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Circuit Court affirms judgments against 2 ex-IMPD narcotics officers

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found nothing wrong with the convictions or sentence of two former Indianapolis narcotics detectives brought down by their involvement in an illegal drug scheme to supplement their income as police officers.

Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers Robert Long and Jason Edwards were convicted during a jury trial in June 2009 and found guilty of drug possession and conspiracy to distribute, and they received 25 years and 17 years respectively. A third officer, James Davis, was also sentenced for his role in the scheme, which the FBI began investigating in early 2008.

U.S. Judge Larry McKinney presided over the trial, which was one of his final official actions on the bench before he took senior status that year. On appeal, Edwards attacked his conviction and claimed the District Court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss evidence related to a phone wiretap while Long raised multiple complaints about his sentence.

In a 15-page decision issued today in the combined case of United States of America v. Robert B. Long and Jason P. Edwards, Nos. 09-3493 and 09-3636, the 7th Circuit found those contentions were without merit and affirmed the District Court.

On the wiretap issue relating to Edwards’ conviction, the 7th Circuit determined the affidavit was more than adequate to establish necessity under the court’s deferential standard of review. It laid out in detail the efforts used to investigate both Long and Edwards at that point, and the government’s fear that the techniques already used had missed some co-conspirators. Even if the investigation had uncovered enough evidence to arrest Edwards prior to the wiretap application, that doesn’t preclude finding it necessary, the court wrote.

Noting that Long’s brief challenging his sentence is “less than clear,” the 7th Circuit also dismissed his claims that the District Court failed to follow proper procedure in calculating the guideline range for his sentence, didn’t enter necessary findings of fact to support the drug quantity enhancement, misapplied a firearm possession enhancement, and neglected to reduce Long’s sentence to account for the government’s alleged misconduct during the investigation.

Even if Judge McKinney did what Long claimed on any of the points, the appellate panel noted that Long still didn’t show plain error or that any errors impacted his sentence. On the sentencing manipulation point, Long urged the 7th Circuit not to apply precedent from U.S. v. Garcia, 79 F. 3d 74, 76 (7th Cir. 1996), because of a factual distinction and how other Circuits allow for the defense of sentencing manipulation to be used. But the 7th Circuit rejected that argument because of the larger amount of drugs in this case that was used to draw out additional co-conspirators.

This ends the litigation, unless one or both parties decide to request a rehearing or ask the Supreme Court of the United States to consider the issues.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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