The NYPD's Ticket-Fixing And More: This Week's Corrupt Cop Stories
An investigation into a dope-slinging Brooklyn cop has opened a window on a wider culture of corruption in the NYPD, plus your typical handful of corrupt cop cases. Let's get to it:
In New York City, at least 16 NYPD officers were arrested Friday in a ticket-fixing probe that originated with a complaint about a corrupt cop peddling dope out of a barbershop. The officers pleaded not guilty to hundreds of charges including misconduct, grand larceny, records tampering and obstructing governmental administration. Officer Jose Ramos, who owned a barbershop through which drugs were allegedly trafficked and who was at the root of the ever-broadening investigation has pleaded not guilty to drug and other charges. As police wiretapped Ramos, they overheard numerous conversations with people asking if Ramos could fix tickets for them, and the investigation expanded from there. Most of the other cops arrested were members of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association. Hundreds of NYPD officers swarmed courtrooms in Brooklyn to protest the charges, arguing that fixing tickets was a professional courtesy, not a crime.
In Washington, Indiana, a Daviess County sheriff's deputy was indicted Friday on charges he helped a woman avoid drug arrests in exchange for sex. Chief Deputy Ronald Morgan is charged with bribery and assisting a criminal. Morgan went down after investigators learned that a Washington woman questioned last month about a meth lab had avoided arrest in the past by exchanging sexual favors with Morgan in return for tips about police investigations. If convicted, Morgan faces between two and eight years in prison. He was freed Friday after posting $750 bond.
In Memphis, Tennessee, a Memphis police officer was indicted October 27 as part of a two-year investigation into marijuana and methamphetamine trafficking. Officer Eric Johnson, 24, is charged with trafficking more than 2.2 tons of pot. Twenty-four other people were also indicted, including one person charged with meth distribution. No word yet on formal charges or whether Johnson has made bail.
In Denville, New Jersey, a Denville township police officer was arraigned October 26 for allegedly stealing narcotics from the evidence room. Officer Eugene Blood, 38, is charged with official misconduct, burglary, theft and attempted theft of controlled dangerous substances, attempted burglary and criminal mischief. Blood joined the department in 2003 and was named evidence custodian in 2007 until he was transferred back to patrol division in December. He was suspended without pay in August after an investigation into missing drugs began in April.
In Walla Walla, Washington, a former Washington State Penitentiary guard was arraigned October 26 on charges he intended to smuggle marijuana to a prisoner. Christopher Flippo, 25, was busted back in May when prison officials found pot and $200 cash in his vehicle in the prison parking lot. He allegedly told prison investigators he intended to take the pot into the prison and that he had been smuggling marijuana and tobacco to a prisoner since October. It's not clear what the exact charges are.