Pubdate: Sun, 24 Mar 2002
Source: Times Daily (AL)
Contact:  2002 Times Daily
Author: Mike Goens
Bookmark: (Corruption)


RHODESVILLE -- A former Florence police officer was arrested on drug 
trafficking charges Saturday afternoon as drug agents concluded a 1-year 
investigation, officials said.

Harold Prince White, 47, was arrested at his business on Waterloo Road just 
after 3:30 p.m., said David Scogin, director of the Lauderdale County Drug 
Task Force.  He was being held in the county detention center Saturday 
night. Bond was set at $42,500.

White, who lives at 6180 Lauderdale 189 in the Rhodesville community, is 
charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, two counts of 
distribution of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and 
possession of drug paraphernalia.

Scogin said the trafficking and distribution charges involve the sale of 
cocaine. "We received information on Mr.  White about a year ago and have 
been trying to gather information on him," Scogin said.  "We have to follow 
the rules and legal procedures, and these things often take quite a bit of 
time.  Ultimately, we usually get them through persistence and help from 
the community.  That's what happened in this case.

"With the subject in this case being a former police officer, he knew what 
we are legally bound to do.  We just kept working at it, and we were able 
to get the information we needed over the last 48 hours."

White served as a Florence police officer for about three years during the 
late 1980s, where he spent much of his career on patrol, authorities 
said.  He left the department on disability leave.

Scogin said task force agents and sheriff's office personnel had had 
White's business -- Rhodesville Body Shop on Waterloo Road, under 
surveillance Saturday.  He said they witnessed what they believed to be a 
drug transaction and went to the business with a search warrant in 
hand.  He did not elaborate on what agents saw to make them suspect a drug 
deal had occurred.

"When I walked into the business, he was counting his money," Scogin 
said.  "He took off running to the rear of the building, but we were able 
to take him into custody without incident."

He said White was holding a package containing about an ounce of cocaine in 
his hand at the time.  Several smaller bags of cocaine were found in his 
pants pocket, Scogin said.

Agents found about 3.5 ounces of powder cocaine, more than $6,000 in cash, 
a small amount of marijuana, scales, baggies and other materials often 
associated with preparing drugs for resale, Scogin said.  A person can face 
trafficking charges when 1 ounce of cocaine is found in his or her 
possession.  A person convicted of trafficking illegal drugs must spend at 
least three years in prison.  Scogin said agents found about 50 bags that 
contained 1 gram of cocaine during their search of the metal building. They 
also confiscated two guns.

A gram of cocaine can be sold for about $100 on the street, officials said.

Scogin said charges could be filed against at least two more people related 
to the case.
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