Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
Two stories from New York City, a cop peddling "cocaine cookies" in Alabama, a Delaware State Trooper with a drug problem, and a very, very ugly recording are on tap this week. Let's get to it:
In New York City, an NYPD officer was indicted May 18 on charges she conspired to rip off cocaine from stash houses in Manhattan, federal prosecutors announced. Officer Kirsix De La Cruz faces up to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit robbery. Two others, including her uncle, are also charged in a series of robberies where De La Cruz pointed out potential robbery targets to her co-conspirators. The officer became involved in the scheme after borrowing money from her uncle, who asked her if she knew someone who could help rob drug dealers. De La Cruz allegedly put her uncle in contact with a dealer who knew where the dope houses were, and the rip-off crew hit a house last July and made off with seven kilos of coke. But a snitch heard about it, the uncle went down, and he turned snitch on De La Cruz.
In New York City, two members of the New York Air National Guard pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan last Friday to conspiring to distribute Ecstasy. They admitted flying a US Air Force jet from New York to Germany to pick up 300,000 hits of the popular club drug. Capt. Franklin Rodriguez, 36, and Master Sgt. John Fong, 37, detoured from an official mission to the republic of Georgia in April 2005, to go to Germany to pick up the stash, but were arrested on landing at Stewart Air National Guard base near Newburgh. As part of his plea agreement, Rodriguez forfeited $726,000 cash found in a safe in his apartment, a 2001 BMV, and $49,000 he had put down on a property in Mt. Vernon. Both men face up to 20 years in prison.
In Dothan, Alabama, a Houston County Sheriff's Department narcotics officer was arrested May 17 on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and selling a firearm to a convicted felon. Michael Campbell, 27, was arrested by FBI agents after an undercover investigation. He is accused of providing "cocaine cookies" to the same ex-felon to whom he sold a semi-automatic pistol. The ex-con was to sell the cookies, and he and Campbell were allegedly plotting for Campbell to provide him with more cookies and 1,500 hits of Ecstasy for sale. Houston County District Attorney told WTLV News 4 in Dothan that drug cases in which Campbell was involved might have to be thrown out. He faces up to 50 years in prison.
In Camden, Delaware, the unnamed trooper mentioned here last week in connection with an investigation to thefts of drugs from an evidence locker has been identified. He is State Police Sgt. Charles Mullett, who was suspended after officials learned he tried to obtain syringes at a Milford hospital on April 23. Mullett, a 19-year veteran of the force, also removed "drug evidence" from the Troop 3 evidence locker at the barracks south of Camden, the State Police announced last Friday. Mullett has not been arrested, but his case is set to go before a grand jury June 5. By Saturday, the Delaware State Troopers Association was saying Mullett had chronic service-related pain and may have become dependent on prescription drugs. (This case, depending on the facts, may make a good example of how the line between corruption and personal problems or habits can sometimes be hard to define.)
In Memphis, a remarkably disturbing audio tape has been made publicly available. Back in February 2005, we reported on the terrible ordeal of Lester Siler, a convicted drug dealer who was brutalized and tortured over the course of an afternoon by a crew of sadistic Tennessee cops. Those cops have now all gone to prison for the assault, and the tape that sealed their fate is now available. Be warned: This is nasty, sadistic stuff. Listen here if you dare.