CBSDFW - March 22, 2011
MESQUITE, TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former sergeant with the Mesquite Police Department pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of stealing government money. Sgt. John David McAllister, head of the department’s narcotics unit, was arrested by federal agents on March 3 at a gym in Mesquite. Part of McAllister’s job as a narcotics officer included searching suspected drug houses and vehicles, and working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to bring criminals to justice. The FBI received a tip late last year that the 42-year-old was stealing money found during the execution of search warrants. The FBI opened an investigation and set up a sting. An undercover agent was given $100,000 in cash that had been counted, photographed and photocopied. The undercover agent then drove a car that had been equipped with a hidden camera. The car was stopped by McAllister and two other undercover officers. The undercover driver gave McAllister permission to search the vehicle, and the two other officers asked him to drive the vehicle to the Mesquite Police Department headquarters. During that drive, video showed, McAllister placed a bundle of cash and stuffed it inside of his pants. It was later discovered that $2,000 was missing from the $100,000 cash that the FBI had placed in the car. When McAllister left the police station, still under surveillance, he drove to the Town East Mall. He left the mall with a small bag from a clothing store. The bills in the store cash register matched those which were used in the sting. A man matching McAllister’s description entered the store and bought a watch. The husband and father had an unblemished record prior to this case. He had been with the department for 21 years, spending the last five years in the narcotics unit. McAllister had no comment in the courtroom on Tuesday, other than to enter his guilty plea. McAllister faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, between one and five years of probation, and a fine of up to $250,000. His next court date has been scheduled for June 22. He now remains on bond.