Fresno PD Auto Theft Investigation

February 5, 2009 7:45:27 PM PST
43-year-old Humberto Quintero is the man accusing two Fresno Police Officers of stealing his car.                      |   Watch Video for Extended Coverage   |

The two officers Hector Becerra and Paul Cervantes were arrested and released from custody last Friday. Quintero is revealing what he thinks about these officers.

Humberto Quintero is in jail here ... Arrested for dealing drugs. He is also listed in this criminal complaint as a victim because Fresno Police Officers ... Paul Cervantes and Hector Becerra are accused of stealing his car. Quintero says the officers framed him and broke the law.

Humberto Quintero called Action News at 2:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon from the Fresno County Jail. We interviewed Quintero with his defense attorney present.

Quintero speaks Spanish.

Quintero: "Si Compro and vendo carros. Pero no much, asi uno, dos, tres asi."

Quintero explained he occasionally sells cars. He said ... back in January 2008 a man named Jesus wanted to buy a Ford Explorer like this one Quintero said he then went to this South Fresno McDonalds to meet Jesus and a group of men who turned out to be undercover investigators. According to a police report ... A confidential informant said Quintero wanted to also sell meth.

Quintero: "No .. drogas ... no se nada."

Quintero denied having drugs. He claims officers arrested him, planted the meth then gave the car to the confidential informant named Jesus. Now ... Two of the officers involved ... Paul Cervantes and Hector Becerra have been arrested on an auto theft charge.

A third man named Jesus Jose Mendoza Valles has also been arrested for the theft of Quintero's vehicle. Attorney Carl Faller represents Officers Becerra and Robert Eddings, who was charged this week in a separate case for falsifying a DMV report.

Defense Attorney Carl Faller said, "Both of them adamantly maintain their innocence. As of yet, we have not seen the evidence the prosecutor believes proves the charges they have filed."

Now a total of three narcotics officers face criminal charges. Quintero wants the U.S. Attorney's Office to drop his drug case. ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi said the trouble facing Becerra and Cervantes certainly taints the government's case against Quintero.

"It is sort of a dream come true for a defense attorney for this to happen in a case. Now it gives him something to argue that the credibility of these police officers are not to be believed," said Capozzi.

Quintero: "Yo senti que no eran policias porque no trataron un poco malo."

Quintero said Cervantes and Becerra are bad officers, who broke the law.

With these developments Quintero now wants out of jail. The three officers facing criminal charges are on paid administrative leave. Two of them will be arraigned on a felony charge later this month.

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