Tag Archives: kidnapping

Idaho School Cop Who Stole Thousands of Drugs Sentenced to Just Two Days in Jail After Plea Deal

Officer Paul Hardwicke, a resource officer at Blackfoot High School in Idaho, was caught with his hand in the drug jar in May of 2015. According to the Idaho State Journal, Hardwicke was immediately given a paid vacation (but not arrested) after it was determined that he had stolen thousands of prescription pain killers. The drugs were stolen out of the drop boxes that were being used as part of a drug return program at the school.

Originally he was facing two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, oxycodone and morphine, and two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, tramadol and legend drug (a “legend” drug is what prescription drugs are, for some weird reason, legally called in Idaho). The felonies carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine each. The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of one year and a fine of $1,000 each. All told, he was potentially facing up to 16 years in prison.

Of course, he was wearing his Magic Uniform at the time, so that’s not at all what happened. Once he received his customary Policeman’s Discount, he ended up being sentenced to two whole days in jail. (There’s no word on whether he is eligible for good time and thus allowed to get out after one day.)

Via KTVB.com in Idaho Falls:

A former Blackfoot policeman and high school resource officer will spend two days in jail for stealing thousands of prescription painkillers from a drug drop box.

The Post Register reports that Paul Hardwicke pleaded guilty on Wednesday to misdemeanor counts of possession of a legend drug without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and two years of probation, but 178 days of the sentence were suspended.

Hardwicke’s attorney argued his client should get probation since he already lost his job.

Hardwicke was a school resource officer at Blackfoot High School before he was terminated. He started a drug drop box program when people were encouraged to discard unused prescription medications at the police station. Investigators found he was taking medication from the drop box.

And yeah, you read that last paragraph right, Officer Hardwicke is the one that started the drug drop box program in order to encourage residents to bring their unused prescription drugs to the police station for “disposal.” In spite of all the hypocrisy of him being one of those people that kidnap and hold people hostage for the same stuff he’s doing himself, you kinda have to admire this guy a little when you hear about that.

Between thinking far enough ahead to become a cop and secure that get out of jail free card that comes with it and then coming up with a scheme to get people to just bring drugs right to him for free, Hardwicke clearly was way ahead of the game. He slipped up a little at the end and now he’s gonna have to go get hired by another police department after his grueling two days of hard time, but he had a good plan going in.

Leave a comment

“Crowd-Pleasing, Gun-Toting, Tough-Talking” Colorado Sheriff Facing 6 Felonies, Including Extortion And Kidnapping

Last week, Terry Maketa was indicted on nine charges, including six felonies. Less than two years ago, Maketa was the sheriff of El Paso County in Colorado and a powerful Republican “rising star” within local politics.

Along with Former Sheriff Maketa, Former Undersheriff Paula Presley and Former Sheriff’s Office Commander Juan “John” San Agustin were also indicted by the same grand jury. Presley faces the same charges as Maketa, while San Agustin faces two felony charges.

Maketa and Presley were both charged with extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, tampering with a witness or victim, conspiracy to commit tampering with a witness or victim, second degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, and three separate counts of first degree official misconduct. San Agustin was also included on the kidnapping and false imprisonment charges. A PDF of the grand jury’s indictment can be found here.

Via Gazette.com:

The criminal investigation, led by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, turned up wide-ranging allegations involving abuses of power and reprisals against political rivals. Among the charges leveled at the three were that they conspired to force a domestic violence victim to recant her story to protect a deputy she accused of punching her – eventually causing her arrest and wrongful incarceration.

In another alleged scheme, Maketa threatened to pull a $5.2 million contract with the jail’s healthcare provider unless the company fired an employee who refused to run Presley’s aborted campaign for sheriff in 2013. The sheriff, who is married, was accused by subordinates of having an affair with Presley, which the pair have denied.

The grand jury also found that Maketa and Presley led a series of internal investigations in 2013 that accused or sought to accuse sheriff’s employees of stealing an internal affairs file belonging to then-sheriff’s candidate Bill Elder – igniting a controversy that threatened to end Elder’s political hopes and instead put the candidate of Maketa’s favor into office.

The grand jury panel met in secret at the El Paso County courthouse in a process overseen by prosecutors with the 18th Judicial District, comprising Arapaho, Elbert, Lincoln and Douglas counties. District Attorney George Brauchler declined to say how many people were on the panel, how many times they met, or what the final split was on the nine counts.

The county has paid more than $300,000 in claims against Maketa and other former Sheriff’s Office employees. Another $400,000 had been paid in fees for financial and personnel investigations and for the three Sheriff’s Office commanders put on paid leave.

Even though they are facing numerous felonies, their bail was set at just $10,000. All three of them have posted that bond and are currently free awaiting trial.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office Indictments

Along with various financial improprieties, at the heart of those charges is a case in which members of the El Paso Sheriff’s Office at Maketa’s direction (just doing their job) caused the girlfriend of a deputy to be arrested after she reported being assaulted by that deputy in order to cover up for him.

Via Gazette.com:

A woman’s face and jawline swelled – allegedly from a punch – and her arm showed bruises.

She blamed it on violent beatings at the hands of her boyfriend – but a month later, she was the one in jail, court documents show.

In 2013, to protect a deputy, then-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa directed a domestic violence victim to change her story and say she was the aggressor, a grand jury found in indicting the former sheriff and two others on Wednesday. Maketa then stood by as the woman was arrested and wrongfully jailed.

The deputy’s girlfriend also said she had been dragged inside their house, as well as pushed and hit on her head over the previous four months, the affidavit said. Some bruises were visible, according to Kaiser’s report.

When Kaiser pressed (Deputy Travis) Garretson on the allegations, he said “it was possible” he hit his girlfriend the previous night, the affidavit said. He also admitted to leaving a string of obscenity-laced voicemails on her phone, including one where he threatened, “I know what you are doing, I will get you back.”

Garretson was arrested and booked into the El Paso County jail on suspicion of third-degree assault and harassment, both misdemeanors.

What followed, however, was a plot to place the blame on Garretson’s girlfriend, Kellie Trull, 45, according to the indictment.

Garretson asked Maketa for help keeping his job in light of his arrest, the indictment said.
The sheriff responded by telling Trull to claim responsibility for starting the fight, for which she would not be arrested, the grand jury found. Presley reiterated those instructions – and the promise Trull would not be arrested, the indictment said.

Kaiser, the same sheriff’s detective who detailed Trull’s swollen face and bruises a month earlier, took the woman’s new confession in September 2013.

However, key details appear to be missing from that affidavit – a document that law enforcement officers must use to justify arrests.

Those details include:

– No mention the couple had worked at the El Paso County jail when the altercation took place. Garretson was a deputy there and Trull worked for Correctional Healthcare Companies, which provided medical services at the jail, the indictment said.

– No mention that Trull followed her about-face confession with the claim that Maketa and Presley told her to recant her statement and accept blame for the fight.

The affidavit largely focused on Trull’s admission that she instigated almost every altercation with Garretson, leaving him scratched and bruised. She also claimed to have been drunk when she drove to a friend’s house, the affidavit said.

Trull was arrested and booked into the Douglas County jail on suspicion of harassment and driving under the influence. She was held more than 24 hours, the grand jury found. Maketa and Presley later assured Garretson that “this could help” him with his own case, the indictment said.

Three Sheriff’s Office employees – Bureau Chief Al Harmon, then-Sgt. Robert Jaworski and Kaiser – said they did not think Trull should have been arrested.

Kaiser said she was following orders. Jaworski said he feared for his job. Harmon denied ordering the arrest, but nevertheless expressed fear about disobeying orders. (Emphasis added.)

Creepy Sheriff MaketaIncidentally, it was the combination of a sex scandal involving affairs Sheriff Maketa, who is married, was having with three female employees of the sheriff’s office, including Presley, and accusations of abusive treatments from other employees that started the whole investigation leading to those indictments.

And as is the usual case, a shirtless selfie ultimately led to his dramatic downfall.

Via Gazette.com:

For years, rumors circulated about improprieties in the Sheriff’s Office, but it was an article accompanied by a shirtless selfie of Maketa on the front page of The Gazette that brought to light accusations of sexual misconduct and abusive treatment of employees.

The article outlined complaints written by three Sheriff’s Office commanders. The complaints, submitted May 12, 2014, to the Board of El Paso County Commissioners and the federal Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, accused Maketa of discrimination, creating a hostile work environment and financial mismanagement.

The complaint named three women alleged to have had sexual relationships with Maketa: Undersheriff Paula Presley, Comptroller Dorene Cardarelle and the head of training for dispatchers, Tiffany Huntz. Maketa was married at the time. The Gazette also obtained more than 500 emails and text messages between Maketa, Cardarelle and Huntz.

The messages to Cardarelle were explicit.
“Wish you were with me” message accompanied this selfie of Sheriff Terry Maketa sent to a female subordinate.

In one message, a photo of a shirtless Maketa includes the message “wish you were with me.”

The fallout was immediate. County Commissioner Darryl Glenn said Maketa’s alleged affairs were the “worst-kept secret in town.” He said the rumors hadn’t been acted on because there had been no proof.

“This is the first time we’ve been presented evidence from people willing to put down their names,” Glenn said at a press 2014 conference.

Within a week, Commissioner Peggy Littleton called for Maketa to resign, citing a “lack of integrity” in his office.

Two days later, the commissioners gave him a unanimous “no confidence” vote, stating “we believe that leadership within the Sheriff’s Office has been compromised along with the functionality within the office.”

Maketa refused to step down, and instead ordered meetings to discuss employee morale. When one employee told The Gazette about the meetings, Maketa released the personnel file of the person he suspected of leaking the information.

In September 2014, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation confirmed it was investigating the sheriff with the help of the FBI. In December, Maketa submitted retirement paperwork, with plans to leave two weeks before the end of his third term.

Settlements given to Sheriff’s Office employees stand at more than $300,000, with another $400,000 spent by the county for investigations.

Remember folks, shirtless selfies are never a good idea. Neither is extortion, convincing domestic violence victims to lie in order to protect a deputy who beat her up and then kidnapping and falsely imprisoning her after she does so, or even cheating on your wife; especially with people you supervise at work. But above all else, if you feel the urge to take a shirtless selfie, fight it with every fiber of your being. Nothing good will come of it.

Leave a comment

Update: Details Released in Latest Incident Involving James Burt, LVMPD’s Serial Woman Abuser

In January, I posted about the arrest of James Burt, an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who was arrested for beating, choking, and kidnapping his girlfriend. Officer Burt had, of course, previously been allowed by the Good Cops at the LVMPD to walk away without any sort of meaningful repercussions after being arrested for beating his now ex-wife in a very similar, if not identical, attack four years prior. (For some reason the community service that he was ordered to do as his only “punishment” that time didn’t teach him a lesson.)

In February, details in his latest abusive tirade were made public, including the fact that he threatened to kill her as he was choking her and dragging her through the house. The other details do nothing but make Officer Burt sound even more psychotic than your average violent maniac. Apparently, it escalated from a text message argument, to a long list of “discussion topics” and finally to an uncomfortable attempt to avoid talking to the crazy guy in the other room before the violence started in earnest.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

A Metropolitan Police Department officer told his live-in girlfriend, “You’re going to die,” as he dragged her by the neck across their living room floor and slammed her onto a couch, she testified in court Friday.

The 41-year-old James “Jimmy” Burt, a 10-year veteran of the force, faces four felony charges: one count of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of domestic battery by strangulation and one count of coercion with force or threat of force.

Kelly Ryan testified during a preliminary hearing that she arrived home at 7:45 p.m. Jan. 11, in the midst of a text message quarrel with Burt, who confronted her the moment she stepped through the door.

He held a pad of paper that contained two pages of “topics” in their relationship he wanted to discuss.

She walked into the kitchen, where she started to clean dishes and tried to stay quiet.

“You’re shutting me out,” she said he told her. “We need to talk about this.”

Suddenly, he approached her at the sink, stood face-to-face and yelled, “Get the f–k out,” Ryan said as she described the start of a two-hour struggle in their southwest valley home.

She grabbed her cell phone and car keys and walked to her car. He had thrown her shoes across the garage. As she slipped into the driver’s seat, he yanked the door open, pulled the garage door opener from the visor and hurled it against a wall.

The 6-foot, 230-pound Burt pulled his 5-foot-1-inch, 125-pound girlfriend out of her car, wrapped his right arm around her neck and left arm around her body, dragged her inside and said, “I wasn’t going anywhere,” she testified through tears.

He wrapped his hand over her mouth. She said she had trouble breathing.

“Be quiet,” she said he told her. “Be quiet. Shh. People are going to hear you. Stop crying. Stop crying.”

She heard a crack and thought he had broken her jaw. She escaped his grasp, tried to run back to the garage, and “he threw me on the other couch,” she said.

He put his hand over her mouth again, and yanked her body off the floor, with an arm still around her neck. She said her vision began to blur.

“At this time, he said — I don’t have the exact words — ‘You’re going to die right here’ or, ‘We’re going together right now,'” she testified. “And he’s covering my mouth, and I’m thinking I’m going to die.”

Then the inevitable abusers’ phony laments began (obviously not for the first time):

Eventually, she said, Burt started to calm down and pleaded with her, “telling me he needs help.”

She convinced him to let her go, and she made her way to a hospital, where she was questioned by police.

There had been other attacks, too, she said, that she did not report to authorities “out of embarrassment… and I thought he wouldn’t do it again.”

Whether the healthy dose of community service Burt is likely to receive for this violent, abusive episode before he is reinstated to the Las Vegas police will deter him from beating the next person he temporarily hides his true nature from remains to be seen. However, since the spouses and family of police officers are as much as four times as likely to be abused by them vs. the general population, this isn’t the last time “…and I thought he wouldn’t do it again” will be uttered in reference to Officer James Burt.

Original Report on LVMPD Officer James Burt’s Arrest for Domestic Abuse:

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

Leave a comment

LVMPD Officer James Burt Charged With Domestic Battery And Kidnapping (Again)

Late Monday, Officer James Burt, a 10 year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, was arrested for domestic battery and kidnapping. According to the arrest report, he attempted to strangle his girlfriend during the assault, breaking her jaw in the process.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Burt and his girlfriend of about four months were arguing as she was leaving their house, the arrest report said. After throwing her against the garage door, Burt then “began dragging (her) back into the house,” then threw her on the couch, got on top of her and covered her mouth, the report said, possibly breaking her jaw.

The report said Burt then grabbed her by the neck and lifted her off the ground “several times.” An hour later, when he let her leave, she made her way to Southern Highlands Hospital because of her jaw. Burt was later arrested at a friend’s house.

Not at all surprisingly, since domestic violence doesn’t tend to be a one-time event and police tend to be 2 to 4 times as likely to be abusive toward their wives and children, this isn’t Ofc. Burt’s first arrest for beating a woman. Four years earlier, he was arrested for beating his then wife in an incident that is pretty close to identical to the most recent case.

Via the same LVRJ article:

The 2011 charges were filed after an in-home argument, according to the arrest report. Burt’s wife was on the couch when Burt pushed and hit her, then held down her face and jaw before punching her in the stomach, the report said.

Burt then grabbed his wife of less than two years and “escorted her to their truck.”

“(His wife) stated at this point she was afraid of James and fearful of what he might do to her if she did not cooperate with him,” the report said. Burt was arrested after police managed to pull his truck over.

At that time he faced charges of two counts of domestic battery, coercion with force and kidnapping. However equally unsurprisingly, given the LVMPD’s track record of holding it’s own accountable, quickly disappeared. After a slap on the wrist involving a temporary (one month) firing and community service, Burt was back out there protecting the citizens of Las Vegas from violent people.

Metro’s spokesperson, Officer Jesse Roybal, was quick to point out that, while Officer Burt has been suspended without pay based on the charges being a felony, if he gets a Policeman’s Discount once again for these current charges, he’ll be welcomed back on the force with open arms. “You can be charged of (sic) something and not be convicted of it, and then we can bring you back on as regular duty,” Roybal added. It’s great that they will potentially have the opportunity to do get him back out there pointing a gun at people. I sense a threepeat in Officer Burt’s future.

Another less than shocking bit of history is that Burt was also involved in a shooting back in 2009 that like every other police shooting in the history of the City of Las Vegas was ruled justifiable.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

1 Comment

Abington Mass. Police Chief Proposed “Friendly” Kidnapping Competition

In the spirit of the holidays, Chief David Majenski of the Abington Police Department, in Massachusetts, sent out an email to “motivate” his officers proposing a “friendly competition” to see who could kidnap the most people within the month of October. The winner was to receive a weekend off in November as a bounty.

Somehow encouraging cops within their city to find any excuse they could to pad their arrest numbers didn’t sit well with the citizens of Abington. Although the competition is supposed to be voluntary according to Chief Majenski, it raised obvious questions about the effect it might have on the perceived objectivity of police officers and the fact that it created a de facto quota system.

Via MyFoxBoston.com:

“They are supposed to be neutral and independent when they are investigating potential criminal wrongdoing,” Krowski said.

The “friendly competition” could also impact something else; the criminal cases that resulted from those arrests.

“It shows a motive, motive and bias against the defendant. A lack of neutrality,” [defense attorney Joseph] Krowski said.

The rumors (that I just started) of another contest Chief Majenski was considering to see which officer could beat up the most minorities in the month of December have yet to be confirmed (it’s probably “voluntary,” also).

Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

1 Comment

Wrongfull Arrest of Pregnant Woman in Pahrump Nevada

One of those typical photos where gang members show off their stolen loot.

One of those typical photos where gang members show off their stolen loot.

This post was received via submission from Genevieve Sazlov, who is (or was at the time of the incident described) a resident of Pahrump, a city just north of Las Vegas. She alleges that while she was pregnant members of the Pahrump police arrested her, based on claims made against her by the father of her unborn child. She further states that her own health issues at the time of the incident should have made it obvious that those claims were false. Apparent proof of that would be the fact that she was released by a supervisor at the jail without any chargers being filed.

Note: This is being posted as received with the only editing being some obvious spelling and punctuation mistakes and the insertion of paragraph breaks where appropriate. Any legal or factual claims made within the block quotes are solely attributable to Ms. Sazlov and have not been verified by anyone involved with NVCopBlock.org or CopBlock.org.

I was 5 months pregnant calling 911 for an ambulance because I had a nose bleed that went on for 6 hours the night before. The father who was on drugs at the time woke me up in the morning and told me I had to get out. Mind you he just uprooted me from a small town in Texas five days earlier with all my stuff including my animals.

He wakes me up telling me to get out I sit up from the bed and my nose starts bleeding again so I ask him to take me to the hospital, but he refuses. So, I call 911 for an ambulance. The 911 operator asks me several times if it’s a domestic dispute. I say, “NO, I need an ambulance.”

Well guess who shows up first? The fucking cops. I go outside and say, “I didn’t call the cops. I need an ambulance.” They said, “it’s coming.” Then here comes the ambulance. They are in the middle of helping me pack my nose when one cop starts asking to go thru my purse. I say yes, confused.

Then I’m surrounded by cops asking me when the last time I did cocaine. I’m fucking confused now, but not too much. Baby daddy is lying to them so I will get kicked out. They finally get a female officer to take pee from me. Again, nothing in my system. Then they say, “he says you kicked him and he’s got a mark.” I said, “no, I didn’t kick him. How could I kick him when I’m choking on blood.” They fucking arrested me!!!

I get to the jail and my nose starts bleeding again, this time I am throwing up blood. The main guy of the jail comes in and says, “Genevieve, today we didn’t arrest you. Today we are not arresting you.” The douche bag rookie who did arrest me argues with him, but the elder precedes and I’m released in an ambulance back to the hospital. I fucking hate the police state.

2 Comments

Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!

Nevada Cop Block Warning Gang Activity LVMPD Las Vegas

Be on the lookout for these signs of gang membership in your neighborhood. – If you see something, film something.

A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in the community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior. Usually, gangs have gained the most control in poorer, urban communities.

Gangs are involved in all areas of street-crime activities like extortion, drug trafficking (both in and outside the prison system), and theft. Gang activity also involves the victimization of individuals by robbery and kidnapping. Street gangs take over territory or “turf” in a particular city and are often involved in “providing protection“, a thin cover for extortion, as the “protection” is usually from the gang itself.

Most gang members have identifying characteristics unique to their specific clique or gang. Many gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Their personal belongings frequently boast the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name. Gangs generally share common characteristics such as the wearing of distinct clothing. However, some individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members.

They are usually armed, often unpredictable, travel in overwhelming numbers, and are not above attacking or even killing innocent people that are unlucky enough to be confronted by them. So, interacting with them individually can be very dangerous. If possible, make sure others are present and ALWAYS carry a camera to document any improprieties and ensure a neutral “witness.”

(This list of gang “identifiers” was compiled from a combination of factors listed in Wikipedia and on the LAPD website. Minus the links, of course.)

Nevada Cop Block Gang Activity LVMPD Flyer

Be on the lookout for these known gang members. They have a history of violence and usually armed. – If you see something, film something.

If you see any of the criminals pictured above, document their activities (preferably by video) and contact Nevada Cop Block immediately, if not sooner. A huge h/t to Dizz (another awesome member of the Las Vegas A-Cafe community) for creating the “warning” poster. Feel free to download the full size version and post it throughout your neighborhood so your friends don’t fall prey to this menace.

Oh yeah, join us!

45 Comments