Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moose Pass Journal/ Seward Cases/ 7-21-2011

Bill Says:  While working in Seward, there were times the court and I didn't quite agree on the law, and I always lost the argument. But you make the call after you've read this one:

I was on patrol, just after midnight and pulled over a taxi for erratic driving. Don't remember exactly what he was doing now, but I always had proper grounds for making a traffic stop in the event I would have to testify in court and make sure the jury agreed with me. I immediately recognized the driver, having had arrested him twice for DWI and once for Assault. His eyes were glassy and when I brought him out for a field sobriety test, he stumbled. So, he ended up flunking the test and while conducting a pat down search before putting him into handcuffs, I found him in possession of 1 gram of cocaine and some pot. When I got him to the station and after we did a second field sobriety test on camera to show the jury. He kept telling me he wanted to make a deal, so I brought him upstairs and after some talking, he agreed to wear a wire/recording device and make a buy from his dealer. (There is no loyalty in the drug world). We got a wire warrant from the magistrate. He made the buy from a guy in the Yukon Bar and I busted the dealer for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell. I think he had about 9 or 10 grams of coke on him when I arrested him. Then he wanted a deal and I brought Corporal Mike in, who was the department investigator. I appeared before the Magistrate and got a second warrant for the main dealer's house, outside of town, which involved bringing in a trooper. We had the small dealer go to the house, enter and make a buy of 10-grams of coke and we recorded the whole thing. We then went back and got a search warrant, based on all the information we had obtained from the wires and evidence obtained. Three of us served the search warrant in the early morning hours, surprising the number two dealer on this side of peninsula. We seized a very large safe, 22-firearms, assorted drugs and paraphernalia and arrested the man and his wife for Sale of Cocaine, Marijuana and misc pills. He refused to open the safe, so we brought in our safe cracker, ( a big guy with a sledge hammer) and after an hour of pounding finally destroyed the safe and revealed a whole lot more drugs and over $6,000 in cash. We had 80 some one gram packages of coke, a pound of cocaine, 20 pounds of pot and over 10,000 pills of various kinds. We sent the cash right up to the DEA, after photographing it, but held on to the drugs for evidence. I worked nearly 6-hours of overtime just filling out evidence forms for everything we seized.

But then the court went to work and within two weeks the whole case was thrown out the window. I had failed to list my original informant's criminal record in obtaining my wire warrant. Even though the magistrate I appeared before had sentenced this man all three times and knew him quite well and his record showed no convictions for drugs. Only good side was that the dealer lost everything, accept for the firearms, which were eventually returned.

I also worked an extensive theft and fraud investigation, which involved a suspect stripping an expensive sailboat of everything- accept the hull. The suspect had taken every single thing and no one in the harbor bothered to ask him what he was doing. The owners showed up for a day of sailing and found only the deck and hull. Even the mast and sails were gone. Every cabinet, the steering wheel, name it, it was gone. They reported the case and at this time I was the department investigator and it was given over to me. It took some doing and after 6-months I had recovered 90% of the stolen property- including a 60-foot mast and several hundred pounds of sail. Some of the property was 90-miles away, hidden in the suspect's friend's garage, but the mast was dropped off beside the cannery and made to look like cast off plumbing pipe.  Most of the property was taken by boat out to Day Harbor, some 70-miles outside of Seward. I had to take Trooper Gary with me and we used the US Coast Guard to take us out there. Unfortunately, I became very sea sick and had kept my head in the captain's trash can and was unable to go ashore. ( I was green for three days). Trooper Gary went ashore with some coast guardsmen. They found the place and recovered the stolen property, but sadly found 5 dead horses on the man's property. They had starved to death. So I also charged him with Cruelty to Animals. Then during the investigation I learned how he had defrauded some 20-people over a land deal- this guy was a real piece of work. So, I charged him with Scheme to Defraud and was ready to go to trial on numerous felonies and misdemeanors. My case file was nearly 5-inches thick and I had put in some 200 hours or better into this case.

Once the DA reviewed the case they ended up rejecting it. They made the decision that the victims could all proceed against this guy in civil court. To say I was angry put it lightly. The suspect became a corrections officer for the state of Alaska. Enough said.  (Really)

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