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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cop Released From Prison Early, Facing New Charges

Former Parma police officer Mark McCombs wins early release from prison, faces new charges
The Plain Dealer - June 17, 2009

A judge on Wednesday granted former Parma police officer Mark McCombs an early release from prison. But McCombs didn't get far. Immediately after Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo approved his release, McCombs was arrested by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents on federal weapons charges, and county prosecutors unsealed a 13-count indictment charging him with theft in office and tampering with records. McCombs, 46, was convicted of tampering with evidence last year and was sentenced to two years in prison. He applied for early release last month. He is now accused in federal court of owning two unregistered machine guns and a silencer with scratched off serial numbers. And county prosecutors said McCombs stole several expensive items from Parma police during his time as a patrolman. The items include night vision goggles worth nearly $3,000, flashlights and chargers, a 30-round magazine, 23 bags of gun parts and three lasers. He is accused of trying to cover his tracks by removing serial numbers and inventory labels from several of the items. McCombs was arraigned Wednesday before a magistrate in federal court. A hearing is scheduled for noon next Wednesday before U.S. District Judge John Adams in Akron. His arraignment in state court is scheduled for Friday. Prosecutors opposed McCombs' request for an early release, citing the pending charges. But Russo said future charges had no bearing on her decision. Russo inherited McCombs' case when Judge Bridget McCafferty recused herself. McCafferty stepped aside because McCombs' attorney, Henry Hilow, is representing her in the FBI's investigation into corruption in Cuyahoga County government. Federal agents searched McCafferty's court chambers in September. Hilow could not be reached to comment after McCombs' arrest. McCombs was fired from the Police Department in May 2007 after allegations of misconduct 

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