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Narcotics Detective Accused of Involvement in Drug-Trafficking Operation Can’t Be Fired From L.A. Sheriff’s Dept., Court Says

Carlos Arellano was a narcotics detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department when the agency received a disturbing tip that he was fraternizing with criminals.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's narcotics detective was allegedly captured on a wiretap discussing marijuana and drug payments, but an appeals court this week decided the evidence could not be used in the Sheriff's Department's attempt to fire him. (Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s narcotics detective was allegedly captured on a wiretap discussing marijuana and drug payments, but an appeals court this week decided the evidence could not be used in the Sheriff’s Department’s attempt to fire him. (Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

After months of investigating, the department accused him of being involved with a drug-trafficking organization, cultivating his own marijuana plants and discussing drug payments in phone conversations that fellow detectives overheard on a wiretap, according to court records.

In 2011, two years after the initial tip came in, Arellano was fired.

But an appeals court panel this week upheld the veteran deputy’s efforts to keep his job, ruling that the law did not allow the department to use evidence gathered from the wiretap in a disciplinary proceeding.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.