SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – An Anaheim police officer has been charged with searching a car during a 2018 traffic stop – without the driver’s consent – and then lying about it under oath.
Dillon Adam Avila, 28, was charged Friday with one felony count each of filing a false police report and lying under oath, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office reported Friday.
According to prosecutors, in April of 2018, Avila and his partner pulled over a car and asked the driver if they could search it. When the driver refused, they searched it anyway and found drugs and evidence of drug sales, the DA’s office said.
The driver was arrested.
However, in his police report, Avila wrote that the driver had consented to the search, even though bodycam footage proved he in fact had not, prosecutors said.
Furthermore, during a court hearing on Feb. 5, 2019, Avila testified that the driver had consented.
Once prosecutors reviewed the bodycam footage, the charges against the driver were dropped on Feb. 21, 2020.
It’s unclear when the footage was reviewed and why it took so long to drop the charges.
Avila, who is a four-year veteran of the department, faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in prison if convicted as charged. The DA’s office did not confirm if he is still on the police force.