South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Indicted for Witness Tampering and Obstruction
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 07, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—John Gerald Poland, 44, of South Lake Tahoe, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for multiple counts of witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, and the State of California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (SLEDNET Task Force). Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.
According to court documents, on June 29, 2011, Poland interfered with a federal investigation of a South Lake Tahoe gang member. Poland is alleged to have persuaded the gang member’s girlfriend to conceal and destroy evidence. In October and November 2011, Poland is alleged to have again tampered with this witness in an investigation into Poland’s own conduct as well as the conduct of the gang member. Poland is alleged to have instructed another witness to conceal and destroy evidence rather than provide it to federal authorities. Poland is further charged with corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating, and concealing evidence material to an official proceeding.
If convicted, Poland is facing up to 20 years in prison for each count. Any actual sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.
Poland is scheduled for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman in Sacramento on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
The allegations in the indictment are only accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.