Pubdate: Thu, 26 Apr 2007
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Copyright: 2007 Sun-Sentinel Company
Author: John Holland
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Two Hollywood police officers admitted Wednesday they trafficked more 
than a kilogram of heroin, finalizing a plea bargain that had been 
anticipated for more than a month.

Detective Kevin Companion and Officer Stephen Harrison entered guilty 
pleas during a 25-minute hearing before U.S. District Judge James I. 
Cohn and were allowed to remain free on bond.

Cohn set their sentencing hearing for July 20. Each man faces about 
10 years in prison under federal guidelines.

Two other Hollywood officers, Sgt. Jeffry Courtney and Detective 
Thomas Simcox, also are expected to plead guilty before other federal 
judges, although no hearing dates have been set. They also face about 
10 years behind bars.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Stamm would not provide copies of plea 
deals signed by Companion and Harrison, and would not say whether 
they are cooperating against other officers in the department.

A two-year undercover FBI investigation was cut short in January 
after Courtney and Companion learned they were under investigation.

According to prosecutors, the four officers ran a protection racket 
for agents posing as mobsters and used their patrol cars and 
motorcycles to escort heroin shipments.

The men also transported stolen diamonds from New Jersey, trafficked 
in stolen bearer bonds and protected an illegal card game on a yacht, 
according to court documents.

The officers were recorded on tape bragging they could easily find 
other officers in the department who would join the criminal 
enterprise. Soon after the arrests, lawyers for the four officers 
said they wanted to plead guilty before a formal indictment was issued.

Federal prosecutors won't say whether other officers are under investigation.
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