KPHO Goes After Wife of Phoenix Officer Who Witnessed Police Shooting of Unarmed Man
KPHO ran story last night about the criminal history of the wife of the cop who witnessed Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman allegedly go berserk in a Phoenix trailer earlier this month, ultimately killing a dog and an unarmed man.
That officer, Sergio Vergillo, was heralded by many as a hero for breaking through the blue wall of silence and implicating another officer for wrongfully killing an unarmed man.
Check out his account of what happened here.
At first glance, we thought it was a bit tacky to go after the wife of the hero officer. Then we read what she did.
According to court documents first dug up by KPHO, Vergillo's wife, Maria Vergillo, was one of four people indicted in a 2008 drug-smuggling operation that trafficked meth and cocaine.
Aside from the obvious problem of a police officer's wife being involved in a drug smuggling operation, it was what Officer Vergillo was doing at the time that KPHO says calls his judgment into question.
Vergillo, at the time, was a detective in the Phoenix P.D.'s Drug Enforcement Bureau. The indictment against the officer's wife says Maria Vergillo would take information about undercover operations she gathered from her detective husband, and hand it over to her drug-dealing brother, who was an "intricate member" of the drug smuggling operation.
As far as we know, Officer Vergillo wasn't involved in the drug-smuggling ring but the news that his wife was involved in a smuggling ring is likely to be used as ammo by Chrisman's attorney to call Vergillo's account of what happened into question.
Maria Vergillo was eventually sentenced to three years probation for her role in the smuggling operation.
Check out the KPHO story here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.