Texas Police Narcotics Officer Charged with Theft of Government Money

DALLAS—John David McAllister, a sergeant with the Mesquite Police Department (MPD), was arrested this morning on a federal complaint charging theft of government money, announced United States Attorney James T Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Sgt. McAllister, 42, of Mesquite, Texas, is presently head of the MPD's narcotics unit and oversees four narcotics detectives. Sgt.

McAllister will make his initial court appearance this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Paul D Stickney at 3:00 PM According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, as part of their duties, Sgt. McAllister and other members of his unit, execute search warrants at suspected drug stash locations and assist uniformed officers with vehicles suspected of transporting narcotics or cash thought to be drug proceeds. Sgt. McAllister and his unit also work directly with DEA agents.

The FBI received a tip in December 2010 that Sgt. McAllister was stealing cash found during the execution of search warrants and opened an investigation. On March 1, 2011, FBI agents conducted an undercover money courier operation. Prior to the operation, $100,000 in cash was counted, photographed, and photocopied.

It was separated into 52 bundles and placed in an undercover vehicle that was equipped with video recording equipment. An undercover FBI agent was the sole occupant of that vehicle As requested by two other undercover officers, Sgt. McAllister and his partner approached the vehicle to identify the occupant. The undercover FBI agent in the vehicle got out of the vehicle and was then escorted to the two undercover officers who were parked nearby.

After consent, Sgt. McAllister searched the vehicle and discovered the cash, located in a duffle bag and a separate plastic bag, in the vehicle's front passenger seat. At the request of one of the undercover officers, Sgt. McAllister transported the undercover vehicle and the cash to the MPD; video recordings captured him placing his hand into the bag of currency and taking one of the bundles of currency from the plastic bag and stashing it in his pants.

When Sgt. McAllister arrived at the MPD, he got out of the vehicle, with the plastic bag and duffel bag containing the cash, went to his MPD vehicle where he was observed shuffling around inside, and then, with the plastic bag in his hand and the duffel bag over his shoulder, escorted the undercover officers into the MPD's Narcotics Unit squad area. When the cash was counted, it was discovered that one bundle of $2,000 was missing. Sgt.

McAllister was under surveillance as he left the MPD and drove to Town East Mall in Mesquite. He entered the mall and walked to a store called "The Buckle." He was observed leaving the store carrying a small plastic bag. Agents obtained a photocopy of all the currency in the teller drawers at the store and were able to identify multiple bills that matched. In addition surveillance tapes show an individual fitting McAllister's description entering the store and purchasing a watch.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted, however, the maximum statutory penalty, per count, for theft of government money is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution could also be ordered.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rick Calvert.

Published on: 2011-03-04

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