CLARIFICATION: Portions of a story about an attorney claiming in court papers that a D.C. police officer stole more than $1,000 from his client did not run in some editions yesterday. The entire story is reprinted today on Page B10. (Published 8/30/87)
The attorney for an accused drug dealer claimed in court papers filed yesterday that a 4th Police District narcotics officer stole more than $1,000 from his client during a raid and said the officer is now being investigated by the FBI.
Allan M. Palmer, attorney for Anthony B. Fultz, said the money was taken June 16 during a search of Fultz's home at 490 Taylor St. NE. The return on the official warrant later filed by police stated that only $24 was seized in the raid.
Palmer identified the officer as Shelton D. Roberts, who gave the affidavit in support of federal drug distribution charges filed against Fultz on June 17. According to police records, Roberts, 40, is a 17-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the 4th District.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that sources said the FBI is probing an alleged pattern of D.C. police officers profiting from their handling of drug-trafficking cases. Allegations also have been made that internal police investigations of such misconduct have been covered up.
A source who is knowledgeable about the investigation said that FBI agents have interviewed several D.C. police officers who have said that other officers have kept drugs and money taken in drug raids, and falsified official reports by listing only a portion of what was taken.
Roberts could not be reached for comment yesterday and Sgt. Joseph Gentile, a police spokesman, said the department would have no comment other than Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr.'s statement Thursday criticizing The Post for publishing a story that he described as "unsubstantiated."
In his statement, Turner said that "no blue veil" shields "wrongdoers within our own ranks." The police chief said that while there may be isolated cases of wrongdoing by individuals, no pattern of police corruption exists.
An FBI spokesman said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.
The court filing by Palmer was a motion for disclosure of materials concerning an FBI investigation of Roberts. Palmer said in the papers that he had learned an FBI agent has interviewed at least one other drug case defendant who claims Roberts "stole money from his premises during execution of a search warrant."
Palmer asked the FBI to turn over the names and addresses of all witnesses "who have firsthand knowlege" of the alleged thefts. He also asked for the witnesses' statements.
Roberts testified at Fultz's preliminary hearing that he was not the officer who personally searched Fultz and arrested him, according to court records.
Fultz, 30, was indicted July 16 by a federal grand jury on charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with the intention of distributing the drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
If he is convicted on the cocaine charge, Fultz faces a $250,000 fine and a mandatory minimum prison term of five years without parole and a maximum of 40 years.
Roberts' affidavit stated that Fultz was seen running from the living room of the Taylor Street apartment when officers first knocked and then forced open the front door. According to the affidavit, Fultz ran to a balcony and then jumped off and was arrested after a brief chase.
The affidavit states that drugs worth more than $250,000 were recovered from the apartment, including 140 glassine packs of crack, 22 bags of white powder substance that testified positive for cocaine, 67 plastic bags of white powder that testified positive for heroin and a sandwich bag containing greenish weed that tested positive for marijuana.