By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A former Montebello police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge of bribing a drug trafficker.

Rudolph Petersen, 34, pleaded guilty to a single-count information charging him with bribery, according to the Department of Justice.

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Petersen, who served as a Montebello police officer for nearly four years, solicited and received several cash bribes from a gang member and drug trafficker, according to his plea agreement. Prosecutors say Petersen admitted to taking a total of $14,000 in cash bribes since 2018.

Federal prosecutors say the drug trafficker, identified only as “co-schemer 2,” told Petersen he would put him “on his payroll” during a dinner in mid-2018, and gave him $500 through an intermediary. In December of that year, Petersen agreed to take $10,000 to escort a U-Haul truck containing illegally grown marijuana from Fontana to a location off the 60 Freeway near Rowland Heights, according to the plea agreement. Petersen also admitted to escorting at least one more drug shipment, prosecutors said.

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The former police officer also admitted to accessing law enforcement databases to find information on a “snitch” who helped intercept a cocaine shipment, according to the plea agreement. Federal prosecutors say Petersen was paid between $500 to $1,000 per database search on that informant, and others suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.

In another incident that happened just last year, Petersen was paid $1,000 to look into whether tracking devices were part of a state or federal law enforcement investigation.

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Petersen faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 11, 2022.