Drug info - Feds bust Metro cop for helping family’s cocaine ring

Discussion in 'Cocaine & Crack' started by jholmes800, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. jholmes800

    jholmes800 Titanium Member

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    Oct 4, 2006
    38 y/o from U.S.A.
    Federal prosecutors on Thursday unsealed an indictment on Metro Police narcotics detective Officer Ernest B. Cecil, charging him with conspiracy for using his police powers to help his nephew run a Nashville cocaine ring.

    Cecil, a 15-year veteran of the department, was arrested by federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents and immediately taken into custody Thursday morning, Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said at a press conference announcing the indictment.

    U.S. Attorney Craig S. Morford – whose office on Monday indicted former state Sen. John Ford on a new round of public corruption charges – called Thursday’s announcement of the indicting of a Metro Police officer a “sad day.”

    “It is a sad day whenever we have to stand here and announce that we have indicted an officer who is accused of violating the very laws that he has taken an oath to enforce,” Morford said.

    Cecil was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to distribute more than 500 kilograms cocaine, one count each of robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act and of brandishing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

    Federal officials said they believe Cecil’s alleged crimes were all committed to help his nephew, Corey Cecil, hide his drug operation from the rest of the Metro Police Department.

    “Officer Cecil’s nephew, Corey Cecil, and others regularly brought up large amounts of cocaine into Nashville for distribution and resale on the streets of this community,” Morford said.

    Neither Metro nor federal officials would say where in the country they believed the cocaine was coming from.

    But the indictment charges Cecil with providing protection to those drug dealers by warning his nephew to stay away from certain police-targeted areas, telling his nephew to dump his cell phones because they were no longer safe, arranging for the dismissal of parking tickets for his nephew, and assisting his nephew in retrieving a confiscated cell phone and making threats on his behalf.

    “Officer Cecil’s duty was to help protect our children and our communities from the devastating impact of drugs. That’s why he’s given a badge. That’s why he’s given a gun,” Morford said.

    Now, Cecil has been charged with using that badge and gun to assist numerous high-profile drug dealers safely distribute cocaine on Nashville’s streets.

    “And most importantly and most significantly, he participated with his nephew and a fellow Metro Police officer in the robbery of a [fellow] cocaine dealer,” Morford said.

    On April 30, 2003, Officer Cecil and Officer Charles Williams – who is already under federal indictment and will be going to trial in January – made a bogus police stop on one of the nephew’s cocaine suppliers, federal prosecutors said.

    “The true purpose of this police stop was to permit the nephew to escape the scene with three kilos of cocaine while having the other drug dealer believe the police had actually taken the drugs, so the nephew could have those drugs for free,” Morford said.

    Corey Cecil then sold those drugs for $60,000 and paid his uncle a kickback, according to the indictment.

    In addition to resulting in a January 2006 federal indictment of Williams, that fake stop also led Metro Police investigators to turn their attention to Cecil, Serpas said.

    Metro detectives began their investigation into Cecil’s activities in late 2004, Serpas said. Shortly thereafter, Cecil was moved off of detective duty and put under direct supervision.

    No immediate disciplinary action was taken, however, Serpas said, due to fear of corrupting the federal criminal investigation.

    “When an employee is under criminal and administrative investigation at the same time, because of the laws of the land the administrative investigation has to take a back seat,” the chief said.

    Serpas said he does not believe there is a widespread corruption problem in the department, and he said he expects no major policy changes.

    “Anytime something like this happens, you always look and see if your training policies and practices and discipline are in place,” said Serpas. “But other than Williams, I don’t see any further infiltration of [Cecil’] behavior.”

    At the same time, Serpas said it is possible that criminal cases that Cecil helped prosecute prior to his reassignment in 2004 could be corrupted.

    A spokesperson for Davidson County District Attorney Torry Johnson could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

    Corey Cecil was arrested on Sept. 27, 2005, and indicted by a federal grand jury on cocaine conspiracy charges in October 2005.

    He pled guilty to those charges in April 2006 and has yet to be sentenced.

    Federal officials would not say if he provided information about his uncle, or if he would be called to testify.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Trombly said her office would ask a federal judge to keep Cecil detained. A detention hearing had been tentatively scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Nashville.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2007