A former Tallahassee, Alabama assistant police chief has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for beating a suspect and selling stolen marijuana that had been seized by his department.
Chris Miles, 41, took a plea deal in November and admitted to using cruel and unusual punishment on a suspect by beating and coercing a confession from him, and to stealing 16 pounds of marijuana from a police evidence locker – which he latter sold to an unknown drug dealer.
He pleaded guilty to four felony charges: deprivation of rights, two counts of lying to the FBI (obstruction of justice), and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.
Miles got $4,000 for the drugs and originally came to the FBI’s attention after he helped indict a pedophile by beating him until he confessed. The case was thrown out however, and he was eventually fired for his actions.
The former asst. police chief hit Stephen Conrad twice on the head with a packet of copy paper, and struck and slapped him in the face multiple times causing “bruising, redness and physical pain.”
Miles then lied to a FBI agent who was investigating the incident, court documents say.
Conrad latter pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual abuse after new indictments were handed down and received a sentence of 16 years in prison.
As a result of Miles’ brazen behavior however, the sex fiend – who was originally charged with more than 100 counts of sexual assault – got off relatively easy after investigators were forced to re-launch their case.
Miles was originally facing up to 25 years in prison, but on Friday he received a sentence of just 41 months in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Prosecutors called his actions “inexcusable.”
“Miles was a maverick, working outside the law,” U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. said. “While we expect interrogations to be thorough, an officer cannot turn an investigation into a punishment. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of our law enforcement officials act reasonably and within the bounds of the Constitution.”
Miles is also facing state charges brought on by the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation in Elmore County Circuit Court for allegedly stealing a 9-mm Beretta handgun – again from a police evidence locker. That case is still being prosecuted.
“Law enforcement leaders serve as role models for their fellow officers, and at all times they must act with integrity, fairness and professionalism,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said.
Gupta heads up the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and added, “justice requires even-handed treatment for all, and without exception, we will aggressively prosecute any officer who beats an inmate, breaks the law and lies to federal investigators.”