Integrity of Justice

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Wyse responds: Chief’s cover-up of Manthe pact

Response of Stephen Wyse to Interim Chief Jones Statement of May 30, as to the cover-up of CPD’s Pact with Sex-Trafficker Barry Manthe

Barry Manthe

Barry Manthe mugshot

Barry Manthe mugshot

On January 10, 2019, Citizens For Justice released a documentary on YouTube entitled “Police Protected Pimp.” That asserted Sex-Trafficker Barry Manthe was able to use his relationship with the Columbia Police Department and prosecutors as a prolific informant to continue his illegal operations. In these Operations Manthe used drugs and his relationship with law enforcement to control and intimidate young women into being sex-workers at his Vandiver Brothel from 2010 until March 29, 2017. When Manthe was arrested in a joint FBI/CPD raid that resulted in an 18-month federal sentence for using the internet to promote prostitution, the least serious charge his conduct warranted.

COVER-UP IN ACTION

Wyse stated, “I am frankly surprised that more than four months after the documentary was released on YouTube that Chief Jones chose to make a general denial to the specific allegations of a CPD conspiracy with Manthe raised in the documentary.”
Wyse further stated that Chief Jones instructions to Deputy Chief Jill Schlude establishing the parameters of the investigation indicate that Chief Jones had no interest in uncovering the truth but may have been focused on creating a cover-up of sufficient credibility to withstand public scrutiny.

COVER-UP RELIES UPON CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR INVESTIGATOR

Deputy Chief Jill Schlude raised her concern about her conflict of interest in this investigation to Chief Jones when she wrote on March 14, 2019, “ I know we briefly discussed it, but I do have concerns about a conflict, or at least the appearance of one, due to the accusations leveled against me and my husband in the videos. Since it was announced that I had been tasked with the investigation/review I have seen several news articles drawing attention to this as well as things on social media from Citizens for Justice. I have not dug far enough into the reports to determine if you would be perceived to have any involvement directly or indirectly (as a supervisor), but if so I think it would also be perceived by some as a conflict as well.”

But of greater concern were the narrow parameters of the cover-up investigation that Chief Jones gave to Deputy Chief Jill Schlude to determine the degree of CPD’s misconduct:

1. “review all police reports involving Mr. Manthe in order to determine if there were any instances where we had probable cause to arrest him (or send a warrant request to the PA)
and did not,
2. review all arrests of Mr. Manthe and document what action was taken (what we did arrest him for and why) and whether or not any further action could have been taken (additional
charges that he potentially could have been arrested for and was not, and if so why),
3. review all police reports involving Mr. Manthe for any information in general that would refute allegations made in the Citizens for Justice videos.”

By limiting the investigation to CPD official reports with a focus on refuting the allegations made in the Citizens For Justice’s videos the cover-up moves forward. Chief Jones made it clear that he had no interest in establishing the truth and was only interested in defending the department against issues raised in the documentary. As a former investigator for the U.S. Army Military Police and the State of Missouri my past experience may have relevance in understanding the difference between a legitimate investigation and a cover-up. The following are lines of inquiry that I would have pursued to establish the truth:

1. June 28, 2016, redacted CPD report established that CPD officers responded to Manthe’s brothel on Vandiver to investigate the sex trafficking of a child.
The responding officers should have been interviewed to determine why no action was taken;
2. The next day at the insistence of the Wisconsin FBI Office on June 29, 2016. Missouri FBI Special Agent Sean McDermott and 2 CPD officers rescue a 17-year-old
from Wisconsin (L.V.) who according to the FBI was held against her will, deprived of food and threatened with a pistol into being a sex worker at Manthe’s
Brothel. NO ARRESTS WERE MADE and the 17-year-old was removed and illicit drugs in plain sight were ignored. The responding officers should have been interviewed
to determine why no action was taken and why the brothel continued to operate until March 29, 2017;
3. After June 2016, whenever Barry Manthe ran a “New Girl” AD on Backpage who was the CPD Officer that responded to the brothel to verify that prostitute was over
the age of 18. Who was that responding officer and why did he screen brothel employees ages;
4. On January 27, 2017, (IN CPD RECORDS NOT DISCLOSED IN SUNSHINE LAW REQUEST) a robbery and shooting of a sex worker occurred at Manthe’s Brothel. Also seized at
the brothel were: METHAMPHETAMINE; HEROIN; MARIHUANA; SYRINGES; PIPES and other drug paraphernalia. NO ARRESTS WERE MADE ASSOCIATED TO THESE ILLEGAL DRUGS. The responding officers should have been interviewed to determine why no drug arrests were made;
5. The entire Street Crimes Unit should have been interviewed about their knowledge and interactions with Barry Manthe. Specifically, sergeant Roger Schlude and
officer Chris Papineau and former officer Cathy Dodd
6. Every officer who made an entry into CPD’s intelligence database that referenced Barry Manthe should have been interviewed.
7. Interviews of Barry Manthe and Ronald Clark

Wyse noted that prior to 1999, CPD’s relationship with Barry Manthe mostly appeared to be that of legitimate law enforcement agency with a pimp. When Barry Manthe became a fugitive from justice from the 1998 promoting prostitution charges in Boone County. A transition in that relationship appears to have occurred. In 2003, the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the felony promoting prostitution charges against a nearly 4-year fugitive from justice Manthe without explanation. After Manthe returned in 2003, to his Boone County criminal operations, his relationship with law enforcement appears to have become an alliance of a prolific informant with his police handlers that grew closer over time. When in 2014, Barry Manthe wondered into an FBI Sting at local hotel and he was again arrested for the state law felony of promoting prostitution and that charge was later amended to Trespassing with a $250 fine and the fix appears to have been established.
Barry’s brothel was the scene of arson, shootings, robberies and more arrests than can be reasonably be accounted for and yet it continued in operation. A feat that would be unlikely if Manthe was not being protected by law enforcement after his return from being a fugitive from justice for nearly four years.
Chief Jones’ May 30, 2019, cover-up statement lacks the credibility to be taken seriously and it should be regarded as a continuation of CPD’s nefarious relationship with the drug dealing Sex-Trafficker Barry Manthe. If Chief Jones wanted to establish transparency and accountable to prevent future dark alliances between the police and criminals he has failed! It appears the chief is trying to cover-up the Manthe/CPD Pact and run out the clock on public scrutiny to resume business as usual.

/s/ Stephen Wyse
Stephen Wyse
Attorney at Law, former attorney for Kenneth Jones and participant in the documentary

Tribune story

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