CL – Duplex case winding down

The long, strange saga that began in front of a shabby duplex on Ridgeway Street the night of Aug. 26, 2006, is nearing an end – at least in regard to criminal charges.

Michael Recio, an ex-bodyguard of the late Mayor Frank Melton, now is a former officer with the Jackson Police Department.

“He has tendered his resignation, effective (last) Friday,” Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance said Monday.

On Friday, Recio, 39, agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor aiding and abetting for his role in a warrantless raid on the duplex. He, Melton and fellow former bodyguard Marcus Wright were indicted last July – accused of violating federal civil rights protections for unreasonable search and seizure during the raid on what Melton called a drug house. Recio had been on paid administrative leave from the department since he was indicted.

Recio’s sentencing is set for Aug. 5.

According to court officials, Recio’s deal includes a possible six-month sentence, possible fines and a stipulation that he not hold a law enforcement job for the length of his supervised probation, which could last for up to a year. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson may impose unsupervised probation as well. Recio had been an officer since July 1992.

In October, Wright – who prosecutors said entered the house with his gun drawn during the raid – pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge and testified against Melton and Recio during a February trial. That trial ended in a mistrial when jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

Clarion-Ledger
5/19/9