firearm. On several occasions, law enforcement recorded calls to Coney from King and Roberts, during which conversations the officers warned Coney of police activity in the area so that Coney could take measures to protect his narcotics and elude the police.

U.S. Attorney Acosta stated, “These two police officers would warn this Liberty City drug gang of police activity. By warning armed drug dealers of upcoming confidential police actions, today’s defendants committed the ultimate act of betrayal: they put at risk the lives of their colleagues. Policing is dangerous enough, without the many honest men and women of policing having to worry about informants in their ranks.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Solomon added, “Today, FBI agents and members of the South Florida Violent Gangs Safe Streets Task Force arrested nineteen members of a violent drug trafficking organization. Among those arrested are two Miami-Dade Police Officers, who used their positions to aid the organization’s illicit activities. While the actions of these officers are reprehensible, it is imperative that the public know that this investigation would not have been possible without the assistance of many exceptional police officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department, the City of Miami Police Department, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”

Director Robert Parker, of the Miami-Dade Police Department, added, “It is sad but true that in some instances, officers chose to stray from ethical conduct and disregard their commitment to protect and serve the public; instead, these officers chose to tarnish their badges and join criminals in unlawful enterprises. We are continuously vigilant for such stray officers, and when we find them, we prosecute them just as vigorously as we do other criminals. Those in law enforcement who entertain the temptation to engage in criminal conduct should remember this. Also, police officers who engage in criminal acts with others should realize that there is no honor among criminals; that their accomplices will quickly expose them and use them as leverage to lessen their own jail time.”

Today’s announcement was made by R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Division, and Robert Parker, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department.

The defendants charged in the Indictment are Michael Anthony King, 42, Antonio L. Roberts,46, Marvin Lorenzo Coney, a/k/a “Cone Head,” 42, of Miami, Michael Renardo Johnson, a/k/a “Jay,” 45, of Miami, Christopher Nicholson, 37, of Miami, Corey Reed-Rogers, 32, of Pembroke Pines, Carnell Demon Sumner, 38, of Pembroke Pines, Michael Tyrone West, 52, of Miami, Japtalian Evans, a/k/a “Nephew,” 29, of Fort Pierce, Edwin Alexander, a/k/a “Cook,” 37, of Miami, Glenn Roberts, 45, of Miami, Ernest Pernell Shaw, a/k/a “Toochie,” 31, of Miami, Michael McKnight, a/k/a “Mike Sykes,” 47, of Miami, Antwain Andre Mcduffie, 25, of Miami, Antionett Lasonia Carter, 32, of Miami, Antwun Ivory Wilson, 35, of Miami, Boris Lee Trapp, 52, of Miami, Kimberly Paschal, 32, of Miami Gardens, and Anette Smith, a/k/a “Malibu,” 51, of Miami. If convicted, the defendants face sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment.

Mr. Acosta commended the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Gangs Safe Streets Task Force, and all participating agencies. In addition, Acosta thanked the Internal Affairs Division of the Miami-Dade Police Department for their cooperation and work in this investigation. Acosta also thanked Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and her office for their cooperation and support during the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James M. Koukios and Michael E. Sofia.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Wednesday, July 16, 2008



An off-duty detective who shot an armed thug to halt a brutal beating has become the first police officer to run afoul of new NYPD rules requiring cops to take Breathalyzer tests after firing their weapons, police sources said. The 44-year-old detective from Brooklyn South Narcotics, a 15-year veteran of the force, was placed on modified duty and stripped of his weapon after the shooting at 2 a.m. Sunday, in which the thug opened fire first with a powerful Tec-9 automatic handgun, the sources said. Stephon Allston, 22, a Queens man with a rap sheet, fired three shots but missed. The detective fired five times, hitting the suspect in the arm and leg. Allston fled but was later busted and charged with attempted murder. Under rules adopted by the NYPD in October 2007 on the recommendation of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the detective was forced to take a Breathalyzer test - and failed it narrowly.

His blood-alcohol level was 0.10. The state limit is 0.08. For a man who weighs 160 pounds, that's six drinks in two hours. Veteran officers said it was unlikely the detective would lose his job, but a senior police official said, "The jury is still out on this." The rules, adopted after Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 police bullets on Nov. 25, 2006, are highly controversial in the department. "Years ago, if you didn't take action, the department would accuse you of cowardice," a police source said. "Now they encourage you not to take action." A veteran cop agreed: "Anybody who carries their gun off duty is an absolute idiot." Mike Paladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association, said the detective "did a heroic job, despite the results of any breath test." So far, a dozen cops and six detectives have undergone Breathalyzer tests after firing their weapons, but the detective in Sunday's shooting is the first to be punished. A breath test is mandatory only if a cop hits someone.

Sean Sawyer, an off-duty narcotics cop who shot and killed a motorist in a Manhattan road-rage incident last year, disappeared for 19 hours after the shooting. Authorities suspect he did so to avoid a Breathalyzer test. Sawyer was cleared by a grand jury last week. In the shooting Sunday, the detective was with a seven people, including two off-duty correction officers who were waiting to enter a Queens club, when he saw four men walloping another, police sources said. The detective and the others in his party went down the street to stop the beating. When they got there, Allston pulled out a Tec-9, jammed a magazine into it and cocked it, the sources said. "I'm a police officer," the detective shouted, ordering Allston to drop his weapon. Allston allegedly opened fire, fleeing when he was hit. He was arrested at Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, LI, along with another suspect.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



An off-duty detective who stopped a brutal beating by shooting an armed Queens man "took appropriate action" despite flunking a booze test afterwards, Mayor Bloomberg said this morning. The 44-year-old off-duty detective, who has not been identified, was placed on modified duty and stripped of his weapon after the Sunday morning shooting.

"I clearly think the officer did the right thing," said Bloomberg. "Having said that, it is up to [Police Commissioner Ray Kelly]. He will do a thorough investigation and then make a decision." The detective, who works out of Brooklyn South Narcotics, opened fire on Stephon Allston, 22, at about 2 a.m. after the thug fired three bullets with a powerful Tec-9 automatic handgun. Although Allston's bullets missed the detective, the 15-year veteran fired five times, hitting the suspect in the arm and leg. Asked about the shooting this morning, Bloomberg said, "I think the officer acted correctly." The mayor also said the detective "saw something where people's lives were threatened and he took appropriate action to stop that." Under rules adopted by the NYPD last year, the detective was forced to take a Breathalyzer test - and narrowly failed. His blood-alcohol level was .09. The state limit legal is .08.

Kelly adopted the controversial rule after Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 police bullets on Nov. 25, 2006, outside a Queens topless bar where undercover cops were suspected of drinking. So far, six detectives and a dozen cops have undergone Breathalyzer tests after firing their weapons, but the detective is the first to fail the breath test and be punished since the new rule has been instituted. Several unions, including the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, have filed federal lawsuits calling the new rule unconstitutional. "The policy is politically-motivated and flawed for many reasons beyond its unconstitutionality," said PBA President Pat Lynch. "Among its problems is that it fails to take real-life police situations into account, it sends a message to off-duty officers not to get involved in crime-fighting and prevention."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jail guard may have conspired to help alleged cop-killer Lee Woods escape

The New York Daily News by XANA O'NEILL AND ALISON GENDAR - July 12th 2008

A city jail guard may have betrayed his badge to help an accused cop-killer, slipping the ex-con a handcuff key in a foiled escape plot, sources told the Daily News. The unidentified Rikers Island officer is under investigation for conspiring with Lee Woods, one of three men charged with killing Brooklyn police officer Russel Timoshenko, the sources said. The murder suspect swallowed the key - believed to have come from the correction officer - but never had a chance to use it. A jailhouse metal detector picked up the key in his digestive system on June 25, the day authorities blocked Woods from a scheduled Brooklyn court appearance, sources said. "For a man this manipulative and violent to have a handcuff key is a pretty shocking betrayal," said one law enforcement source. Two rookie correction officers - Auguste Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24 - were fired the same day on charges of delivering marijuana, rolling papers, cigarettes and an occasional swig of booze to Woods, correction officials confirmed. A third officer is under investigation for sneaking Woods the handcuff key, as well as a Sim card - a portable memory chip for a cell phone, sources said. "Woods is on trial for killing a cop, but he has all the comforts of home," a disgusted police source said. "Shameful."

Woods missed his June 25 court date over fears he possessed potentially dangerous contraband, Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello said. Morello declined to identify the contraband, although officials thought Woods had swallowed it. The spokesman did not say if the contraband was recovered. For several days, Woods' hands were wrapped so he would have trouble retrieving any contraband excreted from his body. Woods, and his lawyer, claimed he was framed. "It was a setup," Woods told The News in a jailhouse interview conducted before The News learned of the handcuff key. "Auguste [Durand] put drugs into the window sill. Santiago had nothing to do with it. Why would they want to help me?" The fired guards could not be reached for comment Friday, but Santiago has denied giving Woods any contraband. Woods said he was beaten unconscious by Rikers guards after the two correction officers were fired. He is searched three times a day - at the beginning of each tour - and was stripped of his belongings. "I don't have a thing in my room - not even a book," he said. "They took away my Koran."

Morello said there was no evidence Woods was beaten, and said he was not aware that Woods or his lawyer filed any formal complaints alleging abuse. "We treat each of our inmates as we'd want our children to be treated," Morello said. "To the best of our knowledge he's been treated in accordance with our policy." Woods claimed he was only the getaway driver on July 9, 2007, when Timoshenko and Officer Herman Yan pulled over a $50,000 stolen BMW carrying the three men. Woods claimed his passengers - Dexter Bostic and Robert Ellis - shot Yan and killed Timoshenko. Woods claimed he didn't even know there were guns in the vehicle, but he is still known as a "f---ing cop killer" to most Rikers guards, he said. Woods' record behind bars reveals a love of violence, officials said. He accrued more than five years worth of punitive time for more that 70 infractions at Rikers, including 14 assaults on staff, three arson attempts and several contraband violations. Woods was caught with a homemade weapon - a razor blade taped to the end of a pen - in a state prison in 2000. He racked up 26 violations during nearly five years in state prison before his 2004 release. Woods was accused of everything from throwing feces to attacking staff to fashioning homemade weapons. "He's violent and vengeful," a police source said. "There is no mystery here." (With Scott Shifrel)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The winners in city scandals? The lawyers

The winners in city scandals? The lawyers

City of Chicago has paid criminal attorneys more than $625,000 since Hired Truck - July 10, 2008 


As City Hall's scandals mount, so do the legal bills for taxpayers.

Since January 2004, Mayor Daley's administration has spent more than $625,000 on outside lawyers to represent city employees in federal criminal investigations, records show. That's when the Chicago Sun-Times exposed widespread waste and corruption in the city's Hired Truck Program, sparking a federal investigation that expanded into a rigged hiring system that testimony -- and guilty verdicts -- showed had rewarded patronage workers with government jobs and raises. "The city pays for legal representation for individuals who are confirmed witnesses [rather than targets or subjects] in a criminal investigation because of their job duties or position as city employees," says Jennifer Hoyle, a spokesman for the city Law Department. "Therefore, the costs . . . refer to providing legal representation for the city or city employees who are witnesses in an ongoing federal investigation[s].''

City Hall has hired nine law firms to work on those federal investigations. Most of the legal fees have gone to Mayer Brown, a law firm that has employed three Daley family members over the years. The city has paid Mayer Brown more than $225,000. Another law firm, Michael W. Coffield & Associates, has been paid more than $170,000. These legal bills -- part of the cost of corruption -- are just a fraction of the $49.5 million in legal fees the city has paid to private law firms since 2004. Most of those fees were related to police corruption cases, including lawsuits filed by four men who said they were tortured by officers working under former police Cmdr. Jon Burge. The city settled those cases earlier this year, agreeing to pay the men a total of $19.8 million. The city paid $7.1 million to private lawyers to fight those cases, records show.

Here are a few of the nearly 300 cases in which the city hired private attorneys:

•Harston-Schwendener, the contractor originally hired to build Millennium Park, which sued the city after the company was fired before the signature downtown park was completed. The city paid the Winston & Strawn law firm nearly $4.5 million to fight the lawsuit, which the city recently settled by paying the company $11 million.

•Shakman, the decades-old anti-patronage case that the city has repeatedly violated by using politics to fill some of City Hall's most basic jobs, such as truck drivers and laborers. The mayor's former patronage director, Robert Sorich, and three others were convicted last summer of fixing the city's hiring system to steer such jobs to patronage workers. Since 2004, the city has paid two law firms -- Mayer Brown and Laner, Muchin, Dombrow -- more than $500,000 to battle the federal Shakman decree. The city recently agreed to pay $12 million to 1,443 people who lost jobs or promotions because of rigged hiring.

•State Rep. Edward Acevedo, a Chicago Police officer, who sued a fellow cop, Dennis Canterbury, over a scuffle that broke out when an allegedly drunken Acevedo tried to retrieve an aide's towed car from an auto pound seven years ago. The city paid the Stellato & Schwartz law firm $132,363 to fight Acevedo, whose suit was thrown out by a judge, reinstated by the appeals court, then rejected by a federal jury last fall.

•Mayor Daley's cousin Mark Gyrion. He sued the city after he was fired from his high-ranking job in the city Water Management Department because he never told City Hall that his mother-in-law was providing three trucks to the water agency through the Hired Truck Program. The city paid the Dykema Gossett law firm $58,976 to fight the lawsuit, which was thrown out by a federal judge two years ago.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The New York Post by MURRAY WEISS, Criminal Justice Editor - July 10, 2008

An NYPD crackdown on illegally parked cars boldly sporting city, state and federal placards on their dashboards has resulted in 2,400 summonses - more than 1,000 of them issued to city cops and detectives, The Post has learned. Over the last three months, special teams of Internal Affairs officers have scoured congested streets in lower Manhattan and around government hubs in outer boroughs, searching for vehicles whose drivers abuse their parking-placard perks and slapping tickets on 2,488 cars. Topping the list of offenders were New York's Finest, hit with 1,053 summonses for leaving their cars in crosswalks, near hydrants or bus stops or in "no standing" zones, mostly around courthouses and station houses. Federal agents and other US government personnel were the second-worst abusers, with 282 tickets - most carrying a $115 fine. Courthouse officers and employees received 275 summonses.

FDNY members were hit with 122 tickets for abusing their department or union placards, and New York's Strongest were caught 14 times misusing Sanitation Department permits. Education Department staffers racked up 53 tickets, and Correction Department employees got 120 summonses. "The [placards] were never designed to permit the type of illegal parking that these summonses and tows reflect," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. In addition to tagging placard abusers, the IAB watchdogs also issued summonses to anyone else they saw violating city parking regulations. The cops ticketed another 264 vehicles bearing "official" or "government" license plates that were illegally parked and didn't have placards. They also wrote 878 summonses for cars that belonged to everyday motorists and for commercial vehicles. In total, the IAB cops have issued summonses to 3,530 illegally parked vehicles, and towed 512 of them to city pounds during their rounds since the crackdown began April 1. News of the crackdown and the city's efforts to roll back the number of permits doled out to government employees has apparently had an impact on people trying to use phony or imitation placards. IAB cops haven't spotted any fakes since the program's initial week, when a retired sergeant was charged with having a phony placard. The parking-placard issue came to a head in January, when Mayor Bloomberg - pushing for congestion pricing to reduce traffic in lower Manhattan - ordered a minimum 20 percent across-the-board reduction in the prized permits after getting fed up with stories of rampant abuses. A City Hall study found that there were an astounding 144,160 municipal-government permits floating around the city - allowing motorists to park just about anywhere except for hydrants and bus stops - and that privileged parkers were creating havoc, especially downtown. City Hall ordered the number of permits slashed to 80,770 at 68 agencies that were manufacturing their own with little oversight. On May 1, the mayor's office further reduced the number to 54,891, and placed control of the gilded system under the Department of Transportation and the NYPD. Browne predicted the crackdown will further reduce abuses. "We are already seeing fewer violations," he said.

Friday, July 11, 2008


The New York Post by DOUGLAS MONTERO and LAURA ITALIANO - July 11, 2008

The off-duty narcotics cop who fatally shot an unarmed motorist after a "road rage" argument on the FDR Drive - then fled the scene and hid for 19 hours - has been cleared of all charges by a Manhattan grand jury. The decision came after the panel heard testimony from 16 police, medical and civilian witnesses - including the officer himself and the victim's friend, who saw the shooting from inches away, DA Robert Morgenthau said yesterday. Both agreed that Officer Sean Sawyer fired his weapon after the victim threatened, "Want to see my new Ruger?" and then extended his arm with his hand stretched out in the shape of a gun. The grand jury's vote means Sawyer, 34, no longer faces criminal prosecution for the Oct. 21 death of Jayson Tirado, 25. But his NYPD job remains on the line. Sawyer, who's already on paid suspension from his position in the Queens Narcotics Bureau, must now explain to the police firearms discharge review board why he failed to immediately report the shooting, said his lawyer, Richard Murray. His dismissal from the force is likely, sources said. "It was not something he ever wished would happen, and he's obviously sorry someone died," Murray said. The announcement outraged Tirado's loved ones, who questioned how a police officer could possibly be cleared after shooting an unarmed civilian, leaving him to die, then failing to surface for the better part of a day. "I'm angry," said Tirado's fiancée, Lisa Claudio, the mother of his daughter, Jaylene, 5. "I didn't think he was going to be charged with murder, but I at least expected him to be charged with not staying there." Jaylene keeps asking, "Why did the cop kill my daddy?" the mother said. But leaving the scene of a shooting - unlike leaving the scene of a car accident - is simply not an offense under state law, Morgenthau pointed out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cop charged for body-slamming woman

Eyewitness News - June 27, 2008

YONKERS (WABC) -- A police officer who body-slammed an unarmed woman and broke her jaw during a medical call to a suburban restaurant last year was arrested by the FBI on Friday and charged with violating her civil rights. Federal prosecutors said Yonkers police officer Wayne Simoes used excessive force when he grabbed the woman by the waist, hoisted her in the air and slammed her, face first, into a tile floor. The takedown, recorded by security cameras, knocked Irma Marquez unconscious and put her in the hospital for four days. At the time, authorities said the officer was trying to keep the woman from interfering with emergency medical technicians summoned to the restaurant to assist her niece, who had been hit in the head with a bottle. Simoes, 38, said little Friday during his arraignment in White Plains. A magistrate released him on bond. His attorney, Andrew Quinn, said Simoes intends to plead not guilty. "I've also seen the video, and I know what it shows. But what the video doesn't show is the operation of Wayne Simoes' mind at the time of this incident," said Quinn. He said the officer didn't intend to violate the woman's rights or "cause any type of injury." Simoes could get years in prison if convicted. The Yonkers Police Department said it had placed the officer on modified duty pending the outcome of the case. The video of the March 3, 2007 incident gives little hint as to what led Simoes to perform such a violent physical move on Marquez, a middle aged home health aide. The tape shows Marquez bending over her prone niece while the EMTs examine her. One officer takes her by the arm and gently pushes her away. She bumps into a second officer as she backs up. Simoes then approaches the woman, shoves her shoulder, and, after she apparently objects to being touched, suddenly grabs her from behind and throws her to the floor.

Three officers standing nearby neither flinch nor move to intervene. Despite the nature of Marquez's injuries, which included a broken jaw and nightmarish bruises over her entire face, law enforcement authorities initially sided with the officer. Marquez was arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental administration. An internal affairs inquiry cleared Simoes of any wrongdoing. After the Justice Department informed the city that it was investigating, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone held a news conference to praise the department, saying its officers "do their jobs the right way in full accordance with the law." A Westchester County jury, however, took less than an hour in May to acquit Marquez of the obstruction charge. Weeks later she filed a $11.3 million lawsuit against the police department. After the trial, Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore launched an internal inquiry into how her own office handled the matter. She suggested Friday in a brief written statement that the case was mishandled. "Personnel have been disciplined, operational changes are being made and enhanced training is being put in place," she said. Her office declined further comment and wouldn't say who was disciplined. The police department issued a statement saying its commissioner had directed internal affairs to reopen its investigation. Marquez's lawyer, Gary Certain, praised the FBI and the U.S. attorney for bringing the civil rights charge, and called it "a major step forward in addressing an alarming pattern of misconduct within the Yonkers Police Department." He acknowledged that Marquez had been emotionally distraught during the incident out of concern for her injured niece, but said she hadn't interfered with the EMTs and did nothing to provoke a violent attack.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

East Chicago cop charged in drug case

Officer accused of trying to buy cocaine for distribution
The Chicago Tribune by Jeff Coen - July 7, 2008

A man identified by authorities as an East Chicago police officer has been charged in a federal drug conspiracy case, according to prosecutors. Xavier Herrera, 47, was charged in a criminal complaint last week with conspiring to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute it, court records show. On Thursday, Herrera allegedly brought $60,000 to what he thought would be a drug deal for 5 kilograms of cocaine. The source of the drugs was working for the Drug Enforcement Administration, prosecutors said. Herrera, who was off-duty, was arrested at the sale location in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Summit. Arrested along with Herrera were Juan Gutierrez, 29, and Federick Farmer, 34, both of Chicago. All three men were expected to appear in federal court in Chicago for a detention hearing Wednesday. A call to the East Chicago Police Department was referred to the police chief, who was not immediately available for comment.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Deputy One Of 18 Arrested In Prostitution Sting

Detroit, MI - During a two-day countywide sting, undercover Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 15 women who advertise themselves on the Internet as “escorts” but actually were working as prostitutes, Sheriff Warren C. Evans announced. The women, along with two suspected pimps and one john arrived at various hotels in Romulus, Taylor, Dearborn Heights and Northville. “We had been receiving complaints recently about women advertising online as “escorts” to cover their real jobs as Prostitutes,” Evans said. “It’s important that we do this kind of enforcement because we know prostitution often leads to other crimes, such as robberies and often involves illegal drug use.” While many of these women operate independently, some are under the control of pimps, who often abuse their prostitutes. Evans said the enforcement took place on Thursday & Friday night after several weeks of investigation. Officers identified the women as escorts on Craig’s List on the Internet. Male undercover officers contacted them via cell phone and arranged meetings. At those meetings, and sometimes during the preliminary cell phone conversations, the UC officers successfully negotiated sexual services for money. Most would only talk “business” face-to-face, Evans said. One woman, however, actually advertised sex for money on her web page. “It is interesting to note that ALL of the women who showed up to the hotels as “escorts” ended up offering to provide sex for money,” Evans said. “None of them indicated they were “legitimate” escorts that would not engage in that type of activity.” The prices the women quoted ranged from $60 for 15 minutes to up to $300 for an hour. In some cases, two women arrived together for the same encounter. The women all are expected to be arraigned on misdemeanor charges. Deputies also arrested two men on Friday night who are suspected of being one of the women’s pimps. In the vehicle the men arrived in, officers found a laptop computer, which was seized as possible evidence. The men are expected to be arraigned Monday on charges of Pandering, which is a four year felony.

One customer that was seeking the services of one of the escorts on Thursday night turned out to be an off-duty Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy assigned to the jail. He was cited for solicitation. In reality, he had been making the arrangements with an undercover female deputy that answered the escort’s phone after deputies arrested the escort. The off-duty officer was issued an appearance ticket for the misdemeanor ordinance violation and deputies impounded his vehicle. The off-duty officer has had his police powers temporarily removed and is now subject to departmental discipline. “Clearly, people from all walks of life engage in this type of activity,” Evans said. “It is always disappointing when you catch one of our own, but he certainly will be treated no differently than anyone else we cite for the same offense.” STATISTICAL TOTALS 18 total arrests • 15 prostitution -- • 2 pandering -- • 1 citation for accosting and soliciting ----Drugs seized -- • 4 grams of Heroin -- • 16.5 grams of Marijuana -- Electronic devices -- • 28 cellular phones -- • 3 laptop computers -- • 1 camera -- Currency seized: $3,687.00 U.S. Currency -- 10 vehicles were seized and impounded under the Nuisance Abatement Program.

Deputy Prosecutor: Officers' Arrests 'Horrifying'

5 IMPD Officers Charged Within 2 Weeks - July 4, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS -- The fallout is growing in the wake of five recent arrests of Indianapolis Metro police officers.
The sex, drug and gun-related arrests are not endemic of a larger problem within the department, said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, but they have given a black eye to the department, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported. "The officers I've talked to really want the bad people caught," Ballard said. "This is about trust. The public has to trust IMPD, no question about it. I believe they should take comfort in the fact that IMPD is policing themselves. They are finding out and rooting out the bad apples." Jeremy Lee, 30, was the most recent IMPD officer charged with a crime. He was charged Wednesday with felony aiding prostitution and was being held Thursday on $18,000 bond. Jason Barber, 32, was charged earlier this week with selling a firearm to a felon. He was released after posting $5,000 bond. Three officers who were charged with drug trafficking in a federal case -- Robert B. Long, 34, Jason P. Edwards, 36, and James Davis, 33 -- remain held without bond. Lawrence Brodeur, Marion County's chief narcotics prosecutor, dismissed 20 criminal cases earlier this week because of alleged misdeeds by officers. "It's frustrating. It's disappointing. It's horrifying," Brodeur said. "There were a lot of cop shows with dirty cops. I always came in to work as chief of narcotics understanding that was TV -- that was Los Angeles, that was New York City, that wasn't Indianapolis. Unfortunately, I can no longer come to work and think that." Public Safety Director Scott Newman said Thursday that a package of new policies regarding conduct will be introduced within the next two weeks. The intent of those policies is to address integrity issues within the police department.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Federal DEA worker arrested in Internet sex sting


A man who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration was arrested during an Internet sex sting for trying to set up a tryst with a 14-year-old girl, prosecutors said Tuesday. Richard Luttman, a data analyst, is accused of sending naughty instant messages to an undercover police vice detective posing as the girl and e-mailing the officer a picture of a penis and his cell phone number, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. During their conversation, Luttman asked the girl what school she attended, how many times she had had sex, whether she would have sex with him and whether she had been with two men, Brown said. Luttman, 27, was arrested Monday evening at a rendezvous location, prosecutors said. He was arraigned in Criminal Court, where his bail was set at $100,000. He faces charges including second-degree attempted rape and attempted endangerment of a child; he could get up to four years in prison if convicted. Luttman's lawyer, Steven Gildin, said no crime was committed. "This is a sad story of the DA promoting sensationalism," he said. "This young man was himself victimized by overzealous prosecutors. He was lured and entrapped." Gildin said his client was a model citizen who had been betrayed by the government. "He has never been arrested before," Gildin wrote in an e-mail. "He is employed by the federal DEA. He served for us in Iraq, risking his life on the front lines. And what does he get in return for his sacrifices? A gov't that stabs him in the back!" Luttman was expected to make bail with a bond Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bar owner: Cops harassing me after fake bust

The New York Daily News by NICOLE BODE - July 1, 2008

A Queens bar owner claims the NYPD is trying to run him out of business because he helped prove his patrons were framed in a fake drug-dealing sting. Eduardo Espinoza, 36, of Elmhurst, was hit with more than a dozen violations from the 110th Precinct - including two for failing to have liquid soap and paper towels in his bar bathroom - after handing over a videotape suggesting undercover officers made up a buy-and-bust deal in his club in January. "I been harassed so much, I'm selling my business," said Espinoza, owner of Delicias de Mi Tierra on 91st Place in Elmhurst. "Every two to three weeks, there's cops in here, searching the bar. If there's no violation, they'll make it up. I lost all my clients - everybody's scared to come in my place right now." Espinoza was working in his bar about 1:40 a.m. on Jan. 5 when undercover officers busted brothers Jose and Maximo Colon and friends Raul Duchimasa and Luis Rodriguez for allegedly peddling $100 worth of cocaine. Queens prosecutors dropped those charges last week because of Espinoza's security video showing that the undercover officers had no contact with them in the bar, Colon's lawyer said. Prosecutors and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating whether to bring charges against the officers. Investigators are also poring over the officers' prior cases for signs of misconduct, sources said. An NYPD spokesman said the department would look into the matter. But sources blamed the frequent police visits on community complaints.

Espinoza said he thinks police are retaliating against him because of a strange phone call he received shortly before the harassment began. A man who identified himself as the officer who made the drug arrest in his club demanded to know if Espinoza had taped the events of that night. "I said I already gave it to the defendants," Espinoza said, "He said, 'Oh s--t.' He hung up." Espinoza, who has owned the bar for 2-1/2 years, said he'd gotten only two summonses before this year. Most of his summonses have been tossed - including one for having an 8-foot neon sign without a permit, he said. He's still fighting a $2,500 fine from the Buildings Department for being overcapacity and a summons for ignoring police orders when he tried to park outside the 110th Precinct stationhouse last month. "I knew they were innocent from the first moment," Espinoza said of the framed men. "I felt so bad, I put myself in their shoes. Now [the cops] keep harassing me."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ex-NY Cop Busted Over Badges, Stinking Badges

New York Lawyer - July 1, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities in New York say a former policeman is accused of running a class that gave participants phony law enforcement badges. Federal and local authorities say Robert Neves was arrested Tuesday at his Staten Island home. Another man has been arrested in Miami. The case focuses on a three-day, $860 course offered in Brooklyn, Washington Heights and Passaic, N.J. Participants were not required to undergo background checks. Authorities say the badges looked like NYPD credentials, but bore the Great Seal of the United States. The name of Neves' attorney could not immediately be determined.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Suspect in Md. Officer's Death Was Strangled

Suspect in Md. Officer's Death Was Strangled
The Washington Post by Aaron C. Davis and Rosalind S. Helderman - July 1, 2008

A 19-year-old man suspected of killing a Prince George's County police officer was strangled in the county jail two days after his arrest, the state medical examiner's office concluded yesterday. Ronnie L. White, who was found unresponsive Sunday morning, died of asphyxiation, and two small bones in his neck were broken, according to preliminary autopsy findings. County officials said he was separated from other inmates; only seven guards and an undisclosed number of supervisors had access to the area where White was held. The news that White was killed drew immediate condemnation from civil rights advocates. The FBI began a civil rights probe, and Maryland State Police took over the investigation of White's death at the request of county officials. Investigators from both agencies were interviewing guards at the jail last night, County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) said at a news conference, where he announced the medical examiner's findings. "We live in a constitutional democracy, and no one has the right to be judge and jury," Johnson said. Several times, while standing beside grim-faced county law enforcement officials, Johnson described himself as angry. He said police are not suspected in White's death. Vernon Herron, the county's public safety director, said no video cameras are trained on the area where White was held. No one at the jail has been suspended or removed, the officials said. White, charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Cpl. Richard S. Findley on Friday, was in solitary confinement at the county Correctional Center in Upper Marlboro, jail officials have said. A guard checked on him about 20 minutes before he was found on the floor of his cell with no detectable pulse, the officials said. Jail and hospital officials said Sunday that White's body had no visible signs of trauma and that they could not rule out the possibility that he committed suicide.

White's family was immediately suspicious. Although relatives declined to comment last night, Dorothy White, Ronnie White's aunt, said before the results of the autopsy were known that the family was convinced of foul play. "They either injected his food or his -- I don't know what," she said. According to police charging documents made public yesterday, White "intentionally accelerated" a large pickup truck with stolen license plates toward the officer, striking and dragging him in a parking lot in Laurel on Friday morning. Findley, 39, died later at a hospital. White was apprehended by county police that afternoon and booked into the county jail about 12 hours later. He was found unresponsive about 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Yesterday, some civil rights advocates said the incident, involving a slain white police officer and a slain black suspect, could exacerbate historic tensions between residents of the majority-black county and white police officers. In the mid-1990s, relations grew particularly strained when a black burglary suspect was allegedly severely beaten while handcuffed during his arrest. Four officers, three of whom were white, were charged in the beating. A racially mixed county jury cleared them, rejecting testimony from a black officer who said he saw the officers kick and hit the man. The suspect was later acquitted.

Such tensions have eased significantly in recent years, with the police force becoming more diverse and more black leaders being elected to top office. Johnson is black, as is Melvin C. High, the police chief. Mary Lou McDonough, the interim corrections director, is white. "The county has progressed tremendously from where we were 25 years ago," said Earl Adams Jr., first vice president of the Prince George's NAACP chapter. "It's best we reserve judgment before we try to make it a racial issue." Zalee Harris, an activist working to form a new county branch of the NAACP, said, "This is a potentially catastrophic event between the citizens and the police and the government." "Unfortunately, this is not going to be a right versus wrong," she said. "Unfortunately, it will turn into a race issue." Johnson expressed anger not only at the "horrid" death of a police officer but also at the apparent killing of the suspect in the case. "If we have vigilante justice, our society will fall apart," he said. "If we tolerate these kinds of acts, the courts are superfluous." White, who was 5-foot-10 and 140 pounds, was considered a high-profile inmate because his alleged crime involved a law enforcement official, jail officials said. Herron said that, in keeping with standard protocol, White was to have been moved to another county's jail. He remained in Prince George's over the weekend because he was not taken to the jail until early Saturday. Vicki D. Duncan, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said White was in a room roughly 70 square feet with four solid walls and a solid door with a small window and a slot for meal trays.

Duncan could not say the last time guards might have opened the door. "They open it when they need to," she said. "We don't keep track of when doors are opened." White's slaying is the latest in a series of problems at the correctional center. This year, a guard who was allegedly a member of the Bloods street gang was arrested on charges of supplying cellphones to inmates; another was charged with armed robbery and assault; two inmates were found to have keys; and a detainee was wounded when he was allegedly attacked by seven gang members in a holding area. On June 4, the director of corrections was fired after four handguns disappeared from the jail armory. A jail employee who spoke on condition of anonymity said any officer can enter the unit where White was held. "If you want to go and get in there, you can get in there," said the employee, who was not authorized to speak publicly. "If you want to get to somebody, you can." However, the source said that to enter White's cell, someone would have needed a key from the maximum-security control booth or from officers assigned to the unit or would have had to pop the lock. Sgt. Curtis Knowles, president of the county Correctional Officers Association, said two corrections officers were assigned to the unit where White was housed. Knowles estimated that one of the officers is in his mid-20s and the other is in his mid-30s. Both have solid records, Knowles said.

Knowles said the 10:15 a.m. check was noted on a computerized log. At 10:35, a guard went to White's cell with lunch, officials said. White did not respond to knocks, Knowles said. The officer then notified his partner that he had to go into the cell, Knowles said. That alone would not be unusual, because inmates often fall asleep, Knowles said. The officer found White sitting on the floor, unresponsive and without a pulse, Knowles said. White was taken by ambulance to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.White was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and had blankets and sheets in his cell, Knowles said. On Sunday, Col. Gregory Harris, the jail's deputy director of operations, said no cloth or rope was allowed in White's cell. Dimitri L. Contostavlos, the retired medical examiner of Delaware County, Pa., said strangulation typically leaves bruising from a ropelike object, the hands or an arm or foot. Strangulation is often accompanied by the cracking or breaking of the hyoid, thyroid and cricoid, which form the voice box, he said. "Generally speaking, pressure has to be applied for several minutes" to kill someone, Contostavlos said. "To subdue another adult would take pretty much all the strength of most people." Staff writers Hamil R. Harris, Ruben Castaneda, Nelson Hernandez and James Hohmann and staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.