Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2008
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2008 The Huntsville Times
Author: Niki Doyle, Times Staff Writer


Included in charges are evidence tampering, false reporting, drugs

Two Huntsville police officers were indicted Friday for allegedly 
tampering with evidence, falsifying reports and attempting to possess 
drugs, the department announced Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Andy Jackson said the charges stemmed from an internal 
investigation into alleged policy violations.

Officers Wesley Little and Ryan Moore of the north precinct were 
arrested and booked in the Madison County metro jail. They have since 
been released on bond.

Little was charged with attempting to possess a controlled substance, 
possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, tampering with 
physical evidence and false reporting to law enforcement authorities.

Moore was charged with first-degree possession of marijuana and two 
counts of attempt to possess a controlled substance.

The two officers were placed on administrative leave in late March. 
They will remain on leave with pay pending a personnel hearing, Jackson said.

The investigation began after fellow officers reported alleged 
wrongdoing to their supervisors.

"This is an unfortunate set of circumstances," Jackson said. 
"However, the Huntsville police officers who came forward and 
reported these violations should be commended."

Public Safety Director Rex Reynolds said in a statement that the 
investigation "did not reveal any evidence that existing cases made 
by either officer were tainted by illegal planting of evidence."

The statement came shortly after news reports that the officers had 
been suspended and was in response to a television station's claims 
the officers had planted evidence on suspects.

Reynolds said last month that those rumors have been problematic for 
other officers and were unfounded as far as he knew.

"We have not had one citizen or one defendant come to us and say that 
evidence had been planted on them," he said in early April.

Both Reynolds and Police Chief Henry Reyes were in Washington, D.C., 
for the National Peace Officers' Memorial Day service and were 
unavailable to comment Tuesday.

Moore is charged with three Class C felonies, which carry a sentence 
of no more than 10 years in prison and no less than one year and one 
day. Fines can amount to no more than $5,000.

Little faces two Class C felony charges and two Class A misdemeanor 
charges, which carry a sentence of no more than a year in prison and 
$2,000 in fines.

Little joined the police department in December 2006; Moore became a 
Huntsville police officer in May 2006.

The two officers will not face a full personnel hearing until the 
criminal charges have been disposed.

Jackson said the investigation is proof that the department takes 
allegations seriously and will investigate any claims of misconduct.

"No one, regardless of his or her position, is above the law," he said. 
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