Contra Costa deputy's 'dirty DUI' arrests
Justin Berton, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle March 8, 2011 06:29 PM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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Stephanie Wright Hession
The Vine wine bar in Danville was where "targets" were drinking before they were arrested by Contra Costa sheriff's deputy friends of a private investigator who allegedly set the men up.
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(03-08) 18:29 PST DANVILLE -- A Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy told two colleagues he was making "dirty DUI" arrests on behalf of a private investigator who was setting up men to damage their reputations in legal fights, an investigator said in court documents.
Deputy Stephen Tanabe, 47, told a reserve sheriff's deputy on patrol with him the night of Jan. 14 that a drunken-driving arrest the two were making outside a Danville bar was a "setup" and that the target needed to be "dirtied" for a future court date, a sheriff's investigator wrote in a search warrant affidavit.
Tanabe was working with a private investigator who had been hired by the target's wife for $5,000, the affidavit said. The deputy is suspected of receiving "financial benefits" for the arrest, the document said.
Tanabe, an Alamo resident, was arrested Friday night on suspicion of drug and weapons crimes but has not been charged. He is free on $260,000 bail.
Illegal assault rifle
The weapons count involves an illegal assault rifle that Tanabe allegedly asked the reserve deputy, William Howard, to keep in his house. Tanabe was afraid his home would be searched after police arrested the private investigator, Christopher Butler, and a state drug agent, Norman Wielsch, on charges of stealing and selling drugs last month, the affidavit said.
The Chronicle first reported Sunday that investigators from the state Justice Department and Contra Costa County district attorney's office were reviewing two arrests that Tanabe made in January outside the Vine wine bar on Hartz Avenue in Danville to determine whether the deputy was working on Butler's behalf.
Contra Costa prosecutor Jun Fernandez said in court last week that Butler hired attractive women to make passes at male targets of his private-investigator firm and suggest they meet for drinks at a local bar. In other cases, Butler used decoys posing as journalists or documentary filmmakers who wanted to conduct lengthy interviews with their subjects over drinks, the prosecutor said.
In each case, Fernandez said, Butler would call police officer contacts and give a description of the target, the car he was driving and the moment he left the bar. After the man drove from the parking lot, the officer would fall in behind and arrest him.
Fernandez did not identify Tanabe in court as one of the officers working with Butler. But the deputy's alleged connection was spelled out in a search warrant affidavit by sheriff's Sgt. Detective Jason Vorhauer, which was filed Monday in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
The Jan. 14 arrest happened outside the Danville wine bar, according to the affidavit. The reserve deputy said Tanabe was on the phone that night with his "P.I. friend," later identified as Butler, who appeared to be "giving him updated information relating to (the target's) sobriety," Vorhauer wrote.
Butler apparently was waiting outside the bar and told Tanabe what kind of pickup the man was driving, Vorhauer wrote in the affidavit.
When the man pulled away from the bar, Tanabe arrested him. Howard later told the sheriff's investigator that he "felt uncomfortable with the arrest, but because of his inexperience did not question the incident," Vorhauer wrote.
A district attorney's investigator later said the man's wife had paid Butler about $5,000 to investigate her husband, Vorhauer wrote in the affidavit.
Two other cases
Tanabe allegedly made two other drunken-driving arrests to help Butler. Text messages between Tanabe and Butler tied the two to an arrest Jan. 9, and another deputy went to investigators with concerns about a Nov. 2 arrest, the affidavit said.
In that case, Deputy Tom Henderson said an off-duty Tanabe had called him to say a man "was drinking heavily" and would soon be leaving a Danville bar, Vorhauer wrote.
Tanabe told the deputy that the man "was cheating on his wife and (Butler and Tanabe) wanted to 'dirty him up' for a future court case," the sheriff's investigator wrote. Henderson arrested the man and booked him on suspicion of drunken driving, the affidavit said.
Tanabe, who has been put on paid leave from the sheriff's department, has not responded to phone messages. It is not known whether he has an attorney.
Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, declined to comment.
Tanabe, Butler and Wielsch, the state drug agent, all worked together in the Antioch Police Department in the late 1990s.
Butler and Wielsch, who headed the multiagency Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, were arrested Feb. 16 and charged with 28 felony counts apiece connected to the alleged theft, possession and sale of methamphetamine, marijuana, steroids and prescription pills.
Authorities said Wielsch, 49, stole the drugs from evidence lockers and passed them along to Butler, who found buyers through employees at his investigations firm.
Butler, 49, was released from jail Friday after making bail. Wielsch also is out on bail.
Butler's attorney, William Gagen, said last week that if Butler tipped off officers about drunken drivers, it was no different from any other citizen who reports suspicious drivers.
Alleged Overtime Scam Cost Fort Worth $231K
Fort Police police scam will cost the city.
By ANNIE POTASZNIK
Updated 11:15 AM CST, Wed, Mar 9, 2011 | Print
Getty Images / Scott Olson
An apparent scheme by nine police officers to collect for un-worked overtime will cost Fort Worth some serious money.
Nine officers are accused of falsifying traffic citations to collect overtime pay for hours they didn't work.
KTVT-TV has reported that their actions will cost the city more than city officials initially thought -- $231,ooo.
Each of the officers has either quit or has since been fired. All face tampering charges.
A state-funded highway safety program provided the money for the officers' pay.
But the state wants its money back. The city will reimburse the state with money from other programs or emergency funds.
Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief says the situation is "pretty embarrassing" for the city and police department.
He says Fort Worth residents deserve better and city administrators will be more vigilant in the future.
First Published: Mar 9, 2011 11:04 AM CST
you can't "lose" 20K guns, that's called gunrunning
9 March 2011 Last updated at 09:04 ET
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'South African police lost 20,000 guns'
South Africa police It is unclear how many unlicensed weapons are circulating, some of which may be police-issue arms
Continue reading the main story
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* Country profile: South Africa
South Africa's police force has lost more than 20,000 firearms since 2004, a parliamentary committee has heard.
MPs questioning police officials about the losses urged the force to take urgent action against officers who lose their weapons.
They said they feared the guns were falling into the hands of criminals.
South Africa - which has a high violent crime rate - has over the years struggled to control the number of unlicensed firearms in the country.
The internal police report presented to members of the parliamentary police committee said the police had lost 20,429 weapons since April 2004.
The police described the report as "worrying" and attributed the losses to a lack of discipline.
Continue reading the main story
I am convinced that many murders are committed with police weapons”
End Quote Diane Kohler Barnard Opposition MP
The officials being questioned could not say how many police officers had been criminally prosecuted, disciplined or fired because of the losses - as required by law.
Gary Kruser, head of the police's procurement services, said that 4,810 of those weapons had been recovered in the last seven years.
The committee members said the police were being careless with government-issued guns.
"I am convinced that many murders are committed with police weapons," Diane Kohler Barnard, opposition MP from the Democratic Alliance, said.
Annelize van Wyk, from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), said laws seemed to be "stricter" for civilians than police officers.
"The Firearms Control Act puts a huge responsibility on citizens but an official can lose one weapon, a second and a third weapon and still keep his firearm licence. But if I lose my weapon, it is another matter," South Africa's Die Burger newspaper quoted her as saying.
ANC MP Sindi Chikunga said there was clearly a "laissez-faire attitude" in the police.
"Because [as a policeman] I know if I lose my weapon, I will get another one," she said.
It is unclear how many unlicensed weapons are circulating in South Africa.
Stricter gun laws were passed in South Africa in 2004 to combat the increase in illegal firearms.
The law requires people who apply for firearm licences to undergo a competency test - involving a basic training course at an accredited training institution and a background assessment by the police.
Chicago Police Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson is Insane
Posted on March 9, 2011 by Robert Farago
"Chicago police Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson argued against the legislation, saying its approval would make it more difficult for officers to identify the bad guys when they arrive on the scene of a crime.
If the bill to allow concealed weapons passes, “law enforcement personnel will be unable to react quickly and decisively because in the back of their mind they may think the person they confronted is carrying a weapon legally,” Peterson said. “At this time there is no such obstacle.”
rebuttal here by real cop on above's streets
Chicago Cop: Conceal Carry Fear Comes From . . . Lawsuits
Posted on March 9, 2011 by Robert Farago
Earlier today, I took Chicago Police Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson to task for suggesting that legally-sanctioned (and vetted) concealed carry would make Chicago cops’ work more dangerous. Supposedly, CCW permit holders would make it harder for the Boys in Blue to tell the good guys from the bad guys. One of TTAG’s Armed Intelligenstia sent the link to a local law enforcement officer. Here’s his response . . .
Well…I worked patrol in the hood for several years and if I learned anything, it’s always assume everyone has a gun, weapon, etc. A lot of assholes don’t have guns, they will just fight you street style. So I always assume when I show up that everyone is a bad guy until proven otherwise. It’s safer that way. Obviously this guy on the website leans to an extreme with his comments, especially about how do the police know who the bad guy is? It’s the guy doing the bad thing. He has obviously never been to the hood where no one knows nothing and theres a shot up dead guy laying there . . .
I agree, the majority of our citizens are law abiding and deserve to conceal and carry. Like anything else, its the 1% that will kill the police. The guys out there shooting the police don’t walk around with Uzi’s. They walk around with 9s and smaller weapons that everyone would have acess to. Laws do not deter the bad guys, that’s why they are bad. They conceal and carry now anyway.
Believe me, the police are the first to cheer when Good Citizen puts six rounds in a guy trying to break in to his house. Steve Peterson is a Marine and I’m sure he feels the same way. The current trend is a police shooting practically every other day here in Chicago. I suggest these writers go to secondcitycop.blogspot.com or brotherhoodforthefallen.org to learn about some of the police perception or where it comes from.
Bottom line: conceal and carry would put officers on edge even more in the high violent crime districts and mistakes would be made. Then the cop would get sued and lose his house (happens more than you think). Then the cop is eligible to be convicted and go to Feredal prison.
A cop, Bill Cozzi, punched a drunk asshole that was mouthing off to him and has been in Federal prison for two years. For a punch. He took two years unpaid suspension on top of it. Cops are angry because their hands are tied. In Israel, a cop makes a mistake they say, well, he’s trying to protect people sorry. No lawsuits, no nothing. Here people sue for everything.
With conceal and carry, cops would be sued for violating people’s rights.
By Philip Lasseigne
East Peoria Times-Courier
Posted Mar 09, 2011 @ 06:04 AM
East Peoria, Ill. —
It seems as if Illinois likes being the exception when it comes to gun laws.
The Land of Lincoln is currently one of two states without any kind of concealed carry policy, and if Attorney General Lisa Madigan has her way, the state will be an exception in another category.
Last week, Madigan ordered the Illinois State Police to release the names of those Land of Lincoln residents authorized to own handguns. Citing the public records law, Madigan believes that the 1.3 million Illinoisians that have been certified to own a gun with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card should be identified.
However, the state police have balked at the request and have not released the names of the state’s gun owners.
The state police are not the only state officials that are taking umbrage with this request. Republicans in both the state House and Senate are sponsoring legislation to keep the names of gun owners private. Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) is one of the co-sponsors of the House bill.
“FOID card holders have played by the rules and have done everything to obey the letter of the law,” Unes said in a release. “It’s just common sense to keep this information private and for the General Assembly to pass legislation that will overturn this unwarranted release of private information.”
Even though the right to bear arms is obviously included in the U.S. Constitution, Illinois politicians seem determined to limit its residents second amendment rights as much as possible.
This is a potentially dangerous precedent. If the names of gun owners are released, the names of those that do not own firearms is also out for the public to find, potentially putting them in harm’s way. Knowledge of whether a home owner owns a weapon could encourage wrongdoers to target unarmed homes or target gun owners’ homes as a way to acquire a weapon.
It also remains to be seen what kind of good will come from this information being released. Governmental transparency is always a good thing, but it goes too far when citizens’ privacy is at stake.
Releasing the names of gun owners is a dangerous precedent to set and could adversely affect everyone in the state, not just those who choose to bear arms.
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