A federal grand jury recently convicted two Ramsey County sheriffâ€™s employees of theft of government funds and conspiracy to violate civil rights. They took $6,000 from a hotel room that they thought a drug dealer had left.
This two-year investigation began in the summer of 2004. A convicted methamphetamine dealer looking to reduce his prison sentence told the FBI that he could help them make a corruption case against these police officers. According to the Pioneer Press article explains how the sting went down:
â€œThe FBI had the dealer, Shawn Phillip Arvin Sr., call Rehak and tell him a drug dealer named “Vinnie” had left drugs and money in a room at the Best Western Kelly Inn in St. Paul. Although no drugs were in the room, the FBI planted a bag with $13,500 in the dresser. They also placed surveillance cameras â€” but no microphones. As federal agents watched in the adjoining room, Rehak, Naylon and sheriff’s Sgt. Rolland “Rollie” Martinez searched the room. Martinez was not a target of the sting and was unaware it was going on. While he searched the bathroom, Rehak emptied the bag’s contents on the bed. The video shows Naylon pointing to a roll of bills and Rehak picking up the money and handing it to Naylon. It then shows Naylon putting the bills in his jacket pocket. A few moments later, he left the room, went down to his car in the parking lot and opened the trunk. The FBI contends Naylon took the money out of his jacket and left it in his car. Later, Martinez counted the money in the room and left a search warrant receipt for the amount he found, $7,500. The FBI said that when the men began to suspect they’d been set up, they returned to the room and altered Martinez’s signed receipt to say that $13,500 had been found. All the money was recovered.â€
Both the defendants claimed that this was just a practical joke on Martinez who supervised the sheriffâ€™s Special Investigations Unit. They wanted to play a prank on Martinez who had a reputation for leaving his shift early. Now it seems that this alleged prank is on the two corrupt cops who could face twenty years in prison.