Top News Story! Santa Clara PD! Clay Dirt!
Posted: February 29, 2012, 03:54:37 PM PST
SANTA CLARA, CA -- A former Santa Clara police officer was sentenced today to three years in federal prison for passing confidential information to a member of the Hells Angels because he owed the biker money. Clay Rojas, 37 (pictured left) who had served five years with the Santa Clara Police Department, was convicted last year by a U.S. District Court jury in San Jose of 12 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud, illegal use of a computer for financial gain and improper computer access. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ordered Rojas to surrender March 30 to begin serving his sentence. He must also pay a $7,500 fine.
Rojas supplied private information on people from the Department of Motor Vehicles to William Bettencourt, 39 (pictured above, right) a member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels. Rojas, who formerly worked as a police officer in Salinas and San Jose, sent text messages containing criminal history and motor vehicle information to Bettencourt from 2009 to 2010 to avoid having to pay back a loan of several thousand dollars, according to the grand jury indictment. Bettencourt even asked Rojas to look up the biker's own criminal status, court records said. At one point, Bettencourt texted Rojas, "Can u r my name and check status?" according to the indictment.
Rojas' attorney wrote in court papers that his client had acted "out of friendship" with Bettencourt and that there was no connection between the records checks and any outstanding loans. He asked for leniency in the form of probation, saying Rojas had served honorably as a Marine during two tours of duty in Iraq. In an interview today, the defense attorney called the sentence too harsh. "The man made a mistake, no question about it," he said. "He's paying the price. He will never work again in law enforcement."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Kaleba argued in a sentencing memorandum that Rojas deserved 41 months in prison because he "harmed society by placing his personal interests, and the interests of Bettencourt, ahead of the public he served. Even if the defendant otherwise performed his duties properly, by accepting bribes he injured society by suggesting his services were for sale."
State charges related to the case are still pending against Bettencourt.
July 29, 2011
SAN JOSE, CA -- A former Santa Clara police officer (pictured left) has been convicted in federal court of passing confidential information to a member of the Hells Angels (pictured right) because he owed the biker money. Clay Rojas, 37, who had served five years with the Santa Clara Police Department, was convicted Wednesday by a U.S. District Court jury in San Jose of 12 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud, illegal use of a computer for financial gain and improper computer access. Rojas will be sentenced in November 2011.
"We're very disappointed in the verdict," said Rojas' attorney. Rojas supplied private Department of Motor Vehicles information about people to William Bettencourt, 39, a member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels. Rojas, who formerly worked as a San Jose police officer, sent text messages containing criminal history and motor vehicle information to Bettencourt from July to October 2010 to avoid having to pay back a loan, according to the grand jury indictment. The loan amount was not specified. Bettencourt even asked Rojas to look up the biker's own criminal status, court records said. On Aug. 19, Bettencourt texted Rojas, "Can u r my name and check status?" according to the indictment.
Rojas testified that there was no connection between the records checks and any outstanding loans. Federal charges are pending against Bettencourt, and Rojas also faces state charges. Rojas supplied private Department of Motor Vehicles information about people to William Bettencourt, 39, a member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels.
Posted: 07/26/2011 02:08:56 PM PDT
A federal jury is now deciding the fate of a former Santa Clara police officer charged with illegally supplying confidential law enforcement records to a Hells Angel to pay off a debt. After several hours of closing arguments by lawyers in the case, the San Jose jury on Tuesday retreated into deliberations to consider the charges against Clay Rojas, who faces 12 felony counts tied to allegations he furnished the privileged data to convicted felon and biker William "Billy" Bettencourt.
The 37-year-old Rojas (pictured left) head shaved and wearing a suit, sat at the defense table as lawyers depicted him as either a cop who schemed to reveal confidential records because he was "in the pocket" of a Hells Angel or simply an officer who made a mistake but fell far short of plotting to commit a federal crime. A federal grand jury indicted Rojas last year, accusing him of providing the confidential records, such as criminal histories and DMV records, to Bettencourt (pictured above, right) because he owed him thousands of dollars at various times that he could not pay off.
"A police officer gave confidential information to a Hells Angel to work off his debt," Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Kaleba told the jury. "That's what this case is about." But Rojas' lawyer, insisted there was no agreement between Rojas and Bettencourt that linked the records and the loan, a key component of the government's most serious conspiracy charge against the former cop. "He admitted he made terrible mistakes," his attorney conceded to jurors. "He had no business having a relationship with that man. He really messed up. "But," the attorney continued, "we do not have an agreement between Billy and Clay that this was for (paying off the loans)."
Rojas, a five-year veteran of the Santa Clara police department and a former Marine who served in Iraq, was fired in the aftermath of his arrest last year. At the time, Rojas admitted to investigators that he conducted the records checks for Bettencourt because he was under pressure to repay a loan. But in testimony Monday, Rojas said he misled those investigators about the loan connection, telling jurors he made those statements because he was worried police would suspect he was an informant for the Hells Angels. "I let them run with the whole money idea because my biggest fear is that they would label me a Hells Angel informant," Rojas said. "I was just saying it because I was scared."
Federal prosecutors, however, said Rojas is now lying to cover his tracks to avoid the most serious charges against him, which are connected to police misconduct related to financial gain. Rojas' lawyer essentially conceded to jurors they would have to convict Rojas of some of the computer-related charges, but pinned his arguments on averting the conspiracy and financial gain elements that would result in more prison time.
Pointing to dozens of text messages between Rojas and Bettencourt as evidence, prosecutors urged the jury to find the ex-cop's motive was to keep the Hells Angel off his back about repaying the debts. "The truth is that he wanted to keep the bank of Billy open," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Schenk, who also argued for the government.
Bettencourt, a suspected member of the Hells Angels Santa Cruz chapter, faces federal and state charges connected to the case, and could face life in prison under the three strikes law if convicted in state court. Vivian Rodriguez, a San Jose woman connected to the biker, also faces charges related to Rojas and the confidential records.
State charges against Rojas have been on hold while the federal case against him proceeds.
December 28, 2010
Deepening his legal troubles, a Santa Clara police officer now faces federal criminal charges of supplying confidential information to a member of the Hells Angels to pay off a debt. In an indictment unsealed on Monday in federal court in San Jose, Clay H. Rojas a five-year veteran of the Santa Clara Police Department, is charged in fraud and conspiracy counts with furnishing inside information to William "Billy" Bettencourt a suspected member of the Hells Angels Santa Cruz chapter. Rojas, the indictment alleges, provided the confidential information, such as criminal and DMV records, to Bettencourt. The indictment also names Bettencourt and Viviana Rodriguez, who is accused of seeking Bettencourt's aid in getting the inside information. Bettencourt, who has a prior felony criminal record, already is in custody without bail on related state charges and faces life in prison under the "three strikes" law.
For Rojas, 36, the indictment marks an escalation of a criminal investigation into the allegations involving the Hells Angels. He was charged in state court in October with a felony for allegedly feeding the material to Bettencourt. Now federal officials have piled on the new charges. It is not clear whether the federal case will supplant the state prosecution, but the federal charges carry a stiffer penalty. The federal charges against Rojas, which focus on "honest services fraud" as a police officer, carry a maximum 20-year sentence, although he would be unlikely to face the maximum. The state charges, which can still be pursued if the federal case falters, call for about a three-year term if Rojas is convicted.
A federal magistrate judge refused to release Rojas on bail Thursday when he was arrested on the indictment, forcing him to spend the Christmas weekend in jail. He is scheduled to return to court Wednesday for another hearing. Rojas' lawyer in the federal case, could not be reached Monday. One of the officer's lawyers in the state case told the media in October that Rojas made some mistakes and "got in over his head," but that he is a "gang expert, not a gang member." Rojas, a former Marine sergeant who served in Iraq and who also is a former San Jose police officer, is accused in the indictment of carrying out the scheme between July and October, shortly before his arrest on the state charges. Although most of the allegations mirror the state charges, the federal indictment reveals that money was behind Rojas' alleged involvement with the Hells Angel.
"Bettencourt induced Rojas to obtain confidential criminal history and motor vehicle information by giving Rojas money in the form of a 'loan,' " the indictment states. "Bettencourt then requested and received confidential information from Rojas, in lieu of money, in return for an extension on repaying that financial obligation." The indictment includes references to several cryptic text messages between Rojas and Bettencourt, including one in August that simply read: "$?". Court records in the state case contained more direct exchanges between the two men, such as one from Bettencourt in which he asked Rojas to obtain information on someone. "Want me to check her record," Rojas texted back. "Yes," the Hells Angel replied. "just lookin 4 direct I guess."
October 28, 2010
When investigators searched Clay Rojas'(pictured left) home, they discovered a sign that said "Support your Local Hells Angels." That's precisely what investigators say the Santa Clara police officer was doing. Rojas, a 36-year-old former Marine sergeant who served in Iraq and former San Jose police officer, faces three years in prison if convicted. He is accused of feeding a biker with "three strikes" confidential information, including DMV and criminal records.
William "Billy" Bettencourt (pictured left) a member of the motorcycle gang with convictions for witness intimidation and other violent crimes, is facing life. The potentially criminal relationship between the cop and the outlaw biker, outlined in court documents unsealed this week, is a tale told largely in BlackBerry texts. And it continues to be investigated to carefully plumb how much information the cop may have leaked -- and exactly how the biker and his gang may have used the information. In one text message exchange, court records show, Bettencourt asks Rojas to obtain information on someone.
"Want me to check her record?" the cop texted back. "Yes," the biker texted. "Just lookn 4 dirt I guess."
A week later, court records show, the biker is asking for money. "And jeez...$$$$$?????? LOL."
When officers brought in Rojas on Oct. 14, 2010 he admitted he had done favors for Bettencourt since Nov. 9, 2009, because he owed the biker money, court records say. He knew Bettencourt was a Hells Angel, but he didn't think he had done anything wrong. He said he had borrowed money other times in the past "a thousand here, a hundred there." Bettencourt never charged him interest. The officer said he felt pressure to do what Bettencourt asked because of the debt. The investigator asked him what would happen if he didn't do what was asked of him. The officer replied he didn't know but felt he had no choice, according to court documents. Rojas agreed that the information he gave the biker could be thought of as interest on his late payments.
The investigator noted before he arrested the officer: "Rojas equated his release of information to Bettencourt as if he was releasing information to a friend, not a Hells Angel."
"This is a significant breach of the public trust," prosecutor Chuck Gillingham said. "This officer was entrusted to use this information for law enforcement purposes only. He didn't do that."
The case was launched by a discovery soon after Bettencourt was busted in September by Campbell police on gang-related charges. Police raided the stout, heavily tattooed biker's Live Oak home and seized a loaded gun, steroids, $40,000 in cash and a trove of biker gang paraphernalia. On Bettencourt's BlackBerry, investigators found more than 10,000 texts, court records said. And they found some that passed between the biker and a strangely familiar contact labeled "Clay's Cell."
At least two of the investigating officers recognized the number. It was for Rojas, who had been an officer in Santa Clara for five years and helped run a police officer equipment business in Santa Clara called 10-8 Police Supply.
It was soon clear that the two had texted back and forth numerous times, according to court records, swapping jokey and familiar "OMGs" and "LOLs." In another text exchange, court records show, Bettencourt seemed to be asking if the officer would check on the biker's own criminal status, to see whether he had any pending warrants. Later that day, Rojas texted him back: "Clear."
In another exchange, court records show, Bettencourt forwarded a license plate number to Rojas. The next day, Rojas sent back the car's make, the name of its owner and the city he lives in. He texted that he would send the address later. Police later checked the department's computer systems and discovered that someone had inputted that license plate from a Santa Clara Police Department computer.
There were other similar text exchanges, court records show, including one police traced from the biker to a 31-year-old San Jose woman named Vivian Rodriguez. She seemed to be asking for information about a child custody case that authorities say Rojas later gave to Bettencourt. Rodriguez is also charged with conspiracy in the case.
Rojas' lawyer in the case, said the officer made some mistakes. "He has made significant contributions to his country and community, but personally, he got in over his head," the attorney said. "But he is a gang expert, not a gang member."
October 15, 2010
A Santa Clara police officer, who previously served on the San Jose police force, was arrested Thursday on a $250,000 warrant charging him with felony conspiracy after authorities say he gave confidential information to a member of the Hells Angels. Clay H. Rojas, 36, a five-year veteran of the Santa Clara Police Department, was booked into Santa Clara County Jail, along with William Bettencourt, 38, a suspected member of the Hells Angels Santa Cruz chapter, and Vivian V. Rodriguez, 31, of San Jose. Bettencourt is being held without bail. All are being charged with conspiracy to commit a crime.
Santa Clara police released limited information about the case, saying only a criminal investigation revealed that Bettencourt had confidential Department of Motor Vehicles information about "private parties," and that it was Rojas who apparently provided it to him. Bettencourt, in turn, gave the information to Rodriguez, whose relationship to Bettencourt and Rojas remained unclear. Santa Clara police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office immediately launched an in-depth investigation, auditing the department's computer systems, which they say confirmed that Rojas had obtained the information. Authorities did not disclose the type of information, but a spokeswoman for the DA's office said that Rojas supplied it to Bettencourt between Aug. 19, 2010 and Sept. 3, 2010.
"This incident tarnishes the good name of our department and our profession, but at the end of the day, I believe this is an isolated incident limited to one employee," Santa Clara Police Chief Steve Lodge said in a statement. "He made some incredibly bad decisions that amount to criminal conduct," Lodge said.
Rojas was hired by the San Jose Police Department in October 1998, sources said. He was one of several officers involved in a 2000 use-of-force case that ended with the death of Shaheed Jamal Daniels. After officers responded to a domestic quarrel incident, Daniels died while officers tried to subdue him. Rojas is expected to be arraigned on Monday.
If convicted, Rojas and Rodriguez face a maximum of three years in prison. Bettencourt, who has previous felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and a criminal threat, faces 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law.
Posted: 07/22/2011 06:16:38 AM PDT
Updated: 07/24/2011 03:51:13 PM PDT
Two former Richmond police officers were indicted Thursday on charges that they conspired to tamper with witnesses and obstruct a federal investigation. Danny Harris and his former partner, Ray Thomas, were fired this year. Harris also faces charges that he illegally bought guns for members of the department's youth scouting program after hiring them as security guards in a side business, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Harris (pictured above, center) a Pinole resident, is accused of buying three handguns at a San Jose gun shop in 2009 for members of the Richmond Police Explorers, a group affiliated with Boy Scouts of America that provides vocational opportunities for youths considering careers in law enforcement. Harris, then the supervisor of the Explorers, drafted some of them to work in a security business that he and Thomas owned. Because two of the employees were under 21, Harris bought handguns for them in his own name, a violation of federal law, according to the indictment.
After their business relationship with the employees soured, the suspects tried to retrieve the firearms and avoid prosecution through intimidation, according to the indictment. That included suing one of the former Explorers in small claims court for return of the weapon, pressuring another to change the name on a gun's registration, and paying more than $1,800 to a private investigator, Butler & Associates of Concord, to conduct a sting operation intended to entrap both in compromising positions.
Much of the evidence in the federal case came from the police department's internal affairs investigation of the officers, which was conducted as the department prepared to fire them. "When we first learned of these allegations over a year ago, we followed up quickly and ultimately referred the investigation to the FBI," Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus said. "We are very disappointed with the former officers' alleged conduct, but we appreciate the work of the FBI and the grand jury in handling this matter."
The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court on Aug. 9. Each may face federal prison time if convicted.
June 24, 2011
June 23, 2011
"The arrest 'is testimony to the dedication and tenacity of the FBI officers involved who ensured that these fugitives and their crimes were never forgotten[.]'"
-- Interpol on Whitey Bulger's Capture by FBI Agents.
Los Angeles, CA (WCJB) -- Legendary mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, nabbed after being on the run for 16 years, is expected to make his first court appearance in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon. Bulger has been living in a Santa Monica apartment, but was arrested after he left it, the FBI said Thursday. He is charged with 19 counts of murder and a slew of other crimes. In addition to the murder counts, Bulger is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, narcotics distribution and money-laundering charges, the FBI said.
Bulger was an FBI informant before he fled in 1995, after an FBI agent tipped him off about an impending racketeering indictment. The agent who tipped him off about an impending indictment, John Connolly, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for racketeering and obstruction of justice. Connolly was later also sentenced to 40 years in prison for a mob-related killing of a witness who was about to testify against Boston mob members. Prosecutors said Connolly was corrupted by his two highest-ranking snitches: Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi.
The FBI offered a $2 million reward for information leading directly to his arrest. A tip came in about 8 p.m. PT Tuesday (11 p.m. ET), DesLauriers said. Less than 24 hours later, Bulger -- one of the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted fugitives and the inspiration for the 2006 Martin Scorsese film, "The Departed" -- was in custody.
On Wednesday, members of the task force began surveillance at the Santa Monica apartment and decided the tip was "fruitful after observing two individuals who appeared to resemble the two fugitives," DesLauriers said.
"At approximately 5:45 Pacific Standard Time (8:45 p.m. ET), using a ruse, agents and other task force members lured Mr. Bulger out of his apartment," DesLauriers said. Authorities did not detail what the ruse was. The agents determined his identity and arrested him "without incident," then went in the house and arrested Greig, DesLauriers said. Neither put up a fight, authorities said. After the arrests, members of the Fugitive Task Force, which included the FBI and police, searched the home. Agents found firearms and a large amount of cash, a law enforcement official told CNN.
Drug Dealing Cops!
Posted: 07/19/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT; Updated:07/19/2011 09:05:00 AM PDT SAN LEANDRO, CA -- Jason Fredriksson, the San Leandro police detective accused of giving more than a pound of marijuana to a female informant with whom he was having an extramarital affair, has resigned. Fredriksson, 38, told San Leandro officials of his decision Friday, said his attorney. "He weighed his overall situation against the idea of litigating the employment aspect of it, and he decided it would be in everybody's best interest for him to resign," the attorney said. Fredriksson (pictured left) a San Leandro officer since 2002 and one of four detectives in the department's vice/narcotics unit, has admitted to having an affair with a police informant, Stern said. He pleaded not guilty May 20, 2011 in a Hayward court to one count of transporting and furnishing marijuana for sale to the woman. "There is no evidence concerning the idea that he provided marijuana to the informant," his attorney said. "Jason took responsibility for having the relationship with the informant. He let down his family, first and foremost, and the department. And it was on that basis that he chose to resign." San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli declined to comment on the details of Fredriksson's departure, other than to confirm that Friday was his last day with the department. Authorities do not believe that any other San Leandro police officer is connected to Fredriksson's case, Spagnoli said Monday. Fredriksson has been under criminal investigation since March 18, when a San Leandro resident told Spagnoli about the detective's involvement with the informant, police said. On March 23, 2011 authorities searched Fredriksson's Danville home and found items that supported the marijuana-related charge, police said. Fredriksson declined to provide a statement to investigating detectives, according to court documents. Fredriksson had been on paid administrative leave until he left the department Friday. His wife, Sheryll Fredriksson, a San Leandro police dispatcher who has not been charged, remains on paid administrative leave while the department's internal investigation of her continues, police said. Its investigation of Jason Fredriksson has concluded, police said. Jason Fredriksson's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 10, 2011 in Hayward. He is the second Fredriksson family member to be arrested this year. His father, John Fredriksson -- a former inspector at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office -- is facing eight counts of child molestation charges in Contra Costa County Superior Court. Posted: 05/23/2011 05:18:43 PM PDT - Updated: 05/24/2011 04:37:44 AM PDT SAN LEANDRO, CA -- Jason William Fredriksson, the San Leandro narcotics detective charged last week with giving marijuana to a confidential informant for her to sell, made an obviously bad decision when the married officer started a sexual relationship with the woman, his attorney said Monday. But while he certainly broke his marriage vows, Fredriksson is not guilty of the felony charge filed against him, said the embattled police detective's lawyer. "Like so many people in prominent positions, he made an indiscreet decision," Stern said. "My understanding is that the evidence is completely circumstantial, and that the marijuana was recovered from the informant, not him. I doubt they have much to show that it came from Officer Fredriksson." The Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Fredriksson on Thursday with one count of transporting and furnishing marijuana for sale. Fredriksson, 38, pleaded not guilty at the Hayward Hall of Justice after he surrendered to authorities Friday on a $50,000 arrest warrant. He was released on $40,000 bail the same day, an amount that was lowered over the prosecutor's objection, District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said. The bail amount was decreased because Fredriksson had volunteered himself to authorities, had no prior record and is facing just a single charge, Stern said. He has been under criminal investigation since March 18, when a San Leandro resident told police Chief Sandra Spagnoli that Fredriksson had provided more than one pound of marijuana to the female confidential informant for her to sell. That informant is the same woman with whom Fredriksson had an extramarital affair, his attorney said. On March 23, authorities searched Fredriksson's Danville home and found items that supported the marijuana-related charge filed against him, Spagnoli said Friday. Authorities are investigating whether the marijuana given to the informant once was evidence or if it might have been taken from the police department's lab. Meanwhile, the department has launched an internal investigation into the case. Fredriksson and his wife, Sheryll Fredriksson -- a San Leandro police dispatcher who has not been charged -- have been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is completed. "I surmise that they placed her on leave just as a precaution," he said. "Because they are conducting an investigation at that same police department, I think placing her on leave is due to the fact that it would be uncomfortable, to say the least, to have her present, rather than due to any actual misconduct by her." Fredriksson, a police detective in San Leandro's vice/narcotics unit since 2008, has been an officer for nine years. From 2000 to 2002, he also was an Alameda County Sheriff's deputy. The attorney said his client, a Contra Costa County resident, is not at all tied to similar charges recently filed against several Contra Costa County narcotics officers. "This case involves a quantity of marijuana and an informant and nothing else," he said. "He doesn't have any connection to anybody else." Spagnoli, San Leandro's police chief since November, said in a statement that the department "will not tolerate and deplores" any misconduct like that of the charge filed against Fredriksson. Her office Monday declined to comment further on the case. "Police Chief Spagnoli and the police department have handled the investigation in a professional manner," Mayor Stephen Cassidy said, "and reaffirmed that any criminal or unethical behavior by those we entrust to serve and protect our community will not be tolerated."
Slangin' & Bangin'!
July 7, 2011 The Boynton Beach Police department's 'Officer of the Year' for 2010 was indicted on Tuesday for conspiring to possess and traffic 500 grams of methamphetamine, according to U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. The indictment accuses David Britto, 28, of drug dealing from June 2009 until March 4, 2011. Britto faces a potential life sentence if convicted, prosecutors said. Police Chief G. Matthew Immler released a statement saying, in part, "the Boynton Beach Police Department vigorously polices itself, and this case is an example of how law enforcement roots out corruption from within its own ranks." Officer Britto (pictured left) was named 'Officer of the Year' in January for, among other things, helping to identify a man suspected of shooting two street preachers and for performing CPR on a 2-year-old girl who almost drowned in her family's swimming pool in November. "I saw the little baby on the ground and started praying," Britto said, recounting the life-saving effort at a December reunion with Elionore Dieujuste and her daughter, Vitalice, who made a full recovery. Britto said at the beginning of last year, he took out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote down that on every call he wanted to make a difference in someone's life. "It is nice to be recognized when you have really tried your best," he said upon receiving the 'Officer of the Year' honor. "This only motivates me to keep doing what I'm doing and reach my goals." In 2010, Britto also worked 11 burglaries resulting in 19 arrests and 18 narcotic cases leading to 25 arrests, records show. In 2008, Britto was one of three Boynton Beach police officers who fired 23 shots into a stolen Dodge Caravan as the vehicle's driver tried to run them down, investigators said. None of the officers or the seven suspects in the van was injured, according to the police report. Britto has been a Boynton Beach police officer since September 2006, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database. He was caught in a Drug Enforcement Administration led Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation. "The decision to deal drugs while carrying a badge is not only a breach of the law enforcement oath, but a community tragedy as well," DEA Mark R. Trouville,Miami Special Agent in Charge said in a statement. Chief Immler echoed that sentiment in his statement. "We realize that when an officer stands accused of a violation of the public trust, all of law enforcement pays the price in eroded citizen confidence and the perception of diminished integrity," Immler said.
July 8, 2011 Two Dracut police officers will serve a one-month unpaid suspension for failure to clarify statements they made in a 2003 internal affairs investigation. They have, however, been cleared of allegations they were intentionally deceptive at the time, when the theft of more than 150 pounds of marijuana from an evidence storage trailer behind the police station was being investigated. Officers William Dubois and Leonard Wagner have been on paid administrative leave since May 2010 when the internal affairs report was completed; in it, both were accused of being deceptive when they denied knowledge of the marijuana being stored in the trailer. The missing drugs have never been recovered, and no one was ever charged with the theft.
Mary Jane: 150lbs.!
June 30, 2011 The 25-year-old son of Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller pleaded not guilty this afternoon to all charges stemming from his narcotics-related arrest earlier this week in Pacific Grove. Jacob Scott Miller (pictured left) is facing two felony counts of possessing methamphetamine for sale and possessing hydrocodone, and misdemeanor counts of possessing illegal fireworks, prescription medication without a prescription and paraphernalia for the use of a controlled substance. Jacob Miller also faces an infraction of possessing marijuana. (Sheriff Miller, pictured left) He was arrested Tuesday morning after a search warrant was served at his apartment, which is attached to his father’s home in Pacific Grove. Jacob Miller is being represented by attorney Susan Chapman. He is out of custody having posted bail after being transferred to Santa Cruz County Jail Tuesday night for safety reasons. Posted: 06/29/2011 08:31:21 AM PDT PACIFIC GROVE -- The son of Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller has been arrested on suspicion of possession for sale of methamphetamine. Sheriff's Commander Jerry Teeter says 25-year-old Jacob Miller was arrested in Pacific Grove on Tuesday. The Salinas Californian reports that sheriff's deputies served a narcotics-related warrant at the younger Miller's apartment, which is attached to his father's home. The newspaper says the son was taken to Monterey County Jail.
In the Family!
June 2, 2011 MARTINEZ, CA (WCJB) – Through our sources we've learned that the federal government will be taking over the investigation into police corruption in Contra Costa County that includes accusations of drunk driving setups, the sale of confiscated drugs and the operation of a brothel. The U.S. Attorney’s office based in San Francisco has no comment, but we learned the FBI will be in charge of the investigation starting Friday. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office scheduled a conference to discuss the next phase of the case. Former narcotics task force commander Norman Wielsch and several others, who are now out on state bail, could soon be re-arrested as a result of the development. Wielsch, the former commander of Contra Costa’s drug task force, was arrested in February along with his private investigator friend, Chris Butler. Wielsch is accused of stealing narcotics confiscated by his unit, known as CNET, and providing them to Butler for resale. Two other cops have also been arrested in the scandal.
May 28, 2011 (Marcella Hernandez, 27, and Sylvia Najera, 25, and Deputy Alfredo Navarrette, 37, pictured above) Three Arizona law enforcement officers arrested on suspicion of aiding human traffickers and drug smugglers allegedly had close ties to a member of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, court documents say, a Mexican narcotics gang that operates along the U.S.-Mexico border. The group endeavoured to launder money from the sale of heroin produced on a ranch in Mexico through front companies in Arizona. The group allegedly helped transport approximately $56,000 worth of heroin per week, the statement said. Marcella Hernandez, one of the officers arrested Tuesday, is allegedly pregnant with the child of Francisco Arce Torres, the leader of a local chapter of a drug trafficking ring that operates in Arizona's Maricopa County, according to a probable cause statement. The 27 year-old officer is suspected of allowing Torres to use two of her residences as "stash houses for narcotics and illegal drugs proceeds," the statement said. Authorities say they discovered approximately $16,000 in her purse when she was arrested. Detention officer Sylvia Rios-Najera is also suspected of conspiring with both Torres and Deputy officer Alfredo Navarrette, who had been a member of a law enforcement unit targeting human smuggling. Navarrette, 37, allegedly placed security cameras around Torres' home and offered to sell assault rifles and provide tips from the National Crime Information Center to members of the cartel. Navarrette faces felony charges connected to human smuggling, money laundering and participating in a crime syndicate, according to police. The three officers -- all accused of conspiring in the smuggling ring -- worked for Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County's Sheriff known for his tough stance on illegal immigration. Media sources not immediately able to reach defense attorneys for the three individuals regarding those accusations. The group is among 12 people arrested in the Tuesday operation, which included Torres, who was charged with managing an organized crime syndicate, money laundering and illegal narcotics possession and sales. Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" in America, called the alleged acts "despicable." "We're also looking at other officers that could be involved," he said. "The investigation has not been completed." Arpaio has drawn national attention for housing many of his prisoners in tents and forcing them to wear pink underwear, but he is also facing a Justice Department investigation into whether his policies discriminate against Hispanics. May 25, 2011 Three Arizona cops (Marcella Hernandez, 27, and Sylvia Najera, 25, and Deputy Alfredo Navarrette, 37, pictured above) smuggled drugs and humans and laundered money for a vast narco-trafficking ring, all under the nose of the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff," authorities said. One of the moles, a female corrections officer, was carrying the love child of a cartel capitán, and all three were accused of leaking sheriff's office tips to help the ring guide smugglers, drugs and cash through the area from Mexico, authorities said. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Deputy Alfredo Navarette, 37, and two corrections officers, Sylvia Najera, 25, and Marcella Hernandez, 28, were among 12 people rounded up in Tuesday's sting. The early morning raids capped a year-long investigation into the ring, which is suspected of funneling loads of heroin into the Valley area west of Phoenix. Navarette, a 10-year veteran of Arpaio's anti-human smuggling unit, was arrested when he showed up for work, and a sweep of his apartment found two illegal immigrants hiding there. Arpaio said Hernandez was eight-months pregnant with the child of Francisco Arce-Torres, the operation's ringleader, who has ties to Mexico's notorious Sinaloa cartel. She and Najera were busted on their way to work at the county's largest jail, and cops said Hernandez had nearly $20,000 on her. The arrests were a blow to the tough-talking Sheriff Arpaio, who has been resisting calls to step down amid allegations of corruption, misspending and racial profiling in his office. "We have enough violence without having moles in my own organization that put my deputies in danger," Arpaio said. The smuggling ring moved $56,000 of heroin into the area each week, cops said, and each of the dirty cops played a crucial role in keeping the operation underground. Arce-Torres, the Phoenix-based ringleader, coordinated smugglers through the valley from his family's heroin operation in Mexico. The smack was stashed and cut at two drophouses run by Hernandez, the Arizona Republic reported. Investigators said Navarette fortified Acre-Torres' house with surveillance cameras, registered cars for the gang and harbored runners at his house. Meanwhile, Navarette and Najera, the other corrections officer, set up a shell company to launder dirty drug money, the paper said. All three are accused of using dozens of other tactics to help the ring dodge the law. Navarette, in particular, used his anti-trafficking expertise to doublecross his own department. "He repeatedly supplied details about the illegal-immigration crime-suppression operation to leaders of the drug-trafficking organization," Arpaio said. Navarette was booked on conspiracy, money laundering and human smuggling charges. His bail was set at $1 million. Hernandez was booked on similar charges and had bail set at $2 million, while Najera faced money-laundering and other charges.
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Description: The North Hollywood shootout was an armed confrontation between two heavily armed and armored bank robbers and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles on February 28, 1997. Both robbers were killed, eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the robbers and the police.