San Ramon cop arrested in CNET drug scandal

San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder announces arrest of another officer.
May 4, 2011 6:56:30 PM PDT
A law-enforcement drug scandal in the East Bay is expanding. The San Ramon police have arrested of one of their own for grand theft. It is all part of investigation into the Contra Costa County Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET, scandal.

Police announced the arrest of San Ramon Police Officer Louis Lombardi. He was arrested when he came to the San Ramon Police Department to work Wednesday morning and is now being held in the Martinez jail on $760,000 bail.

San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder made the announcement, saying this investigation has been underway since March 15. Police aren't releasing any specifics about the investigation. They're only saying that it is connected to the CNET scandal.

That scandal started in Contra Costa County with the arrest of the team's commander, Norman Wielsch. Wielsch is accused of conspiring with private investigator Christopher Butler. Both were charged in February and have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say Wielsch stole drugs from police evidence lockers and that Butler arranged to sell those drugs.

Lombardi was on the CNET team for about four years; Wielsch was his supervisor. Lombardi now faces a long list of charges including: grand theft, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and possession of stolen goods.

This all hits close to home for San Ramon's police chief because he used to be the chairman of the narcotics team and called this day a very dark day for the department.

"We thought at the beginning that it would only be Wielsch and Butler. At this point we're not looking at other officers, but our investigation is going to continue until we have put this to rest," said Holder.

The CNET scandal resulted in the dismissal of numerous drugs and weapons charges that have since been linked to a series of "dirty DUI" arrests around the Bay Area. Butler is accused of using female decoys to set up men for DUI arrests.

Lombardi was a CNET officer for four years and was a San Ramon officer for that same amount of time, and prior to that, he was with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department.


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