Skip to comments.Tulsa police informant leak to be probed
Posted on 07/24/2010 4:18:50 AM PDT by csvset
A special prosecutor overseeing a police corruption probe told the Tulsa World she will investigate how a list of confidential informants has been released via text messages and possibly the internet.
A list of 15 alleged drug informants used by Tulsa police to bust drug dealers is being passed around by text messages, causing concern and fear among those mentioned on the list, said individuals interviewed by the World.
U.S. Attorney Jane Duke said she is aware of the list and is making plans to investigate it.
Whoever is behind this disclosure is being completely irresponsible with sensitive information, Duke said. At best, this disclosure will have a detrimental effect on legitimate law enforcement efforts to develop and work informants. At worst, it creates a dangerous and terrifying situation for those who have accepted the risk to work with Tulsa police officers to combat crime.
We intend to investigate the source of this dissemination and, if appropriate, take action against those responsible for such reckless conduct, Duke said.
Duke is the special prosecutor overseeing a federal grand jury looking into police corruption in Tulsa.
Five current and former police officers were indicted Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. A former Tulsa police officer and former federal agent have pleaded guilty in the probe.
Meanwhile, Angie Pitts, the mother of one of the individuals listed as an informant, said she received the list of confidential informants through a text message late Tuesday night.
Pitts allowed the World to review the list, which is being circulated along with a 30-page report that contains sensitive intelligence information about police investigations in Tulsa, the World investigation shows.
The World has confirmed that the informant list and report were prepared by Officer Jeff Henderson, an undercover officer indicted Tuesday on 58 counts of civil rights violations, conspiring to sell drugs, witness tampering, perjury and other crimes.
Henderson prepared the confidential report for his defense team to help battle the indictments expected to be filed against him, said Chad A. Greer, Hendersons attorney. Greer said that a former member of Hendersons defense team took Hendersons report and began distributing it several weeks ago without permission.
Greer said the person worked with the Henderson defense team until recently.
This is not only unethical and unfair to Jeff and his defense but it places numerous people in danger, Greer said. If your name was on the list, you would probably be nervous.
While Hendersons report was allegedly taken several weeks ago, the list of drug informants began showing up Tuesday evening on cell phones, Pitts said. The timing coincides with the date of the police indictments.
Greer said that Henderson was not responsible for the list being released. Henderson was in jail Tuesday in connection with a grand jury indictment.
The informant list contains the names of individuals who allegedly have provided information to Henderson and Officer Bill Yelton about drug dealers and other criminals, according to a document obtained by the World. Yelton was indicted Tuesday on seven counts related to civil rights violations, witness tampering and perjury.
A review of the text shows all 15 people were named in the 30-page Henderson document.
Eric Cullen, a private investigator for Henderson, said the text message containing the names appears to have been manipulated to include other names that were taken from different parts of the full report.
Cullen said that Henderson has filed a bar complaint against the former member of the Henderson team.
Pitts said her sons name is on the list when it should not be.
That list is going around to everyone, Pitts said. I just want everyone to know that my son was never an informant and he has no reason to be an informant.
Pitts son, Kewon Newton, said I am not an informant and I would never be an informant.
Newton filed a motion June 3 to have a felony drug count thrown out of court because the officers in the case, Henderson and Yelton, were implicated in the grand jury probe, Tulsa County District Court records show.
Newton was released from state prison in February 2005 after serving time for various drug felonies, Department of Corrections records show.
After her son filed the motion, Pitts said someone fired several shots at her home.
They shot up the house but we wont be silenced, Pitts said. Everyone is shaking my hand now. I am not a liar. I have been telling them for years about these guys and now its coming out.
Police records show that Pitts filed a police report June 19. Pitts said she was asleep when the shots were fired into her home. When she awoke and went outside, she noticed a broken glass and several bullet holes in the house, she said.
Pitts said she will remain vigilant and out spoken for her neighborhood and her family.
I am living for the Lord now and for God, Pitts said. Everyone on north side knows this. It is time for people to come forward and to talk. Dont be afraid.
Another individual who said she is listed incorrectly as an informant is speaking out.
Nikki Hamilton said: I am speechless. I dont sell drugs and I have been employed for eight years. I am scared for my life. I am getting calls and harassment.
Lena Sherree West, who is not listed in the report as an informant, is listed as a person with information about another person mentioned in the report. West said her name may be in the report because she is a friend of Rochelle Martin, who is identified as a drug informant in the report.
The World has reported previously that Martin has signed an affidavit stating that Henderson and Yelton told her to lie during a federal drug case, records show.
West said: I am not an informant and I have never talked to Henderson. I dont have any drug case or need to talk to the police. Rochelle kept her informant life separate from me.
Also, see this.
That seems really dangerous!!
Have you checked the Washington Post lately?
Sounds like their kind of thing.
It’s not like they reported this before the list went out. Have you ever seen anything personal go viral?
By the time the World got ahold of it, the damage was done and in my opinion, it was more a service to let the rest of us, not connected anywhere in the fringes of this, know exactly what is going on with corrupt cops.
The sooner people recognize the good from the bad, the sooner respect for the good escalates and deserved indignation is publicly focused on those corrupt cops who in the past have tarnished the entire force.
When the so-called media gets ahold of a story before the truth is exposed, they only react to their template which is to tarnish anyone righteously enforcing the law. Does Arizona ring a bell?