13 Current and Former Law Enforcement Officers Arrested for Drug Trafficking

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

Thirteen current and former law enforcement officers, a 911 dispatch operator, and a civilian were indicted this week for allegedly participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy. After a two-year undercover investigation, the FBI arrested all 15 alleged conspirators on Wednesday as they attempted to transport what they thought was a shipment of illegal narcotics. Several of the defendants have also been charged with money laundering, extortion, bribery, attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and carrying firearms while trafficking drugs.

According to Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp, his office contacted the FBI after receiving numerous tips about police corruption taking place in Northampton County. The FBI began investigating these reports and launched a massive sting operation codenamed Operation Rockfish. Between 2013 and 2015, the FBI discovered numerous sheriff’s deputies, correctional officers, a police officer, a 911 operator, and a civilian participating in trafficking multiple kilograms of cocaine and heroin.

“We received numerous tips and information from confidential informants. We follow up on every lead and every tip to make sure it’s credible,” stated Sheriff Tripp. “I have a sick feeling in my stomach right now because we all take an oath to defend and protect the state and federal constitution. We’re not supposed to break the law.”

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No Honor Among Thieves: Corrupt Cops Sentenced to Prison

Originally published on February 7, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Two former Philadelphia police officers were sentenced to prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to robbing drug dealers, falsifying arrest reports, and selling heroin while on duty. After the FBI arrested Officer Jonathan Garcia for selling heroin while in uniform, Garcia informed on his partner in the hopes of reducing his sentence. Although Garcia began cooperating with authorities early on in the investigation, he received a harsher sentence due to the fact that his partner never sold heroin with him.

Between December 2009 and June 2012, Philadelphia police officers Jonathan Garcia and Sydemy Joanis devised a plan to arrest suspected drug dealers, rob them, and falsify seizure reports by failing to disclose the correct amount of money or drugs confiscated during the arrests. After becoming partners in 2009, Garcia and Joanis seized a large amount of marijuana during an arrest. Garcia convinced Joanis to falsify their report and keep half of the marijuana for themselves. After that initial theft, the officers developed a pattern of robbing drug dealers and lying on their reports.

“I had a decision to make,” Joanis recalled. “Whether I was going to turn someone in that I cared about, or just hope that no one ever found out. I didn’t have the courage to do the right thing.”

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