Friday, September 01, 2006

Air marshalls, police chief, examples of drug war corruption

Two Texas stories made it into DRC Net's weekly tales of drug corruption by law enforcement:
In Houston, two US air marshals caught plotting to smuggle cocaine by using their positions to get around airport security were sentenced to prison Tuesday, Reuters reported. Shawn Nguyen, 38, and Burlie Sholar, 33, were arrested in February in an FBI sting after agreeing to carry 33 pounds of coke on a flight from Houston to Las Vegas. They were to earn $75,000 for their efforts. The pair went down after an informant told investigators Nguyen, a former US drug agent, was involved in trafficking. Nguyen got seven years, while Sholar got nine. They faced up to life in prison.

In Troy, Texas, Police Chief David Seward was fired at a Monday night city council meeting after being suspended July 11 because of an ongoing investigation into the handling of money seized after drugs were found in a vehicle during a traffic stop. According to KWTX-TV 10 in Waco, council members questioned how that money was spent. Seward admitted that some money was spent improperly, but argued he should not be terminated. The city council wasn’t buying, though. It voted unanimously to fire him.

Troy city councilmembers were especially unhappy that Chief Seward used department money to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and questioned whether it was for personal use.

Meanwhile, the Federal Crimes Blog notes it's been a bad week for federal agents in Texas. Not only were the two air marshals convicted, a federal pretrial services officer in McAllen pled guilty to lying to investigators about the whereabouts of a defendant, plus a Border Patrol agent was indicted for transporting illegal immigrants.

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