Pig News XXXI

Mark Thomas Petrina

Mark Thomas Petrina

Retired Kern CA deputy charged in molestation case

A retired Kern County Sheriff’s deputy has been returned to Bakersfield to face charges he molested several girls.

Mark Thomas Petrina, 76, made a brief appearance in Kern County Superior Court Friday. He’s charged with six molestation felonies, including one count that alleges abuse over a long period of time.

The victim in the case made an emotional impact statement to Judge John G. Whiteside, who sentenced Huskey, and took his plea earlier this year. She told the judge her life-long struggle with addiction was a result of the defendant molesting her, which she said began when she was 3 years old.

In his statement to the probation department, Huskey blamed his use of alcohol and methamphetamines at that time in his life. He apologized to the victim and her family.

The probation report recommended a prison sentence, but Whiteside said Huskey’s lack of criminal history and his exemplary record as a deputy, outweighed the aggravating factors of his violation of trust and the vulnerability of the victim. He placed Huskey on three years of formal probation and ordered drug and alcohol terms, including testing, for Huskey throughout his probationary period.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office dismissed yesterday more than a dozen drug and gun charges against a Kensington man, in what is believed to be the first case dropped because of the ongoing investigation of narcotics officer Jeffrey Cujdik.

Common Pleas Court Judge Jack A. Snite Jr. approved the dismissal of charges against Harold Cancel, 35, but allowed the prosecutor to refile if the probe’s outcome makes that possible. The Cancel case was hitting the deadline by which it had to be tried. Scores more cases resulting from the work of the veteran narcotics officer could soon be in the same place.

Early this year, Cujdik, 34, a police officer since 1997, was assigned to desk duty and surrendered his service weapon after his long-time paid confidential informant, Ventura Martinez, publicly alleged that he and Cujdik sometimes made up information needed to persuade judges to sign search warrants for homes and cars of suspects.

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Christopher Carder

Boone Co. OH Deputy Charged with Assault

Other deputies took Christopher Carder into custody around 6 a.m. and charged him with Assault (domestic violence) after a domestic altercation with his wife just hours earlier.

The 36 year old Burlington man has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 4 1/2 years.  He is suspended without pay until the charges are resolved.

A department spokesman says Carder has been an “exemplary deputy,” even being named 2008 Deputy of the Year award for “outstanding contributions.”

A 14-year police veteran who worked alongside drug agent Lee Lucas in a controversial drug probe admitted Thursday that he lied to convict a Mansfield businessman in 2005.

Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Metcalf pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of violating the civil rights of Dwayne Nabors, the owner of a car detail shop. The crime stems from Metcalf’s testimony at Nabors’ trial.

Nabors was one of 17 people set up in 13 bogus drug deals that prosecutors said Lucas oversaw in a span of two months.

Federal prosecutors sealed Metcalf’s plea agreement. They and Metcalf’s attorney, Henry DeBaggis, declined to comment. U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver is expected to sentence him Nov. 5. Metcalf could face as much as a year in prison.

Metcalf, 46, pleaded guilty a day after Lucas, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was charged in an 18-count indictment accusing him of perjury, making false statements, obstruction of justice and violating three people’s civil rights.

Former Melrose Park Police Chief Vito Scavo told an officer to tell the truth in the midst of a federal investigation at the police station — but with a caveat: “Don’t mention anything they don’t ask you.”

Scavo — who is on federal trial for extortion, racketeering and obstruction of justice — was secretly recorded by a police officer who worked for him. Those tapes were played for the jury this week.

The officer, Rocco Venute, wore a hidden recording device during that conversation and others with the chief. Venute became a government informant shortly after the September 2005 FBI raid on the police station.

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