By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Two Tulsa Police officers caught up in Tuesday's indictment remained behind bars Tuesday night. Jeff Henderson and Bill Yelton were not allowed to post bail because the U.S. Attorney's Office thought they were a threat to members of the community.
Bill Yelton was named Tulsa Police's Officer of the Year in 1993. Now Yelton, booked and behind bars, is in the same place he's been putting criminals for years.
Yelton is named along with Officer Jeff Henderson in a 100-plus page indictment that accuses them of everything from drug possession to intent to sell to tampering with federal witnesses and perjury.
"I think there was a number of individuals who just took measures into their own hands," said Jane Duke, U.S. Attorney.
The indictment details a web of conspiracies that the federal prosecutors say led to the two officers bypassing justice. The U.S. Attorney's Office claims, between the two men, they interfered in more than a dozen cases: lying to get search warrants, searching suspects' homes illegally, even convincing informants to lie on the witness stand.
The indictment links both men to federal agent Brandon McFadden who admitted to stealing drugs, selling them and lying to send people to prison.
Federal prosecutors say Henderson was close friends with McFadden and Yelton. And that in the summer of 2008, the two confronted McFadden and talked about how his crimes might come to light.
The indictment reports that Yelton drew his gun, cocked it and ordered McFadden to move to Lubbock, Texas. It goes on to say Yelton told McFadden to just hang out and keep his mouth shut.
Federal prosecutors indicated that's one of the reasons both men are still behind bars, while the other officers indicted are out on bond.
"We know that the federal government have had it in for Officer Henderson for quite some time," said Chad Greer, Henderson's Attorney.
Both men's attorneys talk about this case as a vendetta against their clients.
"Cleaned up the streets here and gotten commendation after commendation for it and obviously he's made some people mad and they found a way to get back at him," said Anthony Allen, Yelton's Defense Attorney.
The U.S. Attorney Jane Duke was asked if more indictments were coming and all she would say is the investigation is continuing.
The fallout from the case has rippled to the District Attorney's office. All five officers indicted Tuesday had their hands in a lot of cases.
Now the District Attorney's office is forced to review at least three of them to see if they were prosecuted unjustly.
"If someone is incarcerated and was incarcerated unjustly and not supported by the evidence or the law we are going to make sure that those people are addressed as quickly and expeditiously as you can," Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney's Office, said.
Eleven people have already been released in connection with this investigation.