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El Cajon

Former El Cajon Police Officer Charles Barranco was sentenced Tuesday to three years’ probation and fined $500 for his conviction related to tipping a friend to a drug bust.

A six-month jail term for Barranco was suspended by Municipal Judge William Howatt Jr., who ordered Barranco to perform 20 hours of public service.

Barranco, 29, had been on the force for three years when he pleaded guilty May 3 to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to obstruct a fellow officer in the line of duty. He made a plea bargain with prosecutors in which a felony charge of attempting to aid a person under investigation for drug trafficking was dropped.

Barranco, who has been working in landscaping since his guilty plea, said he doesn’t plan to stay in law enforcement. He said he made a “small mistake” in tipping a friend to the impending drug raid.

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Barranco’s conviction was the first of an El Cajon police officer since an officer was convicted of burglary 20 years ago.


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