Thursday, April 9, 2015
FBI Agent Concedes Mistakes In Philly Narco Cop Investigation
Veteran crime reporter and author George Anastasia is covering the federal trial of a group of Philadelphia narcotics cops for bigtrial.net.
Mistakes were made in the investigation of six Philadelphia Police Department narcotics investigators, an FBI agent told a federal jury from the witness stand today.
But the agent, John Hess, would not agree with a defense argument that the 26-count indictment charging the veteran officers with going rogue and stealing more than $500,000 in cash, drugs and valuables from drug dealers was a rush to judgment.
Hess also said he could not answer what Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek called the fundamental question in the case -- how high and how wide had corruption spread through the Philadelphia Police Department?
"I still don't know for certain," said Hess, one of the agents who conducted the six-year probe of the narcotics unit.
Under cross-examination by defense attorneys, Hess acknowledged that the government dropped four of the 26 counts in the original indictment shortly before the trial opened last week in U.S. District Court. Two of the counts were dropped because of conflicting statements made by a government witness. But two others were canned because one of the officers charged in the incidents was either on vacation or off duty when the crimes were allegedly committed.
"Obviously we missed this. We made a mistake," Hess said when defense attorney Jack McMahon showed him police work records indicating that Brian Reynolds, one of the officers charged, was on vacation on March 7, 2010.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: