Justin Berton and Demian Bulwa, 5/21/11
A San Leandro police narcotics detective was charged Friday with giving more than a pound of marijuana to a confidential informant – a woman who was engaged in an extramarital affair with the officer, according to his attorney.
Detective Jason Fredriksson, 38, provided the marijuana to the woman so she could sell it, police said. He surrendered Friday and pleaded not guilty in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward to transporting and furnishing marijuana for sale, a felony. He was released on $40,000 bail.
Outside the court, his attorney, Harry Stern, said Fredriksson was guilty only of a lapse in judgment, not a crime, and denied that the detective had given marijuana to the informant.
“This is a case of dangerous liaisons,” Stern said. “He got involved with a person romantically that he shouldn’t have.”
Authorities did not identify the informant. She has not been charged.
Prosecutors did not say where they believe Fredriksson got the marijuana. But San Leandro police emphasized that the case was not connected to a drug-theft prosecution in Contra Costa County involving a former state narcotics agent who headed a multi-agency law enforcement task force.
San Leandro police said Fredriksson, who is married to a dispatcher with the department, is also the subject of an internal investigation regarding the informant, but declined to elaborate.
A search of Fredriksson’s Danville home March 23 turned up evidence that led to the charges, Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said. Fredriksson has been put on paid leave, she said.
“The San Leandro Police Department will not tolerate and deplores the conduct that has been alleged to have been engaged in by Officer Fredriksson,” Spagnoli said. “The department takes great pride in professional service to the community and places a high priority on public trust.”
Fredriksson’s wife, Sheryll Confreros Fredriksson, was awarded Dispatcher of the Year in 2007, according to the department’s website.
She has also been placed on paid leave as part of the internal investigation, Spagnoli said. She is not part of the criminal probe and has not been charged, the chief said.
“Obviously, this is a complicated family issue,” said Stern, the defense attorney. “My client is in a tough spot, there’s no question.”
Jason Fredriksson has been on the San Leandro force for nine years, and most recently has been a detective in the vice/narcotics unit and a member of the 14-person SWAT team. He formerly worked as an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy.
Fredriksson was the first officer to respond to the July 25, 2005, slaying of a fellow officer, Nels “Dan” Niemi, 42, who was shot and killed by Irving Ramirez, 23, near Doolittle Drive and Belvedere Avenue.
A San Leandro officer who did not want to be identified because of the investigation said Fredriksson wore his blood-soaked uniform for 18 hours while he helped locate and arrest Ramirez, who had fled on foot after shooting Niemi in the back of the head.
The incident earned Fredriksson “the respect of every man and woman in this department,” the officer said.
According to his Facebook account and other social-media sites, Fredriksson is an avid motorcyclist who goes by the handle “Big Dirty.” He writes a blog that chronicles his two-wheeled adventures along the back roads of Northern California.
Fredriksson is due back in court June 14.