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 Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust 
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 Post subject: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Officers caught Wii bowling during drug bust

POLK COUNTY: In March, Polk County drug investigators raided the home of forty-three year old Michael Difalco near Lakeland, Florida.

Difalco has an extensive arrest record.

He's done time in state prison for trafficking drugs.

On this day, members of a multi department drug task force claim they discovered drugs, weapons and stolen property.

A security camera they missed, showed detectives also discovered a fun video game to play, Wii bowling.

And over the course of the next 9 hours, the game was on.

One detective bowled frame after frame after frame.

Practice makes perfect.

And while one female detective lifted a couch looking for drugs, another detective focused on pin action

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd calls the display embarrassing.

"How do you explain it? Well you can't explain that, my deputies know that they shouldn't have been playing Wii while they were involved in that search warrant."

Detectives from the Sheriff's office, Winter Haven, Auburndale and Lakeland police department's all participated in the raid, and all caught on camera.

Judd says it was the supervisors who are at fault.

"That doesn't please me what pleases me less is the supervision that didn't say turn the television off."

Instead of ordering the video game and television turned off, this supervisor from Lakeland PD joined the fun.

Defense attorney Rick Escobar watched a sampling of the drug raid video

"I've never seen anything like this. I find this very offensive. Shocking embarrassing I'm sure that the department is extremely embarrassed by this behavior. "

Records show 16 detectives spent 9 hours searching Difalco's property, the cost to taxpayers $4,000.

Escobar thinks this will not look good to the public.

"All the citizens are thinking wait a minute we are paying these people to go out and protect us and here they are playing bowling on our time."

The sheriff argues there is always down time during searches, no tax dollars were wasted.

"The nature of a search warrant is hurry up and wait it just is, am i trying to defend the fact that they were bowling not at all, that was inappropriate."

The sheriff claims he launched an internal administrative investigation, and will wait for a final report before he decides if anyone will face discipline.

"It's an embarrassment to the detectives involved and its an embarrassment to the organization but you know what we employee 1800 people and not one of them is perfect we all make mistakes. They made a mistake."

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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:54 pm 
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I guess the newspaper editor didn't want to go for the obvious headline

Officers seen Wii-ing during drug bust.


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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:07 pm 
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"Officer caught touching someone else's Wii"


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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:55 pm 
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BigBlue wrote:
"Officer caught touching someone else's Wii"

or "playing with suspect's Wii"

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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:47 pm 
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Quote:
The sheriff argues there is always down time during searches, no tax dollars were wasted.

"The nature of a search warrant is hurry up and wait it just is, am i trying to defend the fact that they were bowling not at all, that was inappropriate."

The sheriff claims he launched an internal administrative investigation, and will wait for a final report before he decides if anyone will face discipline.


Excuse me -- I speak cop. I can translate:

"We'll wait for people to forget before we quietly drop this."

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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:20 pm 
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I want to see the video, it would very interesting!!


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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:26 pm 
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It's on that URL above. The video.

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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:32 pm 
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"A multi department drug task force" just like Minn. Metro.

Send copies to your Legislator with the question "Does this happen in Minnesota too? Are you sure?

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 Post subject: Re: Officers play Wii bowling during drug bust
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:22 am 
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UPDATE;
By Jeremy Maready
THE LEDGER

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 8:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 8:46 p.m.

BARTOW | Polk County sheriff's officials still are trying to obtain a full copy of a video that shows members of a law enforcement task force playing a video game during the execution of a search warrant before starting an internal investigation of the incident.

The video was given to News Channel 8 in Tampa earlier this month, but the Sheriff's Office doesn't know who gave it to the news station.

The video shows several investigators from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force playing a Nintendo Wii bowling game at the North Lakeland home of Michael DiFalco when they should have been searching for evidence.

The task force arrested DiFalco and searched the home March 6.

The video, recorded on a motion-sensitive camera attached to a computer inside DiFalco's home, shows several investigators playing the game at different times and celebrating when they scored strikes.

DiFalco, 43, faces numerous drug possession charges, including possession with intent to sell, possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon, and trafficking methamphetamine, sheriff's reports said.

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd was shown about 15 minutes of the footage, which was said to be about an hour long. But the television station refused to give Judd a copy, he said.

Of what he saw, Judd estimated about seven or eight undercover investigators of the 21-member task force played the game.

The Sheriff's Office, which supervised the raid, is coordinating with the police departments from Auburndale, Lakeland and Winter Haven on gathering information about the incident.

If any punishments are deemed necessary, they will be given equally among the agencies, Judd said.

[Jeremy Maready can be reached at jeremy.maready@theledger.com or 863-802-7592.]

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