15 Tulsa cops ensared in integrity probe

(TULSA WORLD)   An estimated 15 Tulsa police officers could be charged or serve as witnesses as part of the grand jury investigation into police corruption in Tulsa, a prosecutor leading the grand jury said.

The department’s Special Investigations Division is the focus of a law enforcement probe in Tulsa. The federal investigation began in late 2008 and early 2009, said Jane W. Duke, a special prosecutor and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Thus far, the names of eight Tulsa police officers and one former federal agent have surfaced in the corruption probe.

Brandon McFadden, 33, a former agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and former Tulsa Police Officer John K. Gray, 44, have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court. Both are cooperating with Duke’s office while they await sentencing.

Meanwhile, 11 people have been freed from prison or have had their felony convictions or drug charges eliminated as part of the grand jury investigation, a Tulsa World investigation shows.

Duke’s office is investigating allegedly stolen drugs and money, falsified search warrants, nonexistent informants and false testimony by undercover officers and police officers primarily with Tulsa Police Department,

the World investigation shows.

Duke said that an estimated 15 police officers could face criminal charges or serve as cooperating witnesses.

“We have about 15 officers of interest,” Duke said. “There is a good likelihood that there could be more indictments. Some of these officers may waive the indictments and simply plead.”

Duke said her office has communicated with many of the officers believed to be involved in police corruption.

“There is a dialogue that has occurred with some of these officers and we will continue that dialogue,” she said.

Meanwhile, the supervisor of the department’s Special Investigations Division has retired, said Capt. Jonathan Brooks, police spokesman.

Maj. Burney York, 59, retired May 31, Brooks said.

York was not available for comment.

His replacement is Maj. Eric Dalgleish, 39, who wasn’t available for comment, Brooks said.

Before being moved to special investigation, Dalgleish served at police headquarters, Brooks said.

McFadden pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy May 6 in federal court and could face five to 40 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for July 28.

In his guilty plea, McFadden said he and Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson, 37, stole drugs and money, falsified investigative reports, gave false testimony and persuaded others to provide false testimony, court records show.

Henderson has not been charged with a crime, and he denies any wrongdoing.

Gray, who retired from the department in May, pleaded guilty June 14 in federal court.

Gray and officers Nick DeBruin, 37, Bruce Bonham, 52, and Harold Wells, 59, allegedly took $5,000 during an FBI sting May 18, 2009, in Tulsa, records show.

Gray waived his indictment and pleaded guilty to stealing about $2,000 during the sting, records show. He has a tentative agreement with Duke’s office to receive probation at his sentencing, set for Oct. 26, records show. Gray could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Additionally, in another drug case, Gray named himself, Officer Eric Hill, 32, former Police Officer Callison Kaiser, 29, and Wells as a group of officers who stole about $10,000 during a drug bust Jan. 4, 2008, in Tulsa, records show.

The drug bust involved a falsified search warrant prepared by Gray and served at the home of Hugo Alberto Gutierrez, U.S. District Court records show.

Wells has said that he plans to cooperate with Duke’s office. However, court records allege he has tried to persuade Gray, Kaiser and Hill to keep quiet about the stolen money from the Gutierrez bust.

“Wells encouraged Gray to not disclose this theft by stating that ‘just us officers know about that,’ ” court records filed by Duke on Thursday in federal court state.

“Kaiser and Hill also had similar encounters with Wells in the recent past. Specifically, Wells stated to Kaiser, ‘You can’t say anything about that money that I gave to you,’ referring to the Gutierrez money.”

Kaiser resigned from the Tulsa Police Department in August 2008 to work for the U.S. Secret Service. He resigned from the Secret Service in early June, officials said.

Duke said police officers who are the target of the grand jury investigation receive a notification letter that is known as a target letter.

“I am not anticipating any more target letters going out, but I can’t say that there won’t be any more,” Duke said.

Law enforcement officers named in grand jury probe

– Former ATF Agent Brandon McFadden, 33

Hired by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on July 15, 2002

Resigned from ATF on Sept. 25, 2009

Pleaded guilty may 6 in federal court to drug conspiracy

Cooperating with prosecutors

– Tulsa Police Officer John K. Gray, 44

Retired in May

Hired March 1, 1990

Assignment before retiring: mingo Valley Division

Pleaded guilty June 14 in federal court to stealing money during FBI sting

Cooperating with prosecutors

– Tulsa Police Officer Harold R. Wells, 59

Retired in May

Hired Oct. 1, 1975

Assignment before retiring: Gilcrease Division

Said he plans to cooperate with prosecutors

– Tulsa Police Officer Nick DeBruin, 37

Hired July 6, 1999

Assigned to Special Investigations Division, 2002-05

Current assignment: administrative duties at uniform division

– Tulsa Police Officer Bruce Bonham, 52

Hired Aug. 13, 1990

Current assignment: administrative duties at uniform division

– Tulsa Police Officer Jeff Henderson, 37

Hired June 5, 1995

Placed on paid leave in March

Current assignment: Special Investigations Division

– Tulsa Police Officer Bill Yelton, 49

Hired April 16, 1985

Current assignment: Special Investigations Division

– Tulsa Police Officer Eric Hill, 32

Hired July 5, 2005

Current assignment: Gilcrease Division

– Former Tulsa Police Officer Callison Kaiser, 29

Hired oct. 8, 2004

Resigned August 2008 to work for U.S. Secret Service

Resigned from Secret Service in early June

Assignment before resigning from TPD: Gilcrease Division

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100620_11_A1_Anesti786190

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