He cites an unnamed source who claims that a second informant was involved in the break-in of Frederick’s home that ultimately led to the deadly no-knock raid:
Last week I received a tip that there may have been a second man involved in the break-in at Ryan Frederick’s house. My source has spoken to the man a few times over the last few months, and says the man has confirmed not only that he and Steven [the initial informant in the case] together broke into Frederick’s house at the behest of the police, but that the two had been working as paid police informants for months—and had actually broken into several houses around Chesapeake, all with the blessing of Chesapeake police officers. [emphasis mine]
Balko later interviewed this alleged second informant (whom he identified as “Reggie”), who revealed that Steven had struck a deal with the police to get evidence on an alleged pot-growing operation in Frederick’s garage, in exchange for “help” on credit card fraud and grand larceny charges he was facing. Reggie and Steven then broke into Frederick’s garage, although Reggie refused to confirm that they had pulled the burglary with the cops’ knowledge, apparently fearing retaliation.
A few days later, Chesapeake cops hit Frederick’s house on a no-knock warrant. Frederick fired through his front door, killing detective Jarrod Shivers. He now faces capital murder charges in Shivers’ death, as well as a felony charge of manufacturing marijuana, even though police found only a small amount of pot in the home.
Like most police informants, Reggie is no angel; he has served time for burglary and grand larceny. But he says he was slapped with a bogus burglary charge in February to keep him quiet about his involvement in the Frederick case, a claim Balko says has support in the public record:
A search of the Chesapeake General Court’s public records presents a time-line that supports Reggie’s story. He was arrested on February 12 on charges of burglary, grand larceny, and credit card larceny. He spoke to my source a few times over the next several weeks. On June 5, the police then added another grand larceny charge, and a charge of entering a house to commit assault and battery. At that point, Reggie stopped talking to my source.
Steven is also still facing credit card fraud charges, which were reinstated after having been dropped in April. He isn’t talking to anybody right now, and in fact is currently on the run from the police, according to WTKR-TV.
Just these allegations alone, if they can be proven beyond Reggie’s word, reveal an alarming pattern of misconduct by the Chesapeake police. Enticing someone to break into other people’s homes is a criminal act, even when the police do it. Even if they had gathered legitimate evidence of drug manufacturing or trafficking, none of it would be usable in court or even to secure a search warrant. This should throw every drug raid the cops have pulled recently into question, assuming the accused experienced a break-in of their home prior to the raid.
But that’s not the end of it.
The police have claimed since the January raid that officers never fired a shot at Frederick. But WTKR reports that six detectives tested positive for “primer residue”, a substance sometimes left on hands after firing a gun or handling a gun that has been fired. And Frederick’s family claims they have evidence of a bullet hole in his home, even though the police allegedly returned after the raid to fill it in.
But here’s the most interesting part:
A second lab report shows Frederick’s Bersa Firestorm .380 pistol is the gun that fired the fatal bullet, as well as a second bullet found by police. There is no indication in the court file where police found the second bullet. The state crime lab also did some testing on a .223 Remington cartridge found in Frederick’s home. However, the lab did not do DNA testing on the cartridge nor is there any indication what kind of weapon fired the round, according to the paperwork. Police search warrants do not show officers located any weapon in Frederick’s home capable of firing a .223 round.
Chesapeake police spokeswoman Christina Golden confirmed some officers are issued Bushmaster M4 Patrol Rifles, which shoot .223-caliber ammunition.
So why, if Frederick owned a pistol that uses .380 ACP ammunition, would a .223 cartridge be laying around his home? M4 rifles can accept either Remington .223 or 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges.
It seems every new report on this case unearths more questions the police refuse to answer. Meanwhile, Ryan Frederick faces a long stint in jail while his case inches closer to trial, and the drug raids in Chesapeake continue.
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