Tag Archives: War on (Some) Drugs

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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Video: Arkansas Police Beat Fifteen Year Old Who is Clearly Not Resisting Over Marijuana Pipe

Police Brutality Teen Farmington Arkansas

Two cops in Farmington, Arkansas assaulted a fifteen year old boy for the dangerous crime of having a dirty pipe in his pocket.

Note: This post and the video included with it was shared with Nevada Cop Block via 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 post was originally published on the “NWA Lifestyle” blog by

In the video, the teen is clearly not resisting and based on his size and the fact that the two cops are each much bigger wouldn’t be much of a threat even if he intended to resist. Whether they were angry because he was initially reluctant to admit he had a pipe on him or they are just bullies that like to beat up on children, what this video shows amounts to child abuse. Abuse that anyone else not wearing one of those Magic Uniforms, including that teen’s own parents, would likely get arrested for.

Farmington Cops Use Excessive Force on Teenager in Kum ‘n’ Go

In a world where we encounter daily posts of videos showing excessive force by the police, here comes yet another example of police brutality. On December 31, 2017 the Farmington Police Department out of Farmington Arkansas arrested a 15 year male juvenile at a Kum ‘n’ Go. Initially detained under the suspicion of having a weed pipe in his pocket the encounter took a sudden violent turn.

The young man was in the bathroom of the popular convenience store, with his friend, when two police officers entered the bathroom and asked the young man what was in his pocket. Initially not wanting to admit that he had the pipe, the young man then admitted that it was a weed pipe to the law enforcement officers. When he went to pull the pipe out the police officers brutally threw the child against the wall and broke out his front tooth, all the while the kid is screaming in pain and declaring he isn’t resisting arrest. The officers continue to twist his arms and kneel on his back, even more brutally when the child loses his temper and calls them names after his tooth is knocked out and he is spouting blood everywhere.

Speaking for myself, I am horrified and disgusted at this behavior from law enforcement. These two cops, who are clearly larger and far stronger than the 5’7” , 125 LB., 15 year old obviously did not feel a threat of danger while they left another unattended teenager to film them. The boy continually cries out that he isn’t resisting. When he loses his temper, letting out a barrage of curses at the bully cop who just slammed his face into a wall, breaking his front tooth out; the officer elbows his face and twists the kid’s arms all he way up his back in what is clearly excessive and unnecessary force and revenge.

In a community that is usually a small and fairly quiet community the police forces seem to like to ignore rising gang problems and focus their attention on teens smoking weed, treating them like potential violent offenders? These officers were clearly NOT in danger, felt no threat of being in danger and had no cause to exert the amount of force they used on this child, which left medical damage to not only his face, but left a myriad of muscle damage to his back and shoulders.

For more on this story more commentary on Farmington as a deeper look at everything involved in this ongoing case please stay tuned, I will be writing a complete commentary and situation review. Be careful Farmington and Fayetteville residents! All around you gangs, like Gangster Disciples are growing bigger? Shootings in Farmington? Yes there are! Gangs of teenagers breaking into apartments and houses and jumping your kids? Yes, this is happening right down the road, but you aren’t hearing about it because it’s juveniles doing the offending! Yes this IS happening and you aren’t being told. Instead of dealing with the rising the gang problem, even when occurrences are being reported right away, you’ve got the quickly notorious Farmington Police Department beating up kids in their favorite spot, Kum ‘n’ Go.

I say let’s put an end to this abuse of power: email me all your stories, tell me everything; I’m airing it all!

Email me at [email protected]

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Fourteen Members of “Law Enforcement” Charged As Result Of An FBI Drug Sting in North Carolina

Earlier this week, it was announced that after a two year long drug sting involving the FBI a total of fourteen members of law enforcement have been charged with drug crimes, including eleven within the state of North Carolina. According to WRAL-TV, all of the arrestees from North Carolina have confessed since being arrested. It wasn’t clear if that was part of a plea deal or if they simply chose to confess (my money is on door #1).

The arrests for charges related to cocaine and heroin included eight current or former police officers, three correctional officers, two Virginia prison employees, and one 911 dispatcher. The dispatcher, as well as all eight of the law enforcement  officers except one work or had worked for the Northampton County (NC) Sheriff’s Office. That includes five current and two former NCSO deputies.

Via WSPA News 7:

Thomas Walker, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, said multiple people were arrested in a major sting of cocaine and heroin operations. Those arrested include five current members of the Northampton County sheriff’s office.

They were charged with trafficking cocaine and heroin up and down the I-95 corridor.

On Wednesday in court, prosecutors showed photos and video of alleged wrong-doing, WRAL reported.

“They all gave some sort of confession,” a prosecutor told the judge, according to the TV station. “Each of these defendants admitted to their involvement.”

Nine of the officers were not granted bail on Wednesday because the judge said he needed more time to review the case, according to WRAL.

Walker said there were arrests at an airport in Halifax County and a warehouse in Rocky Mount. A second group was arrested at a warehouse in Rocky Mount. The undercover operation, called “Operation Rockfish,” has been ongoing for about a year and a half…

Arrested were:

  • Ikeisha Jacobs, 32, a deputy with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Jason Boon, 29, a Northampton deputy
  • Jimmy Pair, 48, a Northampton deputy
  • Curtis Boone, 31, a Northampton deputy
  • Thomas Jefferson Allen II, 37, a Northampton deputy
  • Wardie Vincent Jr., 35, a former Northampton deputy
  • Cory Jackson, 43, formerly with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Antonio Tillmon, 31, a Windsor City policeman
  • Adrienne Moody, 39, a North Carolina correctional officer
  • Alaina Sue Kamling, 27, a North Carolina correctional officer
  • Kavon Phillips, 25, a North Carolina correctional officer
  • Lann Tjuan Clanton, 36, a correctional officer with the Virginia Department of Corrections
  • Alphonso Ponton, 42, a Virginia correctional officer
  • Tohsa Dailey, 31, a 911 dispatch operator for Northampton County
  • Crystal Pierce, 31, of Raleigh

FBI Agent John Strong, who said he and the other agents involved were shocked (I tellya!) by the involvement of police officers, characterized it as “a breach of the public’s trust” in which those officers used their positions “to line their own pockets.”

Another guy who is shocked (I tellya!) is Northhampton County Sheriff Jack Smith, who saw roughly 15% of his 35 deputy department marched away in handcuffs, as a result of the case. He agreed with Agent Strong that this type of thing just cannot be tolerated, especially from members of law enforcement, stating:

“They’ve let me down. They’ve let the sheriff’s office down,” Smith said. “They’ve let the citizens down as well as their families. Most of them have children and they’ve let the down as well.”

For the record, guess who is not surprised at all by this and won’t be in any way surprised when they all get light sentences and possibly even just probation. (I’m talking about me, in case that isn’t really obvious.)

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Niagara Falls Police Conduct Vendetta of Harassment And Theft Against Cancer Victim’s Family

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Adam Alkhatib, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It details the harassment he and his family have been subjected to (including theft of their rightful property) by members of the Niagara Falls Police Department over the past two years.

Much of this harassment, including several arrests and felony charges, has been directed at his older brother Joe and began shortly after their father died from cancer. Alkhatib states that the ongoing and severe harassment against his family has not only deprived them of their rights, but also placed them in a very difficult situation financially.

Make sure you check the information provided below for the number of the Niagara Falls Police Dept. complaint line, as well as the link to the Facebook page for the official City of Niagara Falls (NY) tourism information. Let both of them know what you think of the behaviour of the police officers representing them.

In addition, the Niagara County Health Department was involved in initiating the original investigation that led to this harassment. Don’t forget to let them know your opinion of their role in this, as well.

Date of Incident(s): Various and ongoing incidents between August, 2014 and April, 2016
Department Involved: Niagara Falls (NY) Police Department
Officers Involved: Detective Conte/Dennis Virtuoso
Department Phone Number: (716) 286-4547
Department Complaint Line: (716) 286-4711
Niagara Falls (NY) Police Narcotics Task Force Google+ Profile: Write a Review Online
City of Niagara Falls Facebook Page: Niagara Falls Tourism Info
Niagara County (NY) Department of Health: Contact Us
Niagara County (NY) Health Department Facebook Page: Niagara County Department of Health

My brother has been a model citizen his entire life, he took control and managed the businesses when our father was diagnosed with cancer that spread throughout his entire body. My brother became guardian to me and my siblings, he took care of us our entire lives, never leaving our side once. He has been a great role model, and parent alike.

He has faced so much already, from battling with our other siblings and father’s ex wives over the estate, and the future of the properties/businesses, countless years wasted away in court over material possessions that he was entrusted to. He has given more than any other person in our family. He has been the glue keeping everything together.

In July or August 2014, the Niagara Falls Health Department came down to our business with the entire Narcotics Detective Squad. The police didn’t have a warrant they were simply there to “protect the health department workers”. The reason the health department came down to inspect every single room at our small family motel, was because of a completely fabricated YouTube video, with pictures and scary music that was showing deplorable living conditions obviously obtained from the dark internet.

The images were searched using a reverse image search engine, showing the exact location where the pictures were derived from. All of them were from completely different countries, not even close to where we are located or even on the same side of the world. They launched an investigation due to the YouTube video and they then tried to condemn rooms for the most simple of problems (missing smoke detector batteries, missing outlet covers, even because there were bees near the roof). They gave a total over 100 violations and condemned a few rooms, and they wanted $50,000 in fines for the violations.

Niagara Falls Police Department CruiserThe narcotics detectives made every tenant leave their room, and searched the rooms combing over everything they owned looking for illegal and illicit items/drugs. The police had found “a needle and a bb gun” and used that as the main point of the news articles that were published (obviously planted due to the rooms being unoccupied and nobody was allowed in once they were in the room). They had literally blasted us in the news and on the local TV news stations. All of our regular customers disappeared and we dropped down 90% of all our sales/income.

They forced us to take in low income families, mostly sent from government agencies and social services, for at risk people. They gave us no choice but to accept money wherever it came from, then they ridiculed us for the type of people that we had living there. They killed off all of our clientele and gave us a bad rap with all of the locals.

The next thing that happened was the worst, one of the tenants living at the motel was a drug user and was going around robbing and stealing, always making his way back to the motel where he lived. The police came one morning banging on my door, they were banging on the office door, and then they were banging on the sliding glass door behind the house and office, in an enclosed area.

The tenant had placed stolen ladders behind the fence to hide them from view and the police came and seized the ladders they wanted (without a warrant) and left. A few days later they came back with a search warrant. My brother was out driving somewhere when I called him and advised him of what was happening. He had to pull over in a parking lot to call his lawyer.

The police then found him and had stopped him in his vehicle, arrested him, impounded his truck, and brought him back to the motel, where they took his keys and opened the doors. They took every piece of equipment that they deemed worth money, cherry-picking through all of our tools and equipment. On the warrant they showed me, there were four things: ladders, Ryobi tools, paint sprayers, and construction wood or materials. My brother had to drive down to the police station weeks later just to retain a copy of the warrant and they had changed a few items on the warrant versus the one that they showed me the day of the raid. (They refused to give me a copy and only showed it to me briefly, then promptly took it away.)

The police literally took everything we had, from our snow blower that we bought at home depot, a parking lot blower, a jack hammer, ladders, and every expensive electric tool/equipment we had. They took the best tools and equipment and left half of all the tools and equipment that we had. (They took what they wanted and only left what didn’t have much value). My brother has had multiple businesses and has more than a few properties, as well as a second house. He was planning on selling or renting out the empty buildings/properties that he had and so he consolidated everything to the motel especially after he got hurt and disabled.

The motel is where we do the most work; it requires constant and 24/7 attention. There is always some type of work needing to be done, improvements needing to be made. We do all of the work ourselves when we can. It’s what we have done for decades to lessen the cost of expenses in order to survive. It was the best option at hand for a small family business. We had backhoes, heavy equipment, everything needed to do major work.

I have lived at the house/motel nearly my entire life. Every single time work needed to be done whether it was hired out or with just some workers we had hired, I was always, always, always put alongside the workers so that I could do one thing…learn. He always made me help out so that I could learn the task at hand. I have done everything at that motel….roofing, siding, drywall, painting, plumbing, drain tile work, digging, HVAC, carpeting, sealing the driveway with tar, as well as the black top. I have done everything imaginable, and have learned so much. I was actually the go-to kid when something needed to be fixed or done. I was there in the trenches along with everyone else working hard, simply to be able to do the work for myself and for the motel once I’m older. This was the same way my brother learned from our father himself.

Niagara Falls Police Dept LogoThe worst part is that not one thing the police took from us was ever reported stolen. Instead, they coerced people into making statements claiming ownership. They even approached the owner of ABC Rental, where we had purchased a jack hammer (over 10+ years ago), and a Little Wonder parking lot blower that we’ve also had for 10+ years and which we bought from him at two different locations).

They got the owner to claim that they never sold us the equipment and can “prove” it went missing from their inventory. (We have our own proof that I won’t disclose here, but it shows that they are cooking the books if they really have “records” of something that was never in their inventory.) How does a rental company, which is in the business of renting/selling used equipment, not make a police report when a customer takes off with the equipment that they’re making a living off of? A company that rents stuff out like that, has all the information on who is renting the items as well as credit cards on file, and they sure as hell wouldn’t let someone get away with any equipment. There should be a paper trail, of police reports, even a paper trail with their insurance company as anyone missing big ticket items would have to have made a claim to get reimbursed.

However, that’s not the case and none of that ever happened. They magically let it disappear from their inventory without notifying police or making a report. The guy who owns the company has a shady, shady log of complaints lodged against him and his stores. His credibility is shoddy and with a single search of the Better Business Bureau or a simple Google Search, will show all the other complaints that never even made it that far.

The owner is trying to get free equipment that he already sold, as well as making friends/favors with the police. The computer system of theirs has been “updated recently” and all of the records of purchases under the business name are gone.  They have no record of our purchases (how likely). The value of the 15+ year old jackhammer is well under $1000, as well as the parking lot blower that is old and used. Yet my brother was charged with two felonies (items in excess of $1000), when in reality you can purchase a brand new jackhammer or parking lot blower for less than that. We have a big tar tank/trailer that we use every year for sealing the driveway as we have done for the past 10+ years, we never had to hire out someone to seal our driveways at the four different properties.

The police have been targeting my family and specifically my brother Joe, who has done nothing wrong. My uncle Tom keeps cars that he is trying to sell or just cars he isn’t using at the motel. They sit there until my uncle needs to do something with them. Someone took off the plates from one of his cars and switched them with my brother Joe’s plates on his daily vehicle that he drives all the time. The police pulled him over and arrested him for having stolen plates, (the car is registered and insured in his name, he never had a reason to use bad plates) and they gave him a slew of tickets and driving infractions while they were at it. The entire situation smells like sabotage.

Niagara Falls Police DeptThe police have since then arrested my brother several other times, including recently (in April, 2016) for obstruction of a government official. We have a tenant that is being evicted for non-payment of rent. (The process was started before any of the recent water problems.) That tenant was purposely running the hot and cold water constantly to run up our water/heat bills. He told police that he had a toilet leak, which was causing the excess use. Toilets do not run on hot water, yet the police forced us to turn the water back on. In fact, the tenant did not have anything wrong with the toilet and even refused to let us do repairs because none had to be made since the toilet had no actual leak. The smart meter showed that there was a leak and even how many feet away it was detected, leading right to the pipes going into his room.

The police entered the closed motel office (lights off and everything) and proceeded to enter the house area, where the door to the meter was locked, and they yelled at my brother to turn the water on. (He had a friend over and was busy.) They also wanted to follow him off camera and down into the basement dwelling where the pipes are. My brother refused to let the officer follow him down there where he wasn’t being protected by the cameras we have on the property. He simply closed the basement door behind him and the officer then went in the basement and arrested him for obstruction. Then after the water was turned on they still wrote him a violation for the water being off.

A leak constitutes as an emergency, so there is no way that is legal. The leak itself is reason enough to turn the water off. They wouldn’t arrest the tenant for theft of services. They wouldn’t arrest the tenant when we had him on camera stealing a flat screen TV from another room and even had him on camera selling it to a drug dealer. The police said that all reports have to be made online and did nothing after viewing the camera footage. They are purposely leaving us in the dark and using their color of uniform to deprive us of our natural given rights and yet they deny us any help. Whenever we call, it takes over an hour for them to even show up.

The police have been sullying our name and manipulating news articles to be one sided against us. They have a problem with our last name because it is Palestinian. (They just call it/us ARAB.) My brother has been in the same place for over 40 years and he is Polish, Jewish, and Palestinian, he is probably on of the longest/oldest running motel owners in Niagara Falls, and they want us out really badly. They are trying everything in their power to gang up against my brother and family.

They are the worst, most corrupt officers in the entire nation, only in Niagara Falls can stuff like this happen, and only the Niagara Falls Police can get away with such heinous acts. They deprive us of our civil rights and then don’t even help when we call the police for something. They are unjust and their tactics are highly illegal. Nothing they do is by the book and all over the internet are horrible complaints lodged against the Niagara Falls NY Police Department.

– Adam Alkhatib

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Miami Cop Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes to Protect and Serve Drug Dealers

Miami Police Officer Jose Maldonado-Dick accepted a plea bargain last week in which he admitted to accepting bribes to essentially serve as security for drug dealers while they were making sales. This apparently was something he had been doing prior to the two instances for which he was arrested in October of 2014.

Unfortunately for him, a police informant tipped off some of his co-workers that Ofc. Maldonado-Dick was involved in drug sales. They then set up two additional drug deals, which they recorded.

According to testimony at his trial, Maldonado-Dick received $1,900 in exchange for sitting inside his patrol car, with his department issued pistol drawn and ready to murder someone, while two staged drug deals took place. He also offered some helpful “how-to’s” on being a better drug dealer between the sales.

Via NBC 6 Miami:

Maldonado-Dick allegedly used his uniform, gun and badge to protect drug dealers and make sure they were safe to conduct their transactions on the streets…

According to the arrest affidavit, a confidential police informant called Maldonado-Dick to arrange two illegal drug transactions involving large amounts of cocaine. The informant told Maldonado he needed protection during the transactions, according to prosecutors.

Maldonado met with the informant several times and oversaw the two drug transactions conducted by the informant and an undercover officer, according to the affidavit. For one of the transactions, Maldonado-Dick suggested they use the McDonald’s parking lot near his patrol area, the affidavit said. The officer allegedly arrived to each meeting in his marked City of Miami Police patrol car. He was dressed in full uniform and armed with his standard issue Glock handgun, the affidavit said.

Because of the fact he used a gun while playing bodyguard for what he thought were drug dealers, Maldonado-Dick was originally facing a life sentence for each of his two trafficking charges. Typically, Florida courts are particularly harsh in regards to cocaine based charges due it’s prevalence there and have very long mandatory minimum sentencing restrictions along with a reluctance to offer plea bargains. In fact:

It is important to note that prosecutors do not waive minimum mandatory prison sentences, reduce charges, or offer reduced sentences just because your criminal defense attorney asked them to. It also makes no difference whether you are willing to do community service hours, seek counseling or attend rehab.

The only thing that would motivate a prosecutor to act on a trafficking in cocaine case is a legal issue or an evidentiary problem. (Emphasis added)

Unlike possession of cocaine for personal use, trafficking in cocaine is the most severe commercial drug offense. Someone charged with trafficking in cocaine should not expect any mercy whatsoever from prosecutors.

Of course, if you’re wearing a magic suit and shiny badge while trafficking coke then those prosecutors are much more merciful than they are with ordinary victims of the War on (Some) Drugs, even when you were caught on video doing it and the evidence is pretty much airtight. Instead of a life sentence or even the 15 year mandatory minimum for the crimes he was originally charged with, Ofc. Maldonado-Dick was offered a plea bargain for just three and a half years in jail and another three years probation.

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Breaking: Former Oklahoma Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw Found Guilty of Rape

Just a few hours ago, the jury in the trial of Former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw returned a guilty verdict against him on 18 total counts of sex related crimes, including rape.

Via NBCnews.com:

Holtzclaw, 29, hung his head and began sobbing and rocking back and forth as the verdicts were read. The jury found him guilty of 18 counts of sexual battery, rape and other offenses.

Holtzclaw was charged with 36 counts of rape, forcible oral sodomy, burglary and other charges.

The sentences recommended by the jury along with each guilty verdict add up to more than 260 years, NBC affiliate KFOR reported. Hotzclaw is scheduled to be sentenced in January. District Attorney David Prater said he will ask the sentences be served consecutively.

Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger told the court that Holtzclaw preyed on vulnerable women — all African American, most with police records — he stopped while on patrol.

The case had racial overtones, and attracted the interest of the Black Lives Matter movement. Holtzclaw is white, and all of his victims are black. The jury was made up of eight men and four women, all of whom appeared to be white.

Officer Daniel Holtzclaw

Convicted Rapist and Former Officer Daniel Holtzclaw

Some supporters of the victims sang “Happy Birthday” — Holtzclaw turned 29 Thursday — outside court after the verdicts were read, KFOR reported.

The lead detective in the case, Kim Davis, said after the verdict: “I feel horrible for his family. It’s brutal, but I think justice was served,” The Associated Press reported.

Thirteen women took the stand and told strikingly similar stories — Holtzclaw coerced them into having sex after threatening to arrest them on outstanding warrants or for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Most didn’t dare report what allegedly happened to them to police. “I didn’t think anyone would believe me,” one woman testified. “I’m a black female.”

It wasn’t until a black woman in her 50s — identified in court papers as J.L. — came forward and told police what allegedly happened after Holtzclaw stopped her on June 18, 2014, that an investigation was launched.

So long as he doesn’t get the usual preferential treatment based on his having been a cop, Holtzclaw should more than likely not see the outside of a jail again. Especially since he used his shiny badge and magical uniform, along with the War on (Some) Drugs, to create the opportunity to commit those crimes in the first place.

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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

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Ten Puerto Rican Police Officers Arrested in FBI Corruption Sweep

Puerto Rico Police CorruptionEarlier this week, the FBI announced the arrests of ten police officers in Puerto Rico and stated that they expected there to be additional arrests forthcoming. The arrestees, including a sergeant and a lieutenant, consisted of members of the U.S. territory’s anti-drug unit.

They are accused of stealing as much as $175,000 in cash during drugs, some of which were not legally carried out. They also took bribes from drug suspects they had arrested in exchange for releasing them. In one instance, they allowed a drug-trafficking fugitive to go free in exchange for two high powered rifles. They’ve also been accused of falsifying evidence to justify raids and federal prosecutors are investigating whether people may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, as a result.

In a fairly ironic statement considering the numerous similar abuses of the “War on (Some) Drugs” in general and seizure laws in particular, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez stated:

“These officers used their badges and abused their authority. What appeared to be a legitimate police operation was nothing else but an organized criminal act.”

The Puerto Rican police chief is currently in the process of restructuring the unit in light of the arrests and widespread corruption within it:

Police Chief Jose Caldero said he will restructure the department’s 16 anti-narcotics units and require those in them to undergo polygraph tests, a first for the island’s police agency. There are currently 320 officers in those divisions.

“We will clean house,” he vowed. “We will not tolerate corruption.”

The police in Puerto Rico have a long history of corruption, murder, and civil rights abuses. The Puerto Rican Police Department is currently being monitored as part of a federally mandated 10 year reform program. That was prompted by the arrest of 89 police officers across Puerto Rico by the FBI in 2010 (see embedded video below). In the past five years alone, over 100 officers have been arrested. The reforms have been criticized heavily as incomplete and too slow.

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Civil Asset Seizure Restrictions Now in Effect in Montana and New Mexico

Asset Forfeiture ProfitsOn Wednesday, laws enacted earlier in the year in Montana and New Mexico went into effect, limiting the ability of police and other law enforcement agencies to use civil asset seizure laws within those states. Civil asset seizures, also commonly known as forfeiture laws, have been some of the biggest drivers of police abuses since they were partnered with the “War on (Some) Drugs” back in the eighties. The size, militarization, and lethality of police departments have all increased in leaps and bounds over the past few decades, as a result of that unholy partnership.

Once the easy access to cash that seizure laws created became a temptation and, in many cases, evolved into a budgetary necessity for police departments and local governments across the country, abuses skyrocketed. Oftentimes, lethal raids and prosecutions have been predicated more on the desire and expectation of collecting assets from the target than ant actual strength of evidence. Along the way, there’s been numerous high profile cases where that evidence and other probable cause elements were even fabricated outright.

Civil Asset Forfeiture IncreaseThe hunger for cash has precipitated an increasing tendency toward the prosecution of victimless crimes and prohibitions. No-knock raids, carried out by heavily armed SWAT teams, have become the norm in most large cities and even some smaller ones throughout the United States, as a result. Mistakes, or even intentional acts of malfeasance, have led to an exponential growth in deaths of non-violent offenders, most of whom don’t actually harm anyone except maybe themselves, and even innocent people caught up in the deadly cross fire.

The even bigger reality is that forfeiture laws themselves are an abuse of the legal system and an affront to basic civil rights . In theory, they allow law enforcement to eliminate illegally earned assets that have been laundered and to hurt criminal enterprises’ ability to fund their operations. In practice, very tenuous links to criminal activity have been used to seize money from people with very little to no due process involved. If you set out with the express purpose of creating a police state it would be difficult to find a better method to bring that to fruition.

Completely innocent people, who happened to be in possession of what police consider to be unusually large amounts of cash, have essentially been victims of highway robbery, even when they’ve had perfectly reasonable justifications for having it and despite the fact that shouldn’t even be a requirement. Other people have had property, such as real estate or transportation equipment (i.e. planes, trains, and automobiles), stolen from them even though they were just renting it to someone else and had no actual control over or knowledge of its specific use.

Forfeiture AbusePretty central to those two abuses has been the lack of a requirement for a conviction (or even charges in most instances) for seizures to be upheld, as well as the reversal of the normal judicial roles. In civil forfeiture cases, the accused has the burden of proving their innocence and that burden is often very high and prohibitively expensive. That’s especially true since the one they are required to prove that to many times is also dependent on the ill gotten gains generated by seizure profits.

Montana’s version of seizure reform addresses some of those issues by making it a requirement for targets of asset forfeiture to be convicted of a crime before their property can be taken. It also forces prosecutors to prove that third party owners were involved in the criminal acts where their property was used, in order for it to be seized.

New Mexico went one better and took the purse strings out of the hands of local law enforcement altogether. As Montana’s did, the new law makes seizures contingent upon a criminal conviction. However, even in the event of that, funds generated by forfeiture go into a “general fund,” rather than directly to a defacto slush fund for police departments making those seizures. Not allowing law enforcement entities to fund themselves through asset seizures obviously removes some of the incentives for them to look for opportunities to bring that proverbial hammer down.

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Like most reformist measures, both of these represent a step in the right direction, but not a complete solution. Requirements for convictions and due process within forfeiture procedure can go a long way toward preventing the outright stealing of assets. However, Montana still allows police to directly profit off seized funds. While there’s more protection after the fact, the temptation to risk “breaking a few eggs” in order to make that golden omelet remains.

Also, while the general fund in New Mexico doesn’t directly finance police departments, their budgets are included within it. Therefore, the amount that is sent their way can be shifted in relation to the revenue generated by forfeiture to ensure they get their “cut” by politicians wishing to curry law enforcement’s favor and/or wishing to pump their own budgets up. Loopholes are not hard to find and they rarely take long to be exploited by people whose jobs largely consist of doing exactly that.

Beyond those issues, the real and most dire problem is that once an innocent person is killed or a baby’s face is permanently disfigured in a money driven paramilitary raid, that bell just can’t be unrung. A truer solution would be to abolish both civil asset seizure and the War on (Some) Drugs that spawned its abusive crime spree in the first place, altogether.

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