Posted by Edmond Geary | Posted in Drug charges, Federal criminal charges, Law enforcement, Oklahoma criminal charges, Police corruption, Theft crimes | Posted on 25-04-2011
The prosecution of present and former Tulsa police officers inches closer to jury trial. U.S. District Judge Bruce Black, from New Mexico and sitting in the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa, has ruled the indictment against Tulsa police officers Nick DeBruin, Bruce Bonham and Harold Wells may proceed to trial and overruled pretrial motions by the defense. Wells is retired from the police department.
The judge has set their trial on May 20. Set in June is a related indictment against others arising from the same sting, an indictment against Tulsa Police Officers Jeff Henderson and Bill Yelton.
Henderson and Yelton, both are accused of multiple counts, Henderson on 58 counts and Yelton on 7 counts, respectively, including civil rights violations and witness tampering, Henderson’s including attempted bribery and Yelton’s including witness retaliation and suborning of perjury. Both are still on the police payroll but suspended with pay, and both are held in jail pending trial. DeBruin was indicted on 6 counts, Bonham on 5 counts, and Wells on 10 counts. All have been released on bond. DeBruin and Bonham are still on the Tulsa Police Department payroll while suspended without pay. Wells is retired from the department.
The case began when a woman named Debra Clayton who had been an informant for Tulsa Police officers. Heretofore identified in court documents only as “informant No. 2″, Ms. Clayton has now made her own name public. A drug user claiming to have finally gotten off drugs now, she had been an informant for former officer John Gray and A.T.F. agent Brandon McFadden for some time and got tired of their continuing to pressure her to continue to participate in selling or delivering methamphetamine. Eventually, she called the F.B.I. and told them what Gray and McFadden were up to. The F.B.I. then set up a sting operation. Gray and McFadden have pleaded guilty and are listed as government witnesses in both indictments.
The F.B.I. sting was set up at the Super 8 Motel on East Archer Street in Tulsa. Video and audio recorders were set up to record the events inside the motel room. An undercover agent posed as a drug dealer When he was arrested his cash was seized by the arresting officers. He had $15,000 in cash, $5,000 of which the police defendants are accused of stealing, for which they are accused of stealing government funds. Some of the accused noticed government surveillance of the motel room, so they returned cash to the motel room. However, defendant Bruce Bonham had already taken home the $5,000 cash before the others were alerted. The remaining police officers accused met at a Conwy Island hot dog stand to discuss their problem and try to get Bonham’s cash back. They were too late.