DHS-ICE's drunken supervisor tries to release subordinate arrested ICE agent by force from police custody
DHS-ICE’s drunken supervisor tries to release subordinate arrested ICE agent by force from police custody
I hesitated for a while about posting some information obtained from the files of the Yuma Police Department regarding the arrest of Russell John BASH, born in 1965. However, after I reviewed the police reports several times; our United States Citizens deserve to know about the employees who represent and defend us from any national security threat. The actions committed by BASH and CREDE if evaluated by a neutral and impartial ICE’s Employment and Labor Relations and ICE lawyer, will result in some severe adverse personnel action against CREDE and to some extent BASH.
What ICE agent BASH did is a problem that has existed for years, often condoned by Customs and ICE supervisors and managers. After the workforce is aware that management condones drinking and driving, soon employees are under the impression that their ICE bosses would give them just a slap on the wrist, if arrested for DUI..
Every day federal, state, county or local law enforcement officers are being arrested for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol. This problem is not isolated to any one agency, or department. What the writer is demonstrating that for years, the writer reported to Customs’ Offices of Investigations and Internal Affairs, as well as to the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Inspector General about the heavy drinking that was allowed by the then RAC STEVE D. ARIZAGA, Group Supervisor MICHAEL J. STROM in their Government-Owned Vehicles and in the office. In fact the last time I directly reported about drinking and driving by Yuma Customs employees was in May 2002 when I spoke with then RAC Richard Bailey. However, since I never heard from them, I assume that no action was taken.
The Arrest of ICE special agent Russell John BASH
On December 20, 2008 at 2:24 am Yuma Police Officer (YPO) J. AURICCHIO stopped RUSSELL JOHN BASH after observing him weaving out of his lane twice. BASH immediately got out of his vehicle and flashed the YPO with his ICE’s badge and credentials. The YPO understood that he was dealing with a federal Customs agent. BASH had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage from his breath and admitted to drinking three to four alcoholic beverages at a local bar. Bash failed the Field sobriety tests which showed clues of impairment. A PBT showed BASH’s alcohol content to be .109. Bash asked the YPO several times to let him go so he would not lose his job. Bash was arrested for DUI and submitted to a blood test. BASH was released to his wife, pending the results of the blood analysis. BASH had a DEA female agent with him as a passenger by the name of Stephanie Lynn LOVETTE, born in 1979. BASH's and LOVETTE's original final destination, only they know where they were heading.
According to the Yuma Police Department reports, YPO when pulling BASH over and learning that BASH was a federal law enforcement officer, the YPO asked for back-up. YPO MCCORMICK responded to assist YPO AURICCHIO. Sgt OTERO who was assigned to Squad Watch III told YPO AURICCHIO that he was doing administrative duties and could not go. BASH insisted that Sgt. OTERO respond to the scene. YPO AURICCHIO again called Sgt. OTERO and told him that BASH had specifically asked for Sgt. OTERO since they work together approximately eight years ago.
Sgt. OTERO approached Bash and asked if he wanted to speak with Sgt. OTERO. BASH spoke with Sgt. OTERO and asked him to have YPO AURICCHIO release him. Sgt. OTERO wrote: “BASH referred to his career, a possible promotion coming up, as well as having family and a DUI arrest would not be productive for him at this stage. Sgt. OTERO told Bash he could not ask YPO AURICCHIO to un-arrest him for no real purpose other than what BASH was asking him to let him go for: his job, promotion and family . Please note BASH assertion that he's got a promotion coming his way. This is how the Yuma Legacy U.S. Customs Service's Office of Investigation (OI), now called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ahs been operating for years. The good-old boy-system network is still active in Arizona under ICE SAC Matthew Allen, an alleged long-time senior executive manager.
BASH kept insisting that SGT OTERO order the arresting officer release him. After several negative responses from Sgt. OTERO, he told BASH that if he were to tell YPO AURICCHIO to release BASH, that he (Sgt. OTERO) could lose his job.
JAY CREDE’s ACTIONS
As Sgt. OTERO was talking with BASH, Sgt. OTERO saw CREDE talking with YPO AURICCHIO and MCCORMICK. Then CREDE, walked up and stood near the passenger front door of YPO AURICCHIO police car. BASH was already handcuffed and placed in the back seat.
Sgt. OTERO, wrote: “While I was talking to R. BASH, J. CREDE made the comment that I knew this guy, right. J. CREDE was talking to R. BASH acknowledged he did know me. I asked J. CREDE what was he inferring by that comment. J. CREDE said he was not inferring anything. J. CREDE continued to stare at me, as well as the other officers. From his body language it appeared he was upset with us for arresting R. BASH. R. BASH told me J. CREDE was his supervisor. R BASH told me they were at Jimmie Dee’s and had been with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.”
Sgt. OTERO further wrote on Page 2 of Yuma Police Department Narrative Form Number 0800065686
“Officer AURICCHIO spoke with R. BASH about the disposition of his vehicle. Officer AURICCHIO went to the vehicle to secure it as well as speak with S. LOVETTE more. J. CREDE walked around the back of the patrol car and stood near the trunk area. I stood next to the passenger rear door for safety purposes, since Officer MCCORMICK and officer AURICCHIO were busy with the vehicle and S. LOVETTE. While standing approximately a couple of feet from the door, I noticed J.CREDE just walked up to the back door, opened it and leaned in and started talking to R. BASH. Due to safety concerns and R. BASH being under arrest, I immediately started to close the back door. J. CREDE held the door so I could not close it on the first two pushes. I was finally able to push the door closed and J. CREDE stepped back. J. CREDE told me not to put my hands on him and not touch him again. I told J. CREDE not to open that back door. I told J. CREDE I understood what he did for a living and what his capacity was at his agency; however, R. BASH was currently my prisoner, and I did not want him opening the back door with at least asking me first. J. CREDE again told me not to put my hands on him anymore. I told J. CREDE, ‘Don’t open the door.’ J. CREDE then told me I had better get out of his face. I told J.CREDE I was not in his face. J.CREDE said I had better get out of his face. I told J. CREDE, I was not in his face. J. CREDE took one step towards me and said I had better get out of his face. I told J.CREDE it appeared he was in my face now. J. CREDE stepped back. J. CREDE asked me if I was going to arrest him now. I asked J. CREDE, ‘Do you want to go to jail?’ J. CREDE made a comment that he would see me again. I asked J. CREDE if he was threatening me. J.CREDE said he was not threatening me. At that time, J.CREDE’s wife walked over, stood between us, spoke to J. CREDE quietly and he walked away from me. J. CREDE and his wife stood at the rear of the patrol car, and Officer AURICCHIO also came over and asked if there was any problem”
STEPHANIE LYNN LOVETTE’s ACTIONS
During the entire incident, DEA special agent LOVETTE, who also appeared highly intoxicated, and several times kept saying “Cops arresting cops” – Finally the Yuma police officers decided that it was better to immediately transport BASH for his blood donation sample at the police station. Once again, LOVETTE started to walk again toward the back door where BASH was secured. YPO MCCORMICK suggested they better clear the area because CREDE and LOVETTE appeared to be very upset because BASH was being arrested. Sgt. OTERO before leaving the scene, observed J.CREDE physically forcing LOVETTE into his truck. LOVETTE refused and stood outside. Sgt. OTERO noticed that she appeared to be crying.
Sgt. OTERO went to the police station to witness a portion of the blood extracted from BASH. After the Yuma police officers finished the blood extraction, BASH was asked if he could have someone come pick him out by Officer AURICCHIO; but someone that had not been drinking. BASH asked if he could call his wife. BASH was allowed to use his cell phone to call his wife to take him home. A short time later, BASH was released to his wife.
According to YPO AURICCHIO’s report, he wrote the following Yuma Police Department has being involved:
ADDITIONAL YUMA POLICE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL:
Captain John LEKAN
Lieutenant Cesar FAZZ
Sergeant John OTERO
Sergeant John OTERO