SCITUATE, R.I.March 5 2010
Source: ProJo.com — A four-month undercover cocaine investigation by the state police and the FBI led to the arrests of three Providence police officers Thursday, including one who was a school resource officer, another who worked with a federal agency investigating narcotics and one who once served as a driver for the capital city’s mayor.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Deception,” included the wiretapping of the officers’ cell phones, placing tracking devices on the suspects’ cars and photographs. Providence Police Chief Dean M. Esserman was made aware of the investigation on Dec. 1, said state police Supt. Brendan P. Doherty, about six weeks after an informant first contacted a state police detective, launching the probe.
The Providence officers were involved in what Doherty described as a high-level drug ring operated by a Providence supplier who was also the brother of one of the accused officers. Three alleged cohorts were arrested along with the officers.
Investigators are looking at several other “persons of interest,” including some other police officers, and Doherty advised anyone with knowledge to step forward. In so doing, Doherty emphasized, however, that “this was an isolated incident” by a “few rogue officers who compromised the trust that the citizens of Providence and Rhode Island put in them.”
As Doherty briefed reporters last evening with Esserman and Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch by his side, the three officers remained in custody in another section of the state police headquarters.
The three officers were identified as: Joseph Colanduono, 44, of West Warwick, a narcotics detective assigned to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration; Patrolman Robert J. Hamlin, 33, of East Providence, a school resource officer at Central High School; and Sgt. Stephen Gonsalves, 47, of Providence, who was a driver for Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline.
All three, investigators say, worked to protect a drug operation — spearheaded by Albert Hamlin, 28, of Providence — which regularly brought in tens of thousands of dollars in profit. Investigators say Patrolman Hamlin gave his brother the names and vehicle descriptions of Providence narcotic officers, Colanduono helped sell the drugs and Gonsalves, a cocaine user, solicited at least one other person to commit crimes.
All three officers were summoned, individually before Esserman on Thursday at police headquarters, where each was suspended without pay and forced to relinquish his badge and weapon. They were turned over to state police detectives waiting in a conference room. They were read their rights and handcuffed and led down an internal staircase to the basement.
None of them appeared to know they were targets of an investigation, said Esserman. And not one of them said a word, the chief said: “Not one word.”
“This is a hard day for the Providence Police Department,” Esserman said. “There are many things I’d like to say on a day like this, but it is hard now.” If the charges against his men are true, the chief said: “I wish I was the one who put the handcuffs on them.”
Though Patrolman Hamlin worked at Central High School, Doherty said investigators have no information that any drug sales went on at any schools.
Police displayed some of the $9,000 the say they was confiscated as part of Operation Deception.
The Providence Journal / Kris Craig
Only the officers’ cell phones were wiretapped, said Doherty. No wiretaps were performed inside the Providence Police Department.
Attorney General Lynch said, “Today’s arrests are yet another stark reminder that no one is above the law and that a police officer who breaks the law makes the job of the many honest police officers even more difficult.”
COLANDUONO IS charged with four counts of conspiracy to deliver cocaine and one count of compounding and concealing a felony.
He grew up in Providence and was hired in 1987. In 1992, he received the mayor’s award for outstanding police work, and in 1994, saved a woman who was being stabbed in the Chad Brown housing projects. He has spent more than a decade as a detective in the narcotics unit, winning a chief’s award in 2002 for his arrest of a mid-level cocaine dealer in Washington Park. Several years ago, Colanduono was chosen to work on a task force with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, where he participated in drug investigations across state lines that involved seizures of drugs, weapons and thousands of dollars.
Robert Hamlin is charged with two counts of conspiracy to possess cocaine. He grew up in South Providence and his father-in-law, also a Providence police officer, pinned on Hamlin’s badge when he joined the force in 2004.
Sgt. Stephen T. Gonsalves, who was arrested Thursdy, is shown receiving his sergeant’s badge from his brother, Sgt. William Gonsalves, in 2007.
Gonsalves, who comes from a Providence police family, faces four counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.
His brother is a sergeant and his father is a retired Providence police major. A former Marine, Gonsalves joined the department in 1988. He worked as a detective in the Youth Services Bureau and became a certified gang instructor, honored in 1994 by the House of Representatives for his work in the gang prevention unit. Gonsalves was promoted to sergeant in April 2007.
He was a driver for Cicilline for the first year or two of the mayor’s first term. Gonsalves’ wife, Xiomara, is the mayor’s executive assistant. Cicilline said he spoke with Mrs. Gonsalves on Thursday and she was “incredibly heartbroken.”
In a prepared statement, Cicilline said the arrests were “gravely disappointing” and have “very serious consequences. Good law enforcement relies on the public’s trust and confidence in the Police Department and, any time a police officer engages in this kind of behavior, that trust and confidence is undermined.”
Cicilline said this does “not represent the good and honorable work of the great men and women of the Providence Police Department, and if these allegations are proven, these individuals must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Police action began Thursday morning when investigators executed search and arrest warrants for two of the other three suspects who were charged.
At a morning search of two of Albert Hamlin’s residences, police say they seized about 300 grams of cocaine, some marijuana, $9,000 in cash and a loaded gun.
Among other charges, he faces three counts of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, seven counts of conspiracy to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.
Officers also searched the Central Falls home of Khalid Mason, 34, where the police say they found information that led them to a house of Salmon Street in Providence where they seized 125 grams of crack cocaine.
Mason is charged with possession of cocaine, conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Mason was one of two men arrested in 2004 on charges involving alleged drug-dealing at Mason’s apartment. In 2007, Mason claimed that the Providence police had planted the drugs in his apartment and that his lawyer, John M. Cicilline, the mayor’s older brother, said he could make the criminal charges go away if Mason and his co-defendant each paid him $100,000.
A federal judge found no evidence of the alleged shakedown, but three weeks later dismissed the case, at the government’s request, when police surveillance notes pivotal to the case were discovered — although police detectives had testified that they never existed.
The sixth man arrested Thursday was Jameson Hassett, 24, of 41 Sargent Ave., Providence, who was charged with two counts of conspiracy.
Gonsalves was released on personal recognizance Thursday night, while Colanduono and Robert Hamlin spent the night behind bars, as did their three codefendants. The five are scheduled to be arraigned this morning in District Court.
AJC.com Shots were fired, though no one was hit, during an altercation between groups affiliated with local rappers Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy that closed Walter’s Clothing in downtown Atlanta for about 30 minutes.
The fight started around 4 p.m. Thursday when Mane’s group walked into the store — popular with celebrities — and spotted Jeezy’s associates, said witness Patrick Morrison.
“There was a physical altercation inside the location between several men,” Atlanta police spokesman James Polite confirmed to the AJC. One of the men produced a weapon “and as a result a private armed security guard of a local entertainer discharged his weapon.”
Polite said the security guard, employed by local rapper Waka Flocka Flame, has been detained.
The fighting was intense, witnesses said. “They just started going at it,” said Morrison, a Walter’s employee.
Waka Flocka Flame, aka Juaqin Malphurs, is a member of Gucci Mane’s 1017 Brick Squad. His pseudonym alludes to the sound of cocking a semi-automatic pistol.
“Whoever he is he’s got a big swollen eye now,” Morrison said.
In January, Malphurs was shot in the arm while washing his car on Old National Highway. Police said he was approached at the Bubble Bath car wash by armed men demanding his jewelry.
Meanwhile, Gucci Mane, aka Radric Davis, is serving time at the Fulton County jail for a probation violation. He is set to be released in May.
His dispute with Young Jeezy, aka Jay Jenkins, dates back to 2005, according to Allhiphop.com. Their feud supposedly ended last December during an appearance on DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz show on Hot 107.9
DJ Drama, aka Tyree Cinque Simmons, who recorded several mixtapes with Young Jeezy, became involved in the feud when he decided to record with Gucci Mane in 2008, the site reports.
Salemnewsonline.com — Three men went on a shopping spree at the Northshore Mall that might have turned heads by the amount of merchandise involved.
But the only heads that turned were those of security guards, who said they watched the men stuff under their jackets bundles of clothes and electronics that ended up totaling $2,100.
Jayson C. Hebert, 35, of Everett; Richard T. Nolan, 26, of Somerville; and Ivan A. Caminero, 27, of Somerville were arrested Tuesday after Peabody police followed the trio in the car the suspects got in after leaving the Northshore Mall.
Before their arrest, the three allegedly went on a shoplifting spree at Gap, Lids, Finish Line, Express, Sears, Disney, RadioShack and Foot Locker.
“It’s something that does repeat itself, time to time,” police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto said. “But over the last year or so, the stores have become more cognizant of these grabs of large quantities of merchandise.”
Bonaiuto said a security guard at Gap noticed the scheme when Hebert allegedly tried to walk away from the store with 13 polo shirts worth a total of $253.
But when Hebert noticed the security guard watching him, he allegedly dropped the shirts from underneath his jacket and left the store empty-handed. The security guard also said he noticed a man, later identified as Caminero, acting as the lookout. The two suspects appeared to be talking to each other on their cell phones inside the store, Bonaiuto said.
Bonaiuto said store security followed Hebert outside the mall to a parking lot, and the man walked over to a gray Acura, dropping clothing from his jacket into a white bag in the trunk.
The third man, Nolan, who was also at the car, then went back inside the mall with Hebert.
Detective Ralph Scopa responded to the mall and watched the same activity.
“People were coming back to the car and putting more clothes in the car,” Bonaiuto said.
The trio took so many clothes that they “appeared to gain weight when they walked out of the store,” Bonaiuto said. They also had a hard time keeping the clothes from falling from under their jackets, he added.
Scopa followed as the car left the mall, then soon pulled over the Acura.
Detective Eric Ricci and Patrolman D.J. Murphy responded to assist when all three suspects were taken into custody.
In addition to the merchandise in the trunk, police found $1,780 in cash.
Police charged each man receiving stolen property (more than $250). Hebert had an additional charge of larceny and possession of a burglary tool.
Bonaiuto credited the cooperative effort between Peabody police, Northshore Mall security and store security in making the arrest.
Robert Willhite Jr., 53, faces two counts of child seduction. Police said the case involves a former student who is now in high school.
“The victim’s mother came forward with information that she believed that something might be happening,” said Lebanon police Capt. Maurice Hobson.
Willhite teaches sixth-grade health and physical education at Lebanon Middle School and also coaches wrestling, football and track. He has been with the district for more than 20 years.
Wilhite’s arrest came as a surprise to the community.
“Very surprising, shocked, actually,” said parent Kathy Graham.
Other parents urged against a rush to judgment, citing incidents in which teachers were wrongly accused.
“I’d just hate to see his career get flushed down the tubes because of that, because he’s been with the school a long time,” said parent Debra Dant. “It would concern me if a teacher steps out of the realms of what they’re supposed to do, because we hope our children are safe in our schools.”
Police said Willhite bonded out of the Boone County Jail after turning himself in on Wednesday. He did not answer the door when 6News’ Rick Hightower knocked Thursday evening.
Lebanon schools Superintendent Robert Taylor could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
A girl who said Willhite is her teacher described him as being “touchy,” always patting students on the back, but said the charge is hard to imagine.
“Everyone is saying different stuff, so I don’t know what to believe,” the girl said. “I don’t know if it’s true or not. I really liked him.”
Lebanon police said they don’t think there are more victims and that the charge doesn’t involve anything that happened on school property.
Source:WMUR– Police in Londonderry said a teacher accused of sending a student nude photos of herself was arrested Friday.
Melinda Dennehy, 41, an sophomore English teacher at Londonderry High School, turned herself in to police Friday morning. She was charged with one felony count of indecent exposure.
According to court documents, a 15-year-old male student at the high school revealed that Dennehy e-mailed him four nude photos of herself about two months ago. The documents said she allegedly continuously sent him text messages, saying she wanted to perform a sexual act with him.
The teen e-mailed the photos to two other students, according to the court documents, and the boy’s father showed police an e-mail of the photos that had Dennehy’s e-mail address on it.
Police had been investigating Dennehy since Wednesday, when school officials said allegations about her conduct came to light. The school placed her on administrative leave.
“She had come from the private sector, decided she would like to go into education, pursued that degree, and then she was hired by us three years ago,” Superintendent Nate Greenberg said.
Dennehy was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and ordered to have no contact with anyone under 16. She also cannot go onto school property.
Her arraignment is scheduled for April 30.
Fort Lee Police Sgt. Scott Bendul, a call came in at 6:08 a.m. that a vehicle heading northbound on Lemoine Avenue at Bruce Reynolds Blvd. in Fort Lee hit Aie Yung Sheng, who had been crossing the street.
A Port Authority officer, who happened to be at the scene, called 911.
EMS, Fire and Police officials worked on the victim in the middle of the street.
The customs agent, who worked at JFK Airport, was taken to Holy Name Hospital In Teaneck where she was pronounced dead.
The male driver, Michael Ignatieff of Fort Lee, told authorities he had a green light, Bendul said. No charges have been filed at this time.
By: Brett Davis/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
http://www.privateofficer.com Two Pentagon police officers were shot by a man they say tried to enter the facility.
The gunman, who was also shot and killed by police, was apparently trying to gain entry to the building, Pentagon police chief Richard Keevill told reporters.
“He walked up very cool,” Keevill said. “He had no real emotion on his face.”
The Washington Post, citing two federal law enforcement sources, identified the shooting suspect as John Patrick Bedell, 36.
Instead of presenting a Pentagon pass, which is required to enter the Defense Department headquarters, the gunman pulled out a gun, Keevill said. Three Pentagon security officers exchanged fire with the suspect, and two were wounded.
The underground Metro station is adjacent to the main entrance of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington.
The police officers’ wounds did not appear to be life-threatening, Pentagon officials said in a statement, adding that the suspect was in custody but his condition was not known.
All entrances to the five-sided building were closed after the shooting at 6:40 p.m. during the evening rush hour. The entrances were later reopened, except the one adjacent to the Metro station.
By: Rick McCann/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
Riots this week have lead to arrests, injuries and chaos on two different U.S. university campuses on the opposite sides of the country. Neither onset of violence had the same theme or the same outcome.
Police n College Park, Md. said that a basketball victory prompted massive riots and a whole lot of ruckus after the University of Maryland upended fourth-ranked Duke University at the Comcast Center Wednesday night.
The win puts the Terrapins in a first-place tie with Duke’s Blue Devils in the Atlantic Coast Conference which was cause for a huge celebration.
Students poured out into the streets of College Park both on and off the campus and began to scream, dance and throw things as they worked themselves up into a frenzy.
According police they had trouble clearing the thousands of students who had gathered in the streets and eventually was forced to use pepper spray and even call in a helicopter
to help with the escalating situation.
“We were hopeful it wouldn’t happen, that they would come out and celebrate in another way, but we prepared for that case, and it did happen,” University of Maryland Police spokesman Paul Dillon.
On campus on Monday, roughly 200 people silently demonstrated to draw attention to racial tensions at Berkeley and across the UC system. The students sat in front of Berkeley’s Sather Gate before moving to California Hall to deliver a letter intended for UC–Berkeley President Robert Birgeneau. (Birgeneau wasn’t on campus.)
The state of California has been dealing with countless protests—some peaceful, some violent, some destructive—since the state’s university system raised fees 32 percent and slashed education funding. It only adds to the pressure Berkeley is already feeling when students are upset about perceptions of racial discrimination at schools within the UC system.