Ex-Hillsdale cop gets nearly four years in prison on drug charges
October 30, 2014
By Robert Patrick

ST. LOUIS - A former Hillsdale police lieutenant was sentenced Thursday to 46 months in federal prison for robbing a drug courier, prosecutors said.

Parrish D. Swanson, 41, of the 100 block of Hereford Avenue in Ferguson, pleaded guilty in August to one count each of conspiracy to distribute heroin and one count of attempting to distribute heroin.

Prosecutors say Swanson agreed to help someone he believed to be a drug dealer rob a drug courier in Hillsdale in exchange for cash. He then recruited Officer Raymond Stephens to do the robbery, they said.

Stephens, who was on duty and in uniform, robbed the courier of four ounces of what they believed to be heroin and swapped the drugs for $900, they said. Swanson, who was also on duty, got $200.

It "doesn’t get much worse than that," Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith, who prosecuted the case, wrote in a court filing.

Stephens, 29, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty in August to the same charges and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. He faces the same range of punishment under federal sentencing guidelines: 46 to 57 months in prison.

Hillsdale is a village of about 1,400 people in north St. Louis County.