Grand jury probe leads to another dismissed case
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Grand jury investigates police corruption: Read all of the stories, view a timeline and read key documents.
Because of false information provided
by a Tulsa police officer in
obtaining a search warrant, a judge
dismissed on Tuesday a drug-trafficking
case that had resulted in a
15-year prison sentence.
With the agreement of the prosecution
and the defense, Tulsa
County District Judge Tom Gillert
vacated the prison term that Parra
Nishimoto incurred two years ago.
The ruling did not give Nishimoto,
25, his freedom. He has an unresolved
Cleveland County felony
charge of possessing contraband —
a cell phone — as an inmate.
Also, Tulsa County Assistant District
Attorney Tony Evans said Immigration
and Customs Enforcement
officials have placed a hold on
Nishimoto’s case is the latest to be
dismissed due to the work of a federal
grand jury investigating law enforcement
corruption in Tulsa. Including
Nishimoto, 12 people have
either been freed from prison or have had their charges dismissed
as a result of the federal probe.
Six Tulsa police officers and one
federal agent have been charged
with crimes ranging from drug
distribution, conspiracy to violate
civil rights, perjury and theft. Several
of the officers served on the
department’s Special Investigations
Division, which investigates
drug and gang crime.
In a July 15 motion to vacate the
sentence, First Assistant District
Attorney Doug Drummond indicated
that Officer John K. Gray
provided “inaccurate and erroneous”
information to get a search
Although Gray swore under
oath that a confidential informant
entered Nishimoto’s Tulsa apartment
to make a controlled buy,
Gray “recently told the U.S. Attorney’s
Office that the drug transaction
between the CI (confidential
informant) and the defendant took
place somewhere other than the
defendant’s apartment,” Drummond’s
An order signed by Gillert states
that Gray “falsified” the portion of
the search warrant affidavit pertaining
to a purchase of drugs at
According to Drummond, after
the District Attorney’s Office reviewed
the case, “it seems obvious
that, but for the search warrant,
police would not have been able
to conduct a search of the defendant’s
“It seems equally as obvious”
that the search warrant would
not have been authorized by Special
Judge Cliff Smith “absent the
inaccurate and erroneous information”
supplied by Gray, Drummond
wrote in requesting that the
sentence be vacated.
In a procedural move, Assistant
Public Defender Curt Allen filed
on Monday on Nishimoto’s behalf
an application for post-conviction
relief that had information similar
to that contained in Drummond’s
In June, Gray pleaded guilty
to a charge alleging that he stole
$2,000 during a sting orchestrated
by federal officials. That development
was linked to the federal
grand jury investigation.
The Tulsa Police Department
placed Gray on leave in April, and
he retired in June. He awaits sentencing.
In Nishimoto’s case, police executed
a search warrant at an apartment
in the 4100 block of South
130th East Avenue in December
Police reported seizing three
large bags of methamphetamine,
Nishimoto, who in a court document
listed a home address in
Mexico, pleaded guilty on Aug. 1,
As part of a plea agreement,
Gillert sentenced Nishimoto to
15 years in prison for aggravated
trafficking in illegal drugs and imposed
a concurrent five-year term
for possessing controlled drugs
without a tax stamp.
Both of those counts were dismissed
Tuesday. Nishimoto was
assisted by a Spanish-English interpreter
at a brief proceeding in
GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION RESULTS
Twelve people have been released from prison or had felony charges or
convictions dismissed as a result of a federal grand jury’s investigation of
alleged law enforcement corruption in Tulsa.
U.S. DISTRICT COURT:
Larita Annette Barnes: Convicted of a drug felony in 2008 and freed from
federal prison July 2, 2009. Was serving two 10-year sentences.
Larry Wayne Barnes Sr.: Convicted of a drug felony in 2008 and freed
from federal prison July 2, 2009. Was serving two five-year sentences.
Fred Allen Shields Jr.: Convicted of drug trafficking in March 2009. Conviction
dismissed Feb. 19. Charged with first-degree murder in the death of
Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney.
Demarco Deon Williams: Convicted of drug charges in April 2008 and
freed from federal prison April 30. Was serving two life sentences.
Jamon Armin Pointer: Convicted in October 2008 of drug trafficking.
Conviction dismissed April 9. Was serving 10 years in prison.
Bobby Wayne Haley Sr.: Convicted in September 2005 of drug and conspiracy
charges and sentenced to 22 years. Ordered released from federal
prison May 21.
TULSA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT:
Richard Miller: Charged Sept. 10 with possession of a controlled drug.
Case dismissed April 20.
Melanie L. Richardson: Charged Oct. 14 with possession of a controlled
drug with intent to distribute. Case dismissed April 9.
Seanta G. Sinclair: Charged Oct. 14 with possession of a controlled drug
with intent to distribute. Case dismissed April 9.
Rodney E. Titsworth: Charged Jan. 14 with possession of a controlled drug
with intent to distribute. Charge dropped April 20.
Terry U. Perryman: Charged Jan. 14 with possession of a controlled drug
with intent to distribute. Charge dropped April 20.
Parra Nishimoto: Charged Dec. 27, 2007, with aggravated trafficking in
illegal drugs and possessing controlled drugs without a tax stamp. Charges
Bill Braun 581-8455
STILL BEHIND BARS
He remains in
of an unresolved