(Ex) Buffalo Police Officer James Hamilton is a hypocrite. On one hand, he’s a cop. His job is to bust pot dealers, growers and users in his town along with the rest of the Buffalo Police. They are good at it, too.
On the other hand, Hamilton allegedly was a mid-sized pot grower and dealer who tended a basement garden with 82 marijuana plants while on the force where he recently was named “Rookie of the Month,” according to the Buffalo News.
Hamilton, 29, was apparently narc’d out by someone on the force with him, as Buffalo Police Internal Affairs had been watching Hamliton since May. Everything came to a head yesterday when Hamilton allegedly sold a half-pound of pot for $1,100 to a police informant. (Editor’s note: doesn’t that sound a little bit low for the east coast?)
After the sale, Hamilton was called into Police Headquarters like a lamb to the slaughter. He was arrested and that’s when his fellow cops went and searched his home and found the grow op along with four pounds of dried ganja and a 12-gauge shotgun.
All of those things ad up to federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute, manufacturing with intent to distribute, maintaining a drug premises, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
The latter could really screw Hamilton, as guns tend to be major sentence enhancers in federal cases like this. As we wrote about earlier this week, a Utah man is doing 55 years for selling just $350 of pot while his shotgun was locked up in a safe elsewhere in the house.
Hamilton is already facing anywhere from five years to life in prison, so there’s a lot of room for a judge to play with.
It also doesn’t help that Hamilton was a cop. And law enforcement love to throw the book at “bad apples,” as Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda referred to Hamilton.
“When dirty cops tarnish the badge,” Brian R. Crowell, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Buffalo office, said in a tough-talking press release. “Their selfish acts disregard their pledge to protect the citizens of Buffalo.”