Tag Archives: plea deal

Maine Cop Facing 20 Sexual Assault Charges, Including Against Six Year Old, Gets Misdemeanor Plea Deal, $1000 Fine

Sexual Assault Charges Misdemeanor Plea Deal Deputy Kenneth Hatch

Maine Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Hatch facing 20 charges of sexual assault of a minor, including one who was six years old at the time was given a misdemeanor plea deal and a $1,000 fine.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth L. Hatch III was facing 20 charges of sexual assault against three minors, including one who was just six years old at the time. However, instead of refiling charges after his first trial ended in a hung jury, the Maine Attorney General’s Office offered him a plea bargain. And, boy, what a bargain it was!

As part of the plea deal Hatch agreed to plead guilty to the Class D misdemeanor (almost the lowest level of crime someone can be charged with) of “furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol.” In exchange for that, the prosecutor has agreed that his “punishment” will consist of a $1,000 fine. No jail time, no probation, no sex offender registry, not even a series of overpriced classes to sit through. It’s slightly worse than if he had received a traffic citation.

At this point, it’s hard to be surprised when cops sit back and cover for their “Brothas” no matter how heinous the crime might be. Nor is it particularly shocking anymore when prosecutors give them their “Policeman’s Discount” and they get just a slap on the wrist or the crimes committed by “Police Heroes” are overlooked altogether. This takes the cake, though.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

Lincoln County Sheriffs Deputy Kenneth Hatch

Former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year Kenneth L. Hatch III

Obviously, one would think that someone facing charges of sexually abusing multiple underage children, including one who was only six years old at the time, would get several books thrown at them.

Via the PressHerald.com:

On and off for the last 16 years, prosecutors allege, Hatch preyed on teenage girls, all the while moving through the ranks of law enforcement in central Maine.

An indictment handed up in August accused Hatch, 46, of 22 felonies, including 11 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, eight counts of aggravated furnishing of marijuana to a minor, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact. In many of the incidents, Hatch was on duty when the alleged abuse occurred.

Via the Bangor Daily News:

The drug counts allege that Hatch gave marijuana from a bag marked “EVIDENCE” to two of his three alleged victims, two of whom were 14 or 15 at the time of the alleged assaults.

The alleged sexual assaults against the third victim, which resulted in Hatch’s arrest in June, reportedly first occurred in 2004 when she was 6, Assistant Attorney General John Risler, who is prosecuting the case, told the grand jury in August. The indictments allege that Hatch then sexually assaulted the same girl and provided her marijuana in 2013 and 2014, when she was 14 and 15.

One would obviously be very wrong, though. Apparently, in Maine the Magical Uniforms they issue to cops are especially potent at rendering them impervious to any sort of meaningful consequences for their actions. Of course, one of his victims spoke of her fears in relation to that and how it made her reluctant to come forward. (Via the PressHerald.com, again.)

One of the alleged victims who spoke with the Maine Sunday Telegram said Hatch used his power as a police officer to sexually abuse her over a period of years. She was afraid to speak up, she said, because it would be her word against his.

“He’s a cop,” she said. “Who’s going to believe me?”

Finally in June, she spoke up and told a family member, triggering the investigation and Hatch’s arrest.

Her fear of speaking out is common among victims of police sexual violence. For every victim who comes forward to accuse an officer, five more remain silent, said Philip M. Stinson, a professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University and a leading researcher on police misconduct.

“There’s something about that power dynamic,” Stinson said. “Police officers are used to being in charge, of telling people what to do, and of people obeying them – or there are consequences.”

I’m sure that this sentence will alleviate those fears:

“Hatch will appear before Stokes in Knox County Superior Court on Friday morning, agree to pay a $1,000 fine, and will serve no jail time.”

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CopBlock Founder Ademo Freeman Preparing to Challenge Drug War in Court Jan. 11th During Marijuana Arrest Trial

Marijuana Possession Trial Ademo Freeman Adam Mueller

“When I go to trial I’m not asking to not be punished. I’m asking not to be punished anymore. I’ve done nearly 50 days in jail. I’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, lost a year’s worth of time and have basically been on probation for a year” – Ademo Freeman

The following video and post was originally published at CopBlock.org by Asa J under the title, “CopBlock Founder Ademo Freeman To Square Off In Court Against Drug War.” Obviously, it refers to Ademo’s arrest last year in Ohio on charges of possession of the scary, dangerous “drug” marijuana, that most people could not care less about at this point. More specifically, it relates to the trial for those charges that begins next week, on January 11th.

Barring some sort of eleventh hour plea deal with a sentence of time served (he has stated he would not agree to any deal that requires additional jail/prison time), Ademo will be facing up to six years in prison and fines of $20,000 if he is found guilty. More than likely, his freedom hinges on someone in the jury exercising their “Jury Nullificationrights and ruling based on the morality of the War on (Some) Drugs and the prosecution of victimless crimes, rather than the letter of the law.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

CopBlock Founder Ademo Freeman To Square Off In Court Against Drug War

Next week, CopBlock co-founder Ademo Freeman will square off against those wishing to send him to prison for peacefully traveling with medical marijuana in a state that also recognizes legal medicinal use of the plant.

You heard that right. Due to the lack of legal framework surrounding medical use of cannabis in Ohio (even though the state passed medical cannabis in 2016), Ademo faces up to six years in prison and fines of $20,000 when he stands trail on January 11 for possession of his medicine.

As such, Ohio law stipulates that the Board of Pharmacy attempt to negotiate and enter into reciprocity agreements with other medical marijuana states before allowing use of their medicine. Before entering into an agreement with another state, the Board must determine that the state meet certain criteria.

First, the eligibility requirements imposed by the other state in order to obtain a registry identification card have to be substantially comparable to Ohio’s requirements. Second, the other state must also recognize patient or caregiver registration and identification cards issued in Ohio. Ohio has no such agreement with Colorado, the state Ademo obtained his medical cannabis card in, nor any other state for that matter. In fact, the politicians of Ohio have dragged their feet for two years on this issue depriving who knows how many from receiving medical cannabis and killing countless others.

Ademo is no stranger to the criminal justice system. Shortly after founding CopBlock with activist and friend Pete Eyre in 2010 the two were part of a group of activists arrested for recording public officials at the Franklin County, Massachusetts jail.

The following year Ademo was arrested for wiretapping and faced 21 years in prison after video surfaced from West High School in Manchester, New Hampshire showing a student being roughly pushed down onto a cafeteria table by police detective Darren Murphy.

Ademo recorded telephone conversations he had with a Manchester police captain, the West High principal and her assistant in attempt to bring attention to the incident. He represented himself in court and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation. Those convictions were later thrown out by the New Hampshire Supreme Court however.

CopBlock is a decentralized organization made up of a diverse group of individuals united by their shared belief that “badges don’t grant extra rights,” CopBlock.org states. In this pursuit CopBlockers routinely draw attention to police brutality and corruption and are known for their controversial and sometimes intense encounters with police. Naturally, shining a light on the domestic enforcement arm of government attracts unwanted attention. In February, Ademo was arrested and charged with possession and trafficking marijuana and possession of hash oil in Warren County, Ohio.

According to WCPO, 24 pounds of marijuana and 26 vials of hash oil were found in Ademo’s car after he was pulled over by Ohio State Troopers for a missing license plate light. He was arraigned on a $75,000 bond.

From behind bars Ademo routinely spoke out about police accountability issues and problems with the criminal justice system. He was released from jail in March following a major bond reduction having refused a plea deal to serve one year in prison.

Ademo has long been a crusader against the drug war, an issue that routinely garners attention on the pages of CopBlock.org. An advocate of self-ownership and an opponent of victimless crime laws, it was in fact a 2004 marijuana conviction that ultimately led Ademo to co-found CopBlock.

Now, almost 14 years later, Ademo continues to stand up for his individual right to decide for himself what to put in his own body. Next Thursday he will stand trial in Warren County having refused another plea offer this week that would have resulted in a 36 month prison sentence suspended for 6 months in jail and three years probation.

In a live Facebook video on Friday Ademo explained why.

“I’m a medical marijuana patient, ” he said. “I held a valid medical marijuana card until December 17 of last year. Everything I was in possession of that day was my medicine.”

Having lived in Colorado for a short while Ademo decided to return to Ohio temporarily after his plans to make a permanent move to the state didn’t work out. Ademo and his spouse (at the time) had decided not to move his partner’s children so far from their biological father (who came back into his young childrens life) and instead set up a forever home in Michigan (another medical MJ state) after the kids finished school. The only problem was, Ademo never made it back. He was caged by state troopers in the Warren County jail for simply stepping over a line into an occupied territory that seriously needs to clarify its laws regarding the legal use of medicinal cannabis.

“While they say ‘trafficking,’ I had everything I owned in my car,” Ademo said. “There was no drug bust. There were no informants. This wasn’t done at a DUI [checkpoint], I didn’t sell weed to an undercover cop. That’s not my intention. I use weed for medical purposes and I merely had six months worth of medicine with me.”

Ademo has asked people to please call assistant prosecutor Chris Delnicki at the telephone number 513-695-1325 to voice their support. He has also asked friends to send character letters stating that jail isn’t the proper punishment for his so-called “crimes” to Delnicki and/or Judge Robert Peeler at the address: 520 Justice Drive Lebanon, Ohio 45036.

“I don’t believe that my actions deserve 36 months in prison,” Ademo said. “When I go to trial I’m not asking to not be punished. I’m asking not to be punished anymore. I’ve done nearly 50 days in jail. I’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, lost a year’s worth of time and have basically been on probation for a year. I believe that that’s enough for someone with a medical marijuana card.”

To hear more of Ademo’s thoughts on the case listen below:

Original Facebook Live Video:

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Oregon Cop Throws Handcuffed Man Head First Into Concrete Wall on Video; Receives Probation

Oregon Police Officer Brian David Scott Assault Handcuffed Inmate

Jail surveillance video: Milton-Freewater, OR Police Officer Brian David Scott shoves a handcuffed man into a concrete wall causing severe head and back injuries. Later, he was sentenced to probation and a small fine.

Recently released video shows Milton-Freewater, Oregon Police Officer Brian David Scott shove a handcuffed man into a concrete wall in September 2016. That man, Jeffery Allen Fields, suffered multiple severe injuries to his head and several vertebrae in the assault. It’s quite clear on the video that Fields has no way of stopping himself from slamming into the wall with his hands cuffed behind him.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

It appears that the motivation for that attack by Officer Scott is that Fields was being verbally argumentative. However, at no time whatsoever on the video, even afterwards, did he act in any way physically resistant or combative toward either of the officers present. Obviously, there is no justification for Scott’s deliberate attempt to inflict harm on a man who was unable to defend himself.

Staples Head Wound Jeffrey Fields Scott Assault

Jeffrey Fields

In addition, after Fields was injured there is no sense of urgency about getting him any sort of medical attention. Instead, Scott and his partner, Officer Anthony Martinez, just take him into another room and hold paper towels to his head. In fact Officer  Martinez’ reaction, or more properly lack of one, to Officer Scott’s actions is pretty telling. It’s almost like arrestees being abused is a common sight at the Milton-Freewater  Police Department.

Eventually, Fields did make it to the hospital for what has been described as emergency treatment. As can be seen in the photo to the right, that included a head full of staples to close the wounds to his scalp.

In spite of the seriousness of those injuries and the absolutely unjustifiable nature of his attack on Fields, in April of 2017 Officer Scott was allowed to plead down to lesser charges resulting in a sentence of probation, some community service, and a $500 fine.

That’ll show him.


Note: the audio at the beginning of the video (in the exterior of the building) was affected by some sort of interference that causes a lot of static. That clears up once they go inside.

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Kansas Community Activist Harassed; Driven from State by Coffeyville Police Chief Kwin Bromley for Opposing MRAP

Kwin Bromley Coffeyville Chief of Police Harassment MRAP

An anonymous submission claims that Coffeyville Police Chief Kwin Bromley harassed, assaulted, and falsely arrested a man over his opposition to the department’s use of an MRAP vehicle.

Note: The following post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

The person who submitted this post alleges that Chief Kwin Bromley of the Coffeyville, KS Police Department harassed, assaulted, and falsely charged a local community activist. Reportedly, that harassment and other acts by Bromley were retaliation for his opposition to the department’s use of an MRAP vehicle. Eventually, this community activist was jailed and then forced, via part of a plea agreement, to leave the state of Kansas.

Bo Rupert moved to Coffeyville, Kansas in 2016. After months of hard work and dedication he became involved with the community and began to become involved with police accountability. Mr. Rupert would go to the city commission meetings and speak out about different issues surrounding the community and the Coffeyville Police Department.

One of Mr. Rupert’s biggest causes he was trying to make happen was trying to have the Coffeyville Police Departments MRAP vehicle sent back to the federal government. He publicly addressed the city commission about this several times. It seemed to fall on deaf ears.

After Mr. Rupert did this the Coffeyville Police Department began to target him, his family, and his friends. Mr. Rupert did his best to stay strong and ignore this. However, the taunts continued.

On July 25, 2017 Mr. Rupert went to the City Commission meeting to address them about removing him from the Montgomery County Juvenile Corrections Board Police Chief Kwin Bromley showed up to the meeting late, sat right next to Mr. Rupert, and proceeded to harass him throughout the whole meeting. Mr. Rupert addressed the city commission and left the meeting. On his way out he was assaulted by Chief Kwin Bromley who punched him in the back of the head on his way out the door.

Mr. Rupert was arrested on three counts of criminal threats and had to spend 93 days in jail in Kansas. Part of his plea agreement was that he had to leave the state of Kansas and not return.

The current and future citizens of this community need to be aware and warned of the dangers they face if they speak out against Kwin Bromley or his police department. There is no low he or his officers will not stoop to. They will target your family, friends, bring false charges against you , and even run you out of town. This man is dangerous and should be watched.

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Update: Half Naked, Drunk Texas Cop Who Fired Gun at Church Let Off With Probation

Deputy William Cox Texas Cop Naked Church Shooting Probation

Somervell County Sheriff’s Deputy William Cox was sentenced to just probation after getting drunk and shooting at a Texas Church.

In August of 2016 I posted about an off-duty Somervell County Sheriff’s Deputy who got sloppy drunk, stripped off most of his clothes and then drove over to a church in Ellis County, Texas and started shooting his gun into it.

Once local police arrived, former Deputy William Lane Cox readily admitted that he was drunk and had fired his gun(s) at the church, hitting the building several times. His confession, recorded on those officer’s body cams, included his admission that he had gotten drunk and decided to “blow off some steam” by shooting up the church, which was located within a residential neighborhood.

He also indicated that the reason for his “stress” was the shooting of several Dallas police officers in an incident that happened just prior to his own shooting spree. Among other racist comments Deputy Cox stated, “cause my boys are getting killed in Dallas” and “the black coon start killing my boys” on the video (embedded below).

Not surprisingly, after his initial arrest Deputy Cox received the typical Policeman’s Discount. The next day he was released without bail and shortly after that it was determined that he would not be facing any charges at all. That was partly due to the fact that the pastor of the church (who also just happens to be a police chaplain) didn’t want to press charges for the property damage caused by several bullets that had penetrated the doors and wall of the church.

Patrick Wilson Ellis County District Attorney Church Statement FavoritismHowever, there are numerous other charges that the police could easily have charged Deputy Cox with based on his own confession and the dangerous nature of his actions. Instead, while he was fired by the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office, Johnny Brown the Sheriff in Ellis County was pretty comfortable with not charging someone who admittedly drove drunk, recklessly discharged a gun while intoxicated, and put innocent people in danger by doing so at a building within a residential neighborhood with any crime whatsoever.

It wasn’t until six months later that Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson launched a separate investigation and eventually charged him with “deadly conduct,” a class three felony. In doing so, Wilson stated the obvious: “it is very, very difficult for me to believe that this man, Mr. Cox, was not afforded some special consideration.

One would tend to think that any special consideration would end. However, as is always the case with police facing trial, that was far from true. In spite of facing a charge where the minimum sentence mandated by law is a two year prison sentence and the added circumstances of having been drinking (and driving) at the time, he still was offered a cushy plea deal based on him having been a “good citizen” prior to his drunken shooting spree. After pleading guilty, Cox was sentenced to just five years of probation a $1,500 fine and ten days in jail. BTW, he gets to serve those ten days on weekends, cuz you it would be a shame if he was inconvenienced.

Once again, I’m sure the average citizen would have gotten the same sort of treatment.

Missouri Trooper Charged With Manslaughter in Drowning Of Handcuffed Man Pleas to “Boating Violation” (Update)

Brandon Ellingson Drowning Lake of the Ozarks Missouri Trooper Anthony Piercy

Shortly before his trial was set to begin, Missouri State Trooper Anthony Piercy was given a plea deal that reduces the charge he was facing for the May 2014 drowning of Brandon Ellingson from a felony charge to a low level misdemeanor. As a result, he will face a maximum sentence of just six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Also, as part of that deal, he can withdraw the plea if the prosecution recommends jail time. So, essentially it guarantees that the worst punishment he will possibly get is a short probation sentence and a small fine.

Piercy had originally been charged with involuntary manslaughter for his actions that led to the death of Ellingson. Witnesses also testified that he failed to make any attempt to rescue Brandon while he was drowning. Instead, the Trooper was allowed to plea down to a charge of “negligent operation of a vessel,” a minor boating violation that is essentially equivalent to a traffic ticket.

As has been reported previously here on Nevada Cop Block, Ellingson was arrested by Trooper Piercy for boating while intoxicated at the Lake of Ozarks. Prior to transporting him back to shore, Piercy handcuffed Ellingson’s hands behind his back and subsequently incorrectly placed a life vest over his arms. He also reportedly was traveling too fast in a State Water Patrol boat.

Due to that excessive speed, Ellingson was thrown out of the boat when it hit a large wake. The improperly secured life vest came off soon after Ellingson was knocked into the water. He was then unable to remain afloat and also unable to swim with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Later, Trooper Piercy told several lies in an effort to avoid responsibility for Brandon Ellingson’s preventable death. One of those lies was that Ellingson had intentionally jumped out of the boat. Also, during a phone call with his supervisor (embedded below), Piercy claimed that he attempted to save Ellingson once he went overboard. Among other things in that call, he claimed that he was sore from having “tread water” while trying to pull Ellingson out of the lake, implying that he had jumped in after him.

However, independent witnesses aboard a private boat that came upon the location where Ellingson drowned contradicted those claims. According to the occupants of that boat, Piercy only held a pole out toward him and never made any effort to jump in the water even when they screamed at him to do so. In addition, the captain of that boat, Jim Bascue, stated that none of them knew at the time that Ellingson was restrained by handcuffs. Bascue stated that had he known that he would have jumped in and saved Elllingson himself.

Ellingson’s father begrudgingly accepted the plea deal (see first video embedded below):

“This is the best we were going to get here,” said Craig Ellingson. “It would have been a hung jury, or he would have gotten off. I didn’t want to risk the chance we wouldn’t get the opportunity to see him face to face and say what we want to say. Now we get that. We know what he’s guilty of.”

The trial would have been held in Piercy’s hometown of Versailles, which has just over 2,000 residents, most of whom have some connection to him or his family.

Other family members, including Brandon’s mother, Sherry Ellingson, were more outspoken about the complete lack of justice this deal represents. (Via KansasCity.com):

For Sherry Ellingson, the plea Tuesday did nothing to ease her pain. A trial, she said, would have further exposed how Piercy did little to help her son before he sank in handcuffs to the bottom of the lake and how the patrol then tried to conceal the truth of what happened.

“I don’t really give a care what his punishment is, but I wanted his record to say ‘manslaughter,’ ” Sherry Ellingson told The Star. “If anyone says that justice has now been served, you have got to be kidding me. In what way?”

Update: Sixteen Arlington TX Cops Allowed to Resign Instead of Facing Charges for Writing Fake Tickets

In December, I posted about what was at the time 12 Arlington Texas cops who had either been fired or resigned for turning in fake tickets they had written to people that didn’t actually exist, oftentimes using the same license plate number in the imaginary citations. Their actions were discovered when department supervisors attempted to review dashcam video from the stops. That footage obviously didn’t exist, since they weren’t really stopping anyone. Apparently, the reason behind these phantom traffic stops was in order to keep up with department quotas.

Via the Star-Telegram:

They are accused of lying about traffic stop reports, tampering with governmental records, and conduct unbecoming a police officer, the press release said.

Their cases have been forwarded to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine if criminal charges will be filed.

Two of the fired officers are also accused of not being truthful in their testimony with internal affairs investigators…

The accused officers reported on their in-car computers that they had made a traffic stop at a particular address but did not give any names, a source close to the investigation had said.

The allegedly falsified stops were discovered when supervisors could not find accompanying dash cam video of the stops.

Officers are required to report driver demographics, the reason for the traffic stop, whether an arrest occurred and whether a search was conducted during the stop, said Cook, the police spokesman. That data is used to compile the department’s annual racial-profiling report.

Earlier this month, it was announced that all 16 of the officers originally suspected of writing fake tickets have been given plea deals to either avoid being indicted or have previously filed indictments dismissed in exchange for resigning and giving up their peace officer licenses, thereby preventing them from working as police officers again.

Via Fox4News.com:

Roughly nine months after 16 police officers were placed on leave during an investigation into fake traffic stops, all of them will avoid prosecution.

Eleven of the officers agreed to plea bargains early on and gave up their peace officer licenses to avoid indictments.  Five of them were actually indicted but later took the same deal to have the indictments dismissed.

“Dane Peterson, Dace Warren, Brandon Jones and Chris McCright were indicted for tampering with a governmental record in multiple indictments,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “Chris Dockery was indicted in one multiple count indictment. All of the officers agreed to give up their TCOLE licenses, and we have dismissed the indictments against each other.”

There’s no mention of the investigation that should be taking place into the illegal ticket quotas imposed by the department that apparently led to the fake ticket scandal in the first place. Of course, that might be the reason that all these cops who were caught red handed breaking several laws got a deal which prevents them from needing to testify in court about it during their trials.

Update: Lt. Brian Filipiak, “Superdrunk” Michigan Cop Who Insisted on Being “Just Let Go,” Let Off With Probation

Video Arrest Super Drunk Michigan Cop Lt. Brian Filipiak

Lt. Brian Filipiak of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office became a bit of a YouTube star after a video surfaced of him being stopped for driving drunk in November and insisting that the Montmorency County deputies “just let him go.” Instead of being hauled out of the car and beaten then handcuffed and shoved into the back of a patrol car, Filipiak was allowed to spend over thirty minutes making his meandering, slurred argument that they should make a “Brotha’s deal” and look the other way while he either continues on or sleeps it off on the side of the road.

Even after he is finally convinced to come out of the truck by the threat of being tazed, Lt. Filipiak is argumentative and even physically resistant once they finally try to put him into the back of a patrol car. He, of course, wasn’t charged with resisting or even obstruction, as any mere mortal without a Magic Uniform would be. And early last month when he went to court for the first time, he was given the customary plea deal for a dramatically reduced charge that cops facing trial should (and obviously do) readily expect.

However, there’s no way the courts would give a minor slap on the wrist to a high ranking cop who was caught on a viral video telling other cops to just let him go and stating matter of factly that he and the other officers in his department would do just that if they stopped another police officer driving drunk. Especially if that cop was not just drunk, but “super drunk” and had a long history of well documented drunken incidents even before this one. There’s obviously no way they would gloss this over and “just let him go,” if for no other reason than for the sake of appearances. This is the one guy they’d have to make an example of, for sure.

Or maybe they would not only just give him a short probation sentence, but also even keep him on the department payroll.

Via MLive.com:

A former Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant was sentenced Friday, March 3, to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service for drunken driving.

A northern Michigan judge also gave Brian Filipiak a 93-day deferred jail sentence, which means he will only serve the time if he violates probation…

Filipiak was arrested in Rust Township with a blood-alcohol level of 0.28 – more than three times the legal limit. A deputy’s body camera footage showed Filipiak trying to talk his way out of the arrest based on his position as a lieutenant in Washtenaw County.

The incident took place for more than half an hour before authorities got the clearly inebriated Filipiak out of his truck and into the back of a patrol car…

Filipiak was initially charged with misdemeanor operating while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 or more – commonly referred to as the “super drunk” law. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of operating while intoxicated on Jan. 27, according to court records…

Filipiak has lost the title and pay of a lieutenant, but remains employed at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. He no longer is a sworn officer, the department said.

He was placed on unpaid administrative leave during the internal investigation and is now employed on a conditional basis working in a support capacity at reduced pay, officials said.

As a lieutenant, he was being paid in the ballpark of $79,000, but is now receiving deputy wages, officials said, which range from around $42,000 and $63,000, according to the county’s salary report.

Lt. Filipiak feels really bad though, much worse than the time he had to be ordered to leave his own house during a drunken domestic dispute with his wife or the time he admitted to driving while drunk to the airport to pick up his daughter and then insisted he was going to drive home when confronted by Wayne County police officers. And he even stated that those cops who insisted on arresting him had done some mighty fine police work that day. Plus, unlike every other person who has ever been arrested, including all the ones he has arrested himself during his 21 year career for driving drunk, this has destroyed Lt. Filipiak’s life. (The guy’s lost at least $15,000 a year from his measly $79,000 salary for God’s sake.)

And he’ll have a lot of time (40 whole hours) to think about it as he’s performing the community service that is pretty much the only tangible punishment he was given for his Super Drunk Country Drive.

Shortened Version Of the DUI Arrest Video

Previous Alcohol Involved Domestic Disturbance Call

Full Body Cam Video of DUI Arrest

Drunken Airport Incident

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Arizona Chief Deputy Christopher Radtke Who Stole $500,000 Given Misdemeanor Plea Deal and Probation

Chief Deputy Christopher Radtke, the former second in command at the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, has admitted to stealing about $500,000 dollars over the course of six years from federal funds. According to Radtke’s confession, such thefts had been part of an ongoing practice by sheriff’s department personnel going back at least 18 years. Ironically enough, those funds were part of money allotted for RICO investigations and intended to be used for organized crime related offenses, such as embezzlement and money laundering.

Radtke’s thefts were discovered after an article in Arizona Daily Star exposed that a restaurant located within the department run by his niece, Nikki Thompson, had been receiving preferential treatment. That article revealed that the restaurant was allowed to run without legally required permits and that Thompson was not being required to pay any rent for the space where the restaurant was located. The FBI subsequently began an investigation into financial improprieties within the department.

Originally, Deputy Chief Radtke was charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and seven other felony counts related to the theft of the funds. However, his plea deal called for him to plead guilty to just three low level misdemeanors, described as having stolen less than $1000 for each charge. When sentenced, his “punishment” will be limited to up to one year of probation. Previously, Radtke was also given the opportunity to resign from the department in order to avoid being fired. Part of his plea agreement is that he will never work as a police officer or within Pima County government, as well.

According to Tucson.com:

The investigation revealed that Radtke embezzled roughly $500,000 that had been seized from criminals under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.

RICO funds are intended to be used for crime fighting and prevention, but the indictment says Radtke was misusing those funds, making purchases that didn’t fall under those requirements.

Radtke admitted that for 18 years personnel at the Sheriff’s Department would circumvent the strict restrictions on the use of RICO funds. The officers collaborated to make it appear the department was donating the RICO money to the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers , although the funds were being used by the Sheriff’s Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Radtke admitted that he became part of the practice about six years ago, the release said.

The three counts of theft Radtke pleaded guilty to were associated with purchases made in 2011, 2014 and 2015, U.S. Attorney David Backman said in court Friday morning when summarizing the factual basis for Radtke’s guilty pleas.

For all three incidents, Radtke admitted to knowingly converting funds to be used by the auxiliary volunteers with the intention of depriving the owner — the U.S. government — of the use or benefit of the money or property, Backman said.

In 2011, Radtke used a sheriff’s auxiliary volunteers’ check for $926 to reimburse the department’s award banquet. The rest of the check was used to pay for a restaurant bill and a new microwave for the break room at sheriff’s headquarters, Backman said.

Radtke also admitted to using the auxiliary volunteers’ credit card in 2014, to buy two model airplanes for himself and an unnamed colleague, at a cost of $599 plus $90 for shipping. Five days later, he used the card again to pay $50 rush shipping for the airplanes, Backman said.
In 2015, Radtke used another auxiliary volunteers’ check, this time to pay an artist $500 to make a menu for the chalkboard at sheriff’s headquarters, owned by his niece, Nikki Thompson, Backman said.

The FBI investigation began after a November 2015 Star story about Thompson running cafes inside the sheriff’s headquarters and the jail without a county contract and rent-free.

Public-records requests revealed the Sheriff’s Department spent more than $30,000 on renovations and equipment, the Star reported in November 2015.

While the indictment listed a conspiracy charge and mentioned “other persons known and unknown to the grand jury,” no one else has been charged in connection with the investigation.

“I’m a little concerned about the plea agreement being for three misdemeanors, when he was charged with seven felonies,” said Sgt. Kevin Kubitskey, chairman of the Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, and one of several department employees who came forward to the FBI to corroborate the allegations of misuse of funds. “The men and women of the PCDSA want to know why, and we’re hoping that some explanation is given to us.”

While it was a relief to finally hear Radtke admit wrongdoing and acknowledge this practice has been going on for 18 years, Kubitskey was also concerned the conspiracy wasn’t addressed in the plea.

“I hope that the U.S. attorney realizes the jeopardy people were in by giving all of this information,” Kubitskey said. “I worry that people may not come forward in future situations like this, because of this type of low plea.”

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier was disheartened by Radtke’s admission that the illicit financial practices had been going on for nearly two decades, and said that the department is working hard to move forward and restore the public’s trust.

“It’s disappointing that such a long-existing conspiracy involving criminal corruption is coming to and end with three misdemeanor convictions and a year of probation,” Napier said.

Of course, nobody else involved in this little scheme to turn public funds into a personal slush fund, during Radtke’s time or during the twelve years (at least) prior, have been charged or seemingly even investigated.

In South Dakota, Yet Another Former “Officer of the Year” Caught Stealing

In  November, South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Brian William Biehl was arrested for stealing just under $70,000 from evidence that was originally stolen by way of drug seizures. As part of a plea deal (embedded below) earlier this month, Trooper Biehl pled guilty to those charges and admitted that he had taken the cash out of evidence bags and had been doing so for at least four years. Biehl used the excuse that he needed the money to pay bills and stated “I know I screwed up,” while maintaining that he planned to eventually pay it back.

Via the Capital Journal:

Biehl’s arrest was based on an investigation conducted by the state Division of Criminal Investigation. It began in October, according to an affidavit written by DCI Special Agent Guy Di Benedetto, who conducted the investigation.

On Oct. 21, Di Benedetto said in the affidavit, Assistant Attorney General Michael Sharp went to the Highway Patrol’s Chamberlain squad office to review evidence for a trial with two troopers, one of whom was Biehl. During the review, $3,850 worth of cash came up missing from an evidence bag that was supposed to contain $7,590 that had been seized in the case.

That same day, Biehl and another trooper met with their lieutenant and captain. Another $1,540 was found to be missing from an evidence bag that was supposed to contain $4,262 of cash seized following an arrest Biehl had made, according to Di Benedetto’s affidavit.

Biehl’s captain asked the DCI to conduct an investigation after the second discovery was made. After the DCI was called in, Biehl asked to meet with his sergeant. According to the affidavit, they met along Interstate 90 near White Lake and Biehl admitted to taking the missing cash.

It was then, Di Benedetto said, that he went to Chamberlain to speak with Biehl. During the interview, Di Benedetto said, Biehl waived his Miranda rights and said being “short on money” was one of the reasons he started pilfering cash from evidence bags.

Initially, Biehl told Di Benedetto that he had taken about $20,000 over the course of four or five years. Biehl said he still had evidence bags from which he’d taken money. Eventually, Biehl would tell Di Benedetto that he had planned to pay all of the money back, the affidavit said.

Di Benedetto’s affidavit also said Biehl denied taking money from suspects before it had been seized as evidence, that he never took money from someone and “kicked them loose” and that he denied seizing drugs and selling those for money.

By the end of Di Benedetto’s interview, Biehl admitted that he’d probably taken more than $53,000 of cash seized from suspects in his cases. Biehl could not recall all the details from each case but told Di Benedetto that he had, at one point, taken all $20,000 he’d seized in one case about three years ago. Biehl said the money sat in his evidence locker for a year before he started slipping cash from the evidence bag.

Di Benedetto also asked Biehl if he remembered when he started taking money. Biehl said the first instance occurred in 2012 but he couldn’t recall the exact details of the case. The last time Biehl said he took seized cash from a case was Oct. 19, 2016, according to the affidavit.

Through the course of his investigation, Di Benedetto wrote, he found that Biehl had taken money from a total of 15 different cases between May 5, 2015 and Oct. 19, 2016 for a total of $69,668.

In addition to being named “Officer of the Year” in 2012 (the same year his crime spree began), Trooper Biehl is also currently the school board president for an area school district. For some reason, even after he has pled guilty to a felony involving stealing public money, there’s some confusion currently about his status in that position. Logic would dictate that he probably should be in the process of being removed, but logic doesn’t always apply to the treatment of Police Heroes and other public employees. Platte-Geddes School Superintendent Joel Bailey has refused to comment based on it being a “personnel matter.”

(NOTE: Trooper Biehl’s K-9 was also named “Service Dog of the Year” in 2012. However, there is no evidence that I am aware of currently that the as yet unnamed dog was in any way involved or even aware of Biehl’s thefts.)

Meanwhile, Trooper Biehl is facing  up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, on top of $42,000 he has already been ordered to pay as fees and restitution. He is due back in court for sentencing in March. I will make sure to update you on how long his probation will be then.