Tulsa Officer Nick DeBruin Calls Corruption Charges 'Crazy'

Wednesday, June 8th 2011, 1:03 pm
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- One of the Tulsa Police officer charged with stealing drug money and planting drugs called the accusations against him "crazy" as he took the stand Wednesday. Officer Nick DeBruin testified in his own defense in the trial of three officers accused of corruption.

Charges stem from an sting operation in May, 2009, where the FBI videotaped the Tulsa officers in a Tulsa Super 8 motel room as they raided the room of an out of town drug dealer named "Joker."  Joker was actually an undercover FBI agent.

DeBruin's attorney asked the officer if he conspired to plant drugs.

"Absolutely not," he answered.

When asked how he could defend against the allegations, DeBruin answered: "I don't know how to defend them. I want to know what I am being accused of. It is crazy."

In a video of a drug deal bust that took place at a Tulsa Super 8 in May of 2009, DeBruin appears to place money in his pocket that he later turned into evidence for a drug dog to sniff.

On Wednesday, DeBruin said it is common for officers to place money in their pockets to take into evidence for the K9 officer. He told the federal court that he started to put the money in his back pocket but his handcuffs were already there, so he handed to the money to another officer instead.

He was asked if there was a better way to handle the evidence, and he said, "In hindsight, yeah."

In last week's testimony, the K9 officer's handler said that the officer on trial placed the money in a locker and the drug dog alerted positively for drug residue on the cash.

The undercover FBI agent who participated in the sting said the men turned in the cash after recognizing a federal officer in the parking lot of the motel.

When it came to the FBI sting, DeBruin stated he had no idea what was going on. He said "I came to work to catch bad guys. That simple."

The defense often referred to the phrases "show me the love, hook me up, and take care of me."  DeBruin said it's police jargon for officers to get subpoena's so they can get overtime, extra work, and to make extra money.

Several Tulsa police officers and former officers were called as witnesses. DeBruin's defense attorney asked each one if they had heard the phrase "keep the guilty guilty," referring to drug planting. All of the witnesses responded no.

Court adjourned early because of a medical emergency involving one of the defendant's sons. The trial continues Thursday with the defense of another accused officer, Bruce Bonham.

6/7/2011 Related Story: Feds Rest Their Case In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial