Just recently another mid-level supervisor has fallen off the perch. Lt. James Tom Melton, the SWAT team leader and Commander, has disgraced every employee with his alleged indictment for Fraud toward an elderly couple, and various other theft related incidents, not mentioned in the newspaper.
I am quite surprised that the LVMPD police administration would allow the Review-Journal to publish such a spread in their newspaper, with photos included, of this alleged distinguished employee that has risen so quickly through the ranks, from corrections officer, in the Clark County Jail, to sergeant, in the Narcotics interdiction unit, to sergeant in the Robbery/Homicide Bureau, and then eventually, after working so diligently, to becoming the Commander of the prestigious elite Special Weapons and Tactics unit. Does anyone see maybe a political appointment floating around?
For those who don’t know, the SWAT Commander can call and order the Life or Death of a suspect that the SWAT team has deployed against, and let’s say has barricaded himself, with hostages. Not even the Sheriff has that kind of Juice or authority. It would stand to reason that the person they would put in charge of the SWAT team should be a person of high integrity, stellar character, with an exemplary record of achievement along with unquestioned honesty. At least that is what we are all lead to believe. Unfortunately, allegedly not so with regard to Lt. James Tom Melton.
I personally have witnessed several unholy acts committed by then Sgt. Melton, and now Lt. Melton. Between the years 2010 and 2013, I have observed on two separate occasions Sgt. Melton riffling through the desks of off-duty detectives and then spontaneously telling me directly that he has “the right to go through anyone’s desk” because he is a supervisor and a sergeant. The second time I caught him rifling through desks of another off-duty squad of detectives and was observed by a female clerk, unknown to Sgt. Melton.
I personally caught Sgt. Melton sitting at my police work desk on two separate occasions rifling through my police files and my personal files and property that I brought from home and used in training scenarios and police incidents. I requested that Sgt. Melton remove himself from my chair and desk so that I could continue working and eventually go home. I reported this to Lt. Clinton Nichols who took no action and ignored it.
In April of 2010, a long series of robberies, sexual assaults, and home invasions occurred throughout the city; the robbery unit solved these cases with five suspects arrested. This case was immortalized in the Review-Journal on April 14, 2010. Unfortunately, the evidence had became tainted, the chain of custody broken, pursuant to five search warrants, whereby the evidence never made it to the LVMPD evidence vault, with the help by detectives that were never involved in the case. (It should be noted that DA David Roger allegedly had to step down because of this attempted coverup.)
Sgt. Melton read a false Officer’s report regarding this particular case to my partner, Luis Araujo, and I, in his office, whereby we were supposed to support this false report and lie about what we had learned. I flatout refused to be a party to this felony crime and left his office in disgust. He was not happy with me. From that point on, communication from anyone in the investigative services bureau had been told not to talk to Det. Martines about anything; this came directly from Sheriff Gillespie.
On November 7, 2010, after returning from vacation, Sgt. Melton confronted me in his office; he threatened my life twice, made ethnic slurs about my Mexican Origin, informed me that he had ransacked my police desk whereby some of my personal property was taken, including $200.00 in cash from the second drawer in my desk, and then he relieved me of duty with an impending IAB complaint for a messy desk. This set of actions by Sgt. Melton was so overwhelming to me, that I had a cardiac incident, which later rendered me totally and permanently disabled after spending $50,000.00 in medical costs.
I later contacted the FBI about the tainted evidence case and the rest is history: DA David Roger Stepped down and DDA Roy Nelson was fired. The suspects all took plea deals minus the sexual assault charges.
It should be noted, I filed a crime report stating that Sgt. Melon has destroyed official documents (case files) and had threatened my life twice, verbally, in his office. I also filed several policy complaints against Sgt. Melton, one being that he is a racist, and a prolific user of the “N” word, as reported by his fellow co-worker. I also suggested very seriously that Sgt. Melton be examined psychologically to see if he is mentally fit to be a police officer.
I condemn also the police administration for not addressing these previous issues in a timely manner. I am certain that the criminal offences that are currently pending against Lt. Melton would not have occurred otherwise.
Unfortunately, there are several other employees (police Officers) that are in the same category as Lt. Melton. What is it going to take to minimize the damage they do?
In God We Trust