South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Witness Tampering and Obstruction
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 22, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—John Gerald Poland, 44, of South Lake Tahoe, pleaded guilty 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 persuaded the gang member’s girlfriend to conceal and destroy evidence. In October and November 2011, Poland tampered with this witness in an investigation into his own conduct as well as the conduct of the gang member. Poland instructed another witness to conceal and destroy evidence rather than provide it to federal authorities. Poland admitted that he corruptly attempted to alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceal evidence material to an official proceeding.
Poland is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on August 7, 2013. He faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison for each count. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.