NYPD Cop Arrested on Federal Drug Charges

2/4/13 The trial of Lamont Pride and Michael Velez continued today for the murder of police officer Peter Figoski. Here, NYPD logos from cop uniforms who attended the trial today. (pictured) 320 Jay Street, Brooklyn Supreme Court, Brooklyn, NY. Please credit Gregory P. Mango.

Originally published on July 15, 2015, at NationofChange.org

An NYPD officer was arrested on Monday for allegedly supplying oxycodone to a drug dealer in Vermont for three years. The officer’s accomplice hid the pills inside bags of Skittles that he mailed to the drug dealer’s infant niece to avoid detection. Unbeknownst to the officer and his accomplice, the drug dealer had secretly been cooperating with the DEA.

According to the multi-count indictment, NYPD Officer Andre Clarke began illegally supplying his accomplice, Michael Foreste, with oxycodone pills in 2011. Instead of operating directly with the drug dealer in Vermont, Officer Clarke reportedly supplied the opiate painkillers to Foreste, who personally brought the pills to Dannis Hackney of Burlington, Vermont. Foreste also sent the pills through the U.S. Mail by hiding them inside bags of Skittles addressed to Hackney’s infant niece.

On supervised release for a December 2008 federal drug conviction, Dannis Hackney began secretly working for the DEA while Foreste continued personally delivering and mailing oxycodone pills concealed inside resealed Skittles bags to Hackney’s two-month-old niece. During a traffic stop in Vermont two years ago, officers found 650 oxycodone pills hidden inside Foreste’s boxer shorts. Convicted of possession with intent to distribute, Foreste was sentenced in December 2013 to one year and one day in federal prison but remained free pending his appeal.

On May 16, 2014, Hackney was arrested with 300 oxycodone pills in his possession. Hackney agreed to cooperate with law enforcement officials but neglected to inform them about the drug packages to his niece. On June 10, 2014, DEA agents obtained a search warrant to seize a package addressed to Hackney’s infant niece. Inside the package, the DEA agents discovered a stuffed animal, infant’s clothing, a baby’s bib, a small purse, and two bags of Skittles candies. One of the Skittles bags contained 305 oxycodone pills.

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Doctor Sentenced to 45 Years for Providing Medically Unnecessary Chemo to Patients

Originally published on July 12, 2015, at NationofChange.org

An oncologist was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Friday after administering medically unnecessary chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer in order to overbill their insurance. Instead of saving lives, Dr. Farid Fata purposely misdiagnosed his patients so he could order more expensive treatments and invasive tests without concern for their health. After collecting millions of dollars from fraudulent claims to Medicare and private insurance companies, Dr. Fata was finally caught when two employees uncovered his crimes and decided to become whistleblowers.

After noticing an abnormality in her blood work, Monica Flagg’s primary care physician referred her to Dr. Fata, who owned and operated a cancer treatment clinic called Michigan Hematology Oncology (MHO) with multiple locations throughout Detroit and a diagnostic testing facility, United Diagnostics PLLC. In July 2012, Dr. Fata lied to Flagg and told her that she had aggressive multiple myeloma. Flagg endured numerous tests, three painful bone marrow biopsies, and copious amounts of immune boosters before undergoing a round of chemotherapy on July 1, 2013.

On the same day of her first and only chemotherapy treatment, Flagg later tripped over a suitcase in her bedroom and broke her leg. While recuperating at the hospital, Flagg met Dr. Soe Maunglay, who was another doctor in Dr. Fata’s practice taking care of his patients while Fata was on vacation in Lebanon. Concerned for Flagg’s health and suspecting his boss of purposely misdiagnosing his patients, Dr. Maunglay conducted a series of tests to determine whether or not Flagg even had cancer.

“He told me, ‘You don’t have cancer. You are 51 years old. You’re healthy. Don’t ever go back to Dr. Fata. Find a new doctor,’” Flagg recalled.

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FBI Investigating Police Cover-Up After Officers Killed Man Holding Air Rifle

FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 12: Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown on August 12, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Ferguson has experienced two days of violent protests since the killing but, tonight's protest was peaceful. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Originally published on July 9, 2015, at NationofChange.org

The FBI is launching an investigation into allegations that Florida deputies tampered with evidence and lied under oath after killing a man walking home with an unloaded air rifle. The Justice Department decided to look into the accusations when a photograph appeared revealing that the officer who fired the fatal shots had lied to investigators and possibly tampered with evidence to justify the shooting. Although the deputy was caught lying under oath, the sheriff blames the victim for his own death and gave the deputy a bravery award while the shooting was still under investigation.

On the afternoon of July 31, 2013, a 33-year-old computer engineer named Jermaine McBean was walking home after purchasing a Winchester Model 1000 Air Rifle from a local pawn shop. Uncertain whether McBean was balancing a real gun or a BB gun on his shoulders, three witnesses called 911 to report the incident. While driving his van down the road, Michael Russell McCarthy called 911 and informed the dispatcher that he was following a man possibly carrying a .22 caliber rifle or a pellet gun.

“He had a white plastic bag around the center of it, but the barrel was sticking out one end and the stock was sticking out the other end,” McCarthy recalled. “It was obvious it was a rifle. To be honest with you, the gun was painted camo but I wasn’t sure if it was a fake gun or a BB gun.”

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Over Two Dozen Witnesses and Suspects Mysteriously Die in Indian Cheating Scandal

In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 photo, Indians climb the wall of a building to help students appearing in an examination in Hajipur, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Even with police presence, parents and relatives are reported to scale building walls in order to pass notes to help students cheat in their exams. (AP Photo/Press Trust of India)

Originally published on July 8, 2015, at NationofChange.org

At least two dozen suspects, whistleblowers, and witnesses linked to a $1 billion cheating scandal continue to die under mysterious circumstances. Although many high-level government officials in central India have been accused of accepting bribes, law enforcement officials have primarily been targeting students and lower officials involved in the test-rigging scam. In response to the numerous deaths and the recent demise of an Indian reporter investigating the Vyapam scandal, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has instructed the Indian government to thoroughly investigate these suspicious deaths.

Since 2007, tens of thousands of students and job applicants in the central state of Madhya Pradesh have paid large bribes to manipulate their test results for entrance into medical schools and government positions. Students reportedly paid bribes between $15,000 and $40,000 for admission to medical schools because they could not pass the exams. While investigating complaints of imposters taking entrance exams for various medical schools, police in the city of Indore discovered multiple tests being rigged including recruitment exams for food inspectors, forest rangers, medical officers, police officers, and teachers.

After whistleblowers tipped them off, Indore Police raided a test center and arrested eight imposters taking a medical school entrance exam in July 2013. High-scoring students equipped with fake IDs were paid to impersonate applicants with lower scores. Many test proctors were bribed to allow applicants to sit next to the imposters so they could easily cheat off them. Other applicants left their answer sheets blank so bribed scorers could fill out their exams later with the correct answers.

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24th Correctional Officer Sentenced to Prison in Jail Racketeering Conspiracy

Originally published on July 2, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Caught participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving drug smuggling, assault, and money laundering, 24 correctional officers have been convicted for colluding with the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang in the Baltimore City Detention Center and several connected facilities. Altogether 40 correctional officers and BGF gang members or associates have been convicted for their participation in the wide-ranging conspiracy. On Wednesday, former correctional officer Ashley Newton was sentenced to 51 months in prison for smuggling contraband, money laundering, and allowing BGF gang members to assault other inmates.

Beginning as early as 2008, Newton began smuggling drugs and other contraband into prison for a succession of BGF leaders and had long-term sexual relationships with at least two BGF inmates, including Duron “Pinky” Young. On a daily basis, Newton smuggled prescription pills, marijuana, and tobacco for Young in exchange for payments, gifts, or a share of the profits. Newton also opened inmates’ cell doors to allow BGF members to assault other prisoners.

On May 19, 2011, Newton unlocked a door allowing a large number of BGF inmates to attack and repeatedly stab a prisoner. After Young targeted another inmate for selling contraband without his permission in 2012, Newton opened the door of the inmate’s section to permit Young and another BGF member to assault the inmate. Newton warned the BGF of upcoming prison searches by correctional officers and arranged for money to be sent to BGF inmates. She also facilitated phone calls between inmates, including calls from other prisons to BGF leader Tavon White.

“We’re about to go into a strange place, an upside-down world where inmates ran the prison and correctional officers took directions from the gang leader,” Prosecutor Robert Harding told jurors in his opening statements.

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Former Senator Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case

Originally published on July 2, 2015, at NationofChange.org

While investigating a Chinese organized crime syndicate operating in San Francisco, undercover FBI agents stumbled upon the illegal activities of a state senator associated with the criminal organization. In a case involving drug deals, gun trafficking, fraudulent credit cards, and a murder-for-hire conspiracy, former California State Senator Leland Yee was caught soliciting bribes, laundering money, and arranging an international illegal arms deal for shoulder-fired weapons and rocket launchers. On Wednesday, Yee pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and confessed to his direct involvement in multiple conspiracies.

On August 5, 2010, renowned Chinese gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow of the Chee Kung Tong (CKT) organization introduced an undercover FBI agent to CKT consultant and Yee political advisor, Keith Jackson. At Sen. Yee’s behest, Jackson repeatedly requested that the undercover FBI agent contribute to Yee’s campaign for mayor of San Francisco. The FBI agent later introduced Yee and Jackson to several other undercover FBI agents posing as campaign donors seeking political favors from Yee.

On the night of August 16, 2012, Keith Jackson informed the undercover FBI agent that his son, Brandon Jackson, was shipping approximately 300lbs of marijuana each month to Memphis, Tennessee, and asked the agent if he knew any contacts able to acquire large amounts of prescription drugs like Oxycotin or Hydrocodone. For the next year and a half, the Jacksons and their associate, a sports agent named Marlon Sullivan, frequently solicited the FBI agent to provide cocaine for them to sell.

After illegally selling three firearms to the undercover FBI agent on June 24, 2013, the Jacksons and Sullivan sold several handguns, rifles, a shotgun, and two ballistic vests, including one stolen from the FBI, to the undercover agent on the following day. Over the next few months, they continued to illegally sell firearms, discuss drug trafficking deals, and arrange a murder-for-hire plot, while soliciting campaign donations for Yee.

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Police Barring Release of Videos Showing Cops Killing Unarmed Innocent Man

Proceed with...

Originally published on June 30, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Several law enforcement organizations filed court documents last week seeking to suppress videos that recorded officers killing an unarmed innocent man and shooting his friend in the back. Attorneys for the police believe the officers should not be held accountable for their mistake and are fighting to bar the release of the videos. Although the district attorney claims that the victim appeared to be reaching for a weapon, multiple witnesses and an attorney for the victims’ families, who watched the videos, contradict the official narrative.

After his shift at a local restaurant ended on the evening of June 1, 2013, Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino joined his friends and his brother at Mis Amigos Bar in Gardena, California. Sometime after midnight, Diaz-Zeferino’s brother, Augustin de Jesus Reynoso, walked across the street with his bicycle to buy a lottery ticket at a CVS store. As he exited the CVS, Reynoso realized that his bike had been stolen.

A CVS employee called 911 reporting that Reynoso’s bicycle had been stolen. Although the caller told the dispatcher that he didn’t think the thief was armed, the 911 dispatcher did not relate this information to the officers responding to the theft. According to Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast, the theft report was misinterpreted as a robbery with unknown weapons involved.

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LAPD Releases Name of Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man in the Head

Originally published on June 29, 2015, at NationofChange.org

One week after an LAPD officer shot an unarmed man in the head, the department released the name of the officer on Friday. Police officials claim that the man had been walking towards the officer and his partner in aggressive manner with his hands wrapped in a gray cloth when the officer opened fire. Although it is standard procedure to handcuff suspects after shooting them, video footage clearly shows the man was unresponsive with a massive exit wound in the back of his head when they cuffed him.

At 6:35 p.m. on June 19, Officer Cairo Palacios and his partner were sitting in their patrol car stuck in traffic when they noticed a man standing on the sidewalk attempting to flag down the officers. According to LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, the officers heard 48-year-old Walter DeLeon calling out to them saying, “Police, police.”

The officers claim that DeLeon walked towards them in an “aggressive manner” while pointing at them with his hands wrapped in a gray cloth. Believing DeLeon had a gun hidden underneath the towel, the officers exited their vehicle and reportedly ordered him to drop the gun. When DeLeon allegedly did not comply, Officer Palacios opened fire shooting him in the head.

After DeLeon immediately fell to the ground, the officers searched him for weapons but found that he had been unarmed. A passing motorist recorded a graphic video of the officers handcuffing DeLeon even though he appeared unconscious with a massive exit wound in the back of his head and blood pouring down his neck. One of the motorists can be heard in the video exclaiming, “Oh! I see his brain!”

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Two Deputies and a Nurse Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter for Killing Student

Originally published on June 27, 2015, at NationofChange.org

A grand jury indicted two former deputies and a contract healthcare worker on felony involuntary manslaughter and related charges on Wednesday for beating and tasing a 21-year-old computer science student to death. Although the student was strapped to a restraining chair and left to die in an isolation cell, the grand jury dropped the murder charge against the deputy directly responsible for killing him. After the coroner ruled his death a homicide, nine deputies were fired last month for their participation in taking the student’s life.

Responding to a domestic disturbance at 6:15 p.m. on January 1, Savannah-Chatham police confronted a Savannah Technical College student named Matthew Ajibade and his girlfriend. According to the police report, Ajibade refused several commands to release his girlfriend and began resisting arrest. Officers slammed Ajibade to the ground before handcuffing him.

Ajibade was charged with battery against his girlfriend and resisting arrest. As officers subdued Ajibade, his girlfriend asked them to take Ajibade to the hospital and gave them his Divalproex medication, which treats the manic phase of bipolar disorder and seizures. Ajibade had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years earlier.

Instead of taking Ajibade to the hospital, officers transported him to the Chatham County jail at 6:40 p.m. While being booked, Ajibade allegedly became combative with deputies and attacked them. According to the sheriff’s office, a female sergeant suffered a broken nose and a concussion while two male deputies suffered injuries consistent with a fight.

Deputies placed Ajibade in an isolation cell and strapped him to a restraining chair. According to the indictment, Cpl. Jason Kenny repeatedly shot Ajibade with a Taser and struck him in the head and upper body as he remained strapped to the chair. While performing a welfare check on him the next morning, deputies found Ajibade unresponsive. Medical staff administered CPR and attempted to restart his heart with a defibrillator. A coroner pronounced him dead at 8:45 a.m.

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Police Officer Sentenced to 63 Months for Kicking in Suspect’s Teeth

Originally published on June 24, 2015, at NationofChange.org

A former Des Moines police officer was sentenced on Monday to 63 months in federal prison for kicking a restrained suspect in the face. Although dash cam footage from a patrol car caught the officer kicking in the suspect’s teeth and breaking his nose, Officer Colin Boone did not mention using excessive force in his arrest report. Instead of trying to cover up Officer Boone’s actions, his fellow officers reported the crime to their supervisors after learning Boone had submitted a false narrative.

Early on the morning of February 19, 2013, Orville Hill was driving his minivan on an icy road when he accidentally crashed into a concrete barrier. After several Des Moines police officers arrived on the scene, Hill panicked and attempted to drive away. The officers immediately pulled Hill from the van and threw him onto the ground before restraining him.

Dash cam footage revealed three officers holding Hill on the ground and a fourth cop standing over him when Officer Colin Boone ran up to them viciously kicking Hill in the face. Although Hill had been lying facedown and was not attempting to attack the officers, Boone knocked out two of his front teeth and broke his nose. After the incident, Hill was taken to Broadlawns Medical Center for treatment and stitches.

In his arrest report, Boone failed to mention using excessive force on the restrained suspect. Instead of trying to cover up the incident, Boone’s fellow officers reported the abuse to their supervisors. Dash cam footage from a patrol car verified their allegations against Boone.

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