Ex-South Lake Tahoe cop faces federal witness tampering charges

5:56 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
Johnny Poland (Photo Courtesy of LakeTahoeNews.net)
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SACRAMENTO, CA - A former South Lake Tahoe police officer accused of witness tampering was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday.

John Poland, 44, was charged with multiple counts of tampering with witnesses and obstruction of an official proceeding, said Lauren Horwood, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California.

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According to court documents, Poland was in a love triangle with a gang member's girlfriend and helped drug traffickers evade police and throw investigators off their path. The documents reveal he coached the woman and another witness on what to say to police and what evidence to destroy.

The documents revealed that on June 29, 2011, Poland interfered with a federal investigation into the gang member, who was also dating Poland's girlfriend. In October and November 2011, Poland allegedly told the girlfriend what to do and say in an investigation into his own actions, documents showed.

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Horwood said Poland is further charged with altering, destroying and  concealing evidence to an official proceeding.

Poland's arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.

If convicted, Poland could face up to 20 years in prison on each count.


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