Details emerge in case of Gary cop charged with cocaine distributing
by Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3258 August 15, 2012 5:12PM
Updated: September 17, 2012 1:00PM
GARY — The investigation into Gary Patrolman David Finley’s drug activities began July 16 with a call from a man upset because his girlfriend was using cocaine.
The unidentified man, labeled “Confidential Human Source 1” in a criminal complaint filed Monday and unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, said Finley was providing cocaine to his girlfriend. Finley and the source have been friends for about a year, the complaint states.
Finley, of 4010 W. 73rd Ave., Merrillville, was charged with distribution of cocaine and making a straw purchase of a firearm.
He was arrested Tuesday afternoon outside The Dawghouse, a Merrillville bar where he and the undercover source agreed to complete a drug deal. FBI agents observed two exchanges there.
The first buy occurred July 27. The source wore a wire and paid Finley $100 for powder cocaine. That initial purchase was six days after Finley was involved in an off-duty crash on Interstate 94.
Although he appeared intoxicated, he was not arrested or tested at the scene. Indiana State Police did issue a ticket for making an unsafe lane movement.
Both Finley and his female passenger, Lindsey Dunigan, refused medical treatment at the scene, state police said.
Ten days later, Police Chief Wade Ingram said his internal affairs division was investigating the crash.
By then, members of the FBI-led Gang Response Investigative Team had witnessed another $100 buy from Finley. That time the source met Finley at his home. After the deal, Finley waved to an investigator who was waiting in a nearby car, the complaint states.
On Aug. 7, the two men discussed a deal for Finley to obtain a handgun and marijuana for the undercover source who is a convicted felon unable to buy a handgun himself, the complaint states.
With $600 provided by the FBI, Finley went to Westforth Sports in Calumet Township and bought a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun. “Finley identified himself as a Gary Police Officer and requested a law enforcement discount,” the complaint states.
With GRIT members following, the two men then went to a home in Glen Park where Finley bought marijuana.
Ingram said he will seek termination for Finley if he is convicted of the charges.
Indiana law states a police officer cannot remain employed if convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or any felony crime.
Finley, hired by Gary in July 2009, will be in custody until at least Friday when he appears at a detention hearing. Federal officials want him to remain behind bars, FBI Special Supervisory Agent Bob Ramsey said.
When Finley was hired, he listed his address as 628 New Jersey St. in the Glen Ryan subdivision of Gary. He worked in the patrol division until he injured his foot in an on-duty crash.
When he returned, he was assigned to the Crime Suppression Unit, comprised of mostly veteran officers who work independently of radio calls. They make traffic stops and frequent trouble spots looking for gang and drug activity.