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May 12th, 2004 Nick Budnick | News Stories
 

COP POT STING

Officer investigated for not turning in weed, cash.

     
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New details have emerged in a cop-versus-cop sting operation that is now awaiting a disciplinary ruling from top Portland police commanders.

Last August, a dispatcher asked Officer Miguel "Mike" Olmos to respond to a call about an abandoned car. Suspicious bureau investigators had planted drugs and cash in the vehicle.

According to an Oct. 1, 2003, memo obtained by WW, Olmos took the stuff back to East Precinct but failed to turn it in before the end of his shift. Then, when he left the building, detectives swooped in and detained him.

Olmos, it turned out, had left the cash and pot in his duty bag inside the precinct, which meant prosecutors lacked evidence to indict him for theft.

But the unusually harshly worded memo, written by Deputy District Attorney Mark McDonnell, raises questions about Olmos' fitness to remain a Portland cop.

According to the memo, Olmos did complete a report about the car before leaving the precinct--but Olmos, contrary to procedure, did not mention the cash and drugs. Asked to explain, he told investigators he'd planned to include the seized evidence in a follow-up report, a claim McDonnell called "less than credible."

Contacted by WW late last year, when the paper first heard of the incident, Olmos said he did not know what the reporter was talking about. On Monday, a message forwarded to him through the bureau was not returned.

The memo also says that in another incident, on June 29, 2003, Olmos "failed to account for a small quantity of marijuana discovered...in an abandoned purse." Olmos told investigators he didn't recall the incident.

Olmos passed a drug test after the August incident, and there was no evidence that he was a user or a dealer. However, his girlfriend, an exotic dancer, had a marijuana habit that Olmos was aware of; she told police he was "highly critical" of it, according to the memo.

"It is clear that Officer Olmos knowingly violated several bureau rules," wrote McDonnell, but he added that if the officer were indicted, "Olmos' attorney would likely argue that Olmos is a sloppy and lazy cop who took shortcuts, but not a crooked one."

 
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