Two Fresno Police Officers Arrested

January 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Two Fresno police officers were arrested for a crime investigators say could include even more officers.32-year old Paul Cervantes and 34-year old Hector Becerra were on the Fresno Police Department's major narcotics unit, but now their police powers have been taken away.

We've learned this investigation could broaden and include other Fresno officers. Paul Cervantes and Hector Becerra are on paid administrative leave. Both worked as under cover officers busting drug dealers. But multiple sources tell Action News Cervantes and Becerra are accused of misusing confidential informants to steal cars.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "There was arrest warrants for two of my undercover major narcotics officers." Dyer is shocked to hear two of his own under investigation. Dyer said he did not know exact allegations against Paul Cervantes and Hector Becerra. But sources tell Action News the two men are accused of using police informants to lure suspected drug dealers then steal the dealers cars. Dyer said, "We are waiting for the criminal investigation to evolve. We have launched an administrative investigation that is looking to all aspects ... not only criminal but any administrative violations that may have occurred."

Defense Attorney Dan Martin said, "I think they are working with confidential informants to take people's vehicles." Martin said he has suspected the two officers were committing crimes. Martin showed us a police report. Both Becerra and Cervantes are the named officers. At a South Fresno McDonalds at Jensen and Highway 99 both men arrested Martin's client for dealing drugs. Martin says after the bust the undercover officers took his clients car and gave it to a police informant which Martin said was clearly a crime. Martin said, "My client actually came down to Fresno with a signed pink slip and the officers knew that and the confidential informant new that. And they took advantage of that by signing it and transferring it to their own name."

The California Highway Patrol is handling the investigation. Our calls have not been returned. The District Attorneys office is expected to review this case on Monday and possibly file charges.

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