Ex-cop Tanabe convicted in 'dirty DUI' scandal

Ex-cop Tanabe convicted in 'dirty DUI' scandal

Tanabe was a parent at Green Valley Elementary School Danvile, he never said he wa a police officer, he was in my house as part of cub scouts between 2001 and 2004 (est.)

Tanabe along with other officers tipped off Private Investigator Chris Butler about the attempted murder by Danville Building Inspector
Gary Vinson Collins who died in a murderous fall leaving a wife and seveal children, one that found me in Walnut Creek via my blogs.

Collins fate was nefarious, his wife was employed at IT Director at the Town of Danville where I suspect she was able to deflect or modify police reports.


A former Contra Costa County deputy sheriff was convicted Tuesday on charges that he accepted a pistol from a private investigator in exchange for arresting two men who the investigator had baited into driving drunk in elaborate stings known as "dirty DUIs." However, jurors acquitted the former officer of a charge stemming from one of the private investigator's most startling claims - that the ex-deputy also accepted cocaine to facilitate a third
drunken driving arrest.

Stephen Tanabe, 50, of Alamo, appeared dejected after the jury in U.S. District Court in San Francisco delivered a verdict that marks one of the final
chapters in a lurid saga that has now resulted in the conviction of five former Bay Area law enforcement officers. Two and a half years after his arrest,
Tanabe, a former Danville patrol officer, turned to his family in the front row of the gallery, exhaled hard, and shook his head. He was convicted on one
count of conspiracy, two counts of extortion and three counts of wire fraud, and will be sentenced in December.

Tanabe's involvement in the unseemly world of former investigator Christopher Butler, 52, began in the mid-1990s, when both men were officers for the
Antioch police force. Tim Pori, Tanabe's attorney, maintained that Butler - the government's star witness, who testified in exchange for leniency in his
own case - was a master manipulator who made a living framing people. He deemed Butler a "sociopathic narcissist" who made Tanabe his latest mark.
"This was another 'designed coincidence,' " Pori said outside court, employing a term coined by the private investigator, "where Butler took the available
evidence and framed Tanabe."
In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hartley West portrayed Tanabe as an officer who'd sold his badge when he allegedly accepted an eighth of an
ounce of cocaine and a Glock pistol from Butler to ensure the drunken driving arrests  "His integrity was for sale," West told jurors. "And it was for
sale for cheap."
Butler was the architect of "dirty DUIs," prearranged busts of men he had been hired to tarnish. Three targeted men who testified at Tanabe's trial - a
Livermore winemaker, a Verizon executive, and a former software salesman - were in the midst of divorce or custody disputes with ex-wives who sought to
gain an advantage.
The women, prosecutors said, paid Butler to design stings in which female "decoys" approached the men online or in bars. Or actors would pose as reporters,
inviting the marks out for an "interview" over drinks.

In two stings involving Tanabe, Butler said, he arranged for his friend to park outside a Danville wine bar and arrest the victims on Butler's cue.
The sprawling scandal around Butler, which included allegations of drug dealing and prostitution, sparked an FBI corruption probe and led to the federal
convictions of Bay Area police officers from four different agencies.
One defendant remains: Mary Nolan, a divorce attorney who, according to prosecutors, hired Butler to install listening devices inside the car of a client's
ex-husband.11/12/13 Ex-cop Tanabe convicted in'dirty DUI' scandal - SFGate
During his testimony at the Tanabe trial, Butler said he was hired by Nolan to conduct a "dirty DUI" sting on a Clayton man, who was arrested and
convicted. Nolan has pleaded not guilty.
Justin Berton is a San Francisco Chronicle staf writer. E-mail: Twitter: @justinberton

Tanabe Convicted

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Ex-deputy indicted in 'dirty DUI' scheme

Ex-deputy indicted in 'dirty DUI' scheme

Published 4:00 am, Saturday, December 17, 2011

Defendant Stephen Tanabe sits in the courtroom waiting to be arraigned in the law enforcement abuse of power case, at the Contra Costa Superior Courthouse, Thursday June 23, 2011, in Walnut Creek, Calif. Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle
A former Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy who allegedly helped a private investigator with "dirty DUI" arrests has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Stephen Tanabe, 48, of Alamo, was indicted Thursday on four felony counts of conspiracy to extort under color of official right and aiding and abetting, in connection with the drunken-driving arrests. He is expected to surrender to authorities before a scheduled court appearance Monday in Oakland, attorneys said.
Tanabe is the fourth former law enforcement officer with ties to former private eye Christopher Butler, 50, to face federal charges. Butler pleaded not guilty to federal drug and conspiracy charges earlier this year.
In July, two former Richmond police officers who had hired Butler to carry out a retaliatory sting against two young men who once worked for them were indicted on gun charges.
In August, Butler and Norman Wielsch, 50, a former state Justice Department agent who commanded an antidrug task force in Contra Costa County, were indicted on charges connected to the alleged theft and sale of drugs.
Authorities said Wielsch had pilfered the drugs from evidence lockers. 
Tanabe pleaded not guilty this year in state court to bribery and conspiracy charges connected to two drunken-driving arrests he made in Danville in January.
Prosecutors said Butler had paid Tanabe to pull over and arrest men the detective was hired to go after. Butler was working for women in divorce cases who wanted to saddle their ex-husbands with criminal records to help them win custody battles, authorities said.
In an affidavit, a cadet-in-training who was riding with Tanabe in January said the officer used the term "dirty DUI" before he stopped a man Butler had hired him to arrest.
In a confession written by Butler and obtained by The Chronicle, the former investigator said he had supplied $200 worth of cocaine to Tanabe as payment for his involvement in one DUI stop.
Tanabe's attorney in the federal case did not respond to a phone call.
Dan Russo, the attorney who is representing Tanabe in state court, said, "It's obvious the feds are buying into Butler's perjurious lies."
Russo says Tanabe didn't know Butler was setting up the men he was arresting for drunken driving, and denies the former deputy ever took a bribe.

'Dirty DUIs' figure gets 8-year sentence

'Dirty DUIs' figure gets 8-year sentence

Updated 11:15 pm, Tuesday, September 25, 2012
  • Mary Nolan leaves the federal courthouse with attorney Richard Guadgani in Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 after pleading not guilty to six charges of wire-tapping and tax invasion. Nolan, a San Ramon divorce attorney, has been linked to the "dirty DUI" scandal involving former private investigator Christopher Butler. Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
    Mary Nolan leaves the federal courthouse with attorney Richard Guadgani in Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 after pleading not guilty to six charges of wire-tapping and tax invasion. Nolan, a San Ramon divorce attorney, has been linked to the "dirty DUI" scandal involving former private investigator Christopher Butler. Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

Christopher Butler, the private investigator at the center of a sensational scandal that involved "dirty DUIs" and drugs stolen from police evidence lockers, once longed for fame, money and a starring role in his own television reality show.
Instead, he got eight years in federal prison.
On Tuesday in Oakland, U.S. District JudgeSaundra Brown Armstrong sentenced Butler, 51, after the disgraced former police officer admitted his role in a stunning array of dirty deeds that included seven felony counts related to dealing drugs, framing men for drunken-driving arrests, and opening a brothel in Pleasant Hill that masqueraded as a massage parlor.
Butler told prosecutors his co-defendant, Norman Wielsch, 51, the former commander of a state antidrug task force, protected the house of prostitution and profited from it.
Wielsch has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well as stealing drugs from an evidence locker - which prosecutors said he gave to Butler to sell - and is scheduled to go on trial in January.
But of the two men, it was Butler, a former Antioch police officer with 10 years of service, who was driven to the criminal side in search of celebrity, his attorney said.
Butler had landed a Lifetime reality show in 2010 titled "P.I. Moms of San Francisco" that followed his crew of female detectives as they tracked down cheating husbands and secretly videotaped their missteps. To keep up with the demands of the fledgling show, and the costs of running his agency, Butler fell prey to one of man's oldest enemies: an insatiable ego.
"It overpowered his judgment to walk away from decisions that were destructive," said his attorney, William Gagen.
Butler turned to selling drugs provided to him by Wielsch, prosecutors said.

Wearing a wire

But the plan soon unraveled after one of Butler's most trusted employees agreed to wear a wire and videotape Butler and Wielsch negotiating the sale of a pound of methamphetamine. After their arrests in February 2011, details of Butler's tangled web of criminal activity in Contra Costa County unfolded, leading to the federal indictments that also roped in two Richmond police officers and a deputy sheriff.
Inside the courtroom, Butler looked nothing like the once well-coiffed man with a mane of white hair. Instead, his head was shaved to stubble and he wore oversize tan prison garb with slip-on shoes.
Instead of talking in the confident tones that once seduced reporters into writing about his team of mommy investigators, he choked with emotion during a brief statement.
"I want to apologize to the community for the anxiety, fear and suffering I have caused others," he said.
To the law enforcement community he was once part of, he apologized for his betrayal and the embarrassment he caused. He broke into tears at the mention of his family and appeared to cut his comments short.
For three victims who were ensnared in Butler's "dirty DUI" traps, the mea culpa was appreciated but not accepted.
"It couldn't have happened to a nicer scumbag," said attorney Brian Gearinger, who represents three men who are suing Butler in federal civil court.
All three men allege that Butler orchestrated their drunken-driving arrests after their ex-wives hired the investigator.

Possible witness

As a condition of his plea agreement in May, Butler can now be called as a witness in three federal criminal cases he's connected to.
His attorney said Butler, if needed, would testify against Wielsch, former Contra Costa Deputy Sheriff Stephen Tanabe, and San Ramon divorce attorney Mary Nolan.
Earlier in the day Nolan, 60, pleaded not guilty to a charge that she hired Butler to plant listening devices in the cars of her clients' ex-husbands. Tanabe, 49, who has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired with Butler to set up drunken-driving arrests, will ask the judge to dismiss his case next month.
Gagen said before Butler entered federal prison in May after pleading guilty, he'd already started on a life-altering path of self-reflection and humility.
Butler had completed courses in theology and philosophy at Holy Names University and received a 4.0 grade-point average, Gagen said.
The attorney said Butler now spends his days at the federal prison in Dublin reading books and reflecting on his actions. If Butler testifies against his co-defendants, and it leads to convictions, prosecutors can ask for a reduction in Butler's sentence.
"When Chris Butler gets out of prison - whenever that may be - he'll be a different person," Gagen said.

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