The epidemic of drugged and drunk cops
Former Fresno Police Department Detective and Fresno Marijuana Trafficker Plead Guilty to Bribery Conspiracy
U.S. Attorney’s Office February 23, 2015
Eastern District of California (916) 554-2700
FRESNO, CA—Derik Carson Kumagai, 41, and Saykham Somphoune a/k/a, “Oat,” 41, both residents of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit bribery, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the defendants’ plea agreements and other court documents, beginning in April of 2012, federal law enforcement was investigating a group of individuals, including defendant Somphoune and one of his associates, for suspected cultivation and distribution of marijuana. In October and November of 2013, defendant Somphuone had a series of meetings with his associate, some of which were attended by defendant Kumagai. At the time, Kumagai was a Fresno Police Department Detective. During these meetings, the associate was told that he was under federal investigation, but that in return for a bribe payment, defendant Kumagai could close the investigation and arrange to have the associate designated as a confidential informant for the Fresno Police Department. On November 6, 2013, the associate paid Kumagai approximately $20,000 cash. A few hours later, the associate signed documents for the purported purpose of becoming a confidential informant for the Fresno Police Department. The defendants were arrested in March of 2014, and the associate never actually served as a confidential informant for the Fresno Police Department.
“The defendants attempted to take advantage of the trust placed in law enforcement officers for their personal gain,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Law enforcement officers who accept bribes put the public and other law enforcement officers in danger.”
“There is absolutely no room for such egregious misconduct in law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the Sacramento FBI. “Individuals who commit such crimes undermine public trust and betray the other fine officers who serve the public honestly and with the highest degree of integrity, while risking their lives daily to protect their communities.”
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano stated, “The DEA will diligently work with our law enforcement counterparts to hold those accountable who tarnish the badge by engaging in criminal behavior.”
“Mr. Kumagai took an oath to uphold the law and protect citizens,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez. “Instead, he used his position for personal gain and betrayed the community he swore to protect. IRS-CI will continue to investigate public corruption to ensure everyone plays by the same rules—regardless of job or position.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and the Fresno Police Department cooperated with federal law enforcement throughout the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Kevin P. Rooney are prosecuting the case.
Kumagai and Somphoune are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on May 4, 2015. Kumagai and Somphoune face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Huntsville Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Fix Cocaine Trafficking Charges
U.S. Attorney’s Office February 24, 2015 • Northern District of Alabama (205) 244-2001
BIRMINGHAM—A Huntsville police officer pleaded guilty today in federal court to taking part in a conspiracy to fix cocaine trafficking charges against an individual arrested by another Huntsville officer, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton and Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris.
LEWIS BERNARD HALL, 45, of Meridianville, Ala., entered his guilty plea to the conspiracy before U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor. His sentencing date has not been set.
“A corrupt police officer poisons the public’s trust in law enforcement. Most officers work hard to protect their communities and are willing to put their lives on the line in that service,” Vance said. “Our communities need and deserve police officers with that integrity. The conduct of individuals like this defendant is not worthy of the badge and I applaud the work of the Huntsville Police Department and the FBI in bringing Mr. Hall to justice.”
“While the majority of police officers serve and protect the public with honor, there are those few, like Mr. Hall, who violate the public’s trust and bring dishonor to their badge,” Stanton said. “Simply stated, there is no place in law enforcement for individuals who lack integrity, lie, and violate the very laws they are sworn to uphold.”
In his plea, Hall acknowledged that he conspired with someone identified in court documents as “Individual B” to pay a fellow police officer $5,000 if that officer would claim a July 29 vehicle search he conducted, which resulted in drug-trafficking charges against “Individual A,” was unlawful, thereby making the criminal case against Individual A go away. The Huntsville officer who conducted the vehicle search and, subsequently, assisted in the investigation of Hall is identified only as “Cooperating Officer.”
According to Hall’s written plea agreement with the government, Individual A was on supervised release following a 15-year prison sentence for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance when the Cooperating Officer pulled him over on a traffic stop July 29. The officer searched the passenger compartment of the vehicle, found about three ounces of cocaine, and took Individual A into custody on a charge of trafficking cocaine, according to the plea agreement.
Hall admits in his plea that on July 31, he and Individual B discussed offering the Cooperating Officer a bribe to tell other law enforcement officers that his search of Individual A’s vehicle was unlawful. Hall offered the bribe to the Cooperating Officer on July 31, paid him $1,000 on Aug. 12, and had two follow-up conversations in November about what the officer was supposed to say when asked about the search of Individual A’s vehicle, the indictment says.
The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case in conjunction with the Huntsville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney George A. Martin Jr. is prosecuting the case.
Sheriff's Commander Kevin Lee was arrested for DUI
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -
Saturday night, Sheriff's Commander Kevin Lee was arrested for DUI in Thomas County.
The Thomas County Sheriff R. Carlton Powell has placed Commander Lee on suspension without pay, while they determine what action or actions will be taken.
The sheriff said "Our office will look at the totality of circumstances in the incident before any other action is taken. It was unfortunate the incident occurred not just for Commander Lee, but anyone who finds themselves in this same situation."
"We take this matter seriously. Commander Lee is a twenty year veteran of Law Enforcement, has made a significant contribution to this county, and its law enforcement. We will attempt to make a decision that is fair for the citizens of Thomas County, Law enforcement and Commander Lee."
Detroit cop arrested, faces intoxicated with firearm charge
By Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press 10:32 p.m. EST February 26, 2015
A Detroit police officer is facing 93 days in jail after she was arraigned today on a charge of being intoxicated while carrying her department issued weapon.
Deloma Stone,38, was charged with possession of a firearm under the influence, which is a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to 93 days in jail.
According to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Stone was at the Golden Greek Bar around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 when police were called to the location for an intoxicated individual. Stone was arrested at the bar, which is on 8 Mile Rd.
Prosecutor's spokeswoman Maria Miller said Stone was arraigned Thursday morning in 36th District Court and received a $100 bond. A pre-trial hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on April 14.