Friday, April 23, 2010

Award-winning Ridgeland Police Officer commits perjury in DUI case, leaves town.















"From left: Mike Walker, AT&T and MADD Sponsor, Deputy Justin Branning, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office (308 DUI arrests), Trooper Charles C. White, Troop F, New Albany MS Highway Safety Patrol (206 DUI arrests), Officer Daniel Soto, Ridgeland Police Department (313 DUI arrests), and Tricia Raymond, Executive Director, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Mississippi."

Copy of file

Daniel Soto. MADD's own special child. WLBT reported nearly a year ago he was MADD's top police officer of the year: "Ridgeland Police officer Daniel Soto arrested 316 DUI offenders in 2008. An average of anywhere from two to five arrests for DUI on the nights he works. Soto offers some common sense advice." Story

Well, it seems Mr. Soto is no longer with the Ridgeland Police Department because he got caught lying on the stand. Mr. Soto pulled over a Charles Whitfield and arrested him for first offense DUI and speeding on December 7, 2008. Mr. Whitfield posted a $2,000 (David Moore Bonding Company. Surprise.). He was convicted in Madison County Court on September 14, 2009.

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae represented Mr. Whitfield and filed a motion for a new trial on September 21, 2009. Mr. McRae pointed out in his motion the Ridgeland PD had not provided him with a copy of the audio and video recordings of the incident. He subpoenaed the video camera and its recordings on January 22, 2010.

The Court granted a new trial, in which it was shown the video recording completely contradicted Officer Soto's testimony. In other words, he lied on the stand. Several sources have said Mr. Whitfield was at a stoplight when Ridgeland Police Officer Soto said he was speeding.

Mr. McRae filed a motion to dismiss on March 17 and stated
"The Court is aware that the prosecuting witness being, Officer Daniel Soto, gave false testimony..."
Defendant would show that it is believed that the prosecution has evidence that the witness in other cases has also given false testimony...."
"It is learned that while Officer Soto announced that no tape existed for various reasons, an independent investigation revealed that he personally viewed the video of the arrest of the defendant which clearly showed the perjured testimony of Soto. In addition a copy of the transcript of said witness and the video tape of the occurrence that the City and Officer Soto said did not exist at trial has been maintained by the City of Ridgeland will be supplied at hearing..."

The Court ruled in favor of Mr. Whitfield and stated on March 24, 2010:
"the State ... announced it was present but unable to go forward in this case as its only witness was not present, had moved to another state, and was not under subpoena." The City also moved to dismiss the charges.

JJ has learned Chief Houston told Soto to quit or be fired. Soto resigned and moved to Tennessee. One can only hope Mr. Whitfield will sue the hell out of the City of Ridgeland. The question remains is how many other innocent people did MADD's Officer of the Year throw in jail and label as drunk drivers. The question must also be asked why Michael Guest didn't prosecute Mr. Soto. Meanwhile, here is a picture of Mr. Soto's new ride and his award.









58 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am black. We get STOPPED FOR DWB's ALL OF THE TIME over there. I HATE that place.

Anonymous said...

I used to work in LE and I can't stand it when one bad one gives us all a bad rap! @3:06pm, I hate that you feel that way. I also want my LE to be active and agressive in discouraging crime in and around the area that I work, live and play, BUT I do not want them to stop someone simply because of their color or race. If they are suspicious, look out of place, or do something wrong then I want them to investigate those individuals regardless of their race or color.

Sippydog said...

Good job Kingfish. These robocop types piss me off. Many of the rank and file cops wearing a badge and toting a firearm would otherwise be taking burger orders. We need to pay them more and attract the most qualified to these jobs. Another problem is the fact that departments are rewarded financially for making more of these arrests. That leads to this very type of fraudulent behavior. The least educated and morally bankrupt have no problem bending or breaking the rules if they are rewarded. At least, this imbecile was caught red handed by his own stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners' saints.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why hasn't Soto been prosecuted? Can someone answer that, please?

Kingfish said...

I dunno. Ask Guest why he won't prosecute Chris and Charles Evans.

Anonymous said...

And, also ask why the prosecution, judges, police supervisors, etc. allowed this to continue. It would still be going on had he not been caught lying.

Captain Gannon said...

The law is the law, or at least it should be. If the government, cops and etc., don't abide by the law, then who must?

This officer should have been prosecuted. If nothing more, the media and defense attorneys in the location where he now works should be fully aware of this. It won't stop with this.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope it doesn't stop here. We don't want another Soto coming along. Let's get rid of the corruptness.

Anonymous said...

Guest avoids white collar crime. It requires thought.

Anonymous said...

He's starting his own Friends and Family network. He wants to be AG so bad.

Anonymous said...

There is ample encouragement for high numbers of DUI arrests. There is federal money in it for the police departments. There is a club the cops can join called STORM (Sobriety Officers Representing Mississippi) that gives points to officers for so many citations. There are the awards for the most DUIs, like this guy got, and for 100 DUIs, etc.

Guilty DUIs need to be off the streets, but to break the law to get them, or to lie to get a conviction, is completely improper.

This cop should be charged. He had the trust of the community and the certification of the state to enforce the law, and that includes telling the truth on the stand.

Anonymous said...

Our gain is Gallatin, TN's loss. I wonder if the administration there knows what they have on their hands.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling Gallatin, TN will hear about this.

Anonymous said...

Done.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people's lives this guy Soto ruined with DUI convictions? There ought to be a class action suit against the City of Ridgeland for people to recover their hard earned money used to pay fines and legal fees to defend themselves. All of Soto's convictions should be revisited. I for one know of a person convicted of DUI because this person had a severe medical condition and couldn't possibly blow into the breathalyzer. Off to jail! BTW, the person doesn't drink.

Anonymous said...

What's done 12 31? Gallatin knows?

Anonymous said...

2:38-I think I know that same person. I'm one of the innocent people that would like to recover my legal fees. A class action suit would be great. I know a lot of others in my situation also.
And, what does MADD have to say about all of this?

Curt Crowley said...

Second Paragraph of Soto's report in the Whitfield case: "While standing at the opened door, I observed the strong odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting from the vehicle. I observed WHitfield's eyes to be bloodshot, dilated and glassy."

That sounded awfully familiar, so I went back and pulled one of my old Soto cases and looked at the report: "While standing at the vehicle, I observed the strong odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting from within the vehicle. I observed XX's eyes to be bloodshot, dilated and glassy."

Must be a coincidence. So I grabbed another file. Same thing. And another. Same thing.

How strange.

Anonymous said...

Mine says the same thing.

Curt Crowley said...

3:02: "And, what does MADD have to say about all of this?"

MADD does not now, nor has it ever, given a shit if innocent people get convicted of DUI. To them, innocent people are just collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

It's so easy a caveman can do it. H/t to GEICO, http://www.gallatinpd.org/ContactUs.aspx

Anonymous said...

H/T to GEICO too:

TACDL - Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

http://www.tacdl.com/

Website is down for maint. right now, but if the folks from Gallatin stop by, they should know someone might remember to send this link later.

TAGS: Preemployment background check, send your problem somewhere else, those da#n tubes again,wishing it all goes away quietly

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, thank you so much for posting this and letting everyone know. And, I really can't wait to see what the DA and other officials have to say about this issue they've tried to sweep under the rug. This has affected a LOT of innocent people.

Anonymous said...

This guy is everything that is wrong with law enforcement. I know officers in other jurisdictions who were very aware of his tactics. I asked a bail bondsman about it one time, and was told that what he was doing was common knowledge. If they knew, why didn't Chief Houston?

Anonymous said...

http://www.thegallatinnews.com/

Anonymous said...

http://www.thegallatinnews.com/

Anonymous said...

Michael Guest's office number is 601-825-1472 for those of you interested in why he didn't pursue prosecution.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why my comment about the number of potentially overturned cases never made it through.

Guest may need Ridgeland police and detectives to prosecute cases, and may feel his hands are tied about prosecuting one of their own. But that's no excuse for not turning it over to the state or feds.

Anonymous said...

Police officers lying to make an arrest and conviction is all too common. I know from first hand experience. I've been stopped for DWI once before, and I was not drunk. I easily passed the field sobriety tests but declined, as was my right, to take a breathalyzer test. The state trooper took this as probable cause, and arrested me. His arrest report included numerous lies including obervations that I had failed the field sobriety tests, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol.

Lucky for me, there was videotape of the field sobriety tests and once the prosector got a look at the tape, they dismissed the charge.

I couldn't afford to go to trial on principle and gamble that a jury would take my word over that of a sworn officer's even with videotape showing that his "obervations" were overstated at best. It's hard to put law enforcement on trial.

I came away a wiser man.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, is there a cash award related to this?

straightarrow said...

Soto committed a felony. A felony, a crime people have gone to jail for and lost their civil rights, especially the right to keep and bear arms. The prosecutor needs to go after him or he needs to be investigated, himself, and removed from office.

Anonymous said...

Report writing 101,His eyes were red and glassy, his speech was slow and slurred. He had the odor of alcohol on his breath and person,(and if needed for cya) he then became belligerent and combative, and had to be restrained with a std police sleeper hold. This is standard wording for most arrest reports of this nature. 34-yellow

Anonymous said...

If LE really cared about the bad apples they would make sure they go to jail. They won't because LE think they are superior citizens to civilans.

Anonymous said...

§ 97-11-11. Bribery; offer, promise or gift of property to candidate, officer, agent or trustee to influence his action.








Every person who shall promise, offer or give to any officer, agent or trustee, either public or private, while holding such office, agency or trust, or after he has become a candidate or applicant for the same, any money, goods, chattels, right in action, or other property, real or personal, with intent to influence his vote, opinion, action or judgment on any question, matter, cause or proceeding which may be then pending, or may be thereafter subject to vote, opinion, action or judgment of such officer, agent or trustee, shall, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than ten (10) years, or fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both, and shall be forever disqualified from holding any public office, trust or appointment, and shall forfeit his office, if any be held.








Sources: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 64, art. 12, Title 5(9); 1857, ch. 64, art. 34; 1871, § 2511; 1880, § 2727; 1892 § 981; 1906, § 1057; Hemingway's 1917, § 785; 1930, § 801; 1942, § 2027; Laws, 1995, ch. 463, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Anonymous said...

Chief Houston does not care about the department. He has two Lieutanants one had an affarir with his secetary and the other had an affarir with two female patrol officers. So, what a little not so much truth on the stand. The upper command staff are too busy seeing who they can have the most sex with in the department. By the way the Chief knows about these two men and did nothing about it one is pictured with Officer Soto holding the award. So if your wiling to have sex with one of them then you want need David Moore Bonding?

Anonymous said...

The reason Soto was allowed to resign instead of being fired was purely for financial reasons. Soto effected my life "BIG TIME" with a DUI a few years ago. His statement was completely false and an outright lie. But, it was my word against a police officers & that's all it took.
The reason he wasn't fired is because the City of Ridgeland didn't want to lose all that money they've made off of him all these years. If his testimony was a bald faced lie he would lose credibility in all of his old cases & I'm sure they could've been challenged. The city doesn't wanna give back that money
I also know for a fact that the F.B.I. is investigating Soto for this case & several others including mine. To be continued......
I also think it's real funny that we haven't heard about this story on the local news. it seems like no one wants to piss off the City of Ridgeland & Madison County. I've contacted CNN about the story & they're more interested in it than WLBT. To be continued......

Kaptain Kangaroo said...

Let freedom ring. Do not tread on me.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change until Mayor Gene McGee of Ridgeland is held accountable for his responsiblity for Soto's many lies and civil rights violations that the City of Ridgeland benefited from financially. Thank goodness for Chuck McRae. The damage done to the City of Ridgeland's reputation is enormous and continuing because the Mayor set this guy loose on citizens and visitors to Ridgeland who has lied, lied, lied to Ridgeland's financial benefit.

Anonymous said...

Everyone join the Facebook Group:
Why has Daniel Soto not been fired?

JOIN JOIN JOIN!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry:

Why is Daniel Soto not in jail?

Anonymous said...

Where do we find this link? So we can join....Who are the other 2 guys in this pic? This may have already been determined & I missed it...

Anonymous said...

How is the recipient chosen by MADD for this award? Did Tricia Raymond pick Soto? Did not see Raymond's name on the pathetic MADD site, is she still with the organization? If so, perhaps the media can ask her about the Soto decision (as well as Karen Irby's sentencing this month).

Anonymous said...

The way to find the facebook link for anti-Soto site is to log onto facebook and type: Why is Daniel Soto not in jail? It's a group started by my friend Ray Morgan.
I've recently learned that the FBI is investigating Soto for many other similar allegations.
If you can't find the Soto group on facebook try finding it through Raymond Morgan's facebook page or Sims Garrett's

Anonymous said...

Mr. McRae filed a motion to dismiss on March 17 and stated
"The Court is aware that the prosecuting witness being, Officer Daniel Soto, gave false testimony..."
Defendant would show that it is believed that the prosecution has evidence that the witness in other cases has also given false testimony...."
"It is learned that while Officer Soto announced that no tape existed for various reasons, an independent investigation revealed that he personally viewed the video of the arrest of the defendant which clearly showed the perjured testimony of Soto. In addition a copy of the transcript of said witness and the video tape of the occurrence that the City and Officer Soto said did not exist at trial has been maintained by the City of Ridgeland will be supplied at hearing..."

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the Soto and the likes go to prison for the havoc they have caused for innocent people. I have three friends that were falsely arrested--and lets not forget the impound company that Ridgeland uses--and they only take cash--no debit card, no credit card--only cash.

Has anyone out there dealt with the Fairly judges and the Flowood Mafia? The Godfather mayor, his dumbass brother that played for State 40 years ago and still brags about it, his dumbass daughter who teaches at Flowood Elementary, and his dumbass self--acting as if he is God, while his redneck, greedy decisions drove Lakeland Drive into a traffic nightmare? Can anyone tell me how the Rhoads and Fairlys became so close?

Nashville Criminal Law report said...

For an update on Mr. Soto , I posted on his new employment. http://www.nashvillecriminallawreport.com/

Anonymous said...

I cross-posted this article there.

Thanks for the update and good luck, you might be getting a lot more business in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I am currently charged with DUI in tennessee - the officer admitted to lying on the stand (he said in general sessions court that his car was not equiped with a video machine- then the day of the trail he admitted that he did have a video- but they had erased it) let me know if you can help-
krisf@paimail.org

Anonymous said...

I got pulled over by this guy and just finding out about all of this. My story sounds so similar to Mr. Whitfield's. Soho said that I was jumping around on one leg when I did my sobriety test. This guy is a disgrace to all the good cops and Gallatin Tn Police Department should be ashamed to hire someone like this to protect and serve their community.

Anonymous said...

I was pulled over by a lady officer for no other reason than looking for a DUI (Late on Sat. night) She call for two more male cops. I had to blow and blew .000. She had no cause to even ask me to take the test. Keep and eye out for her. She will be setting records.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Gallatin for several years, he should fit in very well there...

Anonymous said...

I was also pulled over by a female officer which called for two more male officers. I had no alcohol in the vehicle, didn't smell of the odor. I registered .000 I was told my eyes looked red. If you get stopped by her late at night good luck, because DUI's looks like her mission and she doesn't have a clue, I could do her job, just test everyone. She is also a B****. The male officers were very cool.

Anonymous said...

I had a horrible experience with the Ridgeland, MS. police officers yesterday. I was stopped for speeding and when I questioned the exactness of the speed the officer said that I was going I got a bad answer, after that I did not want to just take the ticket immediately and I had my car door thrown open by an officer and he pulled me from the car. I told him that I would just agree with the ticket and to just take it easy and let me get back into my car. He said it was too late for that and then several more of them showed up and they handcuffed me and pushed me around while I tried to beg for help from them. They looked like they had just found a number 1 most wanted FBI criminal instead of a person without even a traffic record. They threatened me several times and did some other strange things and then took me to the jail. I tried to tell them that I was a diabetic and on a drug for poison ivy that raised my blood sugar and that my insulin was in my car. They did not listen. I thought they were going to let me die in a cell after 2 hours has passed and I still had not been given a chance to call anyone for help. They did not even care. I finally was let out of the cell by one of them and eventually was able to make a call. There is no way that this should have ever happened. That first officer did not have to go crazy like that and the other ones did not have to act just like him. They took several other people into cells that day and they were laughing about it. They made comments like "Keep em rollin in" and "Business is good". They also were talking about the bond amounts for each of them a lot and suggesting that they should all be higher. None of this is acceptable.

Anonymous said...

The Ridgeland, Mississippi police department is one of the most corrupt in the country. They are known for lying, brutality, planting evidence and so on. Why the US Department of Justice doesn't come in and stop this is a mystery. I can not wait until someone sues the city, mayor, police chief and all his thug underlings. It will happen and oh what a joy it will be.

Anonymous said...

I avoid driving through Ridgeland if at all possible and do not frequent many businesses because I fear harassment.

Anonymous said...

It's been a year or two now - how many people who were convicted based on Soto's testimony have sued to have their conviction overturned based on his perjury in this case? Sure sounds like reasonable doubt to me.

Anonymous said...

http://www.gallatinnews.com/gallatin-officer-resigns-after-criminal-investigation-cms-17473

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