LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A veteran Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was behind bars Monday on felony drug and other charges.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports Rafael Zelaya is the latest arrest for the department in string of drug-related incidents.

Zelaya, 35, was charged with felony possession of narcotics, two counts of filing false police reports, and one count of receiving stolen property, according to LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The six-year veteran was relieved of duty on Thursday after he was taken into custody without incident earlier in the week, said Whitmore.

“Four months ago, we received a tip and that’s when our investigation began and it culminated with his arrest,” Whitmore said.

He has been booked at Men’s Central Jail on $500,000 bail.

When asked if the fired deputy had taken drugs from a police locker, Whitmore replied, “I have no information, and even if I did I wouldn’t confirm or deny that.”

The arrest comes after at least three deputies were convicted and a fourth fired for smuggling or attempting to smuggle narcotics into jails for inmates, including one incident where a burrito was used to smuggle in the drugs.


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