Drunk and drugged up cops
Think you would get the same treatment? Well, think again.
Tempe cop sentenced to probation
Jessica Dever-Jakusz says she regrets everything.
A former Tempe police officer has been sentenced to probation for her role in an undercover drug sting that cost the department the case against a drug suspect.
In 2013 Jessica Dever-Jakusz was working alongside undercover officers to infiltrate an illegal drug operation on Mill Avenue, records show. But instead began a romantic relationship with Ryan Liming and eventually revealed to him that she was a cop.
Liming went straight to Tempe police and told them about the encounters and stated that the department was responsible for her actions while she was on-duty. Dever-Jakusz abruptly resigned when told she was being placed under internal affairs investigation.
Last month, Dever-Jakusz struck a deal with prosecutors and agreed to plead guilty to attempt to hinder prosecution, a Class 6 Felony.
During the sentencing hearing, attorneys' for the state told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Gass, Dever-Jakusz put undercover officers at risk and they were not able to prosecute Liming as a result of her actions.
They also told the judge, she left the state without permission from the court. To which Dever-Jakusz' attorney stated she did not understand she was not allowed to leave the state under the terms of her release.
Choked up and barely able to speak, Dever-Jakusz addressed the court Wednesday reading off of a prepared statement.
"I've always prided myself on making good decisions and doing the right thing. In this specific matter, I failed at that and I'm very sorry. It cost me a career that I loved and dedicated many years to, it almost cost me my marriage. Though I cannot change what I've done, I have worked very hard the past 16 months to be sure that this does not happen again."
Her husband also addressed the judge, since he's a police officer he asked the court not to allow the media to show his identity.
He said, "In this case, I feel there was a mistake of the mind that was made. An occasional lack of good judgment or using poor judgment is something we all do on a fairly regular basis. No one is going to deny that there was a mistake made. There has been a lot of suffering due to the mistake that was made. I've suffered, our marriage has suffered, there's been embarrassment, sadness but I will tell you, that no one has suffered more than Jess has at this point."
Judge Gass admonished Dever-Jakusz calling it a very sad case in which she let a lot of people down and hurt many. He also said she threw away her career and committed a criminal offense so there would be consequences for that.
Gass handed down a sentence of 18-months probation.
This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
A suburban Philly cop is under suspicion in a case of missing drug evidence, a former Philly cop who worked with a dealer to rip off other dealers is heading to prison, and so is a former Virginia cop and DEA task force member who used his position to gain sexual favors. Let's get to it:
In Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, an unnamed police is under investigation after drugs and cash went missing from evidence. The Delaware County DA's Office is looking into it.
In Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to conspiring with drug dealers to steal money and drugs from other dealers. Christopher Saravello, 37, admitted working with South Philly drug dealer Robert Nagy in committing between 10 and 20 robberies, as well as three more robberies with two other dealers. The dealers would set up a drug buy, then Saravello would show up in uniform and pretend to bust the deal. He allegedly scored at least $9,800 in cash from the scheme. He resigned from the force in 2012, when the department discovered he was strung out on pain pills. He's now looking at up to 120 years in federal prison.
In Roanoke, Virginia, a former Salem police officer and DEA task force member was sentenced Tuesday to 2 ½ years in federal prison for soliciting and receiving sexual favors from defendants in return for agreeing to recommend leniency for them. Kevin Moore, 42, admitted that while he served as a DEA task force officer, he told a female meth defendant he could get her a lighter sentence if she performed a sex act on him. She did. He also admitted doing the same thing with two other female defendants in federal drug investigations dating back to 2009. In those cases, he admitted lying to the women, saying he had already convinced prosecutors not to charge them with crimes that would carry a heavy prison sentence. He had not.
Erie officers still off duty as DA's Office reviews information in crash cases
By Tim Hahn
An Erie police officer suspended from the force since early November is now off work without pay as the criminal case against him in a reported off-duty drunken driving accident that damaged a city fire truck on Thanksgiving Day awaits action from the Erie County District Attorney's Office.
Gabriel A. Carducci, 28, of Erie, was moved from paid administrative leave from the 173-member police bureau to unpaid leave, pending further disposition in the accident case, on Feb. 2, Police Chief Randy Bowers said Thursday.
Carducci, who joined the city police force in October 2013, had been on paid administrative leave since Nov. 10, as an investigation by an outside law enforcement agency commenced into another reported incident, from October, that involved Carducci.
Authorities have not commented on the nature of the incident, which was investigated by the Erie County District Attorney's Office, other than to say that it was not related to any on-duty activity.
District Attorney Jack Daneri announced Jan. 2 that Carducci would not face criminal charges in connection with the incident because there was insufficient evidence to secure a guilty verdict at trial. He said investigators spoke to witnesses and others who had information, and they conducted a search as part of the probe.
"After reviewing all of the evidence, it was determined that we would not be able to meet our burden of proof at trial," Daneri said Jan. 2.
The Erie Bureau of Police then conducted its own administrative investigation into the incident to determine whether there was any violation of department policies and procedures regarding off-duty conduct. The bureau has completed its investigation, and no disciplinary action against Carducci will result from it, Bowers said.
The Nov. 27 traffic accident involving Carducci happened shortly after 5 a.m. in the 1700 block of West 26th Street. Police charged that Carducci was driving a 2006 Mercury Milan west at a high rate of speed when he crashed into Erie Engine 6, which had its emergency lights on and was backing into the Engine 6 station at 1740 W. 26th St.
Police wrote in the criminal complaint that Carducci had glassy eyes and had a strong odor of alcohol on him, and that he failed the three field sobriety tests he was given. Carducci was also given a portable breath test that registered his alcohol level at 0.161 percent, according to the complaint.
Police said Carducci also agreed to a blood test and was taken to Saint Vincent Hospital for it. The results were not listed in the complaint.
Engine 6, a 2000 KME that served as a front-line engine for the Erie Bureau of fire, received moderate to heavy damage in the accident, officials said. It remains in Buffalo undergoing repair.
The city is still waiting for a final repair cost for the rig, Fire Chief Tony Pol said Thursday. The cost is expected to be covered by insurance, he said.
Carducci was charged by Erie police with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and summary counts of careless driving and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle entering or leaving an official garage. He waived his preliminary hearing on the charges Jan. 14 and applied Feb. 5 for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, a program that grants probation to first-time, nonviolent offenders, according to court documents.
The ARD application will be reviewed by the Erie County District Attorney's Office, which will either approve or reject it. Daneri said his office typically makes a decision on ARD applications within 30 days of filing.
A second Erie police officer, Patrolman John Popovic, is on paid leave from the department as an investigation continues into another Thanksgiving Day crash in Erie.
Popovic, a 16-year veteran of the bureau, was placed on paid administrative leave Dec. 2. He was on duty and was driving a Ford Interceptor utility patrol vehicle when it collided with a Chevrolet Cavalier at the intersection of West 10th and Sassafras streets on Nov. 27 at about 3:15 p.m.
The driver of the Chevrolet, Dorothy Baginski Lamison, 87, of Erie, died later that day at UPMC Hamot of complications of blunt-force trauma, according to the Erie County Coroner's Office.
Bowers said Popovic will remain on administrative leave until it is determined whether charges will be filed in the accident.
The Pennsylvania State Police investigated the crash and has turned its investigation over to the District Attorney's Office. Daneri said his office has talked to the investigating trooper and is reviewing the case.
Myrtle Beach police officer charged with DUI following crash
An off-duty Myrtle Beach police officer was charged with Driving Under the Influence after wrecking his car on Feb. 5, according to an incident report from the S.C. Highway Patrol.
Ricky Eric Norris, 29, of Myrtle Beach, was charged after troopers were called to a vehicle wreck with one truck overturned in a ditch on Gardner Lacy Road near Postal Way in Carolina Forest.
Records tie suspended officer to drug user
Alison Dirr, Daily Herald Media 1:48 p.m. CST February 14, 2015
The village released disciplinary records involving Kronenwetter Officer Andrew Zortman under the threat of a Daily Herald Media lawsuit.
KRONENWETTER — A Kronenwetter police officer was disciplined last year for having an inappropriate relationship with a woman known to be an illegal drug user and for using a restricted police database to look up personal information about her.
Kronenwetter Police Chief Dan Joling suspended officer Andrew Zortman for six days without pay for on- and off-duty violations of department policies that occurred from the late 2000s to 2013. Zortman served his suspension from July 28 to Aug. 2 of last year, according to previously released documents.
Joling refused to say precisely why Zortman was disciplined and would not release records detailing his offenses. Daily Herald Media sued for access to those records and Kronenwetter agreed to release the documents but blacked out the names of most people involved.
The newly released records show that Zortman was disciplined a number of times over the course of his career in Kronenwetter, starting just a year after he took the job. Twice before, he was found to have violated department policies regarding integrity and officer conduct.
The exact nature of Zortman's relationship with the woman was unclear from the documents, which were censored to obscure details of his personal connections with those involved. But it is clear the officer's violations were considered a serious threat to the Police Department's reputation.
"The actions diminish public confidence and bring discredit upon not only (officer) Zortman, but also our entire department and profession," Kronenwetter Police Lt. Terry McHugh, who investigated Zortman's behavior, wrote in his report. "The circumstances certainly call into question the soundness of (officer) Zortman's decision-making skills, judgment and credibility."
Zortman, who was found to have violated department policies regarding officers' conduct in their private lives, improper use of a state database and general behavior that reflected badly on the department, remains employed as an officer at the Kronenwetter Police Department.
Daily Herald suit prompts village to release records
Village Administrator Richard Downey said he is confident in Zortman's ability to perform his duties as a police officer, noting a recent letter of recognition that Zortman received from Joling for saving a woman who was choking.
"I think it's a matter of, are you throwing the baby out with the bathwater, or are you helping your employees correct their mistakes that have occurred?" Downey said.
Downey said that Joling holds employees to a "very high standard" and that he trusted the police chief's decision to return Zortman to duty.
Joling said via email that he had "no further comment" on the case and directed questions to an attorney representing the village on the records lawsuit. Kronenwetter Police and Fire Commission Chairman Paul Raymond did not respond to requests for comment.
Zortman did not respond to requests for comment.
Hillview Police Chief Convicted of Making a False Statement to Federal Agents
U.S. Attorney’s Office February 13, 2015
Western District of Kentucky (502) 582-5911
LOUISVILLE, KY—Hillview, Kentucky Police Chief Glenn A. Caple was convicted today of making a false statement to federal agents when questioned about his knowledge and involvement in moving evidence found on an elected official’s property on January 4, 2012, announced Acting United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
“We thank the jurors for their consideration of the evidence in reaching a unanimous guilty verdict,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “We must have faith and trust in our police that they will follow the letter of the law – and will be honest with other law enforcement agents investigating crimes. We cannot have our police knowingly and willfully lying to federal agents out of expedience or self-interest. Chief Caple knew better; he broke the law and an important public trust.”
During the four-day trial, the United States proved that Caple lied to federal agents on April 26, 2012, when he was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about his involvement in directing subordinate Hillview Police officers to move evidence, a backpack characterized as a mobile meth lab, from its original location on the residence of the Hillview mayor and/or initially stating to federal agents that the suspected backpack was not found by Hillview police on the mayor’s property.
Hillview, Kentucky is a city of approximately 9,400 residents located in Bullitt County, Kentucky near Jefferson County. Hillview police officers testified under oath that a mobile meth lab in a black backpack was found in a tire next to a garage on the mayor’s property. They further testified that Chief Caple asked a Hillview police officer to move the backpack to a location believed to be off of the mayor’s property and failed to report the incident, in order to protect the mayor from bad publicity.
Jurors deliberated just over one hour before reaching a guilty verdict. Sentencing is scheduled before Senior District Judge Charles R. Simpson III on May 18, 2015, in Louisville. Caple faces no more than five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and a three year period of supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Dyke and Marisa Ford and was investigated by the Louisville field office of the FBI.