Ernesto Servin was arrested Thursday afternoon, after detectives found evidence of drug sales inside his personal car while he was on duty.
The Kings County District Attorney's Office received a tip just a couple of days ago. They passed it along to Hanford Police. Then, after serving a search warrant, Officer Servin was given the opportunity to resign, which he did before his fellow officers placed him under arrest.
Ernesto Servin kept his face covered, and said nothing as walked out of the Kings County jail Thursday night. He has served as a patrol officer with the Hanford Police Department for four and a half years. During that time, Chief Carlos Mestas says he never got into trouble and was respected by his fellow cops.
Chief Carlos Mestas said, "Well, I can tell you, it's very disheartening, extremely disheartening when it's entrusted on us to enforce the laws, when in fact, one of our own is violating the law."
Servin is accused of providing drugs to at least two people in Hanford. Chief Mestas says he also faces perjury and fraud charges for allegedly writing false police reports or in some cases, not turning them in.
Mestas said, "He wrote a report that was not necessarily true to fact.
So, he was covering up for other drug dealers in town?
No, probably covering up for himself, it appears."
Servin was on duty Thursday when detectives searched his car, which was parked just outside the Hanford Police Department. Inside, they found at least four grams of meth, marijuana, oxycontin and a firearm.
People who live in Hanford say the allegations make them think twice about who they can trust.
Adriana Deshazor of Hanford said, "You're supposed to be an officer of the law. How are you going to do that, and you're like not protecting us?"
Bill Blake of Hanford said, "You always hear about the bad ones of course, and there's a lot of good ones, but just cause they're policeman, they're not all honest."
As for the 52 remaining officers who wear the Hanford Police badge, Chief Mestas says they feel the same way and are "sickened" by Servin's arrest. "We take it extremely seriously. The last thing we want is a dirty cop."
Chief Mestas says there is no reason to believe anyone else is involved with this case. The investigation is still ongoing.
Servin faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, controlled substance for sale, perjury and fraud by trust.