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Ex-Officer Tipped Off Drug Suspect

Courts: Task force member sought money before major bust.

January 12, 2002|DAVID ROSENZWEIG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former Ontario police officer assigned to a federal drug task force pleaded guilty last July to tipping off a suspect in a narcotics investigation that resulted in more than 100 arrests nationwide, the U.S. attorney's office disclosed Friday.

The case against Douglas John Bos, 34, was filed under seal so as not to further damage the investigation, which ended Thursday with the arrests of suspects in 12 cities, including Los Angeles, Riverside and Fresno, authorities said.

The suspects are accused of smuggling tons of pseudoephedrine, used to make methamphetamine, from Canada to California.

Among those apprehended in the three-year probe was the man Bos was accused of tipping off, Nidal Hamayel, 45, of Moreno Valley.

According to a court document unsealed late Thursday, Bos was part of a six-member law enforcement team that was using a confidential informant to buy pseudoephedrine from Hamayel.

The informant, fitted with a concealed transmitter, was to meet with Hamayel on Oct. 28, 2000, the document said. On the morning before the meeting, Bos allegedly telephoned Hamayel, warned him about the informant and asked for money.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Rebecca S. Lonergan said that Hamayel met the government informant anyway and confronted him, saying his cover had been blown by a drug agent assigned to the case.

The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation, aided by the FBI, the IRS and the Ontario Police Department, which Bos joined in 1993.

Bos, who lives in Canyon Lake, admitted in a plea agreement that he telephoned Hamayel on three dates before the Oct. 28 meeting.

Bos faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Jan. 28 in Los Angeles.

Bos' defense lawyer, Edward Robinson, said his client made the solicitation at a time "when he was going through a dreadful emotional crisis." He declined to elaborate.

Bos remains free on $50,000 bond.

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