Lieutenant allegedly being investigated for losing cocaine, heroin more than decade ago.
June 29, 2017
by Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston
According to multiple sources close to the Oakland Police Department, another investigation has been opened into sexual misconduct involving officers. This time, a young officer assigned to a crime-reduction team has been accused of using a room in the downtown Police Administration Building’s basement to have sex with an outside civilian.
However, in the course of investigating this allegation, officers searched part of the basement and found a large amount of illegal drugs in a locker.
Sources (who asked not to be identified because they did not have permission to speak to the media) described the drugs as an "alarming quantity" of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. One source said "multiple pounds" of drugs were in the locker and estimated a street value of more than $100,000.
A lieutenant assigned to the department’s internal-affairs division is reportedly under investigation for the stash of contraband; the drugs were somehow traced back to the lieutenant. It’s unclear at this time if the seal of the packaging was broken or if anyone had tampered with the drugs.
The cocaine, heroin, and marijuana allegedly were checked out from OPD’s crime lab more than a decade ago, in 2005, for a training exercise by the lieutenant, who was an officer at the time.
Sources didn’t speculate on what happened to the drugs during the past twelve years, or why such a large quantity was permitted to be borrowed — and then left in a locker that apparently wasn’t checked for such a long period of time.
The officer under investigation was later promoted and currently works in internal affairs, the division responsible for probing cop misconduct.
According to sources close to OPD, the allegations constitute at least a level-two violation of Department General Order H-7: “Withdrawing, Viewing and Returning Evidence.” If this violation is upheld it could result in suspensions.
Little is known about the sexual-misconduct case that led to the drug discovery, but OPD's spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson said the discovery of the drugs was actually unrelated.
She wrote in an email that the drugs were found during the cleaning of an office. Watson described the location of the drugs as being inside a "locked cabinet," not a locker. She confirmed there's an investigation into the matter.
The administration building’s basement includes a shooting practice range, which is used as a virtual gun-and-weapons simulator, and also features several other rooms.
This isn't the only headache OPD’s facing: On June 24, Richmond police arrested a young OPD officer, Marcos Gocobachi, and booked him at the Contra Costa County jail in Martinez for domestic violence, according to Lt. Felix Tan, of the Richmond Police Department.