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September 2006
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The Drug War and Tarnished Badges

In Fayetteville, NC:

The widening investigation has revealed deputies stealing hundreds of- thousands of dollars from drug stops on Interstate 95, beating and robbing people in their homes, swindling money from county coffers and working with drug dealers to steal money and drugs from other dealers.

Some deputies are accused of kidnapping drug dealers and holding them for ransom. One is accused of giving someone two trash bags full of marijuana to burn a pawnshop to settle a personal vendetta. The home of a man who was set to testify against that deputy was firebombed shortly before trial.

Sinclair is accused of trying to extort money from a man he suspected of selling drugs by pouring lighter fluid on the man’s arm and setting him on fire. Prosecutors say Sinclair had gone to the wrong house and terrorized the wrong man. Court records say the man was seriously injured.

In Chicago, IL:

Prosecutors have alleged the men stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and falsely arrested many people. Although the Police Department had been investigating numerous misconduct claims against the men for years, the criminal case against them did not gain traction until prosecutors became suspicious because the officers consistently failed to show up in court to testify on significant drug arrests they had made, officials said.

Authorities said they now believe many of those arrests were bogus, and any cases the officers handled are suspect.

The memo links Herrera to 67 cases. Finnigan, accused of being the ringleader of the schemes, is linked to 10 cases. Sherry is linked to 29 cases and Suchocki is linked to three cases. Some cases were linked to more than one of the officers.

This is just one of the many destructive influences of the drug war. Just as it attracts criminals to the profits of drug trafficking, it attracts and feeds the corruptible in public service. And both prey upon the citizens whose hard-earned tax money pays for the war.

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