Tag Archives: meth

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Drops Drug Charges Against Texas Man After “Meth” Turns Out to be Cat Litter

A sock full of cat litter ended up leading to a Texas man being publicly branded as a drug dealer, when deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office managed to mistake it for meth. In yet another case of faulty field tests that have repeatedly been exposed as wildly inaccurate, police issued a press release and bragged on Facebook about how their “big drug bust” had kept everyone’s children save from the scourge of methamphetamines.

Meanwhile, Ross Lebeau was taken to jail on charges of drug possession with the intent to distribute, based on the “meth” weighing in at over half a pound. As a result, he lost work and will be forced to go through the process of having his record expunged, even though the charges were dropped, to avoid the stigma of having been identified, very publicly, as a drug dealer.

In spite of that, Lebeau is surprisingly unwilling to place any blame on the deputies who used notoriously innacurate equipment to declare the cat litter was an illegal substance. For their part, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office released a second press release, in which they had no problem whatsoever placing the blame squarely on Lebeau’s shoulders saying that the deputies did everything right and that his statement that he didn’t know what the “unknown substance” was is what was responsible for the mix-up.

Via ABC13.com (in Houston):

Lebeau and his attorney do not blame the deputies for the ordeal, rather the field tests.

“Ultimately it might be bad budget-cutting testing equipment they need to re-evaluate,” said George Reul, who added prosecutors practically laughed when he told them it was cat litter.

“I would like an apology,” said Lebeau.

He says the accusation has caused him to lose work, not to mention the embarrassment. He will work to expunge his record.

“I was wrongly accused and I’m going to do everything in my power, with my family’s backing, to clear my name,” he said.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Statement:
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped Mr. LeBeau for a traffic offense on December 5, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. During that initial stop the deputies detected a strong odor of Marijuana emitting from his vehicle. Mr. LeBeau was question and admitted to having marijuana in the console of his vehicle.

The drugs were recovered and in the process of inventorying his vehicle a substance was found wrapped in one sock in his vehicle. Mr. LeBeau was questioned about the contents at which time he indicated that he had no idea what it was. The deputies followed proper procedures and field tested the substance on two separate occasions which field tested positive for methamphetamines, notified the District Attorney’s Office who accepted charges for possession of controlled substance of 200 grams and Mr. LeBeau posted bond and was released.

During the investigation Mr. LeBeau failed to identify the substance and later, after being released indicated on social media that the substance was cat litter that he kept in a sock in his vehicle.

Regarding this incident all indication shows that the deputies followed basic procedures and followed established protocol related to this incident. Because of the established procedures in place and this contraband was submitted to the Institute of Forensic Science it was determined not to be methamphetamine and charges were dismissed.

It doesn’t look like he’s going to get that apology. At least the prosecutors were able to get a good laugh out of it.

Update: Drugged Out Bakersfield Cop Who Escaped Custody Several Times Given Very Hard Slap on the Wrist

Previously on CopBlock.org, CopBlock Network contributors Dylan Donnelly and Steven Thomas posted about Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Edward Tucker’s one man crime wave, which took place last October (2015).

First, he got really high on meth and pulled a gun on some kids before assembling an arsenal of drugs, guns, and “bomb making materials” and heading to a local park, where he got arrested.

Then he staged a Houdini-esque escape from a patrol car in the garage of the jail right under the nose of the two cops who were transporting him there. All of which was captured on the garage’s surveillance video, which is included below. (Sadly, it was submitted too late for serious Oscar consideration. But there’s always next year for now-former Deputy Tucker.)

Via BakersfieldNow.com:

Tucker was first arrested Oct. 24. He approached a group of children at a birthday party off Belle Terrace and then pulled out a gun. A witness said Tucker told the children he was being chased and that he was looking for a woman on a bicycle.

The girls denied knowing anything about a woman on a bicycle.

“He pointed the gun straight at them, at their chest, each one individually, and told them, ‘You’re lying to me,'” a resident described.

Tucker was found that night with guns and methamphetamine, and he was suspected of being under the influence.

“That gun was only loaded with practice rounds so it couldn’t fire,” said (defense attorney, Kyle) Humphrey. “The bullets were plastic.”

Tucker bailed out after that arrest but was arrested again Oct. 27. He was also found that night with drugs and weapons.

Then Tucker escaped from the sheriff’s office custody. Surveillance video from the jail’s garage shows Tucker getting out of the back of a patrol car and simply walking off. Deputies were nearby but apparently didn’t notice Tucker escaping.

He was caught a couple days after that and arrested for a third time in Oildale.

Humphrey argued that Tucker “didn’t escape from a jail facility” even though he was in the jail’s parking garage in a patrol car. He was eventually able to get the charge dropped as a part of the plea deal.

“He wasn’t booked, so it wasn’t technically an escape,” said Humphrey. “It would have been a resisting arrest.”

Humphrey admits that it sounds an awful lot like a technicality.

“That’s what the law is — the technicalities of protecting the people,” he said. “I love those technicalities … I’m proud of them and every American should be proud of them because that keeps us from being savages.”

On March 3rd, Tucker agreed to accept a plea deal, which will result in seven of the nine felonies he had been facing being dropped. the two charges which he entered a “no-contest” plea to were “being high on methamphetamine while driving and while in possession of a gun.” He also agreed to plead no contest to a new charge of assault.

Between the dropped charges and the credit for time served Tucker is expected to be released next month, essentially being sentenced to six months in jail for doing meth and then driving around Bakersfield, threatening children with a gun, possibly trying to build a bomb, and escaping from custody. That’s probably the sort of deal your average citizen would expect to get had they done all that and not the typical Policeman’s Discount.

Or not:

On the day of the plea deal, Humphrey said the fact that Tucker used to be a sheriff’s deputy certainly went a long way in getting him a lighter sentence.

“There is some truth to that. He got a lesser sentence than a person with a bad criminal record would get,” said Humphrey. “If you make a commitment to do good in the world, and you do good for a very long time — and then you screw up — you absolutely should get credit for that.”

Border Patrol Agent and His Two Brothers Arrested in Drug Related Decapitation

Joel Luna, a Border Patrol agent from the Brownsville area in Texas, was arrested by deputies with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office yesterday on a murder charge. In addition to the murder charge, Luna faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Texas Rangers, Customs and Border Protection agents, and members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program assisted the deputies in his arrest. Agent Luna had been with the Border Patrol for six years, working out of the checkpoint at Hebbronville.

The murder charge relates to a decapitated body that was found in Laguna Madre Bay last March. That body was subsequently identified as Jose Francisco Palacios Paz, who worked at a nearby auto shop. In June, police arrested Eduardo Luna Rodriguez, Fernando Luna Rodriguez, Nestor Manuel Leal, and Aaron Rodriguez Medellin, all of whom worked with Paz, in connection with the case.

Border Patrol Agent Joel LunaAdditionally, Eduardo Luna Rodriguez and Fernando Luna Rodriguez are brothers of Joel Luna. All four of them face charges of murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and engaging in criminal organized activity. They are currently being held without bail, although Luna has not been officially fired from the Border Patrol and is instead on administrative leave. (It’s not clear if he’s still being paid or not, at this point.)

According to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, the discovery of a safe containing more than 2 pounds of cocaine, $89,000, three pistols, 17 grams of meth, and his Border Patrol badge at the home of Luna’s mother in law prompted the arrest. the Sheriff also stated that they believe the murder was associated with the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican drug ring believed to be one of the oldest and most far reaching of the cartels.

Mount Vernon Ohio Detective Arrested for Drug Dealing and Extortion

Corrupt MVPD Detective

MVPD Detective Matt Dailey

Last week, the FBI arrested Matt Dailey, a detective with the Mount Vernon (Ohio) Police Department, on drug trafficking charges related to the sale of marijuana, meth, ecstasy, coke, and opiate-based pain pills. In addition, he faces charges of extortion and the use of a gun while engaging in drug sales. Detective Dailey had previously been suspended (with pay) on September 18th. While the reason for that suspension was not disclosed, it is presumed that it was due to the FBI’s investigation of his drug crimes.

Details within the FBI’s arrest report, indicate that Dailey used his position as a police officer to supply drugs to and facilitate the sale of those drugs by a confidential informant, who he had come into contact with during previous drug investigations. He also used his position and knowledge of drug investigations being conducted by local law enforcement to encourage the confidential informant (CI) to sell the drugs for him. He indicated to the CI that all of the drug investigations within the Mount Vernon Police Department, as well as the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, went through him. That CI stated that he perceived Dailey’s stated ability to influence drug investigations as both an assurance he would be protected from prosecution and an implied threat that if he didn’t help sell the drugs he could be set up for a drug arrest.

banner buy shiny badgesMany of the drugs Det. Dailey supplied to the CI were acquire by stealing drugs that had been confiscated in previous raids from the evidence room. Although at least initially many of the drugs were still contained within evidence bags, he claimed to the CI that he was getting the drugs from a fictional cousin and that he was only selling the drugs because this “cousin” was in trouble since he owed money to a drug dealer and he was trying to help him pay off that debt. In reality, he bought the drugs that he didn’t steal from the MVPD evidence room from a dealer in Columbus. That dealer later also became a confidential informant for the FBI against Dailey.

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“Dental Profiling” by Indiana State Trooper Caught on Tape

Accused of MethIn Tippecanoe County, Indiana a woman was repeatedly accused of being a meth addict by a police officer for no other reason than because she has bad teeth. Stephanie Foltz, who maintains that her teeth are bad because of calcium loss from two pregnancies, was stopped for speeding by Trooper Thomas Manning. Manning proceeded to ask her when she began doing meth.

He then questioned her about the state of her teeth. When Foltz explained that it was a result of childbirth, he responded that he didn’t believe her and that children don’t take calcium from your body “in that way” during pregnancy. Stephanie’s husband Matt recorded audio (embedded below) of the exchange, which he later posted to YouTube. Trooper Manning can also be heard later in that recording stating to Stephanie, “I’m not out here to try to getcha, okay. However, I do take it personally when people aren’t honest with me.”

While bad teeth are one of the symptoms of meth use, it’s something that would indicate heavy and long term abuse. None of the other common symptoms such as severe weight loss and visible skin damage are present. Beyond that, absent signs of someone being under the influence of a drug or probable cause they are in possession (without even getting into the validity of the “War on (Some) Drugs” in the first place), police officers have no business insisting that someone is lying about drug use or “taking it personally” that he decided they’re lying.

In the end, Stephanie was so upset by Trooper Manning’s accusations that she was unable to even drive home. Some of her friends have started a “GoFundMe” account to help collect donations to help her get proper dental care.

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13 WTHR Indianapolis

Former Jacksonville, Arkansas DARE Officer Just Says “Yes” to Drugs

Former DARE StudentIn what has become somewhat of a trend recently, yet another cop has been busted in a drug sting, this time in Jacksonville, Arkansas. The extra bit of irony in this particular instance involves the fact that Donald Bredenberg was actually a former D.A.R.E. officer. So, in case you’re the one person on this continent that doesn’t know what that means, he’s the guy who used to show up at schools to teach all the children about how bad drugs were (ummkay).

That probably took place right after or right before he did a line of meth. Of course, we don’t really know that sort of information for certain yet, so it potentially could have been both before AND after he taught children the evils of drugs and he might have been smoking the crank rather than snorting it. (Full disclosure: he could have actually been shooting it up and, to be fair, he was probably popping pills, too.)

What we do know for sure, via “FOX 16 News” out of Jacksonville, is that he was caught with “26 grams of meth, prescription pills, seven firearms and more than $1300 in cash” during the drug bust:

“LONOKE COUNTY, AR — A former DARE officer is charged with doing the one thing he warned children against. Just two years ago, Donald Bredenberg was going inside Jacksonville schools warning children about the dangers of narcotics. But this week, investigators say, during a drug bust, he was caught doing the very thing he told children never to do.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said, ‘It hurts, it hurts, it is shocking.’

Sheriff Staley says he worked alongside Bredenberg who taught many children about the dangers of drugs. But on Tuesday, Sheriff Staley’s deputies arrested him at a home in Lonoke County for possession of narcotics.

Sheriff Staley said, ‘It’s difficult because you see the person, the personal side and you know what this person could be and was and you see what they have gone to.’

Sheriff Staley says the drug bust happened in the 500 block of Stagecoach Road, which he says is concerning because it’s less than half a mile from an elementary school.

He said, ‘It’s the devil. I will tell you it’s the devil.’

Along with taking four people to jail, investigators say they left the home with 26 grams of meth, prescription pills, seven firearms and more than $1300 in cash.

This drug bust happened after a two month investigation with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office and Cabot and Jacksonville Police Departments.”

The level of hypocrisy involved here is admittedly pretty high, since Bredenberg was not just arresting people for theDARE Lion Mascot same stuff he was doing, but was also lecturing children about not doing it and attempting to use the D.A.R.E. program to turn them into little police informants at the same time. However, I can’t really say I’m as shocked (I tell ya!) as Sheriff Staley.

Cops spend most of their time breaking laws they penalize others for and promoting double standards, whether it involves things as simple as traffic/parking laws or pretending to investigate the murders their fellow officers commit and then declaring them justified every time. In fact, Bredenberg’s involvement in drugs is not really that shocking, since there have been several high profile cases of cops, including a deputy chief in Fresno, CA, being busted as part of drug rings within just the past couple weeks.

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