Justin Berton, 5/7/11
A second member of an anti-drug law enforcement squad in Contra Costa County was charged Friday with selling drugs seized in raids and other crimes.
San Ramon police Officer Louis Lombardi, 38, of Discovery Bay was charged with stealing guns, selling drugs, embezzlement, illegally possessing an assault rifle and conspiracy. He did not enter a plea in his arraignment in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez, and is in custody in the county jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Lombardi was placed on leave after his arrest Wednesday outside police headquarters. In addition to his San Ramon job, Lombardi worked for four years as a special agent for the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, a now-suspended squad of law enforcement officers from agencies in the county.
The commander of the unit was Norman Wielsch, 50, a state Department of Justice narcotics agent who pleaded not guilty in February to charges that he stole drugs from evidence lockers and passed them on to his close friend Christopher Butler, a Concord private investigator.
Butler, 49, is also accused of stealing and selling drugs, along with separate charges that he bribed a Danville police officer to make drunken-driving arrests of investigative targets of his private eye outfit. He has pleaded not guilty.
The new complaint alleges that Lombardi, Wielsch and Butler devised a plan during a May 2009 meeting at a Pleasant Hill barbecue restaurant to make money from selling seized marijuana and other drugs.
According to the complaint, Lombardi turned to one of his confidential informants to help sell the drugs. He allegedly passed along half a pound of marijuana and 1,200 ecstasy pills last year to the informant, who lives in Arizona.
Investigators said Lombardi had the informant mail the profits from the drug sales to Lombardi’s Discovery Bay home.
Harry Stern, an attorney who appeared on Lombardi’s behalf, said the officer was in good spirits despite being in custody.
“It’s difficult to go from being on the other side of the bars to where he is now,” Stern said. “But he’s holding up well.”
Lombardi is due to return to court Friday.