Three Los Angeles County law enforcement officers were arrested Wednesday in a pair of unrelated incidents — one involving accusations of perjury and the other the alleged theft of thousands of dollars during narcotics investigations, authorities said.
At the Sheriff's Department, 28-year veteran Bonnie Bryant III was arrested by the department's internal investigators after a two-week probe. The sergeant, who was in charge of an investigative team, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars, not from evidence lockers but at the scene of drug probes, authorities said.
Investigators do not believe Bryant was conspiring with other deputies or any outside groups, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. He declined to say what initially stoked suspicion about Bryant, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
"This department is bringing people that break the law, that are supposed to represent the law, to justice," he said.
Bryant, 56, had been assigned to the sheriff's narcotics division, one of the most sensitive within the department, for the last six years. A call to the sergeant's cellphone went unanswered. Bryant has been relieved of duty — but with pay because prosecutors have not yet filed charges.
Prosecutors did file charges, however, against two LAPD officers accused of lying about an arrest.
Craig Allen, 39, and Phillip Walters, 56, turned themselves in to authorities at the downtown criminal courthouse after arrest warrants were issued, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Renee Chang, of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office's Justice System Integrity Division, in a statement.
Late Wednesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in statement that one of the officers was terminated after the department launched an internal investigation. The other is facing termination at an administrative hearing. He did not specify the officers by name.
Allen and Walters, both motorcycle officers, were on patrol in September 2010 when they were dispatched to assist another officer who had stopped a suspected drunk driver, according to prosecutors.
Despite allegedly arriving at the scene 15 minutes later, Allen said in a written report that he had made the stop himself after watching the driver disregard two stop signs.
Walters allegedly testified months later at a hearing that he had been with Allen and had also observed the driver fail to stop.
It was not clear how the officers came under suspicion or why it took nearly two years for charges to be filed. Both were charged with perjury and filing a false police report.
Both men were released on their own recognizance and set arraignment for next month. If convicted, each faces up to four years and eight months in state prison, according to the district attorney's office.
Neither Allen nor Walters could not be reached for comment.