Another emerging problem seen in California recently is the specter of police officers being charged and prosecuted for their alleged involvement in drug-related activities. The recent arrest of a Yuba City police officer for alleged involvement in a cocaine ring is indicative of the kind of drug crimes that have had the alleged involvement of law enforcement officers. The 35-year-old officer was arrested and charged by federal officials as part of a larger investigation into cocaine trafficking.
The officer was charged by federal authorities with conspiring to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute and with the use of a communication facility in a narcotics trafficking activity. He is accused of assisting and facilitating several drug transactions for his cousin, a 39-year-old male. He allegedly monitored police frequencies and provided cover, in a sense, so that the transactions could take place.
Authorities seem to be indicating that the officer received remuneration from the activities, but that is not entirely clear from the reports of the allegations. If he received no monetary gain from the alleged assistance, it may be a fact upon which to base a defense, and, at the least, the fact may provide mitigating circumstances at sentencing. It will be up to prosecutors to prove that he did, in fact, share in the proceeds.
The officer is currently on paid administrative leave. The federal prosecutor has indicated that there was an informant involved in some of the alleged transactions. The prosecution must prove each element of the drug crimes beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction under California and federal law. The quality and depth of the evidence against the defendant is not now known, and his chances of defending himself against the charges successfully will depend on that evidence. Defense counsel will evaluate the evidence and consult with the defendant to discuss and determine the strategy to follow.
Source: news10.net, "Police officer arrested in drug trafficking ring", April 16, 2015