State Charges Dropped in "Dirty Cops" Case

A new legal move puts the feds in control of East Bay cop case.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jodi Hernandez
    A police corruption case in CoCo county spill into the San Ramon police department.

    State charges in a criminal case involving alleged police corruption in Contra Costa County were dropped Wednesday, according to a defense attorney involved in the case.

    "That's one less battlefield we have to fight on," the lawyer said.

    Former officers Louis Lombardi, Norman Wielsch and Stephen Tanabe along with private investigator Christopher Butler still face criminal charges, but in federal court.

    Late last month Lombardi, a former San Ramon police officer, pleaded guilty to nine criminal counts that could put him behind bars for more than 60 years. Lombardi and Wielsh were former officers of Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team or CNET.

    During his plea deal, Lombardi admitted in court to stealing money and other items during search warrants, using CNET money to buy a stolen firearm from an informant, selling drugs back to an informant from whom he seized it, and taking two guns he had logged as being destroyed. He also admitted to planning to open an illegal marijuana grow house with the intent to sell the pot to a contact in Arizona. He said most of his crimes were done with the help of Wielsch and Butler.

    Following his plea, Lombardi was taken into custody by U.S. Marshalls.  He still faces federal sentencing, but no longer faces charges in state court. In exchange for the plea, Lombardi has agreed to cooperate with the federal government in their corruption case against Butler and Wielsch.

    Below is a special report by anchor Jessica Aguirre on a magazine's role in breaking the case.