SWANSEA, SC Sept 1 2010- A Swansea police officer is charged with selling drugs that were supposed to be used to train drug-sniffing police dogs.
Charles Jason Shuler, 37, was arrested Monday evening and charged with misconduct in office, according to Swansea Police Chief Clif Hayes. A booking report showed Shuler was issued a $100,000 bond.
Hayes said Shuler handled the department’s K9 unit, and owned Swansea’s police dog. The department allowed Shuler to use drugs seized by the department to train the dog.
“It’s very awkward when you have to do an internal investigation on your own people,” said Swansea Police Chief Clif Hayes.
In early July, an informant told investigators Shuler was a frequent visitor to a known drug house in Gaston. Officers believed Shuler was selling marijuana and cocaine given to him by the department, and executed a search warrant at the house on Monday.
“He, for whatever reason, was selling the evidence that he was using for training purposes to a gentleman in Gaston, South Carolina,” said Hayes.
Hayes and another investigator confronted Shuler on Monday after the two-month investigation, and Shuler eventually admitted to selling the drugs.
“We have to do what we have to do,” said Hayes. “Truth is we had a dirty cop.”
Shuler was hired in May 2010, and previously worked for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Officer Reginald Jones, 41, a seven-year member of the department, faces the possibility of life in prison in the shooting death of Arvel S. Alston, 40, during the botched Dec. 1 robbery and kidnapping of a drug dealer in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE.
Jones was the second of five suspects to plead guilty in the case. Also charged were Jones’s friend Lynn D. Wilkerson, 33, of Hyattsville; Jarvis Clark, 19, of Temple Hills; Rashun M. Parker, 27; and the slain man’s son, Arvel Crawford, 19. The men had planned to rob Tyrone Herring, but Herring fought back, and Crawford’s gun went off. The bullet hit Alston — who was allegedly also one of the robbers — in the upper right chest.
In January, Parker also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy. Although Jones had not been indicted, he was facing a felony first-degree murder charge because Alston was killed during a robbery and kidnapping.
Judge Michael L. Rankin asked Jones, who was wearing a prison jumpsuit and whose wrists and ankles were shackled, why he was pleading guilty. “Because I am guilty,” Jones responded. Jones, who appeared much smaller than his previously stout, football-player build, told the judge that he had lost about 68 pounds while in jail.
Jones, who lived in Upper Marlboro, then told Judge Michael L. Rankin how he and Wilkerson had devised the scheme to rob Herring and had planned to carry out the robbery Nov. 30 but were unable to find Herring. They returned to the Washington Highlands area Dec. 1. Jones said no one planned to kill anyone.
At times, Jones’s voice cracked as he tried to speak, with the judge urging him to take his time. Jones told Rankin how on Dec. 1, he picked up Wilkerson in his cruiser, a day after the men had tried to find Herring but couldn’t. Jones said he drove Wilkerson in the cruiser to the same area. And then “things went bad.”
“I know this is a bitter pill,” Rankin said. “You made a choice then. What’s the saying, in for a dime, in for a dollar?”
A police spokeswoman said Jones was on “indefinite suspension without pay.”
Another hearing is scheduled for the three remaining defendants before Rankin on Thursday. Rankin told Jones and his attorney, Brian K. McDaniel, and assistant U.S. Attorney John Giovannelli that he doesn’t plan to sentence Jones until early 2011.
MONTVILLE, NJ Sept 1 2010 — Police say a pair of overzealous Willowbrook Mall security guards chased a carful of suspected shoplifters for six miles along Route
46, running at least one red light along the way, before both cars were
stopped by Montville police.
The chase led to charges not only for the alleged thieves — three women
accused of stealing lotion and clothing from two mall shops — but also against the security guard who drove the mall’s SUV through three towns, emergency lights flashing, in hot pursuit of the suspects.
The guard behind the wheel was ticketed by Montville police for careless driving and disregarding a traffic signal. The chase, which violated mall policy, also earned the guards a reprimand from police in Wayne, where the mall is located. And Willowbrook management said it planned to pursue the matter internally.
Willowbrook Mall security chased suspected shoplifters through 3 towns
The security guards — who under state law are private citizens with no police powers — are not expected to face further charges because no one witnessed the chase from its start at the mall to its end at D&D Liquors in Pine Brook.
“As far as we’re concerned, what they did is go through a red light,” said Capt. Ed Rosellini, spokesman for the Montville Police Department. However, Rosellini said he could not comment on the Willowbrook Mall’s policy for leaving the grounds to pursue a suspect.
“I can’t imagine what the ramifications are,” he said.
Detective Capt. Jim Clarke, a 29-year veteran of the Wayne Police Department, said shoplifting occurs daily at Willowbrook Mall, but it’s rare for mall security to leave the property to pursue a suspect.
“They were advised that they were not legally authorized to engage in vehicle pursuits,” Clarke said.
According to Montville police, its officers first happened upon the Aug. 21 pursuit shortly after 9 p.m., while Officer Kurt Geisenger was monitoring traffic on Route 46 at Hook Mountain Road in Pine Brook.
Geisenger first saw a tan Ford Taurus run the red light at the intersection, followed closely by a white Ford SUV with flashing overhead emergency lights. The officer believed the white SUV was a police vehicle and fell in behind, Rosellini said.
Both vehicles continued west on Route 46, exiting at New Road and turning right onto Bloomfield Avenue, where they stopped in the parking lot of D&D Liquors. Geisenger watched as two uniformed officers got out of the SUV and approached the Taurus. One of the women in the Taurus jumped out of the car and fled. The driver exited and dropped to the ground with her arms extended, Rosellini said.
Geisenger turned on his own emergency lights and called Montville headquarters to tell them a police pursuit had evolved into a foot chase, Rosellini said. It was only when Geisenger got out of his vehicle and approached the uniformed officers that he realized they were Willowbrook Mall guards — driving an SUV marked with “Mall Security” logos.
The guards, Fabian Serrano and Daniel Lane, told Geisenger the three women in the Taurus had shoplifted items from the Victoria’s Secret and Hollister stores inside the mall, and they were attempting to apprehend them, Rosellini said.
“(Geisenger) didn’t know what was going on,” Rosellini said.’ ‘The fact that some security guards were chasing somebody in a car, we had no knowledge of that, Fairfield had no knowledge of it and neither did Wayne.”
The driver of the Taurus, Shaneeta Moore, 36, and her sister, Shana, 25, both of Bronx, N.Y., were detained by Geisenger. Fairfield Police arrived a short time later with items that had been thrown onto the highway from the Taurus as it fled west on Route 46.
The third occupant of the Taurus was Tiffany Ouedrago, 26, also of the Bronx.
Police said numerous stolen items were found in the Taurus. The total
value was not immediately available, but police said the trio is accused of taking at least $216 worth of body lotion from Victoria’s Secret.
The Moore sisters and Ouedrago all were charged by Montville police with receiving stolen property and conspiracy to receive stolen property. Shaneeta Moore also was issued several motor vehicle summonses for improper passing, failure to observe a traffic signal, driving while suspended, careless driving and reckless driving.
Bail for each was at $2,500. The Moores posted bail and were released.
Gil Bankston, senior general manager of the Willowbrook Mall, said the mall’s policy does not permit security guards to leave the property.
“Unfortunately, there is not much I can say about this incident at this time. However, I can say that the safety and well-being of our shoppers, retailers and employees are always our top concerns,” Bankston said in a statement. “We have a good relationship with the local police department and it is not our policy to pursue suspects off the property. At this time we are currently following up with this matter internally.”
WEST MELBOURNE, Fla.Sept 1 2010 — A West Melbourne police officer was arrested on charges of rape, according to authorities with the Palm Bay Police Department.
Officer William Young, 35, was charged with sexual battery and kidnap-false imprisonment, according to an arrest report.
Young was arrested on Monday for an incident that occurred on Aug. 26, according to the Palm Bay Police Department.
Young struck the adult female victim, according to police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez, and then forced her to perform oral sex. He then forced her to have sex with him, Martinez said.
Young is being held without bail at the Brevard County Jail. He resigned as an officer with the West Melbourne Police Department Tuesday evening.