Cocaine Cops

Presented By

Bonnie M. Wells


NBC 4 News: October 2, 2007

A police officer enlisted a suspected drug dealer and two fellow officers to steal two pounds of cocaine from another drug dealer with plans to sell it and share the money, according to documents filed in federal court and unsealed Tuesday.

Officer Sean Beck of the Zanesville Police Department also is accused of extorting $8,300 from the suspected drug dealer and that dealer's partner in exchange for not turning them over to authorities, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

Beck, 28, fellow Zanesville police officer Trevor Fusner, 30, and Chad Mills, 29, a police officer with a Zanesville hospital, were arrested Monday on one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. They were being held in Franklin County jail Tuesday.

At a news conference in Zanesville, Police Chief Eric Lambes said the arrests have rocked his department.

"The officers are in shock, disbelief, that one of their own could be involved in something like this," Lambes said. "They're very angry at the officers that have been arrested."

Lambes said he placed Beck and Fusner on unpaid administrative leave.

FBI agents and Muskingum County deputies searched the three officers' homes and vehicles Monday, the FBI said in a statement.

After plotting the alleged theft with the suspected drug dealer, Beck enlisted Fusner and Mills to help carry out the rip-off, according to the complaint by FBI agent Drew McConaghy. The theft was scheduled for Sept. 24, was delayed, then did not take place, the complaint said.

In addition to the alleged plot to steal cocaine, Beck took 45 prescription drug pain killers from a traffic stop, gave them to the suspected drug dealer to sell, then took $65 in profit from the sale, the court documents said.

During the planning of the theft, Beck took his 2-year-old son to visit the suspected drug dealer at the drug dealer's house on Sept. 18, documents said.

After receiving $1,000 from the drug dealer as part of the robbery setup, Beck said he planned to use the money to visit strip bars in Nashville.

During the same meeting, Beck said he had staked out Interstate 70 in Zanesville for several hours the weekend before, looking for a green van alleged to contain $200,000 in drug money.

Beck told the drug dealer his plan was to pull the van over, take $150,000 and then release the driver.

Getting the $150,000 would be "the best of life," Beck said, according to the complaint.

"I would have bought her (his wife) a new car, paid cash, and put the rest in the bank," Beck said, according to the complaint.

Over the summer, Beck extorted $7,500 from the suspected drug dealer and another drug dealer in exchange for dropping an investigation.

After Beck received the money, he demanded another $1,300. The suspected drug dealer then went to police who began the investigation that led to Beck's arrest.

Beck planned to steal the cocaine during a meeting with a Columbus-area drug dealer at a Zanesville cemetery, the criminal complaint said. Beck planned for those involved in the robbery to wear clothes identifying them as members of the Zanesville drug squad.

He even assigned his alleged conspirators names of drug squad members "to further the deception," the complaint said.

Mills works for Zanesville-based Genesis HealthCare System. Hospital spokeswoman Holly Voltz said Mills was placed on leave pending an investigation.


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Bonnie M. Wells

10/2007 // BMW