Narcotics task force officer arrested on drug charges

February 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Many in the Bay Area law enforcement community were rocked Wednesday when the commander of a multi-agency drug task force was arrested on felony drug charges.

Norman Wielsch, the head of the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team and a 12-year veteran of the state Bureau of Narcotics, was arrested Wednesday in Benicia on multiple charges of felony drug dealing.

The state attorney general's office says the arrest was the result of an investigation that began in mid-January. Wielsch is facing 20 counts for selling methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids.

The task force Wielsch heads targets mid to high-level drug dealers.

Private detective Christopher Butler was also arrested as part of the investigation.

"Narcotics prosecutions depend more than any other type of case on the credibility of the investigating officer," said ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson. "It could compromise every investigation conducted by the narcotics task force under this officer's tenure. It could be something that would make the San Francisco crime lab fiasco look minor by comparison."

Wielsch is being held at the Contra Costa County Jail and his bail was set at $660,000 and for Butler it was up to $840,000.


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