South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Headed to Prison
SACRAMENTO, CA- United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sentenced John Gerald Poland, 45, of South Lake Tahoe, to 18 months in prison for one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. He was ordered to self-surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on November 6, 2013.
"Mr. Poland ended his career in law enforcement by abusing his position of trust at every turn," said U.S. Attorney Wagner. "When faced with the consequences of his misdeeds, he then attempted to influence witnesses who were called to testify against him. Such behavior cannot be tolerated. Mr. Poland stands in contrast to the other outstanding men and women in law enforcement who conduct themselves with dedication and honor every single day."
"Poland's corruption distorted the laws he had been charged to uphold, put lives at risk, and undermined public trust of law enforcement in South Lake Tahoe," said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Sacramento Division. "Corruption of any kind is unwelcome in our communities. The investigation into Poland's transgressions is an example of our commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that individuals who take advantage of their positions at the expense of their communities are fully investigated and brought to justice."
According to court documents, on June 29, 2011, Poland interfered with a federal investigation of a South Lake Tahoe gang member. Poland persuaded the gang member's girlfriend to conceal and destroy evidence. In October and November 2011, Poland tampered with this witness in an investigation into his own conduct as well as the conduct of the gang member. Poland instructed another witness to conceal and destroy evidence rather than provide it to federal authorities. Poland admitted that he corruptly attempted to alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceal evidence material to an official proceeding.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, and the State of California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (SLEDNET Task Force). Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez prosecuted the case.
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