In the latest example, the Troup, TX police department was shut down when the chief and another officer were arrested this week for allegedly fabricating and/or tampering with evidence and stealing drugs from the evidence locker. Three others were placed on paid leave. The Dallas News reported ("Police chief, officer arrested after drug inquiry," March 4) that:
Investigators said checks with the Texas Department of Public Safety, where the crime lab processes drug evidence for local police departments statewide, determined that Troup officers hadn't sent in any evidence for testing in more than five years. ...Apparently not. My family owns land near Troup where I spent a lot of time as a kid, so this story hits close to home. (Indeed, I'm not sure which is the bigger shock - that cops were allegedly stealing drugs or that tiny Troup, TX had five police officers.)
Asked about the missing drugs, [the chief] told investigators that "he knew it was going on. He claims he was trying to handle it, but it wasn't going too good."
In related news, the weekly Drug War Chronicle does a great job of tracking the worst cases of drug-related police corruption. Last week's edition included stories about two Texas officers in their weekly roundup of corrupt cop stories, both of whom were in some way tripped up by their significant other. A San Antonio officer was busted with volumes of pre-packaged narcotics after his girlfriend consented to a search of their home, while a Texarkana officer was fired for alleged drug dealing and an alleged plot to murder his wife. Reports Drug War Chronicle:
In San Antonio, a 10-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department was arrested February 17 on marijuana possession charges after raiding the home he shared with his girlfriend, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Joseph Evans, 42, went down after his girlfriend, Katherine Sanchez, was pulled over in a traffic stop and police found drugs. She then consented to a search of their home, and police found marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription drugs, much of it packaged for resale in small baggies. While neither Evans nor Sanchez are charged with drug trafficking at this point, a Bexar County District Attorneys Office investigation is continuing. Evans made $800 bail the next day, but Sanchez remains jailed on heavier narcotics possession charges.UPDATE: Talk Left points out that the Sergeant arrested in Troup was named "Officer of the Year" last year by the local Chamber of Commerce.
In Texarkana, Texas, a 14-year police department veteran is on paid leave on suspicion he conspired to have his wife killed and is involved in drug dealing, the Texarkana Police Department announced February 17. Officer Randy Case "may have conspired to have his wife killed and may have conspired to manufacture and distribute methamphetamines," the department said, citing information it received from the FBI. Although Case has actually been on leave since the FBI notified Texarkana police of the investigation in December, the department made no announcement until now.