Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Crackhead Female Cop Arrested by FBI (w/Update)
UPDATE: Well, I got one of my questions answered. The WISC 3 6:00 a.m. newscast before The Early Show kicks in said that Salentine had been hired by the Platteville Police Department straight out of UW-Platteville (another good name pulled into this sad tale) in 2004. So that only leaves one other possibility in my mind, that the individual she spoke of who sometimes lived with her and accompanied her on buys in Milwaukee may have helped to turn her on to the stuff.
Like I said, this is an unhappy woman. One or two of the comments to this article (scroll down) claim that Salentine had had periodic complaints since her hire, and that there was no way that other cops, including higher-ups, wouldn’t have suspected or known about her drug use.
Michelle Salentine had a lot of problems, including a drug habit, but she kept them largely under wraps. It wasn’t her fellow cops who arrested her, but the FBI. The police officer probably counted on Platteville’s being a small college town (UW-Platteville) to get away with it for so long. Platteville, WI is approximately 71 miles from Madison, the state capitol, and has only a little over 10,000 residents. So it was a bit of a shock for Platteville citizens, including its police, to find out otherwise last night.
Federal prosecutors charged a southwestern Wisconsin police officer Tuesday with maintaining a crack house, saying she used the drug while on duty on several occasions.
FBI agents arrested Platteville Police Officer Michelle Salentine, 28, on Monday night when she showed up to work her patrol shift, according to court documents. She could face 20 years in prison if convicted.
Neither Salentine’s attorney, listed as federal public defender Michael Lieberman, nor the U.S. attorney assigned to the case responded to after-hours phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.
Platteville Police Chief Doug McKinley said Salentine joined the department in September 2004 and she had never had any problems “of this nature.”
“Nobody’s happy when this … comes to light. To violate that public trust is very, very disappointing,” McKinley said.
According to court documents, an informant contacted FBI agents in February and told them Salentine regularly smoked crack at a Platteville location as well as her own home. The informant said he had seen Salentine smoke crack on at least six occasions, including times when she was in uniform and carrying a firearm.
On March 2 the informant texted police and said Salentine had come by around midnight in her squad car, took off her gun and sat in the kitchen and had a sixteenth of an ounce of drugs. The message did not specify what kind of drug.
Two days later, the informant again texted police around 1:30 a.m. and said Salentine had been smoking in her squad car and was getting ready to go back on duty.
On April 14 the informant visited Salentine at her home while wearing a recording device. Salentine brought out a small metal pipe and smoked crack, the documents said.
What if she had discharged her firearm at someone while under the influence? What if the someone had been your daughter, your son, your husband, your wife? Your grandmother?
Would they have covered up this fact for her sake?
Where had she come from? Was she addicted when she became a cop at her first job, or did she become addicted while with the Platteville police?
She admitted to authorities that she and another as yet unnamed individual who sometimes lives with her would accompany her to Milwaukee to buy crack.
This woman is really unhappy. I’ll bet the companion is a lover.
Well, now she’ll get the help that she needs, but this will ruin her. Which begs the question how many more cops are like this? Not just in Platteville or Milwaukee. Or how many of their superiors or fellow cops don’t let on that they have their suspicions but won’t rat, especially against a woman? And I am not even talking about bad lieutenant types. I’m talking about the quiet types who seem to have it together when they don’t.