Fresno police officer charged in stolen car investigation
The thin line between a cop and a common criminal
Jail releases video of Toledo police lieutenant's arrest
The Lucas County Jail has released video of a Toledo police lieutenant being booked, and Toledo's police chief is also speaking out. He says the arrest of one of his top lieutenants is an isolated incident.
The police chief says, as soon as the department learned one of their own was allegedly connected to the shooting, he took action.
"This isn't a bad barrel syndrome, it's a bad apple," says Toledo Police Chief George Kral.
Toledo's top cop wants the citizens to know he won't tolerate dirty officers.
"Police officer or not a police officer, the exact same steps are taken for each person, regardless of what they did for a living," says the chief.
The department released video of Lt. Frank Ramirez being booked in the jail. Ramirez is the third person arrested in a shooting investigation. He allegedly helped to plot the shooting of a witness who testified in two high profile murder trials.
Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub were killed in Springfield Township in 2011. Tiffany Williams testified in the case. She was on the phone with Clarke when someone came in the house. Sources tell 13abc Clarke's parents think Williams set up their son.
In December, police arrested Johnny's parents Maytee and John Clarke for shooting at Tiffany Williams.
"Approximately at 10:48 pm Tiffany William was walking in the 1300 block of Colburn street. John Clarke chased and discharged a firearm at Ms. Williams," said Chief Kral. Toledo police are tight-lipped about Ramirez's role.
Ramirez is charged with obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and felonious assault. His lawyer says Ramirez plans to cooperate with police.
The chief says the case will be presented to the Lucas County grand jury next week.
Fresno police officer charged in stolen car investigation
By Corin Hoggard
FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) --
Criminal charges have been filed for a crime allegedly committed by a Fresno police officer.
Action News reported about Alfred Campos last year when his fellow officers served a search warrant at his house. It was actually the second time Fresno police investigated him for a crime, but this is the first time he's been charged, and he was arrested Tuesday night.
For the second time in twelve months, an Action News reporter found himself knocking on the door of Alfred Campos' home. For the second time, someone was home, but nobody answered.
Campos served 15 years as a Fresno police officer, but between our last visit and now, he lost his job. An arrest warrant filed this week shows the stolen car investigation that brought ABC30 to his door in 2014 led to criminal charges in 2015.
Fresno police arrested Campos Tuesday night and the warrant details why. It all started when Campos took a stolen pickup truck for repairs and mechanics noticed the vehicle identification number (VIN) was bogus. Officers say Campos knew it was a fake because he checked on it twice using the special access he had as a police officer. Legal analyst Michael Aed says that evidence could really hurt.
"That's a really tough hill for Campos to climb if that can be established," Aed said.
Investigators say Campos denied knowing the truck was stolen, despite the fact that he checked the VIN, and he owns an auto repair shop in Central Fresno. The warrant says he told officers he bought the truck from Brian Cruz. Police arrested Cruz Sunday and he admitted stealing the truck in Virginia. He said Campos knew it was stolen and they were working together to buy and sell stolen vehicles. Cruz is also charged with burglary in another case and Aed says Campos may use that as a defense.
"When you're relying on a witness who has some problems with their credibility, that always becomes a problem," Aed explained. "It always raises suspicion as to whether Brian Cruz is a credible witness."
When police served a warrant and found four pounds of meth at Campos' home in 2006, he was not charged with a crime. This time, he had to post a $25,000 bond to stay free. He's scheduled to enter a plea in court next month.
Houston Police Officer Charged With Shoplifting Ammo, Still Has a Job
Was only on the force two months before being caught allegedly stealing ammo, and won't be disciplined until the internal investigation's over.
DStephen Sargent, an officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD) for less than three months and still considered probationary, was arrested on charges of shoplifting. He's accused of stealing $60 worth of ammunition from a sporting store. He's been "relieved of duty" but remains employed by the HPD. In fact the department reportedly won't decide how to discipline him until after the internal investigation is complete.
Police officers are entrusted with the power of life and death; they're granted the privilege of using force on behalf of the government and, through that status as government employees granted protections for when they abuse their powers. Rarely are police officers held accountable for their use of force in questionable circumstances. And even when victims of police brutality win settlements from the police department or city government, such settlements don't affect the police officers. Often they come with specific denials of responsibility for any wrongdoing.
When a police officer has shot and killed someone under questionable circumstances, even a fair and thorough investigation that might lead to charges won't bring back the dead. Neither can any social movement or hashtag do so, nor does it have the ability to definitively prevent future killings. And the more the problem of police violence is personalized, the harder it is to combat.
If he remains on the force will Sargent ever kill someone in the line of duty? It's impossible to say. But getting caught shoplifting ammo suggests an incredible defect of character, and when the privilege to use deadly force with little accountability hangs in the balance, a zero tolerance approach to bad behavior by cops saves lives and helps ensure we can all get home safe at night.
Ed Krayewski is an associate editor at Reason.com
Former NYPD officer sentenced to prison for fraud, ID theft
NEW YORK - A former officer with the New York City Police Department was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 28 months in prison for credit card fraud and identity theft. John Montanez, 28, of the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty in August 2014 to one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition to his prison term, he was sentenced to two years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $2,500, and pay a $200 special assessment.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “While a Police Officer, John Montanez engaged in credit card fraud and identity theft. As Montanez said on tape, ‘I am not the cop you think I am.’ For certain, he was not the cop the public deserved and not one who deserved to carry an NYPD badge. By breaking the law, John Montanez not only threatened the safety of others, but also undermined the position of law enforcement as a pursuer of justice. We will continue to actively prosecute cases of police corruption.”
DPD investigator suspended, subject of TBI investigation
A member of the Dyersburg Police Department has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The officer, Sgt. Cara Johnson-Peckenpaugh, was placed on administrative leave late on Friday, Feb.13 after DPD Chief Steve Isbell was informed by the TBI a criminal investigation was to be launched regarding theft.
"I was informed the TBI was going to begin a criminal investigation into an incident regarding one of our investigators. I placed Sgt. (Cara) Johnson-Peckenpaugh on administrative leave on Friday night," said Chief Isbell. "She will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of their investigation. At this point, I have to refer saying anything else to the TBI regarding this situation."
When contacted concerning the possible investigation, the TBI did confirm to the State Gazette they were asked to open a criminal investigation involving theft by Obion County District Attorney General Thomas A. Thomas, but couldn't provide any other details.
Johnson-Peckenpaugh has been a member of the DPD workforce since July 8, 2002.
Greensburg police chief faces theft, misconduct counts
GREENSBURG, Ind. (AP) —A former Greensburg police chief who investigators say has a gambling problem was arrested Tuesday after an audit found nearly $73,000 in cash missing from a police department
Former Chief Stacey L. Chasteen surrendered Tuesday at the Decatur County Jail in the community about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis, according to Indiana State Police. She faces one charge of theft and one count of official misconduct.
Chasteen, 49, was released on bond but could not be reached for comment Tuesday. A phone number listed in her name was disconnected.
Citing personal reasons, Chasteen resigned in November after three years as chief and 21 years on the force.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a police department employee noticed nearly $73,000 missing from the property room a couple of weeks after Chasteen resigned. The money had been placed into evidence in September 2012 as part of an investigation into an illegal massage parlor.
An Indiana State Police audit of the property room uncovered 13 property receipts indicating that money stored in the evidence room was no longer there, including the $73,000 from the massage parlor case, court documents show.
Investigators say Chasteen's husband, Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen, told them his wife had a serious gambling problem that had caused them to file for bankruptcy in 2010. He told police his wife informed him in June 2013 that she had taken money from the police department's evidence room and need $60,000 to $70,000 to repay it.
He said the couple borrowed $57,000 from relatives and used personal funds to come up with $70,000 for his wife to replace the missing money.
Stacey Chasteen told investigators she didn't replace the money and instead gambled it away. She also acknowledged taking the money from the massage parlor case, the court documents show.
Decatur County Prosecutor Nathan Harter has said previously that the missing money could impact 16 cases.
Harter said in a statement Tuesday that his office has reached out to attorneys whose cases might be impacted but will let the courts determine whether Chasteen's case affects those outcomes.