A former South Lake Tahoe police officer was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 7 on multiple accounts of witness tampering and obstructing an official proceeding.
According to court documents, John Gerald Poland, 44, of South Lake Tahoe, interfered with a federal investigation of a gang member on June 29, 2011, a press release from U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner stated. Poland allegedly convinced the gang member’s girlfriend to hide and destroy evidence related to the investigation. The officer is alleged to have tampered with the witness again in October and November 2011, in relation to an investigation into Poland’s and the gang member’s conduct. Rather than provide evidence to the authorities, Poland allegedly instructed another witness to hide and destroy evidence. Poland is also charged with corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating, and concealing evidence material to an official proceeding.
Poland faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the counts.
The case was investigated by the FBI, SLTPD and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (SLEDNET Task Force). Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.
Poland is to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman in Sacramento on Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.