An Anaheim police officer is facing more than four years in prison after being charged for filing a false police report on a traffic stop and then lying about it under oath, officials said Friday.
Dillon Adam Avila, 28, was with his partner when they stopped a driver in April 2018 and searched his vehicle, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said.
“The driver repeatedly stated he did not consent to having his vehicle searched,” the DA’s office said. “Despite acknowledging that the defendant did not consent, Avila wrote in an April 29, 2018 police report that the driver consented to the search.”
Avila, who joined the department in 2016, then testified at a February 2019 hearing that the driver consented to the search.
But body camera footage later confirmed the officer was lying, and the driver had not agreed.
The search of the car turned up drugs and evidence of drug sales, and while the person was charged for possessing and selling controlled substances, all charges were later dropped on Feb. 21 this year, when officials confirmed the misconduct allegations, authorities said in a news release.
“The rule of law is only as strong as the lawful actions of those who are sworn to uphold it,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “We cannot tolerate dishonest police officers and we must prosecute them and ensure they are fired.”
Avila was placed on administrative leave and a personnel investigation is underway, Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer told the Associated Press.