Thursday, April 23, 2015

Narcotics Cops Work In A Cesspool

By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

Spend all your time in a cesspool and you're going to smell.

That's the assessment of retired Philadelphia Police Captain Al DiGiacomo as he follows the ongoing corruption trial of six narcotics cops in U.S. District Court.

Now a professor of criminal justice at West Chester University, DiGiacomo, 65, has been watching the case unfold from his perch in academia. For the veteran cop the allegations are similar to those that surfaced in two earlier and infamous narcotics squad corruption investigations.

But whether the six defendants in the ongoing case end up disgraced and convicted like members of the Five Squad or the tainted cops of the 39th District is still a very much open question.

The prosecution is expected to rest its case in the four-week trial tomorrow at which point the defense will begin calling witnesses. While it's unlikely any of the defendants will take the stand, the defense has promised to call several top Police Department officials who knew of or who were on the scene for some of the "episodes" detailed in the racketeering indictment that was handed up two years ago.

The six officers are charged with going rogue. The indictment alleges that over a six year period beginning in 2006 they stole $500,000 in cash, drugs and other valuables -- like Rolex and Movado watches -- from drug dealers they had targeted and then falsified police reports to cover their tracks.

Testimony from more than a dozen admitted drug dealers and from one self-admitted dirty cop have provided the jury with a bleak, street-level view of the drug underworld and a more detailed account of the criminal activities alleged in the indictment. It was all part of a cesspool full of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills and cash; a world populated by liars and thieves -- some of whom, authorities say, had badges.

The question for the jury is whether the six cops on trial became a part of that world while working in it. Did they bend the rules while building cases and making arrests? Or did they break them?

The police officials -- inspectors, captains, lieutenants and sergeants -- called to testify for the defense are expected to offer a different look at the world described by the prosecution's witnesses. Narcotics cops are a breed apart and that's part of what the defense hopes to show the jury. They work the worst neighborhoods in the city. They spend hours on the job, dressed in street clothes and driving unmarked cars. Their sources are, in many instances, former targets.

It's a labor intensive, time-consuming job that can often be frustrating. Arrest a drug dealer today and he's back on the street tomorrow. Clean up a drug corner this week and next week a new crew is out there peddling dope to the same customers.

"It's a job where there isn't a lot of supervision," said DiGiacomo. "They're pretty much on their own, developing their own cases and going wherever the job takes them."

It's easy, he said, to drift; to lose sight of what the job is; to cut corners and take shortcuts to make cases.

The Police Department, DiGiacomo said, is an institution that values numbers and statistics. Make cases and show a steady arrest record and you are rewarded. The feds have alleged that police officials charged with supervising the Narcotics Field Unit where the six defendants worked looked the other way because the numbers were good.

Drugs and cash were seized. Arrests were made. The feds, of course, allege that false reports and planted evidence supported those arrests. And, they contend, in many cases drugs ended up back on the street and chunks of the cash ended up in the pockets of the arresting officers.

The six defendants, Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman and John Speiser were veterans of the Narcotics Field Unit.  Combined, they had more than 60 years working in the squad.

That's a lot of time to spend in a cesspool.

It will be up to the jury to decide whether they were trying to clean it up, or whether, as the prosecution has argued, they were wallowing in it.

George Anastasia can be reached at George@bigtrial.net.

37 comments:

  1. To this date this morning none of the above charges or accsations in this trial has been proven.

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  2. Mr Anastasia whats the Skinny on Skinny Joey when will he be getting out. Also when will Ronny the wig Galati ins trial start.

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    1. Scratch that George I heard Skinny is now on spring break in Fla. Let us know about The Wig Ins trial

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  3. Sixty years working in the squad. That's a lot of know-how, knowledge and experience. Sounds like these guys were very good at their jobs. The drug dealers were dancing when these six hard-chargers were pulled off the streets and railroaded with this sham of a trial.
    On another note - reporters love to write about things like the "stolen" Rolex watch.
    Mr. Reynolds had paperwork, photographs and documentation that proved he purchased his Rolex watch from a jeweler prior to the episode in question. The drug dealer who claims his Rolex watch was stolen had no such paperwork and then changed his story and said, "I didn't say he had my Rolex watch. I said he had one just like it." Quite a difference from what he told the grand jury.

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  4. So if you are a cop long enough and constantly surrounded by criminals - you are going to become a criminal yourself. Not buying that logic at all.

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  5. Well getting ready for work. See the dealers finally called a nite after giving us some laughs and more absurd post. See yesterdays article. On a good note today there should be a silverlining as the Prosecution will wrap up today there presentstion. It will be nice as the defense will bring up witnesses with integrity and character something the trial has been lacking. Sorry to sound like a broken record but some of us have to keep it real. The 1st grade spelling and post from witnesses become a little annoying with lies from those who feels theys beens VIOLATED! !!! LOL

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    1. AGREED! The drug dealers won't know how to comment when the whitnesses have integrity and character, we probably have until closing arguments until we have to decipher anymore of their comments.

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  6. All 6 dirty ex narcs guilty of all charges!!!! No one wants them this city dont need them. They embarrassed the uniform one lat time so now let them pay with their freedom. Guilty as charged!!!!

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    1. Yo homie the clown wishfull thinking these guys get found guilty with this evidence the appeals court will reverse it so quick make your head spin

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    2. You're up early so let assume you are a jealous fellow officer that couldn't make it in to Narcotics or which one wouldn't let you sit when them at the lunch table?

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    3. Im a good dam officer who never had to sit at a table with bad ones like these 6 imbeciles.

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  7. No way in hell will they get convicted with the clowns of witnesses they paraded up there, bottom of the barrel and these criminals will try any trick looking for a payout. Feds are fucked !!! Thin Blue Line, set all 6 officers free, keep your head up my brothers in blue, we got your back

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  8. George, I find your articles biased. You are not revealing some of the core things stated in court that debunks the charges. You are also printing speculation from a retired officer who is not sitting in court and hearing it all first hand. If he's sitting in a classroom, or as you say, "on a perch in academia", he's not hearing everything. How come you haven't put out there that the one officer, Speiser was not fingered once in the four weeks the prosecution has had the floor. Not one witness identified him as doing anything including Jeffrey Walker. No one has printed that his charges are falsifying documents only. Oh, and the bogus RICO charge too. Please print the facts.

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    1. He definitely takes a bathroom break or puts the pen down whenever the defense is asking any questions.

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    2. I think he tries to stay neutral but still gives credit where credit is due in most articles weather it be with a smart remark or actual quotes from that day. If he reported every minute of the trial these articles would be ten pages long each night . Although this article was not one of my favorites I would say he does a good job, much better then if you read the Philly.com reports
      I think ( in my own person opinion ) reading between the lines you can tell who's side he is on but it's not his job to write his own personal opinion.
      I do agree that I am surprised no one has mention the facts about Officer Speiser.

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  9. I think it likely that the defendants may have committed some of the alleged acts, but I certainly don't think the feds have presented the jury with a strong enough case to convict on any of the counts. Tons of reasonable doubt here.

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    1. Convict them ! The the illegal entries alone is enough, check the search warrants buddy they have on average, a total of three to six hours minimal in each arrest of unlawful entry. What that tell you after the fact !!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. George why did Commissioner Ramsey give Chief inspector Werner a pass ? He refused to cooperate with FBI investigators looking into narcotics officers . He would not answer questions unless He received immunity from prosecution . I think the Commissioner Ramsey owes the public an explanation , why He back a Chief Inspector who refuses to answer question about corruption ???

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    1. because what you're seeing and hearing is the new mafia

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    2. Here is aperfect example of getting your info from polluted sources. Werner didnt refuse to cooperate, he wanted his interview video taped and done at internal affairs. The Feds said No Thank You

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  11. Chief Inspector Werner is dirty ,just subpoena chief Inspector Tony Boyle , He will tell the feds the truth ,about how Corrupt Commissioner Ramsey and His Deputy Commissioner .

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  12. The words of Chief Inspector Tony Boyle The implications surrounding this incident and transfer are profound. Nothing in my almost 39 year career has the potential for harm to my character and reputation. When I was removed from Southwest Police Division because of personal animosity toward me, for my refusal to change an accurate performance report of a personal friend of my Deputy Commissioner, I didn’t say a word or file a grievance. It didn’t affect my character or reputation, if anything it acted to reinforce my character and reputation. This incident is the complete opposite. As I see commanders of all ranks, including mine, investigated for criminal acts, multiple EEO complaints, domestic incidents and incompetence, yet maintain their commands and, in some cases, be promoted; I can no longer remain silent. This transfer from T&ESB, during the height of funeral preparations for a fallen officer, intrinsically carries with it the message that I did something egregious surrounding the funeral and the honors for our fallen officer and his family, or I was insubordinate to my chain of command. That message was sent without any investigation, any opportunity for me to present or explain my actions, nor any due process. It was sent on the basis of outright dishonesty and distortions and not based on the facts

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  13. when a police officer arrest a drug dealer with cash, drugs, jewelry, Exedra, Exedra, that stuff get confiscated.it's turned over to the government, which is the taxpayers, when a cop decides to pocket the cash, and the other stuff,at this point the cop,for cops are now stealing from taxpayers!!to you people who hate drug dealers, at this point the drug dealer is irrelevant. then 6 cops committed the same crime as A accountant working for the government and embezzlement the money, I'm glad I cleared this up for everyone. And I hope you understand that's the crime not that they were picking on drug dealers,!!Tommy has a Napolean. Complex !!he is a dangerous person, and I do not know how he did not kill anybody, but I am proud to sayTommy came after me full force and I never cooperated, when he is convicted let's see if he's as strong as I am and tell the government to go F themselves I don't rat.

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  14. when a police officer arrest a drug dealer with cash, drugs, jewelry, Exedra, Exedra, that stuff get confiscated.it's turned over to the government, which is the taxpayers, when a cop decides to pocket the cash, and the other stuff,at this point the cop,for cops are now stealing from taxpayers!!to you people who hate drug dealers, at this point the drug dealer is irrelevant. then 6 cops committed the same crime as A accountant working for the government and embezzlement the money, I'm glad I cleared this up for everyone. And I hope you understand that's the crime not that they were picking on drug dealers,!!Tommy has a Napolean. Complex !!he is a dangerous person, and I do not know how he did not kill anybody, but I am proud to sayTommy came after me full force and I never cooperated, when he is convicted let's see if he's as strong as I am and tell the government to go F themselves I don't rat.

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    1. Mr goodwin or Billy C you.ll figure how this thing works by end of trial.

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    2. Meth kicking in again. Mr cry me a river.

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    3. Mr Goodwin, since you got removed from the court room last week now you can sit home and post on here- question- when the police confiscate money and drugs then it gets turned over to the government yada yada yada, what about when the cops "steal" your Rolex -you say- but infact they had it for years before they even met you. Then what? What about when you tell the grand jury they stole a certain amount of money and when you take the stand the amount of money stolen changes, then what?

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  15. You guys are all one-way,,,,if they Six on trial were all drug dealers would you all have the same opinion? I would bet my pension that Licardello gets found guilty if anything was to happen. To much against him and to many fingers pointed towards him. After everything is said and done, it's still a big loss on both sides of the fence.

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  16. Another blow to the prosecution, it's unreal to even continue this circus

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  17. There are a lot of innocent people these cops have wronged who have not testified because the feds wanted bigger game. These seven cops are guilty and everyone knows it, how simple do you have to be to understand a false police report changes the life of so many wrongfully accussed, forget about all the stealing. They have changed so many lives and families with that one act that they are all guilty of and at the very least should be held accountable prosecuted and be found guilty as charged.

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    1. How about all the lives and neighborhoods you guys ruined with the selling of drugs drive byes and innocent people killed by a stray bullet. But because you got caught and don.t like the manner in which you were treated because you got cracked upside the head forced to cooperate you feel your rights were violated.
      Man up do the crime do the time. These guys aren.t going to Jail for this petty lieing shit. Period

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  18. George, very well written articles which give a summary each day. Please don't quote any more retired captains who have probably never investigated a case themselves during their careers.

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  19. All of you son of a bitches who champion these Pigs misconduct need to crawl back in the hole you came out of. A uniform doesn't give anyone the right to violate and steal people's due process. It's funny how you want to discredit an informant's testimony when it comes to your own but it is sufficient when you use them to take other's freedom away. It makes a lot of sense to you then doesn't it? Now you want to run away and separate yourselves from the FBI when they create most of their cases this very same way. It doesn't feel so good having to smell your own shit does it? It's OK because all of you who even have the thoughts that what these jackasses did should go without grave consequences WILL carry their sin when your judgment day comes and that u can be sure of. Just go ask whoever u believe in besides your flesh eating Satan master that would allow you to defend this nonsense. You know dam well Walker got caught but each one of them were part of the garbage pail squad. The superiors who are testifying words aren't worth the shot in their panties. So if you are hoping they will be a life jacket you are just as retarded as the rest of them because to say anything against these clowns will make them just as liable as the accused. Believe me they will either pay now or pay later. The sacrifice is REAL and it comes in so many fashions. By the way, Don't even bother to respond cocksuckers because I will only revisit this site again when the verdict is reached. I'm ready for that Monday morning quarter back, are you??? It's no honor among THIEVES lol...


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    1. Love it annon. 6:18pm

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  20. I wonder what's going to happen to Walker when it a not guilty verdict

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