Two CHP Officers Investigated in Theft of Money From Drivers
Two California Highway Patrol officers have been placed on leave and are under criminal investigation by the Kern County district attorney’s office, the CHP said Thursday.
CHP spokesman Bob Burdick in Bakersfield would not discuss details of the investigation, but other law enforcement officials told The Times it included a theft-related undercover “sting” operation against the two officers.
The probe began, the sources said, with a complaint filed with the CHP by a Latino motorist who alleged that money was taken from his wallet during a routine traffic stop. Highway Patrol officials then devised the sting operation, they said.
According to the sources, two undercover Bakersfield policemen were supplied with an old-model car and a sum of money in a plastic bag. The officers, who are Latino, called the suspect CHP officers with a report of a disabled vehicle.
The CHP officers allegedly questioned the two undercover policemen about their immigration status, took the bag of money and threatened to call the U.S. Border Patrol if they complained, sources said. Shortly afterward, the CHP officers were confronted with the sting by their superiors, and the bag of money was confiscated as evidence, sources said.
Burdick said the officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. He said they also are the subjects on an internal CHP probe into alleged “acts of misconduct.”
Kern County Dist. Atty. Edward Jagels would confirm only that an investigation is under way and that he expected it to be completed by today or Monday. Jagels said his office has requested additional information from the CHP and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.