Day 2: Prosecutors Call On Drug Dealer Testimony In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial
Lori Fullbright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma – The trial of two Tulsa police officers accused of corruption continued at the federal courthouse in Tulsa Tuesday.
Prosecutors called a string of drug dealers and girlfriends of drug dealers to the stand.
To understand this case, you have to understand how narcotics officers work. They often get their information from confidential informants and those informants are often criminals themselves who are trying to get a better deal or who run in those circles.
After the informant gives police a tip, the officer signs an affidavit to get a search warrant, and then raids the place, looking for drugs.
One witness, Eli Kinnard, is a drug dealer who was given immunity by the prosecutors for his dope dealing, in exchange for testifying.
He was raided by Tulsa drug officers a few years ago and they found his 99 ecstasy pills and a pound of marijuana.
Prosecutors say Jeff Henderson told one informant, who received an ecstasy pill from Eli's apartment, that she was the source that allowed him to get the warrant and do the raid, but they claim he lied about her level of experience in his affidavit.
Prosecutors say Henderson claimed in a database that another informant, Rochelle Martin, was the person who saw drug dealing in Eli's apartment, that led to the raid.
Eli says he never sold Rochelle Martin drugs, in fact, never met her.
Prosecutors are trying to prove Officer Henderson and Yelton lied in order to make drug busts. However, their attorneys showed that the witnesses so far, are mostly either drug dealers or the girlfriends of drug dealers and got some to admit they've lied in the past, even while testifying under oath.
Prosecutors showed the officers did not properly document their use of informants in their files, but the officers' attorneys were able to show, the officers did document their informants in a departmental database.