A Columbus, Ohio, police detective has been arrested and is accused of having taken a $5,000 gratuity in exchange for protecting a man allegedly involved in drug trafficking. The 48-year-old officer is facing federal criminal charges. He is a 22 year veteran of the police department.
He has recently, after his arrest, been put on unpaid leave from his job. Prosecutors claim that he came into contact with the reputed drug dealer during trips that he often took to the Columbus Hollywood Casino for the purpose of gambling. He reportedly went to the casino over 100 times in less than a year, bought over $100,000 in casino chips, and allegedly sometimes went gambling when he was supposed to be at work.
The officer was assigned to work on solving robberies. The charges now lodged accuse him of involvement in attempted heroin distribution, as well as being in possession of a firearm while involved in drug trafficking.
The officer allegedly protected the drug dealer while he picked up a payment for drugs and again when he took delivery of a vehicle believed to be filled with heroin destined for resale.
The officer came under investigation as a result of customs and immigration law enforcement agents observing him while investigating the drug dealer. The drug dealer ultimately cooperated in the investigation and allowed agents to monitor his calls with the officer, and as a result, a sting operation was carried out.
Anyone facing such serious drug related charges needs to obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend them. There may be a variety of defense worth exploring, including issues concerning the legality of various surveillance carried out and search and seizure issues.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Columbus police detective 'sold badge for $5,000' to protect drug dealer, magistrate told" Kathy Lynn Gray, Jul. 23, 2013