probation for stealing heroin out of the Police Department evidence room last week. Apparently he had developed a little monkey on his back.
Koch, 45, was an 18 year veteran on the force and has been on paid administrative leave while the charges of burglary and possession were pending and he continued to draw his $86,000.00 per year salary.
Koch was arrested and jailed in January after co-workers saw him taking the dope from the impound room. He was jailed for one night. A six-month jail sentence imposed Wednesday by Judge Kimberly Lagotta was stayed on the condition that Koch abides by the terms of his probation, which include continued drug treatment and testing.
Prosecutors have said there was no indication Koch took the drugs for any other reason than personal use, and that the one-time vice and narcotics detective had developed a drug problem.
Koch was placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest and was terminated from the department on May 30.
Weldon Angelos was a 25 year old latino record producer who had worked with Snoop Dog. He made three marijuana sales that totalled about $350.00 to undercover officers in 2004 and received a sentence of 55 years. Because he had a gun in his center console he received one five year and two consecutive 25 year sentences. He will be eligible for parole when he is 80 years old.
Cornell Hood II was a 35 year old low level pot dealer in New Orleans. He got arrested in 2009 and charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute two pounds of marijuana. After a one day trial and two hours of jury deliberation, he was convicted and is now serving a life sentence. Should have been a cop, Cornell.
I am struck by the disparities in these stories. What can we glean from them? It is obvious that prosecutors won't go after law enforcement personnel who run afoul of the law with the same zeal that they will go after a civilian or dare I say it, a minority.
Can you imagine what the sentence would be for anyone else who commited a felony burglary of narcotics from the police, is most certainly in possession of a firearm and is a narcotics user to boot? Have you ever heard prosecutors be so accommodating? Perhaps illicit drug use can be seen as merely a medical issue if you are a white member of law enforcement?
I take no pleasure in either Mr. Koch's addiction or his termination from his job. But I find the draconian and disproportionate sentence of the offenders like Mr. Angelos and Hood both cruel and appalling.