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05/17/2005 Archived Entry: "Shady cash fueling local cops"


Not exactly news to anybody who's been watching. And of course plenty of small-town taxpayers certainly cheer because all this stolen-without-due-process loot is a fine way of taking the $$$ burden off their own shoulders. But if you wonder why cops are getting more and more corrupt and cynical and less interested in the law, you don' t have to look far.

The biggest of the 11 busts in Hogansville occurred in October, when Officer John Starnes saw a pickup with Texas license plates pull off Interstate 85 and into a gas station about 1:30 a.m. He stopped the truck, which had a broken taillight, and officers found $654,000 stuffed into a hidden compartment in the tailgate.

Starnes, an Army National Guardsman, made the bust on his last day on the job before heading to Iraq. No drugs were found, but police took the money and truck, gave the men $500 and dropped them off at the bus station.

Police acknowledge that, more often than not, people who are stopped are so eager to get out of town that it is unlikely they will return to go to court, not even to try to have their cars and money returned.

"For want of a taillight ..."

Posted by Claire @ 05:32 PM CST

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