Thursday, March 23, 2006

Five-man Texas police force shut down

United Press International

Troup, Texas, March 20 - The East Texas town of Troup is in shock after the FBI raided their five-man police force and arrested the chief and sergeant for corruption.

Sgt. Mark Turner, 47, was charged with delivering marijuana and tampering with or fabricating evidence. A search warrant claims Turner gave marijuana to an undercover agent, assuring him later there was more available from the police evidence box.

Police Chief Chester Kennedy, who led the force for 14 years, also was charged with evidence tampering. He is free on $400,000 bail, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Turner, however, was unable to make $500,000 bail and remains jailed.

Maj. Mike Lusk, head of criminal investigations for the Smith County (Texas) Sheriff's Department, said Troup police had sent a total of two drug evidence samples to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab since 2000.

"We do that much in an hour," he said.

The three remaining police officers have been transferred to the public works department, and county constables and sheriff's deputies are patrolling the town of 1,949 residents.


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