By Allan Lengel
For AOL News
Thousands of federal law enforcement agents work their tails off to put crooks behind bars. But on occasion, some of the very same folks who carry a gun and a badge and slap the cuffs on the bad guys end up stepping over the line. Way over the line.
AOL News thought it was worth looking back at some of the more notable of these incidents from 2010:
Loose Cash: Steven Campbell, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, could have at least waited until no one was looking. But no. In October, Campbell caught the attention of some agents during a drug raid at a suburban Cleveland home. Why? Agents say they saw him stuffing his pants full of cash. When confronted, he allegedly told agents to get a search warrant. While they sat him down and cuffed him, bundles of cash started falling out of his pants, according to court records.
Temper, Temper: Dallas FBI agent Carlos Ortiz let his temper get the best of him. He pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to charges that he plotted to kill his estranged wife, an FBI analyst and his boss. Earlier in the year, Ortiz was placed on leave after his wife accused him of domestic violence. Then in August he was fired after investigators learned that he had called a friend about buying a sniper-type rifle and talked about killing his wife and his boss, Robert Casey Jr. The friend, a former law enforcement type, called the FBI.
Pump You Up: It’s good to be stronger than the bad guys. But at what cost? Three FBI agents and one FBI analyst in the Washington, D.C., area were arrested on charges of failing to mention on their FBI health disclosure forms that they were taking steroids. One agent is a former body builder. Last month, the charges were dropped because prosecutors had far too many documents to go through before trial. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it has reserved the right to refile charges at a later date.
Hold the Pickle: Dallas FBI agent Ann Cox found herself in a pickle when she was busted this summer for hiring illegal immigrants for a deli she owned in suburban Dallas. She pleaded guilty in September. On Dec. 15 a federal judge in Dallas sentenced her to two years’ probation and ordered her to pay an $18,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
50 caliber barrett rifle
Not a Great Idea: John Thomas Shipley, an FBI agent in El Paso, Texas, was trying to make a little extra dough on the side. Bad idea. A federal judge in August hit him with a two-year prison term for selling guns illegally. ATF agents had traced back to him a .50-caliber rifle that was used in a drug cartel shootout in Chihuahua, Mexico. Court records show that between 2005 and 2008, he posted at least 280 firearms for sale on just one website alone, GunBroker.com.
An Even Worse Idea: Darren Argento, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in New York, was busted in August on charges of having child pornography on a laptop he used for work. The 14-year DEA veteran allegedly had images and videos of girls between the ages of 7 and 14, according to the New York Daily News. He reportedly was caught after he asked a co-worker, a computer specialist, to help him with some computer problems.
Pick on Someone Your Own Size: U.S. Border Patrol agent Victor Manuel Gutierrez, 39, allegedly lost it in May when some teens at a park in El Paso were tossing around a water bottle that accidentally hit him. Gutierrez allegedly pushed and kicked a 13-year-old boy. He was charged with causing injury to a child.
An incident report, according to KFOX News, said Gutierrez told the boy, “You think it’s funny until someone comes and kicks your expletive.” Chances are he probably didn’t use the word “expletive.” That’s not how they talk in Texas.
Outsmarted: U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Devon “Romey” Samuel thought he was being clever. He used his badge at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to bypass security so he could smuggle through loads of cash and guns for people he thought were drug dealers.
Only problem was the drug dealers ended up being undercover law enforcement people. His investigation led to authorities busting up a large scale ecstasy trafficking ring this week.