SLO Police Officer Arrested
updated: Feb 05, 2013, 1:40 PM
Source: United States Attorney's Office
LOS ANGELES - A detective with the San Luis Obispo Police Department was arrested this morning
after being charged in a bribery scheme in which he allegedly took cash and narcotics from two
individuals. In return, the police officer allegedly provided these "cooperating witnesses" with narcotics
for their own use, as well as fake drugs to sell to drug dealers.
Cory Pierce, 39, of Arroyo Grande, was taken into custody this morning without incident by agents
with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Pierce was charged with one count of bribery in a criminal
complaint filed yesterday in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Pierce is a six-year veteran of the San Luis
Obispo Police Department who was most recently assigned to a narcotics task force with the San Luis
Obispo County Sheriff's Office. The complaint describes how Pierce cultivated two sources - identified in
the complaint only as "CW1" and "CW2" - who have since cooperated with the FBI's investigation.
After CW2 was arrested for heroin possession in 2011, CW2 and his girlfriend, CW1, agreed to
cooperate with Pierce. But soon after they agreed to work with the police officer, Pierce made unusual
requests for the informants to bring him narcotics. As the requests continued, Pierce allegedly provided
placebo pain pills and real narcotics to CW1 and CW2. Pierce exchanged those pills and drugs for cash
and various narcotics brought to him by the CWs, including oxycodone, heroin and drugs that treat
opiate addition, according to the complaint, which goes on to state that Pierce on several occasions
provided CW1 with methamphetamine that was still in police evidence bags. The complaint alleges that
CW1 obtained prescriptions for pain pills from her doctor and from emergency rooms to give to Pierce,
and that Pierce would provide her with money to purchase the prescriptions.
The complaint alleges that Pierce used his position as a police officer to influence CW2's probation
officer to perform little or no supervision of CW2 and informed CW2 that he could "work off" his heroin
possession charge by cooperating with Pierce. The complaint goes on to allege that Pierce informed the
CWs about ongoing police investigations, including where best to purchase narcotics and which drug
houses to stay away from, so that they would not be caught purchasing drugs.
Pierce allegedly had the CWs set up a meeting with a drug dealer, and, following the meeting,
Pierce pulled over the dealer's vehicle over at gunpoint, seized morphine pills and let the dealer go
without making an arrest.
When the CWs advised Pierce that the drug dealers to whom they had sold the placebo pills
realized they had received a deceptive product and wanted revenge, Pierce asked for their identities and
indicated he would "take care of it."
Last month, CW2 began cooperating with a federal investigation and recorded multiple
conversations with Pierce. During those recorded conversations, Pierce allegedly instructed CW2 to sell
placebo pills to a drug dealer for $11,000, money that was to be split between Pierce and CW2. On
multiple occasions, Pierce asked CW2 for Suboxone, which is used treat opiate addictions, indicating
that he was personally using the drug, according to the complaint affidavit.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant
is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Pierce will have an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge later this afternoon in
United States District Court in Los Angeles.
If convicted of the bribery charge alleged in the criminal complaint, Pierce would face a statutory
maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
This ongoing investigation was conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the San Luis Obispo Police
Department and the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Fox
Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section
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