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.
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.
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