Cop indicted for bogus drug bust and dealing
Missouri - Veteran St. Louis police Officer Reginald A. Williams was indicted Tuesday on charges that he concocted a bogus drug arrest against a man even as the officer himself was trafficking in crack cocaine.
Williams also lied to a prosecutor about how much crack cocaine another drug defendant possessed, the case in U.S. District Court claims.
He is charged with two counts of deprivation of civil rights, three counts of obstruction of justice, one count of making a false statement to a government official and one count of possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute it.
The maximum penalty for conviction on all charges would be 82 years in prison and fines of more than $2 million, prosecutors said.
Williams, 43, will plead not guilty and intends to fight the charges, said his attorney, Scott Rosenblum.
Rosenblum said his client was aware for months that a case was being built against him. "Now that he's been indicted, we look forward to presenting his case to a jury," the lawyer said.
U.S. Attorney James Martin said in a prepared statement: "The vast majority of St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers are excellent law enforcement officers who carry out their duty with great integrity. That is why it is imperative that this office vigorously prosecute any criminal conduct by a police officer who crosses the line."
The indictment claims that on Aug. 14, 2001, Williams falsely arrested Curtis Brown-Bey for second-degree drug trafficking. It went on to say that "in truth and in fact, Curtis Brown-Bey neither trafficked in, nor possessed, cocaine base on said date."
On the same day, Williams possessed five grams or more of crack cocaine with intent to distribute it, the indictment alleges.
A month later, on Sept. 13, 2001, Williams falsely testified to the state Board of Probation and Parole that Brown-Bey had possessed crack cocaine on Aug. 14, the indictment alleges.
Then, in May 2002, Williams made false statements to an assistant U.S. attorney supervising a grand jury here in claiming that Brown-Bey and another defendant possessed crack cocaine on Aug. 14, the indictment says.
He also lied about yet another criminal defendant, saying she possessed "only 30.64 grams" of crack on Aug. 14, the indictment claims, thus obstructing justice.
Assistant U.S. attorney Donald Wilkerson, who is handling the case, declined to comment on the charges or explain why Williams might seek to implicate some defendants or alter the amount of drugs of another defendant.
Brown-Bey was not formally charged as a result of the arrest described in the indictment, court records show. However, he does have a prior criminal record.
In 1996, Brown-Bey was charged with possessing crack cocaine, and prosecutors charged him as a persistent offender, pointing to his earlier convictions for receiving stolen property and second-degree burglary.
Brown-Bey pleaded guilty to the crack possession charge and was given a suspended imposition of sentence. After he was found to have violated parole, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson sentenced him in 1997 to seven years in prison. He apparently was released sometime before the Aug. 14, 2001 arrest.
The police department said Tuesday that it had suspended Williams, who has been on the force since January 1990. He appeared in federal court in St. Louis and was released on personal recognizance.