Everybody loves weed these days, it seems.
A police officer in San Jose, Cal., was charged with possession of large amounts of marijuana in late April, less than a year after fellow cops raided the storage unit where he allegedly kept the drug.
Officer Son H. Vu, 44, a 21-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department, was arraigned April 27 on felony charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and maintaining an illegal stash site. He pleaded not guilty.
Vu released on bail
The office of the Santa Clara County district attorney said Vu was placed on administrative leave pending the ongoing criminal investigation. He was released on $100,000 bail, a very high amount for a first-time drug charge.
“It is deeply disappointing that an officer sworn to uphold the law would so brazenly break it,” Deputy District Attorney Patrick Vanier said in a press release. “This office and the San Jose Police Department stand together against illegal drug dealing in our community, no matter who the dealer is.”
Vu could potentially face up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted on all charges.
Owner of storage space called police
The officer apparently forgot to pay rent on his storage space, as the owner cut the lock on his unit after it went into arrears last June. The owner found a large amount of pot inside, more than 20 pounds, and called police. Vu was arrested shortly after they searched the unit.
“That’s a lot of dope,” said Bob Cooke, a federal narcotics agent involved in the bust.
This isn’t the only recent incident involving a police officer caught with weed. Last year, Richmond, Cal., K-9 Officer Joe Avila was cleared by an internal investigation even though he was caught taking a five-pound shipment of cannabis home instead of logging it as evidence.
It remains to be seen whether Vu, a police officer accused of stashing large amounts of an illegal drug, will face the same penalties as an ordinary person caught with large amounts of the same drug. We’re not putting any money on it.