Tag Archives: indictment

Las Vegas SWAT Team Commander Under Investigation For Financial Exploitation of Elderly Couple

Lt Tom Melton LVMPD SWAT Commander Elderly Exploitation

Last week, it was announced that Lieutenant Tom Melton had been placed on administrative leave (AKA paid vacation) as the result of a criminal investigation. Melton is the commander of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department‘s SWAT team. He’s also been one of the public faces of the LVMPD, oftentimes being interviewed by local media and frequently providing briefings at crime scenes.

Initially, Metro declined to give any details about what the nature of that investigation was. However, soon after his suspension was announced a search of public records indicated that he has ties to a woman already facing over 200 charges of defrauding elderly people placed under her care. Lt. Melton had been appointed as legal guardian and trustee for Jerome and Beverly Flaherty, an elderly couple, who have since died. April Parks, the woman previously charged, was awarded co-guardianship of the Flahertys with Melton.

In March, Parks was indicted on charges including perjury, racketeering, filing false records, theft and exploitation, as part of a for-profit professional guardianship service. Parks has been characterized as the “ringleader of a small group” that included her husband; Gary Neal Taylor, an attorney named Noel Palmer Simpson, and her office manager; Mark Simmons. All four have been accused of taking advantage of the guardianship system to exploit and defraud the people placed under their supervision.

After confirmation was received that Lt. Melton was in fact the focus of an investigation into exploitation of an elderly couple, his attorney denied that he was involved in the fraud. Instead, he maintains that he had only hired Parks to care for the couple, whom he describes as friends of Melton. No other details relating to the nature of the investigation into Lt. Melton’s involvement have been released by the LVMPD.

Of course, it very well could be that he had no involvement in the fraud Parks and her partners are accused of. However, the timing of the suspension could potentially indicate otherwise. The fact that the other people involved were indicted in March and Melton didn’t come under investigation until the end of July would seem to imply that there’s more to it. It’s also a bit contradictory that none of the family members of the hundreds of other victims Parks exploited appear to be under investigation.

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Texas Transit Cop Who Beat Sleeping Man Charged With Assault (Update)

Earlier this week, CopBlock Network Contributor Asa Jay reported on a surveillance video that showed a Metro Transit Authority cop beating a man who had been caught sleeping on a bench at a train station in Houston. Officer Jarius Warren resigned while an internal investigation was being conducted. Now shortly after that video became public, Warren has also been indicted on assault charges.

Via HoustonPublicMedia.org:

A Harris County grand jury has indicted a former Metro police officer on assault charges.  Jarius Warren is accused of striking a man with a baton during an incident at the Burnett Street Transit Center on September 14. The incident was caught on a Metro security camera.

Warren resigned from the Metro police force after a disciplinary review board recommended that he be fired. If he’s convicted on the assault charge he could get up to a year in jail.

“The video is very disturbing,” said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson in a press release. “When we have compelling evidence such as this, we immediately initiate an investigation. The case was presented to a diverse grand jury and we wholeheartedly support their decision. This officer used excessive force and should not be wearing a badge.”

The grand jury decided not to indict another officer who was also at the scene. Metro says Officer Daniel Reynoso will return to duty after receiving additional training.

As mentioned in the quoted section, the Good Cop who stood by and watched Officer Warren was not indicted. However, Officer Reynoso will be trained not to beat people who are sleeping, because that’s not something a rational person should just know on their own.

Obviously, it’s good that Warren was indicted for something, although at the very least it should be aggravated assault. I have little that when his full Policeman’s Discount kicks in he will get a fine and a slightly sore wrist.

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Sandusky, Ohio Sheriff Kyle Overmyer Indicted on 43 Charges Including 38 Felonies

Sheriff Kyle Overmyer of Sandusky, Ohio was pretty much the shoe-in to win re-election  to the post he was originally appointed to after the previous sheriff died and a nice little raise that goes along with it in November. Although, the Republican Party hasn’t decided whether they should withdraw their support just yet, the fact that he was just indicted on 43 charges, 38 of which are felonies, related to drugs and theft of cash from his and surrounding jurisdictions might put a slight dent into his campaign.

Apparently, not only did he go doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions of opiates filled, but he also drove all over the county collecting drugs people had left in various departments’ drug take-back boxes, which are intended to allow for the safe disposal of expired or no longer needed prescription drugs. According to the Good Sheriff, he was collecting all the drugs he could get his hands on in order to promote communication between the departments.

Then, just to round things off, he stole a bunch of money from the department over the course of two years by writing himself checks and tampered with official police records to cover up that theft.

Via TheNews-Messenger.com:

The sheriff faces several felony counts of deceiving physicians and pharmacists to obtain prescription pain medication on various dates beginning April 2014 through January 2015, including nine separate cases of seeking Percocet, five instances in which he sought Hydrocodone pills and one case in which he sought Oxycodone.

“He was indicted on various counts of deception to obtain drugs, filing a false financial affidavit, tampering with records and theft of drugs,” Hamilton O’Brien said Tuesday night.

The indictment, which was released by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Tuesday night, also alleges that Overmyer falsified financial statements between January 2009 and August 2016.

Several counts in the indictment include theft in office of monetary values over $1,000, but less than $7,500. The theft allegations detailed in the indictment range from November 2013 through April 2015.

Last January, it was revealed the state was investigating Overmyer in connection with the collection of take-back prescription pill boxes from county police departments, also included among the 43 charges in the indictment.

During this  period, Overmyer is alleged to have improperly collected the boxes from April through August of 2015.

Also included in the indictment were allegations that Overmyer tampered with records between November 2013 and December 2015.

Overmyer is expected to appear in court Wednesday before visiting judge Patricia Cosgrove.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released a statement detailing the counts against Overmyer, including:

• Twelve counts of tampering with records, all third-degree felonies. Overmyer is alleged to have tampered with records concerning the departments Furtherance of Justice account.

• Twelve counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug, all fourth-degree felonies. Overmyer is alleged to have deceived physicians and pharmacists in order to obtain prescription pain medication, according to DeWine’s release.

• Six counts of theft in office, all fourth-degree felonies. The sheriff is alleged to have improperly taken medication from prescription drug disposal drop boxes.

• Four four-degree felony counts of theft.

• One fifth-degree felony count of theft.

• Five first-degree misdemeanor counts of filing false financial disclosure reports.

Hamilton O’Brien, the Delaware County prosecutor, said Overmyer is still the sheriff in Sandusky County, and said she is working with Overmyer’s legal counsel to have him turn himself in.

The investigation that resulted in the charges is actually the second investigation launched by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The original investigator, Special Agent Jeff Cook, had to be removed after he told police chiefs from the departments Sheriff Overmyer had been improperly collecting the drugs from that the investigation was “trivial and minor” without issuing any warrants or subpoenas  and without interviewing anybody from those departments in relation to the matter.

The dozens of subsequent charges emerged after two other agents were assigned to investigate. Meanwhile, Sandusky Sheriff’s Deputy Sean O’Connell is being investigated and could possibly face charges himself for acting as a whistle blower by leaking files containing the information that justified those charges to Carol Hamilton O’Brien, a special prosecutor assigned to the case.

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Breaking: Three Baltimore Police Officers Charged With Assaulting Juvenile at Sinai Hospital

Three Baltimore police officers have been suspended and charged with assaulting a juvenile as a result of an incident that happened one year ago on January 14th, 2015. Officers Duane Williams Jr., Bijay Ranabhat, and Lonnie White Jr. face various charges in the assault, which reportedly took place at Sinai Hospital.

Exact details of the nature of the attack or the victim’s identity have not been released at this time.

Via the Baltimore Sun:

Officer Duane Williams Jr., a seven-year veteran assigned to the Northwest District, was charged with second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and misconduct in office, police said. He has been suspended without pay.

Officer Bijay Ranabhat, a two-year veteran, was charged with misconduct in office and suspended with pay.

Officer Lonnie White Jr., who has been with the department for two years, was charged with perjury and misconduct in office and suspended with pay.

Police said the assault occurred Jan. 14, 2015. Further details were not released, and court records were not immediately available.

Prosecutors have declined to comment, citing the pending cases.

The department’s internal affairs division was notified of the incident last January, police said.

An indictment against two of the officers was handed up Wednesday, police said; the other officer was charged on a criminal summons.

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Of the three, Ofc. Duane Williams Jr. was the only not given a paid vacation. So the obvious implication of that is that he’s the one that did most, if not all, of the assaulting of someone young enough to justify a child abuse charge. Judging by the perjury charge, I’d speculate that Ofc. Lonnie White Jr. is a Good Cop who merely stood by while Williams beat his underage victim and then attempted to cover it up for him. We’ll just have to wait until the next episode to find out exactly how Ofc. Bijay Ranabhat fits into the puzzle. (Rest assured, we’ll fill you in on the details as they become available.)

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