Below is an article WVpac.Org shared with the public on January 3rd of this year. It speaks to the heart of what our group stands for, the unjust consequences that result from abuse of authority. It is an article that shows how the actions of one corrupt Berkeley County Sheriff Deputy can destroy someone’s life. Small Company Devastated by Dirty Cop’s Actions
Trial Coverage: Former Berkeley Co. deputy gets 10 days in jail in gun case
This deputy got a mere ten days in jail. which did not begin to pay for his crime against his victim, nor did the county stand in this officers stead to make right what this officer did. A good argument why ALL law enforcement officers should be required to carry a million dollar liability policy.. for exactly this kind of situation.
Should the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department be held accountable in this case?
Why is it the Berkeley County Sheriff’s department bears no responsibility for the crimes their officers commit? The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department hired the officer and then failed to protect the citizen from that officers illegal acts. This corrective action would require law enforcement agencies to better supervise their employees by forcing financial responsibility to pay the damages for that officers actions.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department can then seek final restitution from the disgraced officer instead of forcing that financial burden on the victim.
Another thing that should be considered, and possibly investigated is that you cannot get an attorney to represent you in cases such as this. Why is that? What are they afraid of? Do they not see the injustice this business suffered at the hands of a corrupt sheriff deputy?
Let us know what you think…
HEDGESVILLE — Capt. Dennis Streets of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department walked into Glockcop on July 25, 2011 and sold the first of several guns that were stolen from the department’s evidence room.
The felony crime cost the law enforcement officer 10 days in jail and cost Cliff Vinson — the owner of Glockcop — his home, cars, life savings and his status in the community.
Vinson was never charged with any crime.
Glockcop is a sporting goods store specializing in the sale of firearms.
Vinson is an honorably discharged United States Marine and sheriff’s deputy from Shelby County, Tennessee. He worked as a court bailiff in Berkeley County, and his wife was a civilian employee at the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department and served as the sheriff’s secretary.
Purchasing the handguns was just another standard day of business, according to Vinson. As a gun shop owner, buying guns was something he had to do in order to have an inventory to sell. All gun shops are required by federal law to maintain accurate records on gun sales — where or from whom the gun is purchased and who buys the gun. Vinson said he completed all paperwork required for every gun sale in his business from the very first day that he opened in August 2010.
The sheriff’s department did not know the guns were stolen for almost two years. When the department noticed they were missing, an investigation began along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Investigators with the sheriff’s department and ATF agents asked for Vinson’s records, and he complied without a warrant. He provided all of his records and an office to them. It was then revealed that the stolen guns were sold to Vinson by Streets.
“They came in twice a week for several weeks — sometimes for 20 minutes and sometimes for several hours. Then ATF just stopped showing up,” Vinson said.
The ATF investigator retired during the court case and ATF did not pursue this as a felony crime.
“I asked why the ATF was not involved anymore. The two investigating officers from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department told me they thought they could get a better conviction with ‘our’ charges,” Vinson said. “My question to them was, ‘How could embezzlement overrule gun trafficking?’ On their charges, the officer got 10 days in jail. Anyone else would have gotten 10 years,” Vinson said.
Vinson also said there were more guns stolen and than identified in the case.
“The county said 11 (guns were stolen). It was more like 20,” Vinson said.
Streets was found guilty and served 10 days in jail.
Vinson said he has recently contacted The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Fox News because he said he wants justice.
Vinson said he thought he could trust a uniformed police officer that came to his store in a marked police car.
After the investigation, Vinson’s name came up in almost every Streets report in the media, and hundreds of people signed a petition stating — in part — “Did you, as a consumer, ever have the slightest hesitation, deviation or mental reservation that you may be purchasing stolen guns from this gun store?”
Sales plummeted from $475,650 in 2013 to $50,850 last year, Vinson said. During their investigation, both ATF and the sheriff’s department found that Vinson was not involved in the crime.
Vinson said he had to file bankruptcy, but that did not include his business investors. He felt compelled to pay them back for believing in him, which he said he is doing.
In a written statement, Vinson said he is frustrated with the outcome of the case.
“I figure the loss of my home, two vehicles and revenue, I lost ($)1.7 million plus a boat load of repeat customers and more stress. This county sheriff’s department owes me about ($)2.7 million. Why? Because there is no accountability, no one checked behind Streets and all the other recovered items in the evidence locker; i.e. drugs, (thousands) of dollars in cash, guns, general merchandise, jewelry, tools, knives, etc.,” Vinson said. “Several times I saw Capt. Streets’ office littered with evidence and his door open where everyone could see it, including the sheriff, but no one (cared).”
Vinson said he has firm plans to continue to fight for his name and restitution of losses. He has been seeking an attorney to consider all of his options in this matter since the case started.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department could not be reached for comment.
Staff reporter Jeff McCoy can be reached at [email protected]