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

Lt Tom Melton LVMPD SWAT Commander Elderly Exploitation

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

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

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

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

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

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Alabama Sheriff Tyrone Clark Indicted on Ten Charges Related to Prison Drug and Sex Trafficking Ring

Former Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark, who was impeached in July, has now been indicted for his involvement in a drug and sex trafficking ring that was run by an inmate in the Sumter County Prison. The top Bad Apple of Sumter County is accused of providing an inmate, Rodney Coats, access to a private area within the prison’s administration building, as well as a laptop with internet access. Coats used this to run a drug operation outside of the prison.

In addition, Sheriff Clark is accused of keeping a women captive within a trailer. According to the unnamed woman she was forced to provide drugs to Coats and was routinely raped by Coats and by detention officers, as well as Clark. Clark also reportedly gave special treatment to certain inmates and even allowed them to leave the prison in order to perform work on his own house or for his friends.

Via the Montgomery Advertiser:

During his impeachment trial, assistant attorney generals fleshed out a laundry list of allegations against Clark. Most of them centered around Clark’s friendship with Rodney Coats — an inmate at the Sumter County Prison who was made a “trustee.”

While most inmate trustees are low-risk, nonviolent offenders, Coats has eight criminal charges pending against him with a bond totaling $675,000.

A former chief deputy to Clark testified against him at his impeachment trial, stating that Coats had unsupervised access to what was known around the jail as “Coats’ Quarters,” located in the administration building.

Found in “Coats’ Quarters” was a television, bus seats from Clark’s old campaign bus, a couch, a toolbox and a laptop labeled “Sheriff” that Coats used to monitor his drug operation from jail, testimony indicated.

One woman testified that she was held against her will in a trailer controlled by Coats, which was equipped with surveillance cameras that fed into his jail laptop. She said she was regularly made to bring drugs to Coats in his quarters, where he and other detention officers raped her. She also accused Clark of sexual assault.

Clark denied her allegations, as well as being aware that she had been brought to Coats.

Some former inmates testified that Clark let them leave the jail to go work on his house or perform other jobs for community members. Under cross-examination, Clark admitted to knowing this was a crime when he allowed it to happen…

Three of the counts fall under felony ethics violations. Clark is accused of using his public office for private gain in connection to allegedly allowing inmates to work on his private property.

Sumter County District Attorney Greg Griggs said the other charges are as follows:

  • Two separate counts that forbid sheriff from using county inmates from working on personal property (one count for each home)
  • First-degree promoting prison contraband
  • Second-degree promoting prison contraband
  • Criminal conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime
  • First-degree human trafficking
  • First-degree perjury, which stems from alleged false testimony Clark gave to a Sumter County Grand Jury

Local Video Coverage of Sheriff Clark Being Arrested

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