Tag Archives: mafia

No Honor Among Road Pirates: Ohio Deputy Joseph P. Caito III Latest to Admit Stealing From Police Union

On Thursday, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to stealing almost $100,000 from the police union he once served as treasurer for. Not surprisingly, Deputy Joseph P. Caito III has a long history of financial issues and at least one questionable lawsuit based on those issues. In addition to the money Caito admitted to stealing, at least another $20,000 is also unaccounted for.

Via the Dayton Daily News:

Caito, who pleaded guilty by bill of information for the fourth-degree felony, was ordered to pay restitution of $92,148.21 to the lodge, had his K-9 reassigned within the sheriff’s office and must permanently surrender his Ohio peace officer certification.

The plea agreement had no stipulated sentence. Caito could receive probation up to five years, local jail time of up to 180 days or a prison term of between six and 18 months, plus a possible fine of up to $5,000.

Neither assistant prosecutor Ward Barrentine nor defense attorney Frank Malocu commented after the hearing.

During the hearing, Barrentine said Caito’s thefts from the union lodge came between Sept. 10, 2014, and Aug. 26, 2016, when officials found “discrepancies in the books” at the lodge.

Caito had been placed on paid administrative leave pending a criminal and internal investigation. Caito resigned Dec. 12, according to Sheriff Phil Plummer.

Plummer said in September that Caito admitted to lodge membership he stole $26,000 and “is in the process of admitting his fault” for alleged actions over the past two years.

Caito started working for the sheriff’s office in 2006. Plummer said the FOP is actually missing $110,500. Plummer said an internal investigation won’t begin until after the criminal case is finished.

A personnel letter dated Sept. 9 stated that Caito “may have violated Sheriff’s Office Professional Rules of Conduct.” Caito earned a gross pay of $86,518 in 2015, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team Payroll Project.

In October 2006, shortly after joining the sheriff’s office, Caito sued Fifth Third Bank in U.S. District Court, complaining the Cincinnati-based bank was “reporting erroneous information” about his finances to credit bureaus. The bank denied the accusations. The case, during which Caito represented himself, was referred to a magistrate and dismissed with prejudice.

In December 2011, Caito and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, during which Caito surrendered to creditors an inoperable 1967 Pontiac Firebird and a 2010 Dodge Charger SXT. U.S. Bankruptcy Court records show the couple emerged from Chapter 7 in April 2013.

Deputy Caito is the third cop that’s been featured on the CopBlock Network for stealing police union funds within the recent past. Of course, stealing union dues was an old standby of the Sicilian mafia, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that the Thin Blue Mob has taken a cue from that.

BTW: “Caito could receive probation up to five years, local jail time of up to 180 days or a prison term of between six and 18 months…” Wanna bet on which one of those options he gets?

Police Wife Writes About the “Secret Epidemic” of Police Domestic Violence

This post was originally published at the “Ms. Magazine” blog in October of 2015 by and (who was married to a police officer for 20 years) under the original title “Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence.” (See below for their full biographies.)

Domestic violence takes place in up to a staggering 40 percent of law enforcement families, but police departments mostly ignore the problem or let it slide, write ex-police wife Susanna Hope and award-winning investigative journalist Alex Roslin in their new book, Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence. The following excerpt is adapted from their book, available on Amazon or as an eBook from their website, and is being published as part of the Ms. Blog’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month series.

According to Alex Roslin, “Police Wife” itself has more than 60 pages of appendices giving advice and resources to survivors, family and friends plus recommendations for advocates, police, governments, journalists and researchers.

In order to help survivors and others, they’ve made virtually all of the appendices available for free through their website. Here is the direct link to this extended free excerpt.

The propensity for police to abuse their wives, children, and other family members is, of course, no secret among people who read CopBlock.org. It’s rare that more than a few days go by without a report of a cop having committed domestic violence and several CopBlock Network Contributors have posted about the increased risk that entails marrying or having the bad fortune to be the child of a cop. Obviously, the habitual efforts of Good Cops to cover up the crimes of those Bad Apples, is also a large factor in its commonality.

Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence

In 2009, in Utica, New York, police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr. killed his estranged wife, Kristin Palumbo-Longo, stabbing her more than a dozen times in their home, then stabbed himself to death. One of the couple’s four children discovered the horrifying scene on coming home from school that afternoon.

Police Officer Cop BlockUtica’s then-Police Chief Daniel LaBella said the killing was completely unexpected—an incident “no one could have prevented or predicted.” But Kristin’s family filed a $100-million wrongful-death suit saying city and police officials didn’t do enough about Longo’s troubling behavior before the tragedy.

Kristin had contacted police at least five times in the weeks before she was murdered, saying she feared her husband might kill her and their kids, but police supervisors discouraged her from making reports or seeking a protection order, the lawsuit said. In a preliminary ruling, a federal judge agreed that the police actions may have “enhanced the danger to Kristin and amounted to deliberate indifference.” The city settled the suit in 2013, paying the couple’s children $2 million.

The murder wasn’t an isolated tragedy. It was unusual only because it was so public and so bloody. A staggering amount of domestic violence rages behind the walls of cops’ homes, while most police departments do little about it. In the vast majority of cases, cops who hurt a family member do so in utter secrecy, while their victims live in desperate isolation with very little hope of help. Research shows:

  • An astonishing 40 percent of cops acknowledged in one U.S. survey that they were violent with their spouse or children in the previous six months.
  • A second survey had remarkably similar results—40 percent of officers admitted there was violence in their relationship in the previous year. The abuse rate for cops is up to 15 times higher than among the public.
  • Police discipline is startlingly lax. The LAPD disciplines cops with a sustained domestic violence complaint less strictly than those who lie or get in an off-duty fight. In the Puerto Rico Police Department, 86 percent of cops remained on active duty even after two or more arrests for domestic violence.

It seems incredible that a crime wave of such magnitude and far-reaching social ramifications could be so unknown to the public and yet at the same time an open secret in a mostly indifferent law enforcement community. It is surely one of the most surreal crime epidemics ever—at once disavowed, generalized and virtually unchecked.

Aptly summing up the bizarre disconnect, retired Lieutenant Detective Mark Wynn of the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department in Tennessee told PBS in a 2013 story on the issue: “What’s amazing to me is we’re having this conversation at all. I mean, could you imagine us sitting here talking about this and saying, how do you feel about officers using crack before they go to work, or how do you feel about the officer who every once in a while just robs a bank, or every once in a while decides to go in and steal a car from a dealership? We wouldn’t have this conversation. Why is it that we’ve taken violence against women and separated that from other crimes?”

Domestic violence is bad enough for any woman to deal with. Shelters, many of them chronically underfunded, regularly turn away abused women because they’re full, while only about one in four incidents in the wider population ever get reported to police. Hundreds of U.S. communities have adopted “nuisance property” laws that encourage police to pressure landlords to evict tenants who repeatedly call 911 over domestic abuse, further dissuading victims from seeking help.

But abuse at home is far worse for the wife or girlfriend of a cop. Who will she call—911? What if a coworker or friend of her husband responds? Police officers are trained in the use of physical force and know how to hurt someone without leaving a trace. They have guns and often bring them home. And if a cop’s wife runs, where will she hide? He usually knows where the women’s shelters are. Some shelter staff admit they are powerless to protect an abused police spouse. Her abuser may have training and tools to track her web use, phone calls and travels to find out if she is researching how to get help or, if she has fled, where she went.

In the rare case where the woman works up the nerve to complain, the police department and justice system often victimize her again. She must take on the infamous blue wall of silence—the strict unwritten code of cops protecting each other in investigations. The police have a name for it—extending “professional courtesy.” In the words of Anthony Bouza, a one-time commander in the New York Police Department and former police chief of Minneapolis, “The Mafia never enforced its code of blood-sworn omerta with the ferocity, efficacy and enthusiasm the police bring to the Blue Code of Silence.”

It all adds up to the police having a de facto licence to abuse their spouses and children. And it’s a worldwide phenomenon that police families struggle with everywhere from Montreal to Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Australia and South Africa.

The torrent of abuse is virtually unknown to the public, but without realizing it, we all pay a steep price. Domestic violence is the single most common reason the public contacts the police in the U.S., accounting for up to 50 percent of all calls in some areas. Yet, a battered woman who calls 911 may have a two-in-five chance of an abuser coming to her door. Official investigations have found law enforcement departments that tolerate abuse in police homes also mishandle violence against women in other homes.

Abusive cops are also more prone to other forms of misconduct on the job—such as brutality against civilians and violence against fellow officers. We all pay as taxpayers when governments have to settle multi-million-dollar lawsuits with victims of police abuse or negligence. Police domestic violence also has close connections to a host of other problems—police killings of African Americans, sexual harassment of female drivers at traffic stops and women cops, and even more broadly, issues like growing social inequality and subjugation of Native Americans.

And police officers themselves are victims, too. Even though our society calls cops heroes, we give them little support to cope with the pressure of police work. A big part of the job is to wield power to control other people. As a result, policing attracts people who are good at controlling others or may have a craving for that kind of power—and then trains them to use their power better. Control is also the main driver of domestic violence. Is it a surprise then that so many cops are violent at home?

Support the Ms. Magazine Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program today and show women fleeing domestic violence that they’re not alone.

Susanna Hope (a pseudonym for security and privacy reasons) is a Canadian professional writer who was married for over 20 years to a police officer. She has two sons and two grandchildren.

Alex Roslin is an award-winning Canadian journalist who was president of the board of the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting. His investigative and writing awards include three Canadian Association of Journalists prizes for investigative reporting, a gold prize in the National Magazine Awards and nine nominations for CAJ awards and NMAs.

City of Carmel Indiana Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Illegal Ticket Scheme

The links for this post were shared with the Cop Block Network, via an anonymous submission to the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. The person submitting it did include this comment with the submission:

“Carmel blows.”

That’s obviously an opinion based statement, but I personally don’t have any quantifiable reason to doubt its validity. So that is something you’ll need to research for yourself.

Illegal Revenue Generation

The story stems from the City of Carmel Indiana’s use of an invalid city ordinance to issue as many as 8,000 tickets for the express purpose of generating revenue. The validity of the Carmel Road Pirate’s scam was originally exposed by a citizen who fought their own citation. Interestingly enough though, the issue that seemingly makes it invalid is based on the fact the city didn’t share the ransom money they collected from drivers with the county and state and instead “pocketed the cash.”

According to Fox59.com:

Rather than distribute the money collected by traffic fines with the county and states as required in many cases–the lawsuit accuses Carmel of pocketing the cash in some scenarios.

“It violates state law, it violates civil rights and they are abusing they’re (sic) authority,” said attorney Ed Bielski of Bielski Law LLC.

Bielski is the Indianapolis attorney behind the federal class action lawsuit filed against the City of Carmel.

“What they did is they took state code and they hijacked it and pretended it was theirs and kept the money. That’s inappropriate,” said Bielski.

The lawsuit argues that Carmel adopted the existing Indiana state law for traffic violations and is wrongfully writing tickets under Carmel’s §8-­2 ordinance.

“You can’t duplicate state law. They are doing something directly contrary to state law,” said Bielski.

Bielski says he is in the early discovery phase of his class action lawsuit but he has reason to believe Carmel is using this ordinance for financial gain.

“In life usually your answer is follow the money. When you pay a ticket you expect the money is going to go where it’s supposed to go. You don’t expect them to pocket it,” said Bielski.

The GodFatherSo the basic gist of the lawsuit is that the city passed an ordinance that duplicated a state law allowing them to write tickets that rang their cash register instead of going into the governor’s slush fund. Being that the statement comes from the lawyer bringing the suit, it might just be a legal argument and not based on any sort of actual reality outside of a courtroom, but Bielski’s stated complaint is an interesting one.

He states that it’s wrong for the city to pass such a law because, “When you pay a ticket you expect the money is going to go where it’s supposed to go. You don’t expect them to pocket it.” What he’s essentially saying is that the wrong thief ended up with the bag of loot. As if the victim of a mugging cares which gang shakes him down as he’s heading back from the neighborhood Quickie Mart.

In fact, the man who originally contested the ordinance lays it out even more clearly:

“This is a very simple issue. Carmel violated state law to try to usurp the state’s authority and divert these funds to Carmel, and that’s the only issue at play here,” (Jason) Maraman said.

Obviously, the overall potential effect of having as many as 8,000 people getting their stolen money back is a good (and rare) thing. However, going forward this just means that the City of Carmel’s crew is going to have to cut the Hamilton County Capo in on the take before kissing the Godfather of Indiana’s ring. Nothing of substance will change for the people they will continue shaking down in the process.

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!