SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A Santa Ana police officer has agreed to plead guilty to a felony bribery charge, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
According to the plea agreement, 28-year-old Steven Lopez, of Chino, received approximately $128,000 in bribes from an individual seeking to influence Lopez in the performance of his official duties as a police officer between August and November of this year.
Lopez also admitted that he agreed to prevent or stop law enforcement from conducting compliance checks as well as searches and seizures at businesses illegally operating under the individual’s control.
“The residents of Santa Ana put their trust in our officers to uphold the law and the actions of this one isolated officer has violated that trust,” Santa Ana PD Chief David Valentin said. “Let me be absolutely clear, these charges should in no way be a reflection of the women and men who serve the community of Santa Ana with honor and integrity each and every day. I have ZERO tolerance for an officer who betrays their oath to protect and serve.”
Valentin said an internal affairs investigation has been launched into Lopez’s actions. He has also been assigned to his residence on administrative leave, and his peace officer powers have been suspended, pending the outcome of both investigations.
According to the police department, an internal affairs investigation into the actions of Officer Lopez. Officer Lopez is currently assigned to his residence on administrative leave, and his peace officer powers have been suspended, pending the outcome of both investigations.
Lopez is expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in the coming weeks. Upon entering his guilty plea, Lopez will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.