California police officers arrested in car theft ring

Feb. 26, 2014 at 8:43 AM
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KING CITY, Calif., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The acting police chief of King City, Calif., was arrested as part of an investigation into an alleged car theft scheme, officials said.

Acting police Chief Bruce Miller is accused of being involved in a scheme to steal impounded vehicles belonging mostly to Latino immigrants, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Under the arrangement, police Sgt. Bobby Javier Carrillo was allegedly keeping one impounded vehicle for every 10 or 15 he directed to a towing company owned by Bruce Miller's brother, Brian Miller, the criminal complaint said.

The three were arrested, along with former police Chief Dominic "Nick" Baldiviez, who retired in September, and Officer Mario Alonso Mottu Sr. for allegedly being involved in the vehicle scheme.

"The charges they are looking at is receiving or requesting a bribe, and I've never done that," the acting police chief said. "I was aware of the investigations, but I didn't know that I would become a suspect. ... My reputation is soiled. There's no coming back from this, even if I'm found innocent."

The six-month investigation was led by the Monterey County district attorney's office and was instigated by "ongoing complaints of corruption and other criminal acts within the King City Police Department," District Attorney Dean Flippo said.

Also arrested in the corruption investigation were Officer Jaime Andrade, who faces weapons charges, and Sgt. Mark Allen Baker, who was charged with making criminal threats.

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