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San Ramon Police Officer Arrested In Drug Probe

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SAN RAMON (CBS SF) — A San Ramon police officer was arrested Wednesday morning for a number of crimes related to the activities of a Contra Costa County drug task force, police said.

Officer Louis Lombardi was arrested at 9 a.m. on suspicion of possessing stolen property—including guns, identification and illegal drugs.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Lombardi also faces charges of being an accessory, conspiracy, grand theft of weapons, and possession of an illegal assault rifle, according to police.

San Ramon police said some of the crimes are related to the Central Contra Costa County Narcotics Task Force, or CNET.

Lombardi’s arrest follows the arrest of former CNET commander Norman Wielsch, former Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy Stephen Tanabe, and private investigator Christopher Butler.

All three men are former Antioch police officers and were all named in a 34-count criminal complaint.

In March, Wielsch and Butler, both 49, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy; selling methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids; and possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids for sale.

Butler is suspected of coordinating the sale of drugs that Wielsch allegedly took from law enforcement evidence lockers, attorneys said.

Tanabe was allegedly involved in steroid sales, according to court records.

Tanabe and Butler have also been accused in a “dirty DUI” scheme, in which Butler hired attractive women to convince men to drink at bars and then follow the women home. Butler would then allegedly call Tanabe, who would have the men pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence.

Police started to investigate Lombardi, a former officer on the task force, on March 15, when police became aware of his alleged involvement in the criminal activity associated with the task force, police said.

Officers issued a search warrant at Lombardi’s home this morning after his arrest. He has since been placed on administrative leave, police said.

San Ramon police do not suspect the involvement of any other officer assigned to CNET, police said.

Lombardi was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility and his bail is set at $760,000, police said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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