Who is Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel?

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/96001569-132.html

 

The national profile of Broward Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Scott Israel may have risen sharply in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, but the triumphs and missteps of the longtime South Florida cop have been well-documented over the past 10 years.

So have Israel’s strong connections to Parkland. The sheriff now lives in Davie but previously resided in Parkland with his wife, Susan. He is the father of triplets, Brett, Blake and Blair, who all attended Stoneman Douglas. Brett was once the starting quarterback for the school’s football team, even playing under slain assistant football coach Aaron Feis, as did his brothers. Blake, who now attends Palm Beach Atlantic University, was a midfielder in lacrosse at Stoneman. Israel, 61, also coached football at Stoneman Douglas and North Broward Preparatory Academy, and has been the head coach of the Coral Springs Chargers Tackle Football Team. In 2008, he won a Brian Piccolo Coach of the Year award.

Born in New York, Israel is the son of a New York homicide detective. He began his career as a patrol officer for the Fort Lauderdale police department in 1979, later working narcotics in the 1980s and 1990s, when crime was rampant. Israel has been the subject of 10 internal affairs complaints, mainly for excessive force, although he was cleared in all of them. He served a stint as a SWAT commander and was North Bay Village chief of police from 2004 to 2008, but left to run for sheriff in 2008 and 2012. Israel eventually won in 2012, and easily won re-election in 2016.

Israel has historically been vocal concerning gun violence, opposing open-carry legislation and one law that would allow concealed weapons on campuses. He began implementing body cameras for his deputies in 2016. This week, Israel announced that deputies guarding Broward County Schools will now carry rifle, including AR-15s.

On Thursday, the Sun-Sentinel reported that a police officer assigned to Stoneman Douglas resigned after failing to enter the Parkland school as a gunman opened fire and killed 17 students and faculty. Israel said Deputy Scot Peterson should have “went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” The sheriff placed two other deputies under investigation for their handling of possible warnings about the shooter, Nikolas Cruz.

This isn’t the first time Israel’s agency has encountered trouble over its response to a mass shooting. Months after the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport shooting, a 2017 Sun-Sentinel investigation revealed that Israel’s Broward Sheriff’s Office failed to “seize control and set up an effective command system” at the airport. BSO “erred from the very beginning in controlling the shooting scene in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2, where five people died and six others were wounded.” The reason, cited in a 99-page draft report by the agency itself, mentioned the sheriff’s office’s aging radio system, which garbled communications among officers, forcing police to improvise with “hand signals, runners and cellphones.”

Israel has also been scrutinized for his relationship with political operative Roger Stone. A Fort Lauderdale resident who built his career on smearing political enemies, Stone had a hand in the political campaigns of Richard Nixon, John McCain and Donald Trump. While backing then sheriff Al Lamberti in 2011, Stone told the Sun-Sentinel that “Scott Israel is an unqualified punk, a racist and a thief.”

One year later, Stone switched sides, helping Israel defeat Lamberti in the 2012 sheriff’s race. Since then, Israel “added to BSO’s payroll Stone’s book-writing partner, Stone’s book publicist and Stone’s long-time executive assistant,” and even had “Stone’s stepson transferred to detective.”

Citing mud slinging between Israel and Lamberti during the 2012 race, the Sun-Sentinel’s Editorial Board endorsed no one in that year’s primary for Broward County Sheriff. The Editorial Board backed Israel for his 2016 re-election as sheriff, writing that burglaries and violent crimes in BSO-patrolled areas were “way down” in the sheriff’s first term.

As Israel significantly trailed Lamberti in the 2012 race, the Sun-Sentinel reported that a late infusion of attack-ad cash from former Aerosmith guitarist Richie Supa, of Plantation, and Massachusetts construction magnate Robert Pereira helped tip the election in Israel’s favor. According to the same story, Pereira alone gave $245,000 to groups supporting Israel.

Israel also came under scrutiny in 2015 after a Broward grand jury indicted Deputy Peter Peraza in the 2013 slaying of Jermaine McBean, who was shot dead by the office in his apartment complex for toting an air rifle in public. Peraza became the first cop charged in an on-duty shooting in Broward since 1980, and public trust waned in the Broward Sheriff’s Office, prompting Israel to tell the Sun-Sentinel, “It’s a tough time to be a cop.”

After much speculation over the sheriff’s religious affiliations, Israel told the Sun-Sentinel in 2016 that he is Jewish and “attends the Parkland Chabad from time to time.” Israel leaned heavily on his faith during the 2016 campaign, saying this in one campaign ad flier: “My late father Sonny Israel fought in the Korean War and became a police officer because he believed in the call from the Talmud.” This came after multiple public speeches from Israel laced with Scriptural references, comments about “church pews” and his reluctance to discuss his spiritual beliefs.

Phillip Valys, February 24, 2018, South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Who is Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel?”, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-florida-school-shooting-who-is-broward-sheriff-scott-israel-20180223-story.html
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Broward Co. Sheriff Israel: ‘Not My Responsibility’ That His Employee Failed to Confront Parkland Shooter

“I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.”

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Apart from Nikolas Cruz, charged with killed 17 people, the second villain of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, is shaping up as Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

At CNN’s “town hall” last week, Israel attacked defenders of the Second Amendment and said he and law enforcement “need more power.” Since then, it’s come to light that his department’s armed “school resource officer,” who was on the scene, failed to engage the shooter. So did three other sheriff’s deputies. When charged with corruption during a 2016 re-election campaign, Israel compared himself to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, and former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula—and declared, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”

Now there’s this stunning denial of responsibility, in which Israel explains to a local news reporter why he is refusing to resign: “I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.”

Confidence in police is below its 2004 peak, even if it’s rebounded from a post-Ferguson low in 2014. There are many reasons for that, including a seemingly endless stream of cases in which police shoot unarmed suspects and face few if any legal consequences. Add to that now a high-profile cop categorically declaring that his ass is covered merely by giving the requisite training to his staff, rather than overseeing a properly functioning department.

The Parkland shooting is quickly moving from a story about the need for more restrictions on weapons and owners to one about how officials failed to execute their duties. Israel’s craven responses will only feed that narrative, which might at least have the salutary effect of raising public consciousness and holding police accountable.

Watch the clip here:

National Disgrace “Officer” Scot Peterson Hid like a Little Bitch while Psycho Nikolas Cruz Dropped Bodies

“Officer” Scot Peterson, the armed School Resource Officer who had 1 simple job to do at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland, Florida.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The only armed sheriff’s deputy at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed took cover outside rather than charging into the building when the massacre began, the Broward County sheriff said on Thursday. The sheriff also acknowledged that his office received 23 calls related to the suspect going back a decade, including one last year that said he was collecting knives and guns, but may not have adequately followed up.

The deputy, Scot Peterson, resigned on Thursday after being suspended without pay after Sheriff Scott Israel reviewed surveillance video.

“He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said in a news conference. He said the video showed Deputy Peterson doing “nothing.”

“There are no words,” said Sheriff Israel, who described himself as “devastated, sick to my stomach.”

Two other deputies were placed on restricted duty on Thursday because they may have mishandled tips called in to the sheriff’s office over the past two years warning that the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, appeared intent on becoming a school shooter, Sheriff Israel said.

The revelations added to a growing list of failures and missed signs by the authorities that might have helped prevent one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.

The F.B.I. received a tip last month from someone close to Mr. Cruz that he owned a gun and had talked of committing a school shooting, the bureau revealed last week, acknowledging that it had failed to investigate. The tip about Mr. Cruz appeared to be the second in four months, after another person told the bureau about an online comment apparently posted by Mr. Cruz that he wanted to become “a professional school shooter.”

The Florida Department of Children and Families, the state social services agency, looked into Mr. Cruz’s well-being in 2016 after he posted on social media that he was cutting himself, but investigators determined he was not at risk of harming himself or others. The Broward County Public Schools had disciplinary complaints on Mr. Cruz dating back to when he was in middle school, including a long history of fighting.

Sheriff Israel said he informed Deputy Peterson on Thursday that he was being suspended without pay and placed under internal investigation. At 12:37 p.m. on Thursday, sheriff’s office records show, Deputy Peterson, signed his retirement papers, which amounted to a resignation. He had been with the office for more than 32 years.

“The investigation will continue,” Sheriff Israel said.

The surveillance video, which was not released, showed Deputy Peterson remained outside the west side of the building for at least four minutes while the gunman was inside, according to Sheriff Israel. The shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lasted less than six minutes. The video was corroborated by witness statements, Sheriff Israel said.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that an officer from the Coral Springs Police Department who responded to the shooting had seen Deputy Peterson in a Stoneman Douglas High parking lot. The deputy “was seeking cover behind a concrete column leading to a stairwell,” Officer Tim Burton said.

In the chaos immediately after the shooting, there were other missteps. A 20-minute delay in school surveillance video confused Coral Springs police officers trying to find the gunman, said Chief Tony Pustizzi. By then, the suspect had already left the building.

Chief Pustizzi called it a communications failure. The video system allows for real-time playback

“At first the guys are hearing, ‘Oh, he’s on the second floor.’ Well, it’s not true, ‘cause we have people on the second floor and the people are saying, ‘Well, he’s not on the second floor,’” Chief Pustizzi said, adding that, if anything, the officers were “more expeditious” as they moved through the school under the belief the gunman was still there.

Coral Springs police have said they were the first to respond to the shooting. Sheriff Israel, who defended his office’s response on Wednesday and said his own deputies had not hung back outside the building, said on Thursday that the Coral Springs officers acted “heroically.”

Samantha Fuentes, an 18-year-old senior at Stoneman Douglas High who was shot in both legs, said she never saw Deputy Peterson during the “30 minutes” that passed before SWAT officers arrived at the first-floor classroom in which she and other students had been taking a class.

“He is not someone who has much of a presence” in the school, she said.

Sheriff Israel, flanked by two of his top aides, appeared emotional Thursday during the news conference in which he described Deputy Peterson’s conduct. His eyes appeared to glisten, and his speech was sometimes halting.

The two other deputies placed on restricted duty pending an internal investigation were identified by the sheriff’s office as Edward Eason and Guntis Treijs.

In November 2017, a caller told the authorities that Mr. Cruz had been stockpiling guns and knives. In a summary of the call, the sheriff’s office said the caller, located in Massachusetts, worried that Mr. Cruz “will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making.” A deputy contacted the person who called, but no report was filed. The caller was referred to the sheriff’s office in Palm Beach County, where the caller said Mr. Cruz lived.

In February 2016, the sheriff’s office received what it described as “thirdhand information” that Mr. Cruz “planned to shoot up the school” and had posted a picture on Instagram of a “juvenile with guns.” A deputy determined that Mr. Cruz had knives and a BB gun and forwarded the information to the school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas High. That was Deputy Peterson.

Some of the other calls reveal further details about Mr. Cruz’s troubled childhood. In November 2014, someone reported that a person fitting Mr. Cruz’s description shot a chicken with a possible BB gun. Mr. Cruz was found to own an airsoft rifle, which he admitted to using, but denied he shot chickens.

And in September 2016, a peer counselor at Stoneman Douglas High alerted the school resource officer — likely Deputy Peterson — that Mr. Cruz “possibly ingested gasoline” the week prior “in an attempt to commit suicide and is cutting himself.”

“Mental health counselor advised Cruz did not meet criteria for Baker Act,” the summary said, referring to the Florida law that allows the police to commit the mentally ill against their will.

Stoneman Douglas High initiated a “threat assessment” on Mr. Cruz after the counselor’s report. The Florida Department of Children of Families looked into whether Mr. Cruz was at risk of harming himself or others and concluded he was not because he was living with his mother, attending school and seeing a counselor.

 

Chicago to pay $20 million to settle code-of-silence lawsuit over fatal crash caused by drunken cop, sources say

Jason Meisner Chicago Tribune

The city of Chicago has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a code-of-silence lawsuit brought by the families of two young men killed in a fiery drunken driving crash caused by an off-duty police detective, sources told the Chicago Tribune.

The agreement to pay $10 million each to relatives of Andrew Cazares and Fausto Manzera was reached in dramatic fashion earlier this month after it was revealed that key documents involving an alcohol-fueled bar fight in detective Joseph Frugoli’s past had been improperly withheld.

The amount of the agreement was not made public, but sources have since confirmed the figure to the Tribune. The settlement must still be green-lighted by the city’s Finance Committee before going to the full City Council for a vote. That could happen as soon as next month.

If approved, it would mark yet another massive payout for the city in a police misconduct suit. In the past two months alone, nearly $100 million in judgments have been assessed against the city for police-related cases, including a record $44.7 million jury verdict in October for a man who was shot by his childhood friend, Officer Patrick Kelly, in an off-duty incident. Earlier this month, the City Council approved a $31 million payout for the “Englewood Four,” who each spent some 15 years in prison for a 1994 rape and murder before DNA linked the crime to a convicted killer.

Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department, declined to comment Monday on the Frugoli settlement, citing department policy. A lawyer for the victims’ families also declined to confirm the amount when contacted by the Tribune.

While the settlement would end the lawsuit, the city may still face consequences for withholding the key documents. After the bombshell report on Frugoli’s 1992 bar fight surfaced in the midst of the trial, lawyers for the victims’ families asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall to sanction the city for failing to comply with the routine exchange of evidence known as discovery.

Speaking to reporters immediately after the case was settled, attorney Timothy Cavanagh, who represents the Cazares family, indicated he would not pursue the sanctions in light of the deal. But he also said he hoped the judge would look into who was responsible.

“It’s something that the judge, quite frankly, will still have jurisdiction to look at and see why were these critical documents not turned over during the case,” Cavanagh said.

Records show the city has been sanctioned by judges eight times for failing to turn over records in a police misconduct case since Rahm Emanuel became mayor in 2011. All totaled, discovery-related penalties — which include two large post-trial sanctions — have cost the city more than $1 million over the past six years. The city has also been ordered to pay millions of dollars in plaintiffs’ attorneys fees.

Frugoli had been drinking for nearly five hours at two South Side bars in April 2009 when he got behind the wheel of his Lexus SUV, entered the southbound Dan Ryan Expressway at a high rate of speed and slammed into the back of Cazares’ car near Roosevelt Road, where Cazares had pulled over because of a flat tire.

Frugoli was pulled from the wreckage by a good Samaritan and limped away on a ramp, bleeding from the head as the vehicle he’d struck burst into flames. He was found walking near Clinton Street and Roosevelt Road by Chicago police officers responding to the call of a person fleeing the scene.

Frugoli’s blood alcohol level was later measured at 0.328 percent, more than four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

When a state trooper arrived at the hospital to arrest Frugoli, a high-ranking Chicago police official acting as street deputy that night was already there and prevented Frugoli from making any statements, according to testimony. “Mr. Frugoli sat up and said, ‘I wasn’t driving. Did you find the other guy?’ ” Trooper Garrett Lindroth told the jury in testimony earlier this month.

Frugoli, now 50, was convicted of aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and is serving an eight-year sentence in state prison.

Lawyers for the Cazares and Manzera families alleged in their wrongful death lawsuit that the police code of silence protected Frugoli and caused him to think he could drink and drive without fear of consequences. Just a year before the fatal crash, Frugoli was involved in an off-duty crash with a marked squad car that injured two officers, yet he was never given a field sobriety test or questioned at the scene, according to trial testimony.

A large part of the plaintiffs’ argument centered on records turned over by the city that showed Frugoli had never been disciplined for any of the 18 complaints he received in his two-decade career.

But when Frugoli took the witness stand on the third day of trial, he revealed that he had indeed been suspended for five days in 1992. After the jury left the courtroom, Kendall asked Frugoli for details of the case and ordered lawyers for the city to go back to the Police Department and search for it.

The 115-page file documenting the 1992 bar fight was finally handed over three days later, along with two other previously undisclosed files.

The records showed Frugoli walked into the First Base Tavern in Bridgeport with two friends, smashed bar glasses, broke bar stools and pool cues, punched one man in the face and threw another seven feet across the bar into a pool table.

When the panicked bartender asked Frugoli to leave, the off-duty officer yelled, “Nobody messes with the Frugolis!”

As Frugoli left with his friends, a Chicago police sergeant responding to calls about the altercation told him to “hold it” and that she wanted to talk with him. Instead, Frugoli took off in his car. He pulled over only after the sergeant chased him in her marked squad car with her lights flashing.

Despite indications that Frugoli had been drinking, he was allowed to drive himself back to the police station, where he was never handcuffed, questioned or issued a sobriety test, the record showed. Misdemeanor battery charges were later filed, but Frugoli said they were dropped at his first court date.

Frugoli was suspended from work without pay for 15 days for the fight, but the sanction was reduced to five days after he appealed, records show.

On Dec. 8, one day after the bombshell evidence was shown to the jury, the settlement in the lawsuit came together in dramatic fashion in the middle of arguments.

When Cavanagh told the jury it was time to “talk about damages,” the city’s attorneys suddenly sought a sidebar. After both sides huddled with the judge for more than 10 minutes, Kendall called a recess. During the break, relatives of the victims were seen weeping and hugging one another.

When the judge returned, she announced that the case was over.

Jason Meisner, December 18, 2017, Chicago Tribune, “Chicago to pay $20 million to settle code-of-silence lawsuit over fatal crash caused by drunken cop, sources say”, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-cop-fatal-dui-settlement-20171218-story.html

Former St. Charles County officer pleads guilty of stealing items from bait car while responding to a call on duty

  • Mar 24, 2016
 Matthew Howze

ST. CHARLES COUNTY   •   A former St. Charles County police officer has pleaded guilty of stealing items from a bait car while he was responding to a call for an abandoned vehicle.

Matthew Clayton Howze, 40, will be sentenced May 16 in the case.

Howze, of Bowling Green, Mo., pleaded guilty Monday to charges of theft and tampering with evidence, according to court records.

When he was charged in February of last year, authorities said he took a digital camera, a parka, a cordless drill, a tool bag, sunglasses and cash from a car near Defiance.

The scene was staged by authorities after they received an internal tip that he might be stealing items on duty. Howze, who was fired after the incident, had been a county officer for 10 years.

 

  • Mar 24, 2016, , “Former St. Charles County officer pleads guilty of stealing items from car”,

Cognitively Impaired Fort Worth Cop Pepper Sprays Motorcyclists while Riding

By: FOX4News.com Staff

– A Fort Worth police officer caught on camera pepper spraying a group of bikers has been removed from the field and placed on desk duty pending an investigation.

Video recorded by one of the bikers shows a FWPD officer had a driver in a Dodge Ram truck pulled over on the side of Interstate 20 on Sunday. A group of motorcyclists pass by as the officer gets out of his vehicle, and that’s when he pulls out his pepper spray and aims the spray at the bikers.

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Fort Worth PD Officer William Figueroa

Chase Stone, the biker who posted the video on Facebook, called it “beyond dangerous.”

“Law enforcement is here to protect and serve, not intentionally try to harm others,” he wrote in the caption.

The Fort Worth Police Department said an Officer William Figueroa is under investigation for the incident. Figueroa is a six-year veteran of FWPD. The department said the incident was captured on dashcam and body camera.

“The Fort Worth Police Department takes any complaint of officer misconduct very seriously and this incident will be investigated thoroughly,” police said in a statement.

Brittany Botello and her truck passengers were hit by the pepper spray blow back, but they were not the target of the spray.

“He sprays them first and then sprays everybody in the truck and it came into the truck because I was the driver and I’m six months pregnant and I just started… everybody started choking,” said Brittany Botelli.

Terry McKenzie, a passenger in the truck, said they told the officer they were choking, but he said he was just spraying the bikes and didn’t apologize for the spray getting on their group.

“He said he was scared,” McKenzie said of why the officer sprayed the bikers.

Markus Hernandez, another passenger, said the officer told them the bikes were too close to his car for his comfort.

Botello was ticketed for driving without a license. But the group in the truck said the officer didn’t have to open up a can of pepper spray on the bikers.

“They could have got blinded and ran into the truck,” McKenzie said. “I mean it could have been bad.

Stevenson, Ala., police chief indicted for Brutality

January 28th, 2016 by Associated Press in Local Regional News Read Time: < 1 min.

STEVENSON, Ala. — A federal grand jury has indicted a northeastern Alabama police chief on two civil rights charges after being accused of assaulting a person who was being arrested and failing to stop another person from using unreasonable force.

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The Department of Justice said in a news release that 55-year-old Stevenson Police Chief Daniel Winters was indicted Wednesday on two counts of deprivation of civil rights under color of law.

The indictment says an unidentified person suffered bodily injuries while being arrested on or about March 22.

Stevenson Mayor Rickey Steele says he placed Winters on administrative leave with pay immediately after hearing about the indictment.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation.

 

Associated Press, January 28th, 2016, Times Free Press, “Stevenson, Ala., police chief indicted”, http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2016/jan/28/stevenson-al-police-chief-indicted/347069/?platform=hootsuite

Police Lieutenant Christopher Bartley Blows Up NIST Lab Trying to make Crystal Meth.

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A now-former federal officer who tried to cook meth on a government research campus was sentenced Thursday night to more than three years in prison. News4’s Scott MacFarlane reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016)

A former federal security official who pleaded guilty to trying to make methamphetamine inside a high-security government research facility in Montgomery County was sentenced Thursday night to more than 3 years in prison.

Christopher Bartley was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison after a marathon hearing on Thursday. He pleaded guilty in August to trying to make meth in July on the campus of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, while employed there as a police lieutenant.

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A federal judge compared him to Walter White on the hit television show “Breaking Bad.” He said that unlike on the show, Bartley’s crimes didn’t take place in a desert.

Bartley said in the courtroom he made a serious error in judgment.

Ex-Fed. Officer to Take Stand on Meth-Making Charges

Ex-Fed. Officer to Take Stand on Meth-Making Charges

A former high-ranking federal officer who admitted to trying to make meth in a government lab will take the stand during his sentencing. News4’s Scott MacFarlane reports on the story you heard first on 4.

(Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016)

“I was scared. I was ashamed. I was scared I’d lose my job,” he said.

As News4 was first to report, an explosion ripped through an NIST lab about 7:30 p.m. July 18, sending a blast shield and shatterproof windows flying more than 20 feet, officials said. The federal facility holds a nuclear reactor and important scientific research and explosives.

Bartley, who also was accused of having sex in government cars while on official duty, had been trying to make meth, officials say.

The blast sent the temperature to 180 degrees, and a silent heat alarm activated. Responding firefighters saw Bartley leaving the room, according to the U.S. attorney. Investigators searched the room and the trash and found equipment and household items for making meth. In Bartley’s car they found a recipe and more equipment.

A fellow officer and firefighter testified on Thursday that Bartley lied to them when they arrived on the scene. Bartley claimed a butane lighter had exploded.

Bartley, 41, of Gaithersburg, was found with burns on his arms, and singed hair and eyebrows, prosecutors said.

“He lied to his own colleagues in the police department and exposed everyone to the danger of that meth lab,” U.S. State’s Attorney Rod Rosenstein said.

Bartley resigned the following day.

On Thursday, prosecutors showed photos of the damage the explosion caused to the lab.

Bartley’s attorney, Steven Van Grack, said Bartley had been conducting an unauthorized training experiment that failed.

“There were only two possible options: he was seeking to make it to try it for the first time or it was a legitimate training program,” Van Grack said.

The judge listened and called the argument “preposterous.”

Bartley’s lawyer asked for probation and argued he did not endanger others and never succeeded in making meth.

NIST, a federal entity that’s part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, employs about 3,000 scientists, engineers and others on a 578-acre campus about 15 miles north of Washington, D.C.

Bartley will report to federal prison March 1.

Former Federal Officer Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Trying to Make Meth on Government Campus

News4’s Scott MacFarlane reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016)

A now-former federal officer who tried to cook meth on a government research campus was sentenced Thursday night to more than three years in prison.

A former federal security official who pleaded guilty to trying to make methamphetamine inside a high-security government research facility in Montgomery County was sentenced Thursday night to more than 3 years in prison.

Christopher Bartley was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison after a marathon hearing on Thursday. He pleaded guilty in August to trying to make meth in July on the campus of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, while employed there as a police lieutenant.

A federal judge compared him to Walter White on the hit television show “Breaking Bad.” He said that unlike on the show, Bartley’s crimes didn’t take place in a desert.

Bartley said in the courtroom he made a serious error in judgment.

Ex-Fed. Officer to Take Stand on Meth-Making Charges

Ex-Fed. Officer to Take Stand on Meth-Making Charges

A former high-ranking federal officer who admitted to trying to make meth in a government lab will take the stand during his sentencing. News4’s Scott MacFarlane reports on the story you heard first on 4. (Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016)

“I was scared. I was ashamed. I was scared I’d lose my job,” he said.

As News4 was first to report, an explosion ripped through an NIST lab about 7:30 p.m. July 18, sending a blast shield and shatterproof windows flying more than 20 feet, officials said. The federal facility holds a nuclear reactor and important scientific research and explosives.

Bartley, who also was accused of having sex in government cars while on official duty, had been trying to make meth, officials say.

The blast sent the temperature to 180 degrees, and a silent heat alarm activated. Responding firefighters saw Bartley leaving the room, according to the U.S. attorney. Investigators searched the room and the trash and found equipment and household items for making meth. In Bartley’s car they found a recipe and more equipment.

A fellow officer and firefighter testified on Thursday that Bartley lied to them when they arrived on the scene. Bartley claimed a butane lighter had exploded.

Bartley, 41, of Gaithersburg, was found with burns on his arms, and singed hair and eyebrows, prosecutors said.

“He lied to his own colleagues in the police department and exposed everyone to the danger of that meth lab,” U.S. State’s Attorney Rod Rosenstein said.

Bartley resigned the following day.

On Thursday, prosecutors showed photos of the damage the explosion caused to the lab.

Bartley’s attorney, Steven Van Grack, said Bartley had been conducting an unauthorized training experiment that failed.

“There were only two possible options: he was seeking to make it to try it for the first time or it was a legitimate training program,” Van Grack said.

The judge listened and called the argument “preposterous.”

Bartley’s lawyer asked for probation and argued he did not endanger others and never succeeded in making meth.

NIST, a federal entity that’s part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, employs about 3,000 scientists, engineers and others on a 578-acre campus about 15 miles north of Washington, D.C.

Bartley will report to federal prison March 1.

Cop charge with DUI while driving Drug Task Force vehicle. Not Keystone, NY.

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NEWS9 has learned that a Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy has been charged with DUI and it happened while he was in a Drug Task Force vehicle.

Investigators with the West Virginia State Police confirmed the report on Tuesday afternoon.

Lieutenant Michael Baylous says Deputy Brandon Woofter was pulled over in the task force vehicle around 3 o’clock in the morning on Dec. 30 along W.Va. 2.

According to Baylous, Woofter was arrested and then was released on bond.

NEWS9 reached out to Sheriff Ralph Fletcher who says the deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations and legal proceedings.