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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

July 16, 2003
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Officers Cleared of Wrongdoing in $1,000 in Camera Bag

DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) -- Six police narcotics officers were cleared of wrongdoing by an independent investigation into the discovery of $1,000 stashed inside a police camera carrying case.

The eight-week probe began when a sergeant found the cash during an investigation at a suspected drug house in Downey. It isn't known how the money got into the camera case.

"We still don't know how the money got there," said Capt. Mark Dryer, chief of detectives. "It's a mystery at this point."

The names of the officers weren't disclosed.

The money was found May 7 when undercover Downey officers joined U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in the investigation of a suspected methamphetamine ring.

While processing a suspected drug house for evidence, a Downey sergeant found the money partially concealed inside the lining of a camera case, which was being used to take pictures at the home, Dryer said.

On May 9, the department asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to initiate an independent investigation. An outside internal investigation was necessary because "narcotics units are the most carefully scrutinized units in law enforcement," police Chief John Finch said.

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