Man charged with allegedly staging phony police raid
By Chris O'Connell
ORLANDO, Florida (Court TV) -- When William Fairchild's friend traded her car for $70 worth of crack cocaine, police say he helped carry out an elaborate scheme to get it back from the drug dealer.
Fairchild dressed up like a sheriff's deputy, lured the dealer to a seedy motel room, kidnapped him, and then staged a fake police raid at his mother's home, according to police.
Fairchild, 47, was arrested for the bizarre November 11, 2003, incident and charged with nine felony counts, including burglary, kidnapping, impersonating a police officer, and several weapons charges.
His trial is expected to begin Monday at the 9th District Circuit Courthouse in Orlando.
If convicted on all counts, Fairchild faces life in prison without parole.
Police say Linda Galceran gave her Chevy Malibu to drug dealer Tyson Cummings in exchange for seven $10 rocks of crack cocaine on November 10, 2003.
Galceran's boyfriend, Troy McPhillips, was furious when he learned about the trade, and the couple went looking for the car while smoking crack, according to statements McPhillips later gave to police.
When the search proved fruitless, police say, they hatched a plan with Fairchild to get the car back.
Galceran called Cummings and ordered $150 of cocaine. She told him to meet her in a motel room on the outskirts of Orlando.
When Cummings showed up, Fairchild burst out of the bathroom dressed in the orange-and-blue uniform of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Cummings told police in a statement.
Fairchild handcuffed Cummings and threatened to hurt him if he didn't get the car back, according to police. He also demanded money and more crack.
Fairchild forced Cummings into a car, and with McPhillips and Galceran, they went searching for the Chevy Malibu. Several hours later, Fairchild's threats became more violent and Cummings feared for his life, he told police.
Cummings said he lied to Fairchild and told him there was four ounces of cocaine and several thousand dollars stashed in a china cabinet at his mother's house. Cummings made up the story, he said, because he hoped his mother, Gloria Brown, would help him escape.
Brown was at home cooking breakfast for her family when Galceran and Fairchild, who was still dressed as a sheriff's deputy, came through her front door.
Fairchild allegedly pointed a handgun at her and another son and ordered everyone to lie on the floor while they searched a china cabinet for drugs and money, according to police.
The raid was brief, and the two fake cops soon left empty-handed.
Brown immediately called police. When officers arrived, she told Orlando Police detective Marlon McClain that her son, Tyson, was involved in drugs and that she suspected the fake raid had something to do with that.
While McClain interviewed family members, Tyson called the house and told his brother to bring several thousand dollars and "what was in the cabinet" to a white van on a street corner, according to McClain's report.
Police located the van near the rendezvous point and arrested Fairchild, Galceran and McPhillips.
Fairchild was still in his fake cop outfit and Galceran was wearing clothes that vaguely resembled the uniform, police said. Police also recovered a Glock 9 mm handgun and a gun belt.
Police found Cummings sitting in the rear of the vehicle, unharmed but handcuffed.
At the time of the arrest, Orlando Police Sgt. James Stewart told local TV news stations that the raid was especially alarming because the uniform Fairchild was wearing, while several years old, was nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
"Just to look at it, most people, even other law enforcement agencies, would not have noticed that particular patch had been expired," Stewart said.
Police have not said how Fairchild obtained the uniform.
The trial is expected to last three days. Court TV Extra is streaming the trial live.