A Los Angeles police officer was arrested and had his gun and badge confiscated after a surveillance camera caught the cop padding his pockets with stolen money during a raid on a black market cannabis grow.
According to KTLA, officer Louis Mota has been remanded to home leave while he faces theft charges after the cultivation bust.
The police corruption occurred when Mota and other officers entered and secured an unlicensed grow site in Northeast LA. During the raid, a suspected employee at the black market operation told a commanding officer that money was missing from her backpack. The police superior subsequently looked at security camera footage and identified officer Mota sneaking the cash out of the bag and into his own pockets.
As California’s legal cannabis industry continues to grow, politicians and cops have zeroed in on Southern California’s vast network of illicit grows and unlicensed dispensaries as a frequent target of post-prohibition policing. But with police officers routinely stepping over legal and moral lines in their continued pursuit of black market weed, it is often officers who need more corralling than cannabis growers.
It is not clear exactly how much cash the cop grabbed, but Officer Mota was taken into custody at the scene and immediately charged with one count of misdemeanor theft.
“No employee of this Department is above the law, and we will not tolerate any individual who betrays the public’s trust through this type of behavior,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a written statement sent to KTLA.
LAPD officials have not yet released the location of the black market cultivation site involved in the officer misconduct case, and it is not known if the victim of the theft was charged with any crime connected to the grow house.
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