Jury convicts Kentucky constables of violating rights

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LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A federal jury ruled that two Kentucky constables violated people's rights by illegally searching or detaining them and taking money or other property without going through the legal process.

Pulaski County constables Michael "Wally" Wallace and Gary E. Baldock were convicted Friday of conspiring to violate civil rights and one charge each of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

FBI agents found 5.9 grams of meth at Wallace's house when they arrested him and half a gram of meth in the trunk of Baldock's cruiser.

Federal authorities didn't argue the two sold drugs, but rather that they kept drugs to plant them on people to make bogus arrests.

The drug charge carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

One witness testified Wallace and Baldock took part in setting her up on a bogus drunken-driving arrest, and two others testified about allegations Wallace planted evidence on them

Kentucky constables are elected and have full police powers. Some do little police work, but Wallace was prolific, with dozens of drug cases pending when he was arrested.

Wallace upped his profile with Facebook posts about arrests.

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