MARTINEZ (CBS/AP) – A former private investigator in Contra Costa County indicted for allegedly stealing drugs from a state-run drug task force has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

Christopher Butler entered his plea Friday to 13 counts, including drug, conspiracy and extortion charges.

The 50-year-old Butler was taken into custody Monday after a grand jury indicted him last week. He’s expected to be released from jail on $1 million bail later Friday.

Butler is accused of selling the drugs confiscated by the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team. Norman Wielsch, the former head of the team, also was indicted in the scheme.

Both also are charged with stealing money from prostitutes during phony sting operations.

If convicted, Butler could receive multiple life sentences in prison.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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