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Cop going to prison for conspiring against a person who never existed

Cop going to prison for conspiring against a person who never existed and for taking money that he never kept and didn't belong to anyone

Saturday, February 7, 2009 4:05 PM

2 ex-Ramsey Co. sheriff's employees get prison for failing integrity test

Two ex-Ramsey County sheriff's employees called the theft a practical joke; the judge called it "a shameful betrayal of trust."

By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune

Last update: February 6, 2009 - 11:07 PM

Two former Ramsey County sheriff's employees were each sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison Friday for what one of their attorneys continued to insist was a practical joke gone bad.

"It was a joke, clear and simple," said Paul Rogosheske, the attorney for Mark Naylon, a former Sheriff's Office spokesman sentenced to 30 months in prison.

A jury in August found Naylon and Timothy Rehak, a former St. Paul police officer and member of the sheriff's special investigations unit, guilty of theft and conspiracy to deprive someone of their civil rights after the men were caught pocketing $6,000 in planted money during an FBI integrity test. Rehak was sentenced to 35 months behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz told the men that their actions were no laughing matter, but a violation of the public trust.

"This is an egregious, shameful betrayal of the trust that has been placed in you," he said before imposing the sentences. "This makes the job of a good cop that much more difficult and dangerous. And that makes us all less safe."

The FBI launched the integrity check in November 2004 after an informant said the men were interfering in drug investigations. FBI agents planted $13,500 in marked bills in a room at the Kelly Inn in St. Paul. An informant then called his longtime contact, Rehak, and told him that a drug dealer had been arrested and had left drugs and cash in the hotel room.

Naylon and Rehak were seen on videotape finding a duffel bag of cash in a dresser. The video showed Rehak handing a wad of bills to Naylon, who put them in his jacket pocket.

Naylon, it turned out, pocketed $6,000 of the planted cash. The men said later that they were playing a practical joke on their supervisor, who had searched the bathroom.

Prosecutors said the practical joke story was concocted as a cover story after the men realized they may have been the target of an integrity test.

Friday, after the sentences were handed down, Rogosheske and Paul Engh, Rehak's attorney, said they will appeal both the conviction and the sentence.

Engh said his client is going to prison for conspiring against a person who never existed and for taking money that he never kept and didn't belong to anyone. When asked if Rehak, a police officer for more than 20 years, made a mistake in risking his career and his freedom for a purported practical joke, Engh said: "He didn't risk his career. He never risked his career. He didn't do it."

Before Schiltz issued his sentence, Engh had argued for probation only. That would be the presumptive sentence in state court for a theft of so little money, he said.

Schiltz, however, disagreed.

"This isn't about the money," he said. "It's never been about the money."

[sure it isn't. That's why the money was used as "evidence, right?]

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Dixon called the sentences appropriate.

"We are grateful, although saddened, by the sentence today, which reflects a serious violation of the public's trust," he said.

Both men had been close associates of Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. Naylon had been best man at Fletcher's second wedding. Although he was not a licensed peace officer, Naylon often carried a gun and participated in investigative work. Rehak, a longtime St. Paul police officer, joined the Sheriff's Office after the FBI had begun its investigation. They resigned on the day they were convicted, and Fletcher has acknowledged that case has hurt the credibility of his department.

At the time of their indictment, Fletcher issued a statement calling the men good cops.

"These charges are serious, however, like any citizen they deserve an opportunity to have an impartial trial of the facts," he said.

Fletcher has been largely silent on the case since then. When reached Friday, he declined to comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti said at the sentencing hearing that Naylon liked to wield the powers of a peace officer without accepting accountability. For instance, he would participate in searches, but not put his name on reports, Marti said.

Friday's sentence, he said, finally held him accountable for his actions.

"Certainly, Judge Schiltz's words were direct and clear," he said.

Schiltz recommended that both men serve their sentences at the federal prison camp near Duluth, provided their safety there can be assured. They were not taken into custody after the sentencing, but must report to U.S. marshals on March 9 at 10 a.m.

James Walsh • 612-673-7428

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/39202262.html?page=1&c=y



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While I don't agree with the

While I don't agree with the rules of the game these guys got caught with their own rules. You know this wasn't there first time.

The part that most raised my eyebrow was that they were not taken into custody at their convictions. If that was a civilian you know they would have been.

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It probably WAS their first

It probably WAS their first and only "time".

They were being watched since 2004, yet they were never seen doing an illegitimate act that harmed justice. So now 5 years later, a fake incident arises.

More likely, they were taken out because they were good cops.

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

How is this diffrent...

... that the countless other fruadulent stings that the Government uses to put people in Jail? Prostitution, drugs, etc.. While I typically disagree w/ "set-up" by the Government, isn't this a goose and gander argument as far as the Cops are concerned? I mean, if i can go to jail for a bag of pot that never exsisted, because of my desire to purchase pot (if it were available). Then shouldn't they got to jail for their desire to steal money that wasn't their? It's kind of like a hunter getting caught in an animal trap. While you may disagree w/ his method of trapping, there's some sort of poetic justice knowing he was caught by a trap of his own use. If it were a civilian I would feel sympathy, but since it's a set of Cops who routinely use these methods to wrongfully trick others, I don't feel the same sympathy. KARMA is a Bitch!

Well, it's hard to believe

Well, it's hard to believe the cops intended to return the money to its rightful owner, because they thought he was in jail.

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"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

No faith restored

What an absurd sentence to be charged "guilty of theft and conspiracy to deprive someone of their civil rights". Fire the Sheriff employees for misconduct, for the actions unbecoming an officer of the law. Otherwise this is entrapment. How on earth is this, a rights violation? What “right” was deprived to the State? The State’s right to instill a sense of public trust in the Federal Bureau of Investigation? No injury was made to a person or their property... so what restitution can be made?

If you ask me, the whole war on drug is predicated on supplemental funds from property confiscation, as agents of the State, police mimic the corrupted actions of the State (theft). Not to mention the added benefits of militarization and the interrogation techniques perfected by the “Organs of Soviet State Security". We need to end the war against the fabric of our society - end the war on drugs.

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Thomas Paine Common Sense

The responses make me grin...

See, normally on this board the cops are always wrong. Generally when someone is arrested it's because they were framed or something.

BUT... in this case the arrestee is a cop... so thus the board has been split down the middle.

I do see a couple of people going the path of least resistance and denouncing both sides however...

CHA-CHING!

The U.S. is loaded with

The U.S. is loaded with corrupt cops. I have no sympathy for them if the facts of the case are true. Those who are given the authority to uphold the law need to be held to a higher standard. These officers probably sent many people to prison for much smaller crimes.

...

Hmmm.... this is a murky situation.

On the one hand, those cops were pocketing drug money... but on the other hand, the "Integrity Test" can be seen as a form of entrapment.

(Though, I don't really have all that much sympathy for police officers, ESPECIALLY, Ramsey Co. cops. They sold themselves out to the RNC!)

If only the people could conduct integrity tests on members of Congress...

You gotta love it

when they take a couple of dirty cops down. Practical joke my ass!

So... I wonder.... if these

So... I wonder.... if these cops get away with saying it was a "practical joke" does that then mean other people in the same town, regular citizens, will also be able to get away with their crimes by saying they are "practical jokes" as well?

...

please explain how Rehak was

please explain how Rehak was a dirty cop?

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

He pocketed 6K in evidence....

How is he NOT a dirty cop? What's your definition of a dirty cop? Does he have to kill someone?

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...

Taking money from criminals for yourself?

Isn't that like abuse of power or something?

In before "Well they are the criminals because they take our money with taxes every day!"

CHA-CHING!

justice served!

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“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement” - Thomas Jefferson

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Justice NOT served. The Feds

Justice NOT served.

The Feds are out of control.

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

Rehak never took any of the

Rehak never took any of the cash.

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

Nonsense. He handed his partner 6K and got caught.

Just because they didn't have it long enough to spend or divvy up doesn't mean he's not a thief.

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...

From what I read it seemed

From what I read it seemed as though Rehak did take the money. He took it from the bag and handed it to the other officer. They conspired to commit this crime, at least the way it appears.

...

The bigger issue here is the

The bigger issue here is the balance between local power and federal power.

When is the last time you heard of a local cop putting a sting down on the Feds?

Never.

Please don't be fooled by the Feds. Rehak is innocent of any real crime. Supposedly, these cops were being watched since 2004. If so, why not catch them doing something truly wrong, rather than staged bullshit?

Think about it. if you are a cop and told that a drug dealers place had been thouroughly searched, then you get a call (WHY?) that the dealer left $13,000 in the room, then you go there and find the $13K in a duffel bag, what would you think?

Would you REALLY think the duffel bag was missed? Or would you be puzzled? Would you not pick up ALL the money and think about it?

And remember, Rehak never took any of the money, and the other guy never spent any of it. We don;t really know what they were going to do, because the Feds like to bust you early and then declare what your intentions are.

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

So, drug money is some sort of 'cop bonus'?

That doesn't seem like a slippery slope to you? When do you stop taking it? Is it OK to shake down a dealer when you're short of cash? maybe kill him if he resists? Forget the arrest part and just relieve them of their cash and drugs?

Yeah, no problems there, huh?

Two less dirty cops on the street. Good riddance.

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...

I may not know the truth, but I know when I'm being lied to...