FBI arrests 3 Ind. officers on drug charges
By Tom Murphy
THe Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — Three Indianapolis police officers face federal drug trafficking charges with prosecutors accusing them of stealing money and marijuana while on duty and then selling the drugs through a third party.
The FBI arrested Robert B. Long, 34, Jason P. Edwards, 37, and James Davis, 33, on Monday after an investigation that started in March and involved undercover work, surveillance of the officers and phone call monitoring.
Long and Edwards worked in the department's narcotics unit, while Davis was a patrol officer. The three are in custody, and Indianapolis Police Chief Michael Spears said he would seek to have them fired. Spears said he was "disgusted and outraged" by their conduct.
The three were indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, and possession and attempted possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. They also face firearms charges.
An indictment unsealed Tuesday referred to Long, a narcotics detective, as the conspiracy's leader.
It said that in April he seized a parcel containing up to 13 pounds of marijuana from the FedEx hub at Indianapolis International Airport. About eight pounds were removed and sold for $4,000. Long then allegedly turned in nearly five pounds from the parcel to a police narcotics vault to cover up the missing portion.
The indictment also states that Long warned a fourth defendant, Kabec Higgins, about police plans to search his business, Ear Candy Music.
Higgins, 31, was indicted on the conspiracy charge, and prosecutors accuse him of selling the marijuana for the three officers. U.S. Attorney Timothy Morrison said Higgins would sell the drugs and then give the money to the officers.
Last month, Long used a fake search warrant to get a key that let him and Davis search an apartment for marijuana, Morrison said.
During a separate search this month, the three took five pounds of marijuana and $18,300 hidden in the closet of a vacant home, according to the indictment.
Morrison said investigators had the three under surveillance when they entered the house. He said they also watched Long and Davis during a March traffic stop, when the two allegedly took $20,000 from someone they thought was selling marijuana.
Investigators were tipped off by other Indianapolis police officers, according to Spears. His department cooperated throughout the FBI-directed investigation. He said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference that people "should not fear that our department lacks any degree of integrity."
"These individuals committed acts which are unforgivable for a police officer," he said.
Spears said he would like to resume polygraph testing for officers in special units like narcotics. He wants testing performed randomly and when officers enter and leave those areas.
"The idea is that we want to maintain the highest levels of integrity within those special units and those special investigative areas," he said.
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The four defendants had an initial hearing Tuesday and have not lined up lawyers, said Mary Bippus, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office. A detention hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday.