Huntsville Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Fix Cocaine Trafficking Charges
BIRMINGHAM—A Huntsville police officer pleaded guilty today in federal court to taking part in a conspiracy to fix cocaine trafficking charges against an individual arrested by another Huntsville officer, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton and Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris.
LEWIS BERNARD HALL, 45, of Meridianville, Ala., entered his guilty plea to the conspiracy before U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor. His sentencing date has not been set.
“A corrupt police officer poisons the public’s trust in law enforcement. Most officers work hard to protect their communities and are willing to put their lives on the line in that service,” Vance said. “Our communities need and deserve police officers with that integrity. The conduct of individuals like this defendant is not worthy of the badge and I applaud the work of the Huntsville Police Department and the FBI in bringing Mr. Hall to justice.”
“While the majority of police officers serve and protect the public with honor, there are those few, like Mr. Hall, who violate the public’s trust and bring dishonor to their badge,” Stanton said. “Simply stated, there is no place in law enforcement for individuals who lack integrity, lie, and violate the very laws they are sworn to uphold.”
In his plea, Hall acknowledged that he conspired with someone identified in court documents as “Individual B” to pay a fellow police officer $5,000 if that officer would claim a July 29 vehicle search he conducted, which resulted in drug-trafficking charges against “Individual A,” was unlawful, thereby making the criminal case against Individual A go away. The Huntsville officer who conducted the vehicle search and, subsequently, assisted in the investigation of Hall is identified only as “Cooperating Officer.”
According to Hall’s written plea agreement with the government, Individual A was on supervised release following a 15-year prison sentence for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance when the Cooperating Officer pulled him over on a traffic stop July 29. The officer searched the passenger compartment of the vehicle, found about three ounces of cocaine, and took Individual A into custody on a charge of trafficking cocaine, according to the plea agreement.
Hall admits in his plea that on July 31, he and Individual B discussed offering the Cooperating Officer a bribe to tell other law enforcement officers that his search of Individual A’s vehicle was unlawful. Hall offered the bribe to the Cooperating Officer on July 31, paid him $1,000 on Aug. 12, and had two follow-up conversations in November about what the officer was supposed to say when asked about the search of Individual A’s vehicle, the indictment says.
The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case in conjunction with the Huntsville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney George A. Martin Jr. is prosecuting the case.