Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Collins was arrested by the FBI this week for allegedly supplying security for drug dealers.
From KTLA 5:
Kenneth Collins, a 15-year veteran of the department, and three other men were arrested by undercover FBI agents after they arrived in Pasadena to provide security for the transport of dozens of pounds of drugs — nearly 45 pounds of cocaine and more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
The allegations against Collins illustrate a fundamental flaw in government prohibition: Where sufficient demand exists for a prohibited good or service, there will be incentives to elude law enforcement—and law enforcement officers are not themselves exempt from such incentives. For them, in fact, the incentives can be more powerful, given the ways police work is shielded from accountability. Civil service protections and union contract provisions have ensured that many departments are unable to discipline unscrupulous officers appropriately.
In 2016, the most recent year available on the OpenGovUS project, Collins' salary was reported as $130,145, plus $54,000 worth of benefits. The salary includes a base of $102,226, plus nearly $20,000 in overtime, $5,000 in "other earnings," including shift pay, allowances, and bonuses, and $3,000 in "leave time payouts." His earnings were more than three times the median salary in Los Angeles County.
From Pasadena Star News:
According to Tuesday's indictment, Collins spoke at length during recorded conversations about his extensive drug trafficking network, his past criminal conduct and his willingness to accept bribes in exchange for using his badge to help criminals. He said he had teams of people, including other law enforcement officers, who provide security for illegal marijuana grow houses and drug transports.
He allegedly told the agent, who was posing as a wealthy investor in grow houses, that his team is willing to beat people for cash.
The indictment states Collins showed the agent his badge and a gun tucked in his waistband during their first meeting in August 2017.
"I fix problems," Collins said, according to the indictment. "I make a lot of things go away."