3rd FPD Officer Charged Connected to Officer Auto Theft Investigation

February 4, 2009 12:02:42 AM PST
This investigation has already led to the arrest of two narcotics officers. And it now involves a third detective.Robert Eddings was charged with two misdemeanor counts of providing false documents ... and lying to investigators. Robert Eddings is on paid leave. We are told a misdemeanor warrant was issued and he was cited and let go. It's the latest in a string of turmoil in the narcotics division.

Court paperwork accuses veteran officer Robert Eddings of providing false documents during a salvage inspection and giving false information to a police officer. Action News has learned some of the activity in question is centered around a Fresno auto body shop, owned by another narcotics officer Ubaldo Garza.

Late last year the shop was one of several searched by the California Highway Patrol as part of the lengthy investigation.

Property Manager Abel Arrellano said, "They brought some dogs to check on every single car. And they were asking us who owns every car here and how did we get here."

Abel Arrellano manages the property. He says officers asked repeatedly about a confidential informant who frequently brings in cars. They also asked for other things.

"They were looking on the same time at other shops, mechanic shops looking for stolen cars, parts, and maybe drugs," said Arrellano.

CHP officers towed away close to 15 vehicles to check parts and vehicle id numbers. Police have confirmed Garza is the subject of an Internal Affairs Investigation but has not been charged with any crime.

Last week Officers Paul Cervantes and Hector Becerra refused to comment minutes after bailing out of jail. They are charged with auto theft. Both are accused of misusing a confidential informant to lure a suspected drug dealer and then steal his car.

I did speak to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer. He declined to comment until he has read the reports regarding Officer Eddings. He is planning a news conference for Wednesday.

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