Michigan Cops Used Asset Forfeiture Funds to Buy Drugs, Prostitutes, and a Tanning Salon

Former Romulus Police Chief Michael St. Andre, his wife, and five Romulus detectives pled not guilty last week to using asset forfeiture funds aquired during narcotics and prostitution investigations to buy...narcotics and prostitutes.

The Detroit Free Press reported in late September that

[Chief Michael] St. Andre directed a probe of liquor license violations, prostitution and narcotics trafficking at the Landing Strip Bar in Romulus and Subi's Place in Southgate, but during the investigation, officers embezzled drug forfeiture money, solicited prostitutes and made false police reports.

The officers are accused of spending $40,000 in forfeiture funds in one year on prostitutes, marijuana and alcohol, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, St. Andre also used $75,000 from drug forfeiture funds to buy a tanning salon in Westland for his wife.

Sandra St. Andre is accused of knowingly receiving and concealing stolen property.

According to the Wayne County Circuit Court website, the St. Andres, as well as detectives Richard Balzer, Richard Landry, Donald Hopkins, Jeremy Channells, and Larry Droege, all entered not-guilty pleas last week in the year-old case, and are free on bond.

Hat tip to former Reason intern Nick Sibilla.

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  • Delroy||

    Looks like he should have spent more time in the tanning bed.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's too bad they wouldn't let him wear his Oakleys in the booking photo.

  • Paul.||

    Thread winner.

  • Matrix||

    Those damned Romulans!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I never trusted Romulans, and I never will.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    They forgot to put the cloaking device on their activites.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    The Detroit airport (DTW) is technically located in Romulus (although their eyebrows appear normal, and I can usually see the planes taking off, so cloaking may be disabled in the area).

    Some agency (not sure whether it's the airport authority or the feds) have signs posted on the roads inside the airport (to the terminal, for example) warning that the city of Romulus likes to set up speed traps. They don't exactly use those words, but nonetheless, I'm always amused when one government agency warns the public against another public agency.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Chicago, knowing how to use its political power right, figured out how to annex its airport land including a narrow strip of highway leading to the airport. This is why Detroit has crumbled despite operating with the same mindsets as Chicago.

  • Rich||

    His head *does* indicate he did "vice" work.

  • wef||

    sometimes the shakedown is too obvious

    at root the state is a protection racket

  • The Late P Brooks||

    [Chief Michael] St. Andre directed a probe of liquor license violations, prostitution and narcotics trafficking at the Landing Strip Bar in Romulus and Subi's Place in Southgate, but during the investigation, officers embezzled drug forfeiture money, solicited prostitutes and made false police reports.

    "Nice little business you got here."

  • The Hammer||

    I don't understand why there is a "But" in that sentence. Seems like the proper conjunction would be "And," as the "But" indicates that this was unexpected behavior.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wonder what prosecutors are going to use those drugs, prostitutes and tanning salon to buy.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Guns, duh.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I say high priced Scotch and a "conference" in Vegas.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Why would they bother, they can use their regular funds for that.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Beaks were wet.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Asset forfeitures were made.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Forfeitures all the way up.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Somebody post this at PoliceOne and duck out of the way.

  • Paul.||

    Innocent until proven innocent!

  • Brett L||

    Hookers and blow, ftw! If these guys were a better class of scumbag they might be alright.

  • ||

    This man is obviously a hero, simply trying to funnel money back to where it belonged: drug dealers and prostitutes. It's the tanning salons I can't forgive. That bastard!

  • Pro Libertate||

    See, this actually makes me feel better. The money isn't being wasted, like I thought it was.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Exactly. It's not like they bought a tank or some shit.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Stimulates the economy.

  • Rasilio||

    Hey, they were just trying to stimulate the local economy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oops.

  • JW||

    Former Romulus Police Chief Michael St. Andre, his wife, and five Romulus detectives pled not guilty last week to using asset forfeiture funds acquired during narcotics and prostitution investigations to buy...narcotics and prostitutes.

    It's like a law enforcement perpetual motion machine!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Government is a perpetual motion machine. And like all perpetual motion machines, it's a fraud.

  • Paul.||

    Hmm, I always looked at the government more as a green energy machine. Something requiring more resources to run than it produces.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I meant that they claim it defies the laws of physics (and economics), but it doesn't.

  • SugarFree||

    "And when the foreskin is retracted, this is the result."

  • Marshall Gill||

    So now we know Dunphy's real name?

  • Killazontherun||

    I doubt if he is a cop. Likely a troll who figured he could get a shit load of responses by playing one on the internet.

  • ||

    Nah, this is the real Humpty Dunphy. You can tell because the 14-year-old's name is "Moran Fairchild".

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "...all entered not-guilty pleas last week in the year-old case, and are free on bond."

    "They remain on paid leave."

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Ah, the Face of Evil.

    That is the face of every Concentration Camp guard who went home and beat his wife to work off his stress. The face of every DEA agent kicking back with a beer and a cigar to celebrate the day's marijuana bust. The face of every NYPD pig doing a stop-and-frisk, then beating the victim to a pulp upon finding a roach in a pocket.

    Next time a Progressive goes into their rant about how government is the best of all of us, the pinnacle of human achievememt - just show them that mug shot. THAT is the face behind the boot stomping on the face of its victim - forever.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Next time a Progressive goes into their rant about how government is the best of all of us, the pinnacle of human achievememt

    "He only beats me because he loves me. It shows how much he cares!"

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Just giving back to the Community.

  • Lawless Heathen||

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • ||

    If a group of people were to get together and do what the police have done in this article, they'd be considered a criminal conspiracy, and might even be tried under the RICO Act. All employees and associates, no matter how tenuous the connection, would be scrutinized and possibly charged as well. A limo driver for a suspect's family is a close enough relationship for a conviction under conspiracy laws and RICO.

    Police are given immense public trust in exchange for swearing oaths to uphold and defend the law. They've breached that trust, broken those oaths, on top of any consideration of the actual conspiracy to commit crimes.

    Just watch: The courts will be more lenient with these hardened, honorless criminal scumbags than they would with someone caught in simple possession of half the quantity of drugs as the police bought. A "tough on crime" politician will weigh in about how justice was done. And the sheeple will simply eat it up.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Since when do cops have to pay for bitches and blow?

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