Cops stealing drug money, jail guards smuggling dope, deputies helping traffickers… and narcs gone wild in Peoria. Just another week in the drug war. Let’s get to it.
In Edmond, Oklahoma, a former Edmond police officer was arrested earlier this month for allegedly stealing $8,000 in drug bust money from the department evidence room. Benjamin Northcutt, 35, is charged with grand larceny. The cash was seized during a drug raid last August, and Northcutt was in the room when they money was counted and packaged before being placed in an evidence locker. Police videos show that Northcutt entered and exited the evidence room alone 14 times between then and the time the money was discovered missing the next morning. He has denied taking it and is out on $2,000 bail.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a Baton Rouge police officer was arrested April 12 for allegedly stealing about $15,000 in seized drug money. Officer Michael Thompson, 27, admitted that he was strung out on prescription pain pills and took the money to fund his addiction, Baton Rouge police said. Thompson was a five-year veteran of the department and was assigned to the Narcotics Division at the time of his arrest. He resigned from the force shortly after being arrested. He faces seven counts of felony theft and one count of malfeasance in office.
In Peoria, Illinois, three Chicago-area undercover narcs were arrested April 13 after they started fighting with bouncers at a local strip club. The three are members of the Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad who were attending a law enforcement conference when one of them was denied entry to the club because he had no ID. That angered the other officers, and bouncers invited them to leave, prompting one to respond, “Why don’t you try and make me?” while another assaulted a bouncer. The club called Peoria police, who arrested them as the brawl spread into the club’s parking lot. One narc got two counts of battery, one got one count of battery, and one got one count of battery and one count of criminal trespass. All the offenses are misdemeanors. The suspects remain unnamed because naming them could jeopardize the safety of “ongoing undercover operations,” Peoria police said.
In Boston, a Massachusetts corrections officer was arrested Monday for allegedly trying to smuggle heroin to sell to inmates at a medium-security prison in Norfolk. Guard Ronald McGinn Jr., 40, went down after plotting with and sending text messages to an undercover FBI agent about the amounts of drugs he would smuggle into the prison and what he would be paid for his efforts. He was carrying 28 grams of heroin when arrested. He is charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute at a prison. He’s looking at up to 20 years in prison.
In Houston, a former Harris County deputy pleaded guilty April 14 to using his position to protect someone in a drug case in return for cash. George Ellington, 38, admitted accessing confidential information from a law enforcement database to protect a person he believed was transporting Ecstasy. He was to receive $500. Instead, he has now pleaded guilty to one count of extortion and is looking at a five-year prison sentence.
In Newark, New Jersey, a former state corrections officer pleaded guilty Monday to charges he fronted a complex contraband-smuggling ring that included heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and cell phones. Luis Roman admitted making thousands of dollars in a scheme involving 35 other people. He pleaded guilty to racketeering and official misconduct charges for running smuggling rings at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel and then at Northern State Prison in Newark. He’s looking at 14 years in prison. Sixteen prisoners and 18 others have also been indicted in the scheme, and five have so far pleaded guilty.