Receipt Inside McDonald's Bag Brought Down Corrupt Cop

Stolen money traced to him thanks to credit card payment
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2018 6:02 PM CDT
Updated Jun 24, 2018 7:33 AM CDT
A bag of food from McDonald's ordered through the Postmates service sits next to a Postmates delivery bag during a delivery in New York on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.   (AP Photo/Candice Choi)

(Newser) – Kyle Willett, then a detective on the Louisville Metro Police's drug task force, got some food at a McDonald's drive-thru before heading back to work one day back in 2016—and it was the receipt from that fast food stop that led to his downfall, the Courier-Journal reports. While still in his car outside the UPS global shipping hub where he intercepted drug shipments, he opened a box believed to be heading from local drug dealers to large-scale distributors in California and stole around $40,000 in cash from it. But before re-sealing it and sending it on its way, he crumpled up his McDonald's bag—including the receipt—and tossed it inside. He had paid with a credit card, and when another drug task force in California intercepted and opened the package, expecting to find evidence, they instead found the cash missing. But investigators were able to trace the credit card digits on the receipt to Willett.

They also found surveillance footage of his car, purchased by the police department, in the drive-thru on the time and date the receipt read. Surveillance cameras were placed inside the SUV, and when Willett stole cash from another package, it was captured on video. Willett, who had previously been considered one of the most accomplished detectives on the force and had been featured on the true crime TV show The First 48, ended up leaving the force and pleading guilty to felony theft. But the probe into his crimes also ended up uncovering a questionable practice undertaken by other members of the task force, dubbed the "sneak-n-peek," in which officers would take packages into their cars and open them before obtaining a search warrant. The task force ended up losing federal funding and was shut down for 19 months before being restarted with all new members. See the Courier-Journal for the full story. (Read more corrupt cops stories.)

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