|Photo: David Dust|
A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with selling methamphetamine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego announced Wednesday.
Yoshio Romero, 28, was arraigned Tuesday in federal court on the charge of distributing meth, reports Andrew Blankstein of the Los Angeles Times.
The five-year LAPD veteran faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted.
The arrest followed a months-long investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Romero arranged to sell 111 grams of meth in December 2009 for $4,200, according to the federal criminal complaint from U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
The police officer allegedly told an undercover agent that he “could supply him with any quantity of methamphetamine that he wanted,” according to the affidavit.
The two arranged to meet at a shopping mall in Temecula two weeks later, and during the meeting, Romero gave the agent a “small baggie containing a small amount of a white crystalline substance, which he (called) a ‘free sample,”‘ the affidavit claims.
Tests verified the substance was meth, the DEA said.
Afterward, the undercover agent arranged to make the larger, 111-gram purchase, which Romero allegedly agreed to do at the North County Fair in Escondido on Dec. 21, according to court papers.
The policeman allegedly placed the meth inside a candy box on the front seat of a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck with a paper dealer placard, and then told a buyer he could find it at the North County Fair in Escondido, according to the DEA.
The buyer was told to leave the money in the center console, take the candy box containing the drugs and lock the vehicle’s door.
“A few minutes later, Romero was observed going to the … pickup, using a key to gain entry and then driving off,” the affidavit says.
Romero was arrested Monday without incident at his Corona, California home.
He is due to appear before Magistrate Judge Cathy A. Bencivengo in court Thursday.