San Diego DUI criminal defense attorneys are often asked if drunk driving police “make stuff up” when DUI / Drug reports are written. Lawyers point to this article.
Prosecutors allege that a police officer and a federal agent fabricated a drug bust that led to the conviction of a Tulsa man and his daughter in 2008.
Prosecutors allege that Jeff Henderson, an undercover officer with TPD’s Special Investigations Division, and Brandon McFadden, a current or former agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, coached a drug informant and fabricated a drug buy on May 8, 2007, according to a federal document unsealed Tuesday in Tulsa County District Court.
The unsealed document is part of a federal probe into possible corruption of Tulsa law enforcement officers, records show.
The alleged fabricated drug bust by Henderson and McFadden led to the convictions of Larita Annette Barnes, 33, and Larry Wayne Barnes Sr., 59, on federal drug charges, records show.
The Barneses are represented by Tulsa attorney Art Fleak, who said he is prohibited from commenting.
Larry and Larita Barnes were released from federal prison last year because
the drug informant in the case, Ryan Logsdon, said he lied about the drug buy, the court filing unsealed Tuesday states.
The two were released July 2. Larry Barnes had served about one year on two 5 1/2-year sentences, which were to run concurrently. Larita Barnes had served about one year on two concurrent 10-year sentences.
Henderson, 37, did not return a call by the World. In a previous interview with the World, he has denied any wrongdoing.
Henderson, who has been with the Police Department about 14 years, was assigned to the Special Investigations Division in 2005.
The World could not locate McFadden for comment. The World submitted a federal Freedom of Information Act request on Nov. 2 to the ATF for the current job status of McFadden, 33.
The ATF said it could not confirm or deny McFadden’s status with the agency.
The court filing that details Logsdon recanting his testimony was filed in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 25, 2009. However, the filing remained sealed until Tuesday.
The unsealed federal pleading is part of a motion in state court filed by Fleak on behalf of another client, Fred Allen Shields Jr. Fleak is seeking to have Shields’ state drug case dismissed due to McFadden’s involvement in the case, records show.
The federal motion was filed 10 months ago by U.S. Attorney Jane W. Duke, a special prosecutor in charge of a federal grand jury probe, the World investigation shows.
The Tulsa World first reported on the grand jury’s investigation in November.
In the motion, Duke’s office states: “The United States has now acquired evidence that the testimony offered at trial by Special Agent McFadden, Officer Henderson and Logsdon was false. It is the United States’ belief that the alleged control buy that formed the basis of the indictment (against the Barneses), in fact, did not occur.”
Duke’s office corroborated Logsdon’s story by subjecting him to a lie detector test which was administered June 22 in Fort Smith, Ark, records show.
Questions by federal investigators to Logsdon included:
“Did Henderson and McFadden coach your testimony prior to the Barnes’ trial,” court documents show.
“Yes,” Logsdon answered.
In another question, Logsdon answers “no” when asked if he did a controlled drug buy on May 8, 2007.
On June 10, 2009, before the lie detector test was conducted, Logsdon told federal officials that Henderson provided him with three ounces of methamphetamine, the federal motion alleges. Logsdon said Henderson told him “you bought this from Larry and Larita Barnes,” the motion states.
Henderson told Logsdon that the Barneses were major drug dealers whom law enforcement officers were having trouble bringing a case against, the motion alleges.
After Logsdon agreed to help fabricate the drug deal, Henderson and McFadden are accused of spending hours coaching him on his testimony against the Barneses, the motion states.
The motion states that $3,000 was used to facilitate the alleged drug purchase.
Additionally, Duke’s filing states: “The information provided by Logsdon has also proven to be consistent with other information developed by law enforcement agents during the course of a public corruption investigation concerning certain Tulsa, Oklahoma, law enforcement officers.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District in Tulsa has recused itself from at least one case in the investigation, records show.
The grand jury appears to be continuing its work.
Shields’ federal conviction on drug charges was recently dismissed but he is being held on the state drug charge without bond.
Additionally, federal officials appear to be continuing to interview federal inmates expected to testify before the grand jury, the World investigation shows.
Inmates interviewed by the World in December said they were questioned about alleged missing money, nonexistent informants and tainted search warrants.
As first reported by the World on Nov. 1, the grand jury is meeting in a secret location to investigate alleged corruption of several officers assigned to the Tulsa Police Department’s Special Investigations Division.
The World has reviewed the arrest and conviction records in two dozen state and federal criminal cases associated with 14 current and former prison inmates who sources say were called before the grand jury to testify in October and November.
The World reported Nov. 8 that a local defense attorney and his client reviewed a photo lineup that included several Tulsa police officers. Not all of the officers in the lineup are believed to be part of the federal probe.