Some major cases are now in jeopardy of being thrown out as a result of misconduct carried out by an FBI agent. Scott M. Bowman, a California-based FBI veteran of ten years, was indicted in June for stealing over $100,000 seized in drug raids. Reports say that Bowman used the money he stole to buy sports cars, pay for his wife’s cosmetic surgery and a Las Vegas vacation for his side piece. Since his arrest, Bowman’s colleagues have been investigating the scale of his misconduct. Their findings could result in a couple of multi-defendant cases being thrown out.
In fact, one case in which Bowman is believed to have stolen money has already been thrown out. A member of the Bloods was busted with pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine, along with 11 guns, but is now free due to Bowman’s alleged sticky fingers.
In another case that may be thrown out, Bowman is accused of stealing $15,000 in seized drug proceeds. The major loss for the feds will be if a case against 52 members of the Nortenos is dismissed, because of the corrupt agent. The gang members were arrested for allegedly smuggling heroin into various prisons in California and dealing dope in La Plaza Park in San Bernadino. Money made through this operation was allegedly kicked up to the Mexican Mafia.
Bowman served as a part of a task force comprised of local, state and federal authorities called the Gang Impact Unit. WPTZ News Channel 5 describes Bowman’s misconduct:
According to the indictment, Bowman stole more than $15,000 in cash seized by investigators on two separate occasions in June 2014 while investigating the methamphetamine distribution case. In August of that year he went into an FBI evidence safe containing hundreds of thousands of dollars in seized drug money and “withdrew a substantial amount.”
He then wrote false reports “to conceal his actions,” the indictment states.
It also accuses Bowman of writing an email to a fellow task force officer, identified in the indictment as “Detective A,” in which he provides the officer with a cover story to tell in case anyone asked about missing money. Bowman had earlier given the same detective $2,000, the indictment alleges. The indictment does not explain the source of the money or why it was given. The detective has not been charged with a crime.
In the letter sent to defense attorneys earlier this year, prosecutors disclosed that Bowman might have made false statements to a telecommunications company in an “exigent circumstances request” in 2009. Such request are made by law enforcement when agents require immediate access to records for reasons including someone’s life being in danger or the monitoring of conspiratorial activity such as organized crime. The letter said Bowman might have submitted the request “for personal reasons and not related to a case.”
Bowman is also being investigated for the theft of seized drugs and guns from the task force office. If Bowman’s misdeeds do, in fact, stretch all the way back to 2009, even more cases he was involved in may unravel. Read the Department of Justice’s press release regarding Bowman’s indictment this summer, here.