The Norman Transcript

November 10, 2012

Ex-officer claims his rights were violated


The Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former Tulsa police officer serving a 10-year prison sentence for his role in a corruption scandal says a videotaped FBI sting that showed him stealing money during what he thought was a motel drug bust was illegal and violated his right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution, according to a new court filing.

Ex-Cpl. Harold Wells, a 35-year-police veteran, makes the claims in a brief filed Thursday with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Wells was among 11 officers to be charged or named as unindicted co-conspirators in the scandal, which was among the worst to ever hit the department.

Wells was secretly videotaped at the motel in 2009 stealing money during what he and another officer believed was a drug bust of a Texas man. Of $13,000 seized, officers turned in $8,000 and divided the other $5,000 among themselves. Later, they became suspicious and tried to return the money, prosecutors said.

Wells’ attorney, William Lunn, said Friday that prosecutors did not have a warrant to videotape the bogus transaction and criticized the quality of the recording itself.

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