Pubdate: Tue, 27 May 2008
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2008 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)


SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine - Two St Catherine police officers were
last week sent to prison after being found guilty of drug possession
and wounding, while a third was arrested for breaching the Corruption
Prevention Act.

The two convicted cops are Sergeant Earlie Wilson and Constable Clive
Dixon of the Portmore and Spanish Town police respectively.

Wilson was found guilty of possession of 525 pounds of ganja which was
found at his Hellshire, St Catherine home in April 2005 during a raid
by the narcotics police. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment at
hard labour. In addition he was ordered to pay a fine of $1 million.

He was found guilty on possession of ganja; of taking steps to export
ganja and using his premises to store the weed. His attorney Bert
Samuels, immediately gave verbal notice of appeal and applied for bail
but this was rejected by resident magistrate Marcia

Meanwhile Dixon was convicted in the St Catherine Circuit Court on a
charge of unlawful wounding and sentenced to 18 months in prison at
hard labour.

The charge arose out of a 2004 incident where he reportedly stopped a
motorist along Young Street, Spanish Town for a minor traffic
infraction. He said the motorist hit him with the car and he drew his
service pistol and shot the motorist in his neck. Dixon was arrested
and charged with wounding with intent, but a seven-member jury found
him guilty on the lesser charge of unlawful wounding.

And, last week constable Orthel Whittingham of the Waterford police
was arrested on suspicion of corruption. Whittingham was charged with
soliciting by the Anti Corruption Branch and taken to the Spanish Town
Criminal Court. He pleaded not guilty and was offered $80,000 bail to
return to court on July 17 when the matter will again be mentioned.

He was also ordered to surrender his passport to the police.
Investigators told the court that the cop stopped a motorist along the
Hellshire main road on April 11. While going through the car documents
he discovered that the car was not insured. The cop is alleged to have
told the motorist that the offence would cost him $100,000 if he went
to court.  However, the two haggled and the cop agreed to accept
$25,000 to drop the charge, arranging for delivery later that day at
the police station.

A report was made to the Anti Corruption Branch and a sting operation
was set up. Detectives told the court that although Whittingham did
not take the money, they taped the conversation between the cop and
the complainant.

Statements were collected and sent to the director of public
prosecutions (DPP) who ruled last Thursday that the cop be arrested
and charged with a breach of the Corruption Prevention Act.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake