Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Former KCKPD officer sentenced for violating Civil Rights law

U.S. Department of Justice

A former officer for the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department has been sentenced to federal prison for stealing electronics from houses where his team served search warrants, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Jeffrey M. Bell, 34, Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 8 months.

Bell pleaded guilty to violating a federal civil rights statute that makes it a crime for police officers acting under color of law to deny or conspire to deny anyone’s civil rights.

Bell was a member of the KCKPD’s Selective Crime Occurrence Reduction Enforcement Unit (SCORE Unit), which was a special weapons and tactics unit assigned to serve search warrants.

In January 2011, investigators for the KCKPD and the FBI set up a sting operation in which the SCORE Unit was sent to 730 Everett in Kansas City, Kan., a house that was under video surveillance.

Investigators placed cash, electronic games and other items in the house before the SCORE unit arrived.

In his plea, Bell admitted stealing a Nintendo DS hand-geld game system containing one Nintendo DS game from the house. He also admitted taking three or four PlayStation games and one PlayStation player during prior SCORE Unit search warrants.

Co-defendants are Darrell M. Forrest, 32, Kansas City, Kan., who was sentenced to 12 months and a day, and Dustin Sillings, 34, Kansas City, Kan., who is set for sentencing July 5.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom commended the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, the FBI and the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office for their work on the case. Grissom and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt prosecuted the case.